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    Environmental Effects on the Human Microbiota as Possible Celiac Disease Trigger


    Roy Jamron

    Celiac disease is known to be triggered, at least in part, by environmental factors. These factors can even affect one identical twin and not the other and seem to have their greatest impact during infancy when gluten is first introduced to the diet. Gut flora makeup and vitamin D levels are 2 factors which differ in infants and could affect the development of the immune system in ways leading to celiac disease. Recent research has shown that gut Bifidobacterium levels are lower in both treated and untreated celiac disease patients. Bifidobacterium species have properties which are beneficial to the immune system such as increasing IL-10 secretion and decreasing intestinal permeability. But other microbiota species may also have important effects and benefits to the developing immune system. Scientists are only beginning to scratch the surface both in cataloging the microbiota species found in the gut and understanding how environmental factors, such as antibiotics, affect their makeup and, in turn, how the makeup of gut microbiota affects human health. A new article on Medscape.com discusses the current state of this research and is excellent reading:


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    Gut Reaction: Environmental Effects on the Human Microbiota
    Melissa Lee Phillips
    Published on Medscape.com: 07/15/2009
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/705512_print

    It may be years before research fully understands how gut microbiota and vitamin D deficiency may be involved in triggering celiac disease. Both vitamin D and probiotic supplements (such as Bifidobacterium infantis) are cheap, readily available, and generally safe. There is much current research showing how important vitamin D is for overall health. Your infant's health is a matter of immediate concern and cannot wait 5 or 10 years for research to confirm whether such supplements can help prevent celiac disease. It would seem prudent to make use of these supplements now in both mother and infant during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, and prior to introducing gluten to your baby. Consult with your physician about how much is the right dose.


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    Guest shannon

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    So now you have me even more worried about my ten month old developing celiac disease but you don't give me any real actions to follow. I can't just go to my pediatrician and say I read a blurb about probiotics and infants - how much should I give her?

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    Guest Kristina

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    This is so interesting! Thanks for the summary, Roy. I have covered related topics on my blog.

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  • Related Articles

    Roy Jamron
    Celiac.com 04/10/2006 - This study looks at innate immune response to gliadin. The innate immune system responds to gliadin inducing zonulin release and increasing intestinal permeability and may be a factor in the onset of celiac disease, but I question if this leads ultimately to the Ag-specific adaptive immune response seen in patients with celiac disease. This innate response fails to explain why one identical twin may have celiac disease and not the other. Both of the twins as well as people not even susceptible to celiac disease would presumably have this same innate response to gliadin. I again urge celiac disease researchers to consider gluten-internalizing bacteria as the necessary trigger for the onset of celiac disease. The presence or absence of such bacteria does indeed offer an explanation as to why one twin gets celiac disease and not the other. Zonulin does not. In the commercial supplement product, Glisodin, the properties of gliadin have, in fact, already been used for the last few years to facilitate the delivery of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) protecting it from digestive acids and getting it through the intestinal mucosa, probably taking advantage of the zonulin effect. Aware of celiac disease, the developer of Glisodin tried to use other peptides as a carrier of SOD, but the only gliadin was effective. Unfortunately, this denies celiacs the benefit of using Glisodin to treat oxidative stress.
    Abstract of Study:


    J Immunol. 2006 Feb 15;176(4):2512-21.
    Gliadin Stimulation of Murine Macrophage Inflammatory Gene Expression and Intestinal Permeability Are MyD88-Dependent: Role of the Innate Immune Response in Celiac Disease.
    Thomas KE, Sapone A, Fasano A, Vogel SN. Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
    Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of TLR signaling in intestinal homeostasis. Celiac disease (celiac disease) is an autoimmune enteropathy triggered in susceptible individuals by the ingestion of gliadin-containing grains. In this study, we sought to test the hypothesis that gliadin initiates this response by stimulating the innate immune response to increase intestinal permeability and by up-regulating macrophage proinflammatory gene expression and cytokine production. To this end, intestinal permeability and the release of zonulin (an endogenous mediator of gut permeability) in vitro, as well as proinflammatory gene expression and cytokine release by primary murine macrophage cultures, were measured.
    Gliadin and its peptide derivatives, 33-mer and p31-43, were found to be potent inducers of both a zonulin-dependent increase in intestinal permeability and macrophage proinflammatory gene expression and cytokine secretion. Gliadin-induced zonulin release, increased intestinal permeability, and cytokine production were dependent on myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), a key adapter molecule in the TLR/IL-1R signaling pathways, but were neither TLR2- nor TLR4-dependent. Our data support the following model for the innate immune response to gliadin in the initiation of celiac disease. Gliadin interaction with the intestinal epithelium increases intestinal permeability through the MyD88-dependent release of zonulin that, in turn, enables paracellular translocation of gliadin and its subsequent interaction with macrophages within the intestinal submucosa. There, the interaction of gliadin with macrophages elicits a MyD88-dependent proinflammatory cytokine milieu that facilitates the interaction of T cells with APCs, leading ultimately to the Ag-specific adaptive immune response seen in patients with celiac disease.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/19/2008 - In a development that could benefit people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, a team of researchers based in Spain and the U.K. has developed a faster, easier way to test food products for the protein that triggers the adverse reactions associated with celiac disease.
    Such a rapid gluten detection test for food products could help millions of people avoid the indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, and other symptoms that arise when they accidentally consume foods that contain gluten.
    The research team was made up of Alex Fragoso, Ciara O'Sullivan and other colleagues, and their results will appear in the December 15 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry.
    Their development centers on the creation of a new sensor that detects antibodies to the protein gliadin, a component of the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. Laboratory tests showed that the new sensor is both highly accurate and far faster than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which is the current standard test for gliadin. The new test can detect gliadin in amounts as small as the parts per billion range, while an ELISA test requires a full 8 hours to do the same thing.
    Avoiding gluten enables people with celiac disease to avoid symptoms commonly associated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. However, since gluten can hide in so many seemingly safe foods, such as soy sauce, canned soups, and licorice candy, it can be difficult to know for certain whether foods are in fact free of gluten free. A number of prepared foods clearly list gluten ingredients on their labels, but spotting its presence can be challenging at best, and is often outright hit or miss.
    A rapid, highly accurate test that can reliably spot gluten in food products promises to make it easier for manufacturers to label their products, and for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance to avoid gluten and thereby enjoy better health.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/09/2009 - Rates of celiac disease are four times higher today than they were just fifty years ago, according to the results of a new study by scientists at the Mayo clinic. In addition, the study showed that people with undiagnosed celiac disease died at rates four times higher than non-celiacs over the 45 year follow-up period.
    Celiac disease is an immune system reaction to gluten in the diet which, left untreated, celiac disease causes damage to the lining of the digestive tract and leaves sufferers at risk for various cancers and other associated conditions. When people with celiac disease eat wheat, barley or rye, a protein called gluten triggers an immune system attack, which damages the villi in the small intestine.Villi are finger-like folds in the intestine that increase surface area for nutrient absorption.
    Celiac disease symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, anemia, unexplained infertility, loss of teeth or even premature or severe osteoporosis, among others.
    Joseph Murray, M.D., the Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who led the study says celiac disease "now affects about one in a hundred people. We also have shown that undiagnosed or 'silent' celiac disease may have a significant impact on survival. The increasing prevalence, combined with the mortality impact, suggests celiac disease could be a significant public health issue."
    So, celiac disease is striking a higher than ever portion of the population, yet doctors don't yet fully understand the reasons for this reality.
    A team of Mayo Clinic scientists team performed celiac disease antibody tests on blood samples gathered at Wyoming's Warren Air Force Base (AFB) between 1948 and 1954. They then compared those blood test results with results from two recently collected groups from Olmsted County, Minn. Tests for the first group were matched by age to those from the Warren AFB group at the time of the blood draw, while the second group was matched by birth years.
    Researchers found that young people today are 4.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than young people were in the 1950s, while those whose birth years matched the Warren AFB participants were four times more likely to have celiac disease.
    Celiac disease was once thought to be rare, and many physicians still regard it as so, but, according to Dr. Murray, that is no longer the case.
    "Celiac disease is unusual, but it's no longer rare," he says.
    Dr. Murray adds: "Something has changed in our environment to make it much more common. Until recently, the standard approach to finding celiac disease has been to wait for people to complain of symptoms and to come to the doctor for investigation. This study suggests that we may need to consider looking for celiac disease in the general population, more like we do in testing for cholesterol or blood pressure."
    For Dr. Murray, the findings underscore the importance of raising awareness of celiac disease, both among physicians and patients. He adds that some studies "have suggested that for every person who has been diagnosed with celiac disease, there are likely 30 who have it, but are not diagnosed. And given the nearly quadrupled mortality risk for silent celiac disease we have shown in our study, getting more patients and health professionals to consider the possibility of celiac disease is important."
    One interesting point not touched on in the study is the increase in the gluten content of commercial varieties of wheat now being grown compared to gluten levels of 50 years ago. Additionally, people are eating more wheat and gluten than ever before.
    (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/13032852.html)
    Gastroenterology, July 2009;137(1)pp 373-374


    Destiny Stone
    Celiac.com 08/02/2010 - It has been well documented that Type 1 diabetics' risk for thyroid disease and celiac disease are very high. As such the American Diabetics Association advises young children and adolescents that are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, to also have their thyroid function monitored and undergo celiac screening.
    Between 1990 and 2008, under the direction of Dr. Katharina Warncke of Technische Universitat Munchen, data from 28, 671 type 1 diabetes patients under the age of 30 with at least one autoantibody measurement, were enrolled  in a study in Germany and Austria to assess the risks of additional autoimmunities for type 1 diabetics.
    Of the 15,000 patients that were screened for beta-cell antibodies, 81.6% of them were discovered to have at least one. Those that did not have any beta-cell antibodies were found to be considerably younger than the patients with the antibodies when they first developed diabetes. However, patients with beta-cell antibodies were not more or less likely to have additional markers, indicating that autoimmunity cannot be established as an indicator of additional autoimmunities.
    Of the 25,000 patients that were screened for thyroid autoantibodies, 19.6% had positive results. And of the 14, 300 who were screened for tissue transglutaminase, 10.7% tested positive for the celiac disease marker.
    Female patients were more likely to be thyroid antibody-positive, and patients with thyroid antibodies were usually older and had a longer period of diabetes when compared to patients without the antibodies. Patients with positive tissue transglutaminase assays where discovered to have a longer duration of diabetes as well.
    Of the patients studied for parietal cell antibodies, only 283 were found to be positive. Those patients were also older and had a longer duration of diabetes than those found to be negative. Ninety-Four patients were shown to have anti-adrenal antibodies.
    Unfortunately, the researchers for the study did not have data on the actual reasons for parietal cell antibody and anti-adrenal antibody testing. So the high numbers of patients with positive results cannot be evaluated accurately. However the researchers indicate that it may be due to selection factors such as underlying disorders or cost factors.

    Source:

    Diabetes Care June 14, 2010, doi: 10.2337/dc10-0404

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2018 - Celiac disease has been mainly associated with Caucasian populations in Northern Europe, and their descendants in other countries, but new scientific evidence is beginning to challenge that view. Still, the exact global prevalence of celiac disease remains unknown.  To get better data on that issue, a team of researchers recently conducted a comprehensive review and meta-analysis to get a reasonably accurate estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease. 
    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
    For their review, the team searched Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE for the keywords ‘celiac disease,’ ‘celiac,’ ‘tissue transglutaminase antibody,’ ‘anti-endomysium antibody,’ ‘endomysial antibody,’ and ‘prevalence’ for studies published from January 1991 through March 2016. 
    The team cross-referenced each article with the words ‘Asia,’ ‘Europe,’ ‘Africa,’ ‘South America,’ ‘North America,’ and ‘Australia.’ They defined celiac diagnosis based on European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition guidelines. The team used 96 articles of 3,843 articles in their final analysis.
    Overall global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals, based on positive blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or anti-endomysial antibodies. The pooled global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7% in 138,792 individuals. That means that numerous people with celiac disease potentially remain undiagnosed.
    Rates of celiac disease were 0.4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania; the prevalence was 0.6% in female vs 0.4% males. Celiac disease was significantly more common in children than adults.
    This systematic review and meta-analysis showed celiac disease to be reported worldwide. Blood test data shows celiac disease rate of 1.4%, while biopsy data shows 0.7%. The prevalence of celiac disease varies with sex, age, and location. 
    This review demonstrates a need for more comprehensive population-based studies of celiac disease in numerous countries.  The 1.4% rate indicates that there are 91.2 million people worldwide with celiac disease, and 3.9 million are in the U.S.A.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/16/2018 - Summer is the time for chips and salsa. This fresh salsa recipe relies on cabbage, yes, cabbage, as a secret ingredient. The cabbage brings a delicious flavor and helps the salsa hold together nicely for scooping with your favorite chips. The result is a fresh, tasty salsa that goes great with guacamole.
    Ingredients:
    3 cups ripe fresh tomatoes, diced 1 cup shredded green cabbage ½ cup diced yellow onion ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 jalapeno, seeded 1 Serrano pepper, seeded 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 garlic cloves, minced salt to taste black pepper, to taste Directions:
    Purée all ingredients together in a blender.
    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
    Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired. 
    Serve is a bowl with tortilla chips and guacamole.

    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
    So how, you may ask, is all this related to gluten? As a starting point, one report from the medical literature identifies a patient who developed aphasia after admission for severe diarrhea. By the time celiac disease was diagnosed, he had completely lost his faculty of speech. However, his speech and normal bowel function gradually returned after beginning a gluten free diet (8). This finding was so controversial at the time of publication (1988) that the authors chose to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, it is a valuable clue that suggests gluten as a factor in compromised speech production. At about the same time (late 1980’s) reports of connections between untreated celiac disease and seizures/epilepsy were emerging in the medical literature (9).
    With the advent of the Internet a whole new field of anecdotal information was emerging, connecting a variety of neurological symptoms to celiac disease. While many medical practitioners and researchers were casting aspersions on these assertions, a select few chose to explore such claims using scientific research designs and methods. While connections between stuttering and gluten consumption seem to have been overlooked by the medical research community, there is a rich literature on the Internet that cries out for more structured investigation of this connection. Conversely, perhaps a publication bias of the peer review process excludes work that explores this connection.
    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
    However, researchers really don’t have much data regarding the frequency and significance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. Such data could provide useful comparison information for patients with RCDII, among other things.
    To that end, a research team recently set out to try to get some information about the frequency and importance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. The research team included Shafinaz Hussein, Tatyana Gindin, Stephen M Lagana, Carolina Arguelles-Grande, Suneeta Krishnareddy, Bachir Alobeid, Suzanne K Lewis, Mahesh M Mansukhani, Peter H R Green, and Govind Bhagat.
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Department of Medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA. Their team analyzed results of TCR-GR analyses performed on SB biopsies at our institution over a 3-year period, which were obtained from eight active celiac disease, 172 celiac disease on gluten-free diet, 33 RCDI, and three RCDII patients and 14 patients without celiac disease. 
    Clonal TCR-GRs are not infrequent in cases lacking features of RCDII, while PCPs are frequent in all disease phases. TCR-GR results should be assessed in conjunction with immunophenotypic, histological and clinical findings for appropriate diagnosis and classification of RCD.
    The team divided the TCR-GR patterns into clonal, polyclonal and prominent clonal peaks (PCPs), and correlated these patterns with clinical and pathological features. In all, they detected clonal TCR-GR products in biopsies from 67% of patients with RCDII, 17% of patients with RCDI and 6% of patients with gluten-free diet. They found PCPs in all disease phases, but saw no significant difference in the TCR-GR patterns between the non-RCDII disease categories (p=0.39). 
    They also noted a higher frequency of surface CD3(−) IELs in cases with clonal TCR-GR, but the PCP pattern showed no associations with any clinical or pathological feature. 
    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/13/2018 - There have been numerous reports that olmesartan, aka Benicar, seems to trigger sprue‐like enteropathy in many patients, but so far, studies have produced mixed results, and there really hasn’t been a rigorous study of the issue. A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether olmesartan is associated with a higher rate of enteropathy compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
    The research team included Y.‐H. Dong; Y. Jin; TN Tsacogianis; M He; PH Hsieh; and JJ Gagne. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA; the Faculty of Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Science at National Yang‐Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Department of Hepato‐Gastroenterology, Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan.
    To get solid data on the issue, the team conducted a cohort study among ARB initiators in 5 US claims databases covering numerous health insurers. They used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for enteropathy‐related outcomes, including celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy. In all, they found nearly two million eligible patients. 
    They then assessed those patients and compared the results for olmesartan initiators to initiators of other ARBs after propensity score (PS) matching. They found unadjusted incidence rates of 0.82, 1.41, 1.66 and 29.20 per 1,000 person‐years for celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy respectively. 
    After PS matching comparing olmesartan to other ARBs, hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.05‐1.40), 1.00 (95% CI, 0.88‐1.13), 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10‐1.36) and 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01‐1.07) for each outcome. Patients aged 65 years and older showed greater hazard ratios for celiac disease, as did patients receiving treatment for more than 1 year, and patients receiving higher cumulative olmesartan doses.
    This is the first comprehensive multi‐database study to document a higher rate of enteropathy in olmesartan initiators as compared to initiators of other ARBs, though absolute rates were low for both groups.
    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics