Celiac disease – Three components in gluten blamed


I was reading through the health section of BBC and ran across a study done on Coeliac disease.  I had not heard the name of this disease and googled it.  Wikipedia, my friend, told me that in North America, it is called celiac.  Well, why I am not surprised.  This is not the first time we have seen different spelling of same words between Brits and American English.

On a serious note, celiac disease is not fun at all.  One of my family members has celiac disease and being a vegetarian, it is very hard for her to find gluten free food, as this disease has an allergic reaction to gluten.  Market is offering much more choices of gluten free food now than before as I wrote in my previous post “My experience of gluten free food at Expo East.”  The BBC article revealed that scientists are able to find three key substances in gluten that triggers the allergic reaction.

Are you wondering how can this information be useful?  The researchers believe that this discovery can lead to development of new treatments and even vaccine for celiac disease.  The research was conducted by British and Australian scientist, which studied 200 patients with celiac disease attending clinics in Oxford and Melbourne. The study wad published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.

The study included:

  • Patients were asked to eat bread, rye muffins or boiled...

  • Six days later they had taken blood samples to measure their immune response to thousands of different gluten fragments or peptides
  • The tests identified 90 peptides that caused some level of immune reaction, but three were found to be particularly toxic.

Professor Bob Anderson, head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, seemed thrilled by the discovery and quoted that “These three components account for the majority of the immune response to gluten that is observed in people with coeliac disease.”

With the growing awareness and more food choices, celiac patients can very well survive by eating gluten free food, however they find trouble during travelling due to restrict diet.  I think this is a big step and hope that medical community around the world is able to further advance this discovery into a product to treat celiac disease.

Source: bbc.com


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