Gluten is simply two proteins, gliadin and glutenin, joined together with starch. It occurs naturally in the endosperm of some grass grains such as wheat. Most people metabolize it as they would any other protein or starch. It is broken down throughout the digestive system, starting in the mouth by saliva, into related amino acids (from the proteins) and sugars (from the starch). A small percentage of people have celiac disease; this means that those affected cannot digest gluten properly due to an autoimmune reaction to the substance. The only answer for those with celiac disease is a gluten free diet.
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