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  • Scott Adams

    Persistent Chemical Exposure Means Higher Celiac Disease Rates

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Researchers find that persistent exposure to organic chemicals contribute to celiac disease development.


    A farmer sprays pesticides. Image: CC pdm 1.0--USDAgov
    Caption: A farmer sprays pesticides. Image: CC pdm 1.0--USDAgov

    Celiac.com 05/14/2020 - We know a lot more than ever about celiac disease, but researchers still don't have very much good information about environmental risk factors in genetically susceptible populations. For example, does environmental exposure to organic pollutants increase the risk of celiac disease?

    Researchers have documented endocrine disruption caused by ongoing exposure to persistent organic pollutants. That, along with the interplay between the endocrine and immune systems, has led them to question whether POPs may be contribute to celiac disease. 



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    A team of researchers recently set out to shed some light on the connection between persistent organic pollutants and celiac disease. The research team included Abigail Gaylorda; Leonardo Trasande; Kurunthachalam Kannan; Kristen M.Thomas; Sunmi Leef; Mengling Liu; and Jeremiah Levine.

    For their single-site pilot study, they enrolled 88 patients from NYU Langone's Hassenfeld Children's Hospital outpatient clinic. Thirty of these patients were ultimately diagnosed with celiac disease via standard blood screens, and duodenal biopsy. 

    Controlling for sex, race, age, BMI, and genetic susceptibility score, they found that odds of developing celiac disease are higher in both male and female patients with higher serum p,p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), in female patients with perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and males with 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE153).

    This is the first study to report on celiac disease with persistent organic pollutant exposure in children. These findings raise further questions of how environmental chemicals may affect autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals.

    The idea that exposure to organic pollutants might contribute to the development of inflammatory autoimmune conditions seems entirely reasonable, and the results from this study provide good evidence to support that idea.

    Stay tuned for more on this and related stories. Do you think pesticide exposure might have played a role in your celiac disease, or that of a loved one? Share your story in our comments section.

    Read more in Environmental Research
     

    The researchers are variously affiliated with the Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; the Department of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine, USA; the Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, New York, NY, USA; NYU College of Global Public Health, New York, NY, USA; the NYU Medical Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA; the Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; and the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    To All,

    I think is essentially the same research but has a more pointed emphasis on common household chemicals like "Non-Stick" Teflon....that could be coating our intestines increasing our risk of Celiac disease...

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-celiac-disease-linked-common-chemical.html

    The link to the Environment effecting genes is not new....it just has taken a little while to acknowledge how things in our environment effect our genes....

    It is essentially a "two way" street....and not the "one way" street commonly held belief....Celiac disease is a genetic disease with an environmental trigger....we  just don't know what it (trigger) is often...

    https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/08/16/Genetic-risk-factors-for-disease-can-be-affected-by-environment/4251502820421/

    quoting from the above research

    "It's been known for a long time that most diseases have both genetic and environmental risk factors," Dr. Tuuli Lappalainen of the New York Genome Center said in a news release.

    "But it's actually more complicated than that because genes and environment interact. As demonstrated in our study, a genetic risk factor may manifest only in certain environments"....

    They go on to say...."Some of the variants included four associations to diseases such as cholesterol level and Celiac disease....Researchers also discovered a tendency in genetic risk for autoimmune diseases such as lupus and Celiac disease to be enriched for gene regulatory effects altered by the immune state."

    Environmental Toxins possibly triggering our Celiac disease makes perfect sense in this context.

    I hope this helpful but it is not  medical advise.

    Posterboy,

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    Careful here...  The research only establishes an "association" between high serum levels of persistent organic pollutants and celiac disease and does not establish that those pollutants are an actual "cause" of celiac disease. 

    The high pollutant serum levels can also be explained by the high intestinal permeability of existing celiac disease patients which allows these inhaled or ingested pollutants to readily leak from the gut into the bloodstream along with an abundance of toxins released from gut microflora.  (Inhaled pollutants enter the lungs, become trapped in mucus, expelled, swallowed, enter the gut, and then pass through the highly permeable intestinal lining into the bloodstream.) 

    The liver then has the job of filtering out and detoxifying all these bloodborne toxins and pollutants, producing special enzymes to break them down.  The high intestinal permeability from existing celiac disease causes a toxin overload for the liver which cannot produce enough enzymes or keep up with the detoxification process allowing the persistent organic pollutants to continually build up in the bloodstream to the high serum levels observed. 

    Rather than the high serum pollutant levels causing celiac disease, it is more likely that existing celiac disease is responsible for the greater incidence of high pollutant serum levels in subjects compared to those without celiac disease.  High pollutant serum levels may thus be an indicator that celiac disease likely already exists as opposed to being a cause of celiac disease.  The 30 celiac disease subjects in the study were diagnosed with celiac disease only AFTER their high pollutant serum levels were identified.

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    I don't think it can be ruled out. This article reminded me of a high school job I had where I worked at a shop that build sprint car engines and had to wash parts with solvent for 1-2 hours a day...no gloves of course. I also wondered if all those solvents were not a trigger in my case.

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    Guest Janet Ruckles

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    I agree with all of the above, but also suspect a cause of celiac disease is pesticides like Roundup, and glyphosate that are sprayed on all our produce.  I believe mothers are affected and the pesticides are passed early (in the womb) to the baby, and on thru generations.

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    Why do they call these pollutants "organic"? I thought organic meant stuff was free of pesticides? I think this term probably confuses a lot of people. I know I was trying to explain it to a friend the other day. Because these days when you see the word Organic you think of organic food that hopefully is free of pesticides, etc. Because I don't really see anything "organic" about a bunch of mammade chemicals like nonstick surfaces or stuff inside plastic or pesticides, etc.

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    1 hour ago, TrailWalker said:

    Why do they call these pollutants "organic"? I thought organic meant stuff was free of pesticides? I think this term probably confuses a lot of people. I know I was trying to explain it to a friend the other day. Because these days when you see the word Organic you think of organic food that hopefully is free of pesticides, etc. Because I don't really see anything "organic" about a bunch of mammade chemicals like nonstick surfaces or stuff inside plastic or pesticides, etc.

    Like most words in the English language, there can be many definitions.  A dictionary or a quick google search can be useful and enlightening.  

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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