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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      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 is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? 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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    Is Wine Aged in Wheat-glued Oak Barrels Gluten-free?


    Gryphon Myers

    Celiac.com 10/22/2012 - Wine is naturally gluten-free, making it a go-to alcoholic drink for sufferers of celiac disease. However, some vintners use oak barrels sealed with wheat paste, which has made some people wonder if it is really gluten-free. An article posted by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD on her Gluten-Free Watchdog website may have finally put this worry to rest, as she has done a series of sandwich R5 ELISA and competitive R5 ELISA tests of various wines aged in such barrels.


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    Photo: CC--Alberto AlerigiSo there's a wine you'd like to try, but you've heard that wine can be cross contaminated from the wheat paste some vintners use to seal oak barrels. The first thing to consider before spending too much time researching is that the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau currently disallows gluten-free labeling of alcoholic beverages if the producer used “storage materials that contained gluten.” This means any wine that is labeled as gluten-free was aged using a barrel alternative, and thus carries no danger of cross-contamination.

    Another factor to consider is that while many wineries still use oak barrels, barrel alternatives are highly common as well. Roughly speaking, the more expensive ($12+) Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Zinfandels and red blends are more likely to be aged in oak barrels (and for a longer period of time).

    For those wines that are fermented in barrels, most wineries thoroughly pressure wash all barrels with boiling hot water before they are used. Additionally, it is not the staves of the barrels that are sealed with a wheat flour paste, but the barrel heads. The amount used to seal the head is minimal. Even so, the possibility of cross contamination has been a lingering question.

    To get a sense of just how risky this cross contamination might be, Tricia Thompson tested a single winery's Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which were the two wines that spent the most time in wheat-sealed oak barrels. She tested each wine four times: twice with the Sandwich R5 ELISA test, and twice with the competitive R5 ELISA test. The competitive R5 ELISA is the current standard for testing for hydrolyzed (broken down) gluten (as would be found in fermented products), while the sandwich R5 ELISA would detect any non-hydrolyzed gluten (as from a wheat paste).

    Both extractions of both wines came back with the lowest possible results for both tests:

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    • Sandwich R5 ELISA extraction 1: < 5 ppm gluten
    • Sandwich R5 ELISA extraction 2: < 5 ppm gluten
    • Competitive R5 ELISA extraction 1: < 10 ppm gluten
    • Competitive R5 ELISA extraction 2: < 10 ppm gluten

    Merlot

    • Sandwich R5 ELISA extraction 1: < 5 ppm gluten
    • Sandwich R5 ELISA extraction 2: < 5 ppm gluten
    • Competitive R5 ELISA extraction 1: < 10 ppm gluten
    • Competitive R5 ELISA extraction 2: < 10 ppm gluten

    Thompson's findings indicate that even wine that is aged in wheat-glue-sealed oak barrels contains less gluten than we are currently capable of testing for, whether hydrolyzed or not. If you're still skeptical, you can always do your own research and find out which of your favorite wines are aged using barrel alternatives.

    Source:



    Image Caption: Photo: CC--Alberto Alerigi
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    Guest Patrick

    Posted

    Wine is great. It naturally reduces your odds of getting cancer, it's good for your digestive system, and now I find out it's (mostly) Gluten-free!

     

    As far as the gluten testing, I'm curious to find out what steps you can take to do this. I browsed the link you provided and didn't find a readily-visible process or set of steps. I don't suffer from celiac disease, but I'm sure that someone who does will be interested in a quick way to test their wines at home.

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    Wine is great. It naturally reduces your odds of getting cancer, it's good for your digestive system, and now I find out it's (mostly) Gluten-free!

     

    As far as the gluten testing, I'm curious to find out what steps you can take to do this. I browsed the link you provided and didn't find a readily-visible process or set of steps. I don't suffer from celiac disease, but I'm sure that someone who does will be interested in a quick way to test their wines at home.

    ELISA - enzyme linked immunosorbent assay

     

    Don't try this at home.

     

    This is a very specialized assay which requires training and skill to perform, not to mention the correct materials including the appropriate material in the specialized plates and a spectrophotometric plate reader to perform.

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    Then why am I SOOOO sick from a half of a glass???

     

    This article should include the rationale for the TTB's decision on gluten-free labeling. They chose to do so because there is not enough proof that the ELISA test is able to correctly estimate gluten in hydrolyzed products.

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    Guest gryphon

    Posted

    Then why am I SOOOO sick from a half of a glass???

     

    This article should include the rationale for the TTB's decision on gluten-free labeling. They chose to do so because there is not enough proof that the ELISA test is able to correctly estimate gluten in hydrolyzed products.

    Just because the TTB has not approved the R5 Competitive ELISA test for detection of hydrolyzed gluten does not mean it is not effective... they are merely taking a conservative stance. The gluten-free diet has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for celiac disease... does that mean it doesn't work?

     

    Furthermore, as the article we cited points out, in this particular situation, gluten contamination would come from a non-hydrolyzed source (wheat paste). The sandwich R5 ELISA assay, which is the current standard for gluten testing set by the Codex Alimentarius, would detect any contamination. BOTH tests were used and NEITHER detected anything within their respective detection thresholds.

     

    You could be getting sick from something else entirely, as it's probably not gluten. Have you verified that the wine you're drinking was aged in a barrel? Do you have issues with yeast, sulfites or egg whites (which are often used as a clarifying agent)?

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    Guest Melissa

    Posted

    Then why am I SOOOO sick from a half of a glass???

     

    This article should include the rationale for the TTB's decision on gluten-free labeling. They chose to do so because there is not enough proof that the ELISA test is able to correctly estimate gluten in hydrolyzed products.

    Are you allergic to "Sulfa"?

     

    I am and can't do wine or medications containing "Sulfa"

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    Guest Jennifer

    Posted

    For the sickly one drinking the half glass: perhaps there are other things that you are having issues with that are in the wine? Could be a number of things, not just gluten.

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    Wine is great. It naturally reduces your odds of getting cancer, it's good for your digestive system, and now I find out it's (mostly) Gluten-free!

     

    As far as the gluten testing, I'm curious to find out what steps you can take to do this. I browsed the link you provided and didn't find a readily-visible process or set of steps. I don't suffer from celiac disease, but I'm sure that someone who does will be interested in a quick way to test their wines at home.

    I most definitely respond to gluten in wine and sherry. I wrote to a number of wine producers and supermarkets to ask if they supplied any wines that had been produced without contact with gluten. Only Waitrose responded with a wine list. I haven't had any problems with the listed wines so far - but I don't drink much so haven't tried many. I have just had a gluten response to Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry, and I see on the Waitrose website that it is listed as 'gluten free'.

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    I most definitely respond to gluten in wine and sherry. I wrote to a number of wine producers and supermarkets to ask if they supplied any wines that had been produced without contact with gluten. Only Waitrose responded with a wine list. I haven't had any problems with the listed wines so far - but I don't drink much so haven't tried many. I have just had a gluten response to Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry, and I see on the Waitrose website that it is listed as 'gluten free'.

    I continue to offer a challenge to anyone who can point me to any normal bottle of wine that will test positive for gluten. So far I've not heard of any.

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    Guest Vince Vega

    Posted

    I have been commercially making wine for 20 years. I keep getting questions from this crowd about 'wheat paste' used in wine barrels. You can find hundreds of websites that make this claim but I have been unable to find a single oak supplier who can confirm this. Even if there is some glue used in barrel productions do you know how impossible that would be to get into your wine? You breathe more gluten on a daily basis than you would drink if you consumed an entire 60 gallon barrel of wine. It's such a ridiculous myth ---- please inform yourselves and stop wasting wineries time asking this ridiculous question. On a more scientific note - gluten is a protein --- even if a wine was fermented completely from rye, almost all wines go through some type of protein stability which would drop the protein out of the wine prior to racking, filtering clarifying.. If this didn't happen you would have a haze precipitate on the bottom of the bottle - ie. protein instability. You could simply rack this off and drink what's left.

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    Guest Michelle

    Posted

    I was ill recently after having eaten at a local restaurant, I had the house wine to drink. After emailing the restaurant and advising them of my illness, they were very shocked. After doing some research I was informed that I was ill due to the wheat paste used to seal the oak barrels. I had not heard of this before but on several occasions felt ill after drinking certain wines. Very odd. I was advised that none of the food I consumed had any gluten in.

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    I was ill recently after having eaten at a local restaurant, I had the house wine to drink. After emailing the restaurant and advising them of my illness, they were very shocked. After doing some research I was informed that I was ill due to the wheat paste used to seal the oak barrels. I had not heard of this before but on several occasions felt ill after drinking certain wines. Very odd. I was advised that none of the food I consumed had any gluten in.

    Wine is gluten-free and this myth about wheat-paste making it not safe is just that--a myth!

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    Guest AFARPACK

    Posted

    I browsed the link you provided and didn't find a readily-visible process or set of steps. but this is also a warning to us. Excellent post.

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    Guest Dominic

    Posted

    Another commercial winemaker chiming in on the topic... non celiac. Coopers use a mixture of flour and water to seal the head of the barrel along the staves. My barrel supplier uses a rice flour at our direction to avoid any possibility of a gluten intolerant having an issue. I just got a call from someone complaining of getting 'sick' from my wine due to gluten intolerance. I was unable to convince her this was impossible. As mentioned earlier by the other winemaker, gluten, being a protein is highly unlikely to make it past clarification, fining, and filtration. It is my sincere belief that celiacs are sickly people in general and the mind is a powerful device that can manifest illness, pain, depression, anxiety to satisfy a subconscious need for attention. I'm sympathetic to the lifestyle but I resent the constant vilification from anecdotal evidence.

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    Another commercial winemaker chiming in on the topic... non celiac. Coopers use a mixture of flour and water to seal the head of the barrel along the staves. My barrel supplier uses a rice flour at our direction to avoid any possibility of a gluten intolerant having an issue. I just got a call from someone complaining of getting 'sick' from my wine due to gluten intolerance. I was unable to convince her this was impossible. As mentioned earlier by the other winemaker, gluten, being a protein is highly unlikely to make it past clarification, fining, and filtration. It is my sincere belief that celiacs are sickly people in general and the mind is a powerful device that can manifest illness, pain, depression, anxiety to satisfy a subconscious need for attention. I'm sympathetic to the lifestyle but I resent the constant vilification from anecdotal evidence.

    You, Dominic are a jerk! I hope to find out what wine you make so as to avoid giving you one red cent. I wouldn't wish celiac on my own worst enemy but now I am reconsidering that because of your rude and insensitive comments. KARMA is a b%$@#!

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    I have been commercially making wine for 20 years. I keep getting questions from this crowd about 'wheat paste' used in wine barrels. You can find hundreds of websites that make this claim but I have been unable to find a single oak supplier who can confirm this. Even if there is some glue used in barrel productions do you know how impossible that would be to get into your wine? You breathe more gluten on a daily basis than you would drink if you consumed an entire 60 gallon barrel of wine. It's such a ridiculous myth ---- please inform yourselves and stop wasting wineries time asking this ridiculous question. On a more scientific note - gluten is a protein --- even if a wine was fermented completely from rye, almost all wines go through some type of protein stability which would drop the protein out of the wine prior to racking, filtering clarifying.. If this didn't happen you would have a haze precipitate on the bottom of the bottle - ie. protein instability. You could simply rack this off and drink what's left.

    I hear what you are saying, but I have had a "reaction" to a Malbec reserve wine from Argentina and not other red wines. So maybe the aging in the barrel for reserve wines adds to a gluten level in the wine from the extended time held in the oak barrels? I am not sure, and I do understand that the wine in filtered and clarified prior to bottling as well. So for now I am going to drink red wines that do not bother me and try to replicate this problem with another reserve wine not made in the USA. PS- I love red wine and will not give it up!

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    Guest Martino

    Posted

    Good article, great that you added test results. I think it is most likely that wine is gluten-free. Don't forget all you who say you get reactions that lots of gluten-free certified food also has gluten in it, it just has less than 20 parts per million by weight. That is still quite a considerable amount, as the body of evidence shows Coeliacs can cope with small levels of gluten. So drink red wine and be happy. After 5 years on a gluten-free diet I do not think it is so bad an affliction, there again I have had Leukemia, so maybe it is relative!

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    Scott Adams

    Rice and soy beverages because their production process may utilize barley enzymes. Bad advice from health food store employees (i.e., that spelt and/or kamut is/are safe for celiacs). Cross-contamination between food store bins selling raw flours and grains (usually via the scoops). Wheat-bread crumbs in butter, jams, toaster, counter, etc. Lotions, creams and cosmetics (primarily for those with dermatitis herpetaformis). Stamps, envelopes or other gummed labels. Toothpaste and mouthwash. Medicines: many contain gluten. Cereals: most contain malt flavoring, or some other non-gluten-free ingredient. Some brands of rice paper. Sauce mixes and sauces (soy sauce, fish sauce, catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc.). Ice cream. Packet & canned soups. Dried meals and gravy mixes. Laxatives. Grilled restaurant food - gluten contaminated grill. Fried restaurant foods - gluten contaminated grease. Ground spices - wheat flour is sometimes used to prevent clumping.

    Scott Adams

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    Megan Tichy

    What is Gluten?
    Gluten is a huge molecule held together by smaller molecules linked together called amino acids. A very tiny part of the gluten molecule can initiate a response. If each amino acid that makes up gluten is represented as a single letter that very tiny part would be: SGQGSFQPSQQ. There are other sequences of amino acids that cause a reaction in gluten sensitive individuals, but the point is, as tiny as this fragment is with respect to the entire gluten protein, it is still HUGE with respect to the size of ethanol (the stuff you are drinking).
    What is Alcohol?
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    What are Amino Acids?
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    What is Distillation?
    When a distillation is performed, pure ethanol is separated away from all of the other “stuff” that forms as a result of fermentation. This is because ethanol is volatile (meaning it becomes a gas in the distillation process). Imagine a vat of fermentation products, you heat it, and only the volatile molecules like ethanol enter a tube attached to the vat. This tube is not just any tube - it is a curved condensation tube! Here is what it does: While the heated gas form of ethanol floats into it (because that is what gases do), the molecules are cooled and condense back into a liquid, and fall into a new sparkling clean vessel containing the stuff that intoxicates you and any other volatiles. So the fancier distillation columns that are actually used industrially also purify the ethanol away from other volatiles. Gluten does not stand a chance of “crossing over” because it is not volatile.
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    So the gluten is left behind in a distillation process. If malt is added to the distilled product it will be disclosed on the ingredients label.
    What is Vinegar?
    Vinegar is formed by fermentation in a similar way that ethanol is formed by fermentation. The process is to take ethanol and ferment it with bacteria. Later, there is a filtration to remove the bacteria. Rarely, vinegar is fermented from wheat-based alcohol. “Distilled vinegar,” gets its name from the fact that it was fermented from distilled alcohol.
    Why is Vinegar Still Questioned?
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    Why are Distilled Spirits Still Questioned?
    That is a good question, I do not know.Take a Short Quiz on this Topic:
    You bought mustard and pickles at the grocery store. These products contain “distilled vinegar” according to the ingredients labels, and the label does NOT say “contains: wheat.” Are the mustard and pickles gluten-free? Rum, gin, whiskey, and vodka are distilled beverages. If they are not flavored with something that contains wheat (would be declared on the label), rye, or barley (usually in the form of “malt”), are they gluten-free?  What is wrong with the following statements (they have all been cut and pasted from various blogs and forums on the topic of celiac disease)?a. “Most alcohols are distilled in such a way that any wheat gluten is no longer present.”b. “Even trace amounts of gluten that make it past the filter system can be harmful.”c. “It seems improbable to me, too, that gliadin could survive the distillation process.”

    Answers:
    Yes, unless you have reason to believe otherwise, in which case you should simply avoid them.
    Yes.
    3a. All alcohols, if distilled, have been removed from any type of gluten.
    3b. Distillation is nothing like a filtration. We are not separating small from large, there is no filter. Filtration would be like how your coffee pot separates water from the coffee grains. A tear in the filter would result in a big problem, right? Filtration is a separation based on size, distillation is a separation based on volatility.
    3c. Do we care whether gliadin (a name given to part of wheat gluten) “survives” the process or not? No, because it has been left behind to stew in its own juices in the distillation pot. Your stuff (the ethanol) has floated away, and entered a new, clean pot. Some people have this idea that we heat the fermented mixture to smithereens and it somehow decomposes the molecules of gluten. Clearly, such a process would be ineffective or else we could simply “cook,” “roast,” “fry,” or “burn” the gluten out of our foods, and we know that we cannot do that.

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/23/2018 - Yes, we at Celiac.com realize that rye bread is not gluten-free, and is not suitable for consumption by people with celiac disease!  That is also true of rye bread that is low in FODMAPs.
    FODMAPs are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPS are molecules found in food, and can be poorly absorbed by some people. Poor FODMAP absorption can cause celiac-like symptoms in some people. FODMAPs have recently emerged as possible culprits in both celiac disease and in irritable bowel syndrome.
    In an effort to determine what, if any, irritable bowel symptoms may triggered by FODMAPs, a team of researchers recently set out to compare the effects of regular vs low-FODMAP rye bread on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and to study gastrointestinal conditions with SmartPill.
    A team of researchers compared low-FODMAP rye bread with regular rye bread in patients irritable bowel syndrome, to see if rye bread low FODMAPs would reduce hydrogen excretion, lower intraluminal pressure, raise colonic pH, improve transit times, and reduce IBS symptoms compared to regular rye bread. The research team included Laura Pirkola, Reijo Laatikainen, Jussi Loponen, Sanna-Maria Hongisto, Markku Hillilä, Anu Nuora, Baoru Yang, Kaisa M Linderborg, and Riitta Freese.
    They are variously affiliated with the Clinic of Gastroenterology; the Division of Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences; the Medical Faculty, Pharmacology, Medical Nutrition Physiology, University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland; the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University, Hospital Jorvi in Espoo, Finland; with the Food Chemistry and Food Development, Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku inTurku, Finland; and with the Fazer Group/ Fazer Bakeries Ltd in Vantaa, Finland.
    The team wanted to see if rye bread low in FODMAPs would cause reduced hydrogen excretion, lower intraluminal pressure, higher colonic pH, improved transit times, and fewer IBS symptoms than regular rye bread. 
    To do so, they conducted a randomized, double-blind, controlled cross-over meal study. For that study, seven female IBS patients ate study breads at three consecutive meals during one day. The diet was similar for both study periods except for the FODMAP content of the bread consumed during the study day.
    The team used SmartPill, an indigestible motility capsule, to measure intraluminal pH, transit time, and pressure. Their data showed that low-FODMAP rye bread reduced colonic fermentation compared with regular rye bread. They found no differences in pH, pressure, or transit times between the breads. They also found no difference between the two in terms of conditions in the gastrointestinal tract.
    They did note that the gastric residence of SmartPill was slower than expected. SmartPill left the stomach in less than 5 h only once in 14 measurements, and therefore did not follow on par with the rye bread bolus.
    There's been a great deal of interest in FODMAPs and their potential connection to celiac disease and gluten-intolerance. Stay tuned for more information on the role of FODMAPs in celiac disease and/or irritable bowel syndrome.
    Source:
    World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 21; 24(11): 1259–1268.doi: &nbsp;10.3748/wjg.v24.i11.1259

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/22/2018 - Proteins are the building blocks of life. If scientists can figure out how to create and grow new proteins, they can create new treatments and cures to a multitude of medical, biological and even environmental conditions.
    For a couple of decades now, scientists have been searching for a biological Rosetta stone that would allow them to engineer proteins with precision, but the problem has remained dauntingly complex.  Researchers had a pretty good understanding of the very simple way that the linear chemical code carried by strands of DNA translates into strings of amino acids in proteins. 
    But, one of the main problems in protein engineering has to do with the way proteins fold into their various three-dimensional structures. Until recently, no one has been able to decipher the rules that will predict how proteins fold into those three-dimensional structures.  So even if researchers were somehow able to design a protein with the right shape for a given job, they wouldn’t know how to go about making it from protein’s building blocks, the amino acids.
    But now, scientists like William DeGrado, a chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, and David Baker, director for the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, say that designing proteins will become at least as important as manipulating DNA has been in the past couple of decades.
    After making slow, but incremental progress over the years, scientists have improved their ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes. Among other things, they’ve gained a better understanding of how then the laws of physics cause the proteins to snap into folded origami-like structures based on the ways amino acids are attracted or repelled by others many places down the chain.
    It is this new ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes that has fueled their progress. UCSF’s DeGrado is using these new breakthroughs to search for new medicines that will be more stable, both on the shelf and in the body. He is also looking for new ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and similar neurological conditions, which result when brain proteins fold incorrectly and create toxic deposits.
    Meanwhile, Baker’s is working on a single vaccine that would protect against all strains of the influenza virus, along with a method for breaking down the gluten proteins in wheat, which could help to generate new treatments for people with celiac disease. 
    With new computing power, look for progress on the understanding, design, and construction of brain proteins. As understanding, design and construction improve, look for brain proteins to play a major role in disease research and treatment. This is all great news for people looking to improve our understanding and treatment of celiac disease.
    Source:
    Bloomberg.com