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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    CAN A GLUTEN-FREE DIET HELP SOME IBS PATIENTS?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Can anti-gliadin antibodies help tell which IBS patients might improve on a gluten-free diet?


    Celiac.com 05/26/2017 - Can a gluten-free diet help improve symptoms in people suffering from IBS? A new study says yes, some of them, at least.


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    More than 60% of patients with IBS suffer from bloating and abdominal pain after eating certain foods. In some patients, who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy, these symptoms may be due to an adverse reaction to wheat and gluten.

    Several studies have suggested that anti-gliadin antibodies can be a useful benchmark for predicting which patients with irritable bowel syndrome will benefit from a gluten-free diet. However, the idea remained untested until recently, when researchers conducted a prospective study in IBS patients.

    An update on their research was presented at Digestive Disease Week. The research was conducted by María Inés Pinto Sanchez, MD, and colleagues at the department of medicine at McMaster University and the Farncombe Institute in Ontario, Canada.

    To better understand the usefulness of these predictors, the research team looked at 44 patients with IBS and 23 healthy volunteers, both before and after 1 month of adhering to a gluten-free diet. They assessed GI transit, GI symptoms, anxiety, depression, somatization and dietary habits. The team tested each subject for anti-gliadin antibodies, then stratified the patients based on the results. Patients with celiac disease were not included in the study.

    The investigators found that just over half (53%) of the IBS patients, and 25% of the healthy volunteers, tested positive for IgA or IgC anti-gliadin antibodies. Additionally, HLA DQ2/DQ8 genetic predisposition was comparable for both groups.

    IBS patients who tested positive for antigliadin antibodies, and who followed a gluten-free diet, showed overall improvement in symptoms, especially constipation (P = 0.01), diarrhea (P = 0.001) and abdominal pain (P < 0.001) while IBS patients who tested negative only experienced improvements in abdominal pain (P = 0.01). Compared with patients who tested negative, gluten-free IBS patients who tested positive saw more normalization in GI transit (OR = 1.75 95% CI, 1.06 - 3.06).

    Regardless of antibody status, all IBS patients saw comparable improvements in anxiety, somatization and well-being, but only patients who tested positive saw reduced depression scores.

    A gluten-free diet in patients who tested positive for anti-gliadin antibodies was associated with symptomatic improvement (OR = 8.54; 95% CI, 1.41-48.21), while other factors like changes in motility, dietary adherence or genetic risk were not.

    Their data led the team to conclude that anti-gliadin antibodies can be used to determine which IBS patients are more likely to see an improvement in symptoms, and in functionality.

    Interestingly, strict compliance with the gluten-free diet did not predict improvement, which indicates that gluten restriction, rather than gluten avoidance, may help to manage symptoms in these IBS patients. That means that patients might be able to get better by cutting back on gluten, instead of cutting it out of their diet entirely.

    Read more at Healio.com.



    Image Caption: Image: CC--Erica Firment
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  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/29/2015 - Numerous studies have shown that a high percentage of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are also sensitive to gluten. 
    A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate the effect of a gluten-free diet on gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with IBS. The research team included B. Shahbazkhani, A. Sadeghi, R. Malekzadeh, F. Khatavi, M. Etemadi, E. Kalantri, M. Rostami-Nejad, and K. Rostami.
    They are variously affiliated with the Gastroenterology Unit of Imam Khomeini Hospital at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, the Digestive Disease Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran, the Sasan Alborz Biomedical Research Center, Masoud Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic, Tehran, Iran, the Students' Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, the Gholhak Medical Laboratory, Tehran, Iran, the Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, and with the Department of Gastroenterology, Alexandra Hospital, Worcestershire, UK.
    For their double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the team enrolled 148 IBS patients who fulfilled Rome III criteria between 2011 and 2013.
    Unfortunately, only 72 out of the 148 remained on a gluten-free diet for the six weeks needed to complete the study.
    The team recorded clinical symptoms biweekly using a standard visual analogue scale (VAS).
    In the second stage after six weeks, patients whose symptoms improved to an acceptable level were randomly divided into two groups; The first group of 35 patients received packages containing powdered gluten, while 37 patients received a gluten-free placebo powder.
    Nearly 84% of the gluten-free placebo group showed a significant improvement in symptoms compared to just under 26% for the gluten consuming group (p < 0.001).
    This study confirms that a large number of patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten.
    The team suggests that the term of IBS might be misleading and may change or delay an "effective and well-targeted treatment strategy in gluten sensitive patients."
    Source:
    Nutrients. 2015 Jun 5;7(6):4542-54. doi: 10.3390/nu7064542.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/06/2016 - Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common types of functional bowel disorder. As researchers attempt to unravel the mysteries behind IBS, they have payed increasing attention to the possible impact of food and diet.
    For many people with IBS, certain foods seem to trigger or worsen symptoms, such as abdominal pain and bloating. Wheat is suspected as a major IBS trigger, although which exact aspects of wheat might be involved is not yet known. Gluten, and other wheat proteins, such as amylase-trypsin inhibitors, and fructans, which belong to fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAPs), have been identified as possible factors for triggering or worsening IBS symptoms.
    A research team recently set out to examine the issue, especially with respect to gluten and FODMAP sensitivity. The research team included Roberto De Giorgio, Umberto Volta, and Peter R Gibson. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Centro di Ricerca Bio-Medica Applicata (C.R.B.A.) and Digestive System, St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy, and the Department of Gastroenterology Alfred Hospital at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
    The researchers suspect that sensitivity occurs through different mechanisms, including immune and mast cell activation, mechanoreceptor stimulation and chemosensory activation. The lack of certainty regarding the actual triggers has opened a scenario of semantic definitions favored by the discordant results of double-blind placebo-controlled trials, which have generated various terms ranging from non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to the broader one of non-coeliac wheat or wheat protein sensitivity or, even, FODMAP sensitivity.
    The role of FODMAPs in eliciting the clinical picture of IBS goes further since these short-chain carbohydrates are found in many other dietary components, including vegetables and fruits.
    In their review, they assessed current literature in order to unravel whether gluten/wheat/FODMAP sensitivity represent 'facts' and not 'fiction' in IBS symptoms.
    This knowledge is expected to promote standardization in dietary strategies, especially gluten/wheat-free and low FODMAP diets, as suitable ways to manage IBS symptoms.
    Read more at: Gut. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309757



    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/15/2016 - Celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can have similar symptoms, and confusion between the two can often cause delays in diagnosis. International guidelines recommend screening IBS patients for celiac disease using serological testing. However, studies published recently have cast doubt on the utility of this.
    A team of researchers recently set out to assess the use of serological testing to screen IBS patients for celiac disease, and to update a previous meta-analysis of this issue. The research team included Andrew J Irvine, William D Chey and Alexander C Ford. They searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and EMBASE Classic through May 2016, looking for studies that had recruited adults with IBS according to symptom-based criteria, physician's opinion, or questionnaire data.
    Tests for celiac disease included IgA-class antigliadin antibodies (AGA), endomysial antibodies (EMA), tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG), or duodenal biopsies following positive serology. They combined the proportion of individuals meeting criteria for IBS, and testing positive for celiac disease, to give a pooled prevalence for all studies, and they then compared between cases with IBS and, where reported, healthy controls without IBS, using an odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).
    They found a total of thirty-six eligible studies, and 15,256 participants, nearly sixty-one percent of whom met criteria for IBS. Pooled ORs for positive IgA AGAs, EMA and/or tTG, and biopsy-proven celiac disease in IBS subjects vs. controls were 3.21 (95% CI 1.55–6.65), 2.75 (95% CI 1.35–5.61), and 4.48 (95% CI 2.33–8.60), respectively.
    The authors wrote that there was "no increase in ORs for any test for celiac disease among cases with IBS in North American studies, and results were inconsistent in population-based studies."
    Rates of biopsy-proven celiac disease were substantially higher across all subtypes of IBS. Their review had a few limitations, including heterogeneity in some analyses, along with limited North American study data.
    Overall, people with symptoms suggestive of IBS had higher rates of positive celiac serology and biopsy-proven celiac disease than did healthy control subjects. However, the case for celiac disease screening for individuals with suspected IBS in North America is still unclear. Essentially, we need broader and more comprehensive study of this issue in North America.
    Source:
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 18 October 2016. doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.466

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
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    Jefferson Adams
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    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/18/2018 - To the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service animals.
    If you’ve flown anywhere lately, you may have seen them. People flying with their designated “emotional support” animals. We’re not talking genuine service animals, like seeing eye dogs, or hearing ear dogs, or even the Belgian Malinois that alerts its owner when there is gluten in food that may trigger her celiac disease.
    Now, to be honest, some of those animals in question do perform a genuine service for those who need emotional support dogs, like veterans with PTSD.
    However, many of these animals are not service animals at all. Many of these animals perform no actual service to their owners, and are nothing more than thinly disguised pets. Many lack proper training, and some have caused serious problems for the airlines and for other passengers.
    Now the major airlines are taking note and introducing stringent requirements for service animals.
    Delta was the first to strike. As reported by the New York Times on January 19: “Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest US airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger’s need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight.… This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals — pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities — carried onboard since 2015.… Delta said that it flies some 700 service animals a day. Among them, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders, and other unusual pets.”
    Fresh from an unsavory incident with an “emotional support” peacock incident, United Airlines has followed Delta’s lead and set stricter rules for emotional support animals. United’s rules also took effect March 1, 2018.
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    Source:
    cnbc.com

    admin
    WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects around 1% of the population. People with celiac disease suffer an autoimmune reaction when they consume wheat, rye or barley. The immune reaction is triggered by certain proteins in the wheat, rye, or barley, and, left untreated, causes damage to the small, finger-like structures, called villi, that line the gut. The damage occurs as shortening and villous flattening in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. The damage to these villi then leads to numerous other issues that commonly plague people with untreated celiac disease, including poor nutritional uptake, fatigue, and myriad other problems.
    Celiac disease mostly affects people of Northern European descent, but recent studies show that it also affects large numbers of people in Italy, China, Iran, India, and numerous other places thought to have few or no cases.
    Celiac disease is most often uncovered because people experience symptoms that lead them to get tests for antibodies to gluten. If these tests are positive, then the people usually get biopsy confirmation of their celiac disease. Once they adopt a gluten-free diet, they usually see gut healing, and major improvements in their symptoms. 
    CLASSIC CELIAC DISEASE SYMPTOMS
    Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, gas, weight loss, and malnutrition, among others.
    LESS OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS
    Celiac disease can often less obvious symptoms, such fatigue, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, anemia, to name a few. Often, these symptoms are regarded as less obvious because they are not gastrointestinal in nature. You got that right, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to have few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. That makes spotting and connecting these seemingly unrelated and unclear celiac symptoms so important.
    NO SYMPTOMS
    Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors. 

    CELIAC DISEASE VS. GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
    Gluten intolerance is a generic term for people who have some sort of sensitivity to gluten. These people may or may not have celiac disease. Researchers generally agree that there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That term has largely replaced the term gluten-intolerance. What’s the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity? 
    CELIAC DISEASE VS. NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)
    Gluten triggers symptoms and immune reactions in people with celiac disease. Gluten can also trigger symptoms in some people with NCGS, but the similarities largely end there.

    There are four main differences between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
    No Hereditary Link in NCGS
    Researchers know for certain that genetic heredity plays a major role in celiac disease. If a first-degree relative has celiac disease, then you have a statistically higher risk of carrying genetic markers DQ2 and/or DQ8, and of developing celiac disease yourself. NCGS is not known to be hereditary. Some research has shown certain genetic associations, such as some NCGS patients, but there is no proof that NCGS is hereditary. No Connection with Celiac-related Disorders
    Unlike celiac disease, NCGS is so far not associated with malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies, or a higher risk of autoimmune disorders or intestinal malignancies. No Immunological or Serological Markers
    People with celiac disease nearly always test positive for antibodies to gluten proteins. Researchers have, as yet, identified no such antobodies or serologic markers for NCGS. That means that, unlike with celiac disease, there are no telltale screening tests that can point to NCGS. Absence of Celiac Disease or Wheat Allergy
    Doctors diagnose NCGS only by excluding both celiac disease, an IgE-mediated allergy to wheat, and by the noting ongoing adverse symptoms associated with gluten consumption. WHAT ABOUT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) AND IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)?
    IBS and IBD are usually diagnosed in part by ruling out celiac disease. Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten. Many experience celiac disease-like symptoms in reaction to wheat. However, patients with IBS generally show no gut damage, and do not test positive for antibodies to gliadin and other proteins as do people with celiac disease. Some IBS patients also suffer from NCGS.

    To add more confusion, many cases of IBS are, in fact, celiac disease in disguise.

    That said, people with IBS generally react to more than just wheat. People with NCGS generally react to wheat and not to other things, but that’s not always the case. Doctors generally try to rule out celiac disease before making a diagnosis of IBS or NCGS. 
    Crohn’s Disease and celiac disease share many common symptoms, though causes are different.  In Crohn’s disease, the immune system can cause disruption anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, and a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease typically requires more diagnostic testing than does a celiac diagnosis.  
    Crohn’s treatment consists of changes to diet and possible surgery.  Up to 10% of Crohn's patients can have both of conditions, which suggests a genetic connection, and researchers continue to examine that connection.
    Is There a Connection Between Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Large Number of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Sensitive To Gluten Some IBD Patients also Suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Many Cases of IBS and Fibromyalgia Actually Celiac Disease in Disguise CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
    Diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult. 

    Perhaps because celiac disease presents clinically in such a variety of ways, proper diagnosis often takes years. A positive serological test for antibodies against tissue transglutaminase is considered a very strong diagnostic indicator, and a duodenal biopsy revealing villous atrophy is still considered by many to be the diagnostic gold standard. 
    But this idea is being questioned; some think the biopsy is unnecessary in the face of clear serological tests and obvious symptoms. Also, researchers are developing accurate and reliable ways to test for celiac disease even when patients are already avoiding wheat. In the past, patients needed to be consuming wheat to get an accurate test result. 
    Celiac disease can have numerous vague, or confusing symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult.  Celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed by doctors. Read a Personal Story About Celiac Disease Diagnosis from the Founder of Celiac.com Currently, testing and biopsy still form the cornerstone of celiac diagnosis.
    TESTING
    There are several serologic (blood) tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies, but the most commonly used is called a tTG-IgA test. If blood test results suggest celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.
    Testing is fairly simple and involves screening the patients blood for antigliadin (AGA) and endomysium antibodies (EmA), and/or doing a biopsy on the areas of the intestines mentioned above, which is still the standard for a formal diagnosis. Also, it is now possible to test people for celiac disease without making them concume wheat products.

    BIOPSY
    Until recently, biopsy confirmation of a positive gluten antibody test was the gold standard for celiac diagnosis. It still is, but things are changing fairly quickly. Children can now be accurately diagnosed for celiac disease without biopsy. Diagnosis based on level of TGA-IgA 10-fold or more the ULN, a positive result from the EMA tests in a second blood sample, and the presence of at least 1 symptom could avoid risks and costs of endoscopy for more than half the children with celiac disease worldwide.

    WHY A GLUTEN-FREE DIET?
    Currently the only effective, medically approved treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet relieves symptoms, promotes gut healing, and prevents nearly all celiac-related complications. 
    A gluten-free diet means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye and barley, or any of their derivatives. This is a difficult task as there are many hidden sources of gluten found in the ingredients of many processed foods. Still, with effort, most people with celiac disease manage to make the transition. The vast majority of celiac disease patients who follow a gluten-free diet see symptom relief and experience gut healing within two years.
    For these reasons, a gluten-free diet remains the only effective, medically proven treatment for celiac disease.
    WHAT ABOUT ENZYMES, VACCINES, ETC.?
    There is currently no enzyme or vaccine that can replace a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease.
    There are enzyme supplements currently available, such as AN-PEP, Latiglutetenase, GluteGuard, and KumaMax, which may help to mitigate accidental gluten ingestion by celiacs. KumaMax, has been shown to survive the stomach, and to break down gluten in the small intestine. Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003, is an enzyme therapy designed to be taken with meals. GluteGuard has been shown to significantly protect celiac patients from the serious symptoms they would normally experience after gluten ingestion. There are other enzymes, including those based on papaya enzymes.

    Additionally, there are many celiac disease drugs, enzymes, and therapies in various stages of development by pharmaceutical companies, including at least one vaccine that has received financial backing. At some point in the not too distant future there will likely be new treatments available for those who seek an alternative to a lifelong gluten-free diet. 

    For now though, there are no products on the market that can take the place of a gluten-free diet. Any enzyme or other treatment for celiac disease is intended to be used in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, not as a replacement.

    ASSOCIATED DISEASES
    The most common disorders associated with celiac disease are thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes, however, celiac disease is associated with many other conditions, including but not limited to the following autoimmune conditions:
    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: 2.4-16.4% Multiple Sclerosis (MS): 11% Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: 4-6% Autoimmune hepatitis: 6-15% Addison disease: 6% Arthritis: 1.5-7.5% Sjögren’s syndrome: 2-15% Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: 5.7% IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s Disease): 3.6% Other celiac co-morditities include:
    Crohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Chronic Pancreatitis Down Syndrome Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Scleroderma Turner Syndrome Ulcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Williams Syndrome Cancers:
    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (intestinal and extra-intestinal, T- and B-cell types) Small intestinal adenocarcinoma Esophageal carcinoma Papillary thyroid cancer Melanoma CELIAC DISEASE REFERENCES:
    Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University
    Gluten Intolerance Group
    National Institutes of Health
    U.S. National Library of Medicine
    Mayo Clinic
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/17/2018 - Could the holy grail of gluten-free food lie in special strains of wheat that lack “bad glutens” that trigger the celiac disease, but include the “good glutens” that make bread and other products chewy, spongey and delicious? Such products would include all of the good things about wheat, but none of the bad things that might trigger celiac disease.
    A team of researchers in Spain is creating strains of wheat that lack the “bad glutens” that trigger the autoimmune disorder celiac disease. The team, based at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain, is making use of the new and highly effective CRISPR gene editing to eliminate the majority of the gliadins in wheat.
    Gliadins are the gluten proteins that trigger the majority of symptoms for people with celiac disease.
    As part of their efforts, the team has conducted a small study on 20 people with “gluten sensitivity.” That study showed that test subjects can tolerate bread made with this special wheat, says team member Francisco Barro. However, the team has yet to publish the results.
    Clearly, more comprehensive testing would be needed to determine if such a product is safely tolerated by people with celiac disease. Still, with these efforts, along with efforts to develop vaccines, enzymes, and other treatments making steady progress, we are living in exciting times for people with celiac disease.
    It is entirely conceivable that in the not-so-distant future we will see safe, viable treatments for celiac disease that do not require a strict gluten-free diet.
    Read more at Digitaltrends.com , and at Newscientist.com