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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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    ARE ANTI-GMO CAMPAIGNERS BLOCKING GLUTEN-FREE WHEAT THAT COULD HELP CELIAC SUFFERERS?


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 09/25/2015 - Are anti-GMO campaigners blocking gluten-free wheat that could help people with celiac disease?


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    Photo: CC--Roger KarstenThere's an interesting blog post by Daniel Norero in Biology Fortified. The blog post claims that a type of GM wheat that may improve the quality of life for celiac patients has faced opposition from anti-GMO campaigners who oppose approval and commercialization of the product.

    Certainly, producing a variety of gluten-free wheat offers one alternative to avoiding gluten. However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to create a baking-quality gluten-free wheat strain using conventional techniques such as selection and hybridization.

    That reality led a team of Spanish scientists, headed by Dr. Francisco Barro, to use RNA interference (RNAi) to deactivate or delete the genes in wheat that produce the gliadin proteins. By 2011, the team had created four strains of wheat with particularly low amounts of gliadins, which produced in people with celiac disease a reaction up to 95% less toxic than the one produced by standard wheat.

    Two of those wheat strains, E82 and D793, showed gliadin reductions of about 96% and 97% respectively. For people with celiac disease, this would equate to a safe maximum daily consumption of bread up to 43.6 and 66.9 grams per day.

    The blog entry goes on to say that, despite the opportunity presented by this GM crop to improve the quality of life of celiac patients, problems have arisen at the approval and commercialization stages, largely due to opposition from Spanish and European anti-GMO activists.

    Norero then quotes from blog post by Jose Miguel Mulet, a Spanish plant scientist from CSIC:

    "How can it be that a technology created with Spanish public funds end up in the hands of a private American company? Because of the aberrant anti-GMO European law. No European or Spanish company is interested in commercially developing this wheat due to obstacles in the authorization process…The result: licensing rights have been acquired by the…Dow Agrosciences, given that the authorization process in the United States is much easier."

    Norero makes an interesting read. It's certainly possible that some type of genetic modification could benefit people with celiac disease. However, it's unclear how a wheat with a 95-97% reduction in gluten toxicity would relate to the current 20ppm total gluten allowed by U.S. law, or exactly what the nature of the alleged benefits for celiacs might be.

    What do you think? Should genetically modified wheat be permitted if it's helpful to people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance? Or no, should there be no GMO wheat, no matter the claimed benefits? 


    Image Caption: Wheat grows in a field. Photo: CC--Roger Karsten
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    GMO marketers are touting GMOs as custom solutions to various digestive issues. Just as the wind blows and birds and insects fly, GMOs cannot be contained and threaten to contaminate other crops, affect important pollinator insects, and affect humans and animals in ways that can't be foreseen. GMOs are like opening Pandora's box on nature. Some GMOs allow plants to survive ever larger amounts of pesticides, pesticides that get into the food chain and pesticides that end up in our bodies. The corporate giants that control GMOs want us to think that they will have the keys to all sorts of ailments, of course -- great marketing for their profit-maker and great way to get more taxpayer research dollars. Heck, wouldn't it be great to walk through the woods and be able to eat bird berries and poisonous mushrooms? When do we say enough is enough and ask the powers to be to stop messing with nature? How about focusing on cleaning nature up? Look up the number of toxic Superfund sites in the USA that have been sitting for decades right in our towns and countrysides? How about working to protect pollinators and work with nature? Oh, not enough profit in it. The downsides and risks to swamping our environment with GMOs are too great. I'm celiac and I'm tired of hearing about "cures" all the time so that I supposedly can stop watching what I eat. GMOs unleashed will make our choices even harder. I imagine many of us will end up in the doctor's office trying to figure out what is still bothering our gut after our bodies are forced to deal with the unknowns of GMOs. How long will it take doctors to figure all that out? Think how long it's taken many of them to get on board understanding celiac. I know some would like to think we're on an episode of Star Trek and that the science of GMOs is moving us ever-closer to curing all disease and creating food in a replicator. Who will own that monopoly? I think we know.

    (This comment is submitted as a personal opinion on the topic and not meant to reflect at the writer's or owner's of the celiac.com website in any way. I appreciate the opportunity to express opinion here and to read opinions of others. Thanks!)

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    Jefferson, certainly genetically modified wheat should be permitted particularly if it will help celiacs. The anti-GMO folks sound politically correct on all fronts, but the science is lacking to underscore their concerns. Someday science may show their concerns justified--and also that may prove to be shown to be a straw man. Time will tell, but the most important thing is to utilize ALL efforts at improving life for those of us with celiac sprue. Which is the traditional name for the condition--which I use and urge all others to do likewise also.

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    Guest Dr. Jean Layton

    Posted

    I would be thrilled to imagine there would be a wheat that wouldn't have the gluten proteins that make me sick.

    GMO crops were launched without the scientific inquiries that would make certain that the modifications would do no harm.

    Most GMOs currently in production were done to increase resistance to glysphosate (roundup).

    Although the techniques are possible, without evaluation of long term exposure to the modifications, the initial consumers become the test set.

    Personally, I would stay far, far away from GMO Wheat.

    so many problems that could occur:

    Cross contamination in the fields,

    cross contamination in the processing

    How could a consumer know whether or not they are getting modified wheat or regular?

    I'll continue to eat my gluten free grains and stay healthy, thanks

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    I don't understand why a government would block it. Let a company make the product and make sure the label clearly states its a GMO product and let the people decide if they want it or not.

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    I'm all for gluten free wheat - but GMO usually means treating seeds with herbicide, pesticide resistant roundup Monsanto products. YUK! We are making our nation sicker and sicker. Get back to nature and enjoy God's gifts (Not Chemicals).

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    Why the obsession with the idea that people HAVE to have wheat?

    I agree - I live happily without wheat. I don't want wheat in my diet. I especially don't want to be someone's experiment. GMO is about profit and nothing else. BigAg is freaking out because people are actually beginning to question how their food is raised. We celiacs are the proverbial "canaries in the coal mine" and BigAg will do just about anything to discredit us.

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    I don't understand why a government would block it. Let a company make the product and make sure the label clearly states its a GMO product and let the people decide if they want it or not.

    GMO doesn't have to be labeled in the USA and I'm positive the private company won't voluntarily do so. I agree that the consumer should have the opportunity to decide what goes in their bodies. As for me and my celiac... I avoid GMO as much as possible!

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    No. What about the 5% in that strand that could cause problems? Did the doctors in Spain forget that a single grain of gluten causes a reaction in the small intestine for 72 hours? Five percent of gluten is still gluten. If they could produce a strand that is 100% safe it would be good, but it still seems too commercial and less natural. Are we here for the money or to help people with celiac disease? Why instead of trying to produce something anti-nature , they look for other alternatives that seem more logical?

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    I would be thrilled to imagine there would be a wheat that wouldn't have the gluten proteins that make me sick.

    GMO crops were launched without the scientific inquiries that would make certain that the modifications would do no harm.

    Most GMOs currently in production were done to increase resistance to glysphosate (roundup).

    Although the techniques are possible, without evaluation of long term exposure to the modifications, the initial consumers become the test set.

    Personally, I would stay far, far away from GMO Wheat.

    so many problems that could occur:

    Cross contamination in the fields,

    cross contamination in the processing

    How could a consumer know whether or not they are getting modified wheat or regular?

    I'll continue to eat my gluten free grains and stay healthy, thanks

    I totally agree!

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    With the genetic change would it still taste like wheat? Could the same things be made with it? Would the food products have the same characteristics? Or would it be like a totally different food source?

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    Wheat is a carbohydrate which is converted to sugar. Coincidentally, obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing. So make gluten-free wheat products with little nutritional value, so celiacs can get fat. Great. gluten-free Twinkies. Great.

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    I personally would LOVE to be able to bake and eat wheat again. I completely understand the argument against GMO's, but I guess I have gotten to the age where I realize there are advocates against just about everything and that everything is going to kill us somehow... spray on sunscreen, coffee, antibiotics in chicken, etc. etc. If I could enjoy baking for my family again, foods that taste normal and look normal, even if it shortens my life somewhat... so be it. Yes, I'm to that point.

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    Guest C J Russell

    Posted

    I would also LOVE to be able to have a decent slice of bread once in a while; something I have yet to find in the gluten-free world! Bring on GMO wheat!

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    If it is clearly labeled GMO and labeled low-gluten instead of gluten-free, yes why not go ahead and plague all the fields with it. There's no way I am eating it.

    Otherwise I agree with the first comment. Why is there such a pressure that everybody eats wheat? First of all, it had no nutritional value worth all this trouble.

    Second, there will be big problems with cross-contamination. It will need to be grown and processed separate from regular wheat and the costs of that will reflect in the price of such gluten-free wheat products.

    Third, in baking it will act like any other gluten-free flour. I remember a few years ago before Christmas certain stores started selling very cheap wheat flour. And since in our country we have a tradition of baking sweat bread and cookies for Christmas, everybody bought that flour and started baking - the cookies would fall apart, the bread dough wouldn't rise and bread would get very dense and tough. Turned out the cheap wheat had quite low gluten content, only about 3% instead of usual 10%. Now this GMO wheat will certainly contain much less than 3% of gluten to be 95% safe for celiacs. So for those who hope they will be able to make regular wheat bread with this wheat, well, don't let your hopes soar too high.

    And at last, 95% safe equals to 5% poisonous to celiac patients. Not to mention the gluten/wheat intolerant who react to a host of other peptides in wheat besides gliadin.

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    I find it sad that people are so eager to experiment on their families with GMO wheat....or GMO anything. It's not a risk you absorb alone. Your kids, grand-kids, great grand-kids are going to absorb the risk too. We don't know anything about the safety to current generation, let alone epigenetic effects. What if you're doubling a grandchild's risk of a neurodevelopmental delay because of your GMO cookie?

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    I have been on the gluten-free diet for over 40 years. We do not need wheat or bread in our diets. It is the culture and big business that has insisted we eat it. What is missing in this discussion of give me bread, is the fact that the crops deplete the soil, that there is no data on what harm will be done to bees and other insects as well as birds that eat this unnatural grain. We have seen the bee population drop as well as the Monarch butterfly due to human engineering of crops. I don't feel like being anyone's guinea pig. Celiacs should be healthier than the general population since we should be eating more healthy than filling up on breads and cookies filled with more carbs than we need.

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    Guest Kaleab J

    Posted

    Why the obsession with the idea that people HAVE to have wheat?

    Yes, I don't understand what the big deal is with being able to eat wheat. If the gluten is removed then it will most definitely not taste or bake the same as actual wheat, so why even try?

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    No thanks! I don't want any genetically modified wheat. In fact I don't want genetically modified anything. There is more than enough evidence out there to suggest that the risks to human health might be more serious than we have been led to believe. There are plenty of other things to eat. Wheat is not an essential food item.

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    I would be thrilled to imagine there would be a wheat that wouldn't have the gluten proteins that make me sick.

    GMO crops were launched without the scientific inquiries that would make certain that the modifications would do no harm.

    Most GMOs currently in production were done to increase resistance to glysphosate (roundup).

    Although the techniques are possible, without evaluation of long term exposure to the modifications, the initial consumers become the test set.

    Personally, I would stay far, far away from GMO Wheat.

    so many problems that could occur:

    Cross contamination in the fields,

    cross contamination in the processing

    How could a consumer know whether or not they are getting modified wheat or regular?

    I'll continue to eat my gluten free grains and stay healthy, thanks

    I had the same concerns about cross contamination when reading the article. I also wonder if it's healthy for a celiac to eat wheat that's only 95 - 97% gluten free. This doesn't seem like it would adhere to the less than 20 ppm gluten-free standard in the US.

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    Let's all keep in mind that a very significant study out of Columbia University last fall showed that a group of patients with celiac react to numerous other proteins in wheat, aside from those in gluten (gliadins and glutenins). So while gluten-free wheat may well address the most serious issue - the autoimmune response leading to villi damage, other symptoms related to reactions to other proteins in wheat will not be addressed. There are many considerations and implications to the Columbia U study:

    (1) Is there a pre-celiac condition (ala pre-diabetic) when patients are reacting to one or more proteins in wheat but not yet gluten specifically gliadin leading to positive celiac antibody testing and small bowel villi changes?

    (2) Is NCGS a reaction to one or of these wheat proteins presenting the plethora of cross symptoms with celiac disease - aside from the villi changes due to reaction to gluten proteins that have a tight genetic link?

    (3) Do other foods for which many celiac folks cross react to such as dairy, soy, rice, other grains, seaweed/seaweed additives have similar primary proteins to some of these wheat proteins?

     

    In conclusion, they can toss out the modified gluten-free wheat, as well as all the meds being tested to enzymatically eliminate accidental gluten ingestion - as no one may be able to tell if it is working if the other proteins are causing symptoms. While it will prevent the most serious damage caused by the gluten in wheat to the small bowel - the rest of the symptoms similar to those with NSCG may not be addressed. This all begs the question - are any of these other proteins in wheat causing intestinal damage?

     

    If the new research is correct - patients may still have reactions to the other proteins in wheat - despite the action on the gluten to prevent intestinal damage.

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    Why do people think if you don't eat wheat, you are somehow deprived? When I hear about the "wholesomeness of whole grain wheat" it reminds me of the commercials from my childhood for "wholesome Hostess Cupcakes" and is about as accurate.

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    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

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/16/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to investigate whether alterations in the developing intestinal microbiota and immune markers precede celiac disease onset in infants with family risk for the disease.
    The research team included Marta Olivares, Alan W. Walker, Amalia Capilla, Alfonso Benítez-Páez, Francesc Palau, Julian Parkhill, Gemma Castillejo, and Yolanda Sanz. They are variously affiliated with the Microbial Ecology, Nutrition and Health Research Unit, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, National Research Council (IATA-CSIC), C/Catedrático Agustín Escardin, Paterna, Valencia, Spain; the Gut Health Group, The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK; the Genetics and Molecular Medicine Unit, Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia, National Research Council (IBV-CSIC), Valencia, Spain; the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire UK; the Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, IISPV, URV, Tarragona, Spain; the Center for regenerative medicine, Boston university school of medicine, Boston, USA; and the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu and CIBERER, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain
    The team conducted a nested case-control study out as part of a larger prospective cohort study, which included healthy full-term newborns (> 200) with at least one first relative with biopsy-verified celiac disease. The present study includes 10 cases of celiac disease, along with 10 best-matched controls who did not develop the disease after 5-year follow-up.
    The team profiled fecal microbiota, as assessed by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, along with immune parameters, at 4 and 6 months of age and related to celiac disease onset. The microbiota of infants who remained healthy showed an increase in bacterial diversity over time, especially by increases in microbiota from the Firmicutes families, those who with no increase in bacterial diversity developed celiac disease.
    Infants who subsequently developed celiac disease showed a significant reduction in sIgA levels over time, while those who remained healthy showed increases in TNF-α correlated to Bifidobacterium spp.
    Healthy children in the control group showed a greater relative abundance of Bifidobacterium longum, while children who developed celiac disease showed increased levels of Bifidobacterium breve and Enterococcus spp.
    The data from this study suggest that early changes in gut microbiota in infants with celiac disease risk could influence immune development, and thus increase risk levels for celiac disease. The team is calling for larger studies to confirm their hypothesis.
    Source:
    Microbiome. 2018; 6: 36. Published online 2018 Feb 20. doi: 10.1186/s40168-018-0415-6