I am asked a lot about quinoa and why I don’t eat it.  Well each time I have tried it in a number of different versions – dinner, breakfast, cooked, sprouted I have experienced stomach cramping, the need to poop urgently, fatigue and generally a bit blah……

Perplexed I figured i needed to do more homework.  I am still reading………but for now I am not eating quinoa.

I like to keep it all really simple, if I eat something I don’t feel well, I STOP eating it…….I don’t need any more intervention that that.

BUT…….I thought I might just share this Abstract from a team of researchers who evaluated quinoa together with millet, sorghum and wheat. (remembering I am grain free).

This small but significant piece of information might help you to ask more questions and determine for yourself if quinoa does work for you.  I am NOT saying do or don’t – just decide based on what your own body does and how you feel…….

The research team included Victor F. Zevallos, H. Julia Ellis, Tanja Šuligoj, L. Irene Herencia, and Paul J. Ciclitira. They are affiliated with the Division of diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Gastroenterology at King’s College London, United Kingdom, and the Departamento de Producción Vegetal at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, in Spain.

The study was supported by the Food Standards Agency PG1017 of the Clinical Research Trust, and the European Commission QLK1-CT-2002-02077.



Coeliac disease is an enteropathy triggered by dietary gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. The current treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. Quinoa is a highly nutritive plant from the Andes, with low concentrations of prolamins, that has been recommended as part of a gluten-free diet; however, few experimental data support this recommendation.


We aimed to determine the amount of coeliac-toxic prolamin epitopes in quinoa cultivars from different regions of the Andes and the ability of these epitopes to activate immune responses in patients with coeliac diease.


The concentration of coeliac-toxic epitopes was measured by using murine monoclonal antibodies against gliadin and high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits. Immune response was assessed by proliferation assays of coeliac small intestinal T cells/interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and production of IFN-γ/IL-15 after organ culture of coeliac duodenal biopsy samples.


Fifteen quinoa cultivars were tested: 4 cultivars had quantifiable concentrations of coeliac-toxic epitopes, but they were below the maximum permitted for a gluten-free food. Cultivars Ayacuchana and Pasankalla stimulated T cell lines at levels similar to those for gliadin and caused secretion of cytokines from cultured biopsy samples at levels comparable with those for gliadin.


Most quinoa cultivars do not possess quantifiable amounts of coeliac-toxic epitopes. However, 2 cultivars had celiac-toxic epitopes that could activate the adaptive and innate immune responses in some patients with celiac disease. These findings require further investigation in the form of in vivo studies, because quinoa is an important source of nutrients for patients with coeliac disease.

Source:  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition