How common are the gluten sensitivity and celiac genes?
DQ2 is present in 31% of the general American population. DQ8 (without DQ2) is present in another 12%. Thus, the main celiac genes are present in 43% of Americans. Include DQ1 (without DQ2 or DQ8), which is present in another 38%, yields the fact that at least 81% of America is genetically predisposed to gluten sensitivity. (Of those with at least one DQ1 allele, 46% have DQ1,7, 42% have DQ1,1, 11% have DQ1,4, and 1% have DQ1,9.) Of the remaining 19%, most have DQ7,7 (an allele almost identical in structure to DQ2,2, the most celiac-predisposing of genetic combinations) which in our laboratory experience is associated with strikingly high antigliadin antibody titers in many such people. Thus, it is really only those with DQ4,4 that have never been shown to have a genetic predisposition to gluten sensitivity, and this gene combination is very rare in America (but not necessarily as rare in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia where the majority of the inhabitants are not only racially different f