A study cited in a 2003 issue of the medical journal The Lancet would suggest so. The article compares a specific amino acid sequence found in Candida cell wall protein to a gliadin amino acid sequence that triggers the immune response in celiac disease. Researchers found that the sequences are “identical or highly homologous to known celiac disease-related alpha-gliadin and gamma-gliadin T-cell epitopes” and they propose that candida is the trigger for celiac disease. The immune system can confuse gluten found in grains for the cell wall of the Candida and then mount a response against the gluten! The immune cell bound gluten then damages the small intestinal wall as in Celiac Disease.
Here’s the abstract (Lancet. 2003 Jun 21;361(9375):2152-4):
“Is Candida albicans a trigger in the onset of coeliac disease?” Nieuwenhuizen WF, Pieters RH, Knippels LM, Jansen MC, Koppelman SJ.
Coeliac disease is a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the small intestine that is induced by ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, barley, or rye. We postulate that Candida albicans is a trigger in the onset of coeliac disease. The virulence factor of C albicans-hyphal wall protein 1 (HWP1)-contains amino acid sequences that are identical or highly homologous to known coeliac disease-related alpha-gliadin and gamma-gliadin T-cell epitopes. HWP1 is a transglutaminase substrate, and is used by C albicans to adhere to the intestinal epithelium. Furthermore, tissue transglutaminase and endomysium components could become covalently linked to the yeast. Subsequently, C albicans might function as an adjuvant that stimulates antibody formation against HWP1 and gluten, and formation of autoreactive antibodies against tissue transglutaminase and endomysium.