Kamut Wheat and Wheat Allergy
Many people allergic to common bread wheat (Triticum vulgare) are not allergic to a variety of wheat (Triticum turgidum spp turanicum) that is an ancient relative of durum wheat (Triticum durum) and is now being marketed under the Kamut trademark. This data is relevant to a growing population segment with restricted culinary choices. According to The National Institute of Health, over 35 million Americans suffer from food allergies and allergic reactions to wheat are one of the most common. The French doctor, Raphael Nogier of Lyon, reports 10 percent of the school going youth suffers a food allergy.
Research by the IFAA (International Food Allergy Association) concludes as follows:
"For most people who are hypersensitive to wheat, Kamut wheat can be an excellent substitute for common wheat".
Dr. Eileen Yoder, president of the IFAA, along with a team of independent scientists and doctors, arrived at this conclusion after their study with two groups of people, those with an immediate immune reaction and those with a delayed immune system reaction. In this last group, 70 percent showed an increased sensitivity to common wheat than Kamut wheat. In the first group -- people with serious allergies -- 70 percent did not react, or did react very slightly, with Kamut wheat. However, serious allergy sufferers should always consult their doctor first.
Many people think the terms food allergy and food intolerance mean the same thing; however, they do not. Do not confound wheat allergy and gluten intolerance!
The first is a food allergy related to modern wheat, the latter is intolerance to gluten, present in amongst others: Wheat, rye, barley, spelt and also in Kamut grain.
No research has been carried out yet on the reaction to Kamut grain by people who are intolerant to gluten. Therefore, we can make no recommendations for them. However, for many with wheat allergies, Kamut brand grain has become 'the wheat you can eat'.