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The University of Washington is Close to a Cure for Celiac Disease? Really?

Celiac.com 05/26/2015 - If recent reports are any indication, the University of Washington's PR team might be getting ahead of the facts with claims that the university research team is close to developing a cure for celiac disease.

Photo: CC--Charles NadeauNumerous articles are claiming that UW researchers are working to develop an enzyme-laden pill that would break down gluten in the stomach, thus permitting people with celiac disease to eat wheat. Hence, the 'cure' idea. The enzyme, it is said, would break it apart into amino acids that could be absorbed with no risk of adverse reaction for people with celiac disease. Well, an enzyme that breaks down gluten is not necessarily the same thing as a 'cure' for celiac disease.

Ingrid Swanson Pultz, who leads the research project describes the substance as a protein that people with celiac disease will consume orally. The team is looking to begin FDA mandated tests and human trials will sometime in the next two years. The drug "really stands to make an impact on people's lives," Pultz said.

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However, UW is not the only institution working on drugs to treat celiac disease. There are several drug treatments in progress. It's unclear at present, and will remain unclear until the human trial phase whether the enzyme will permit safe gluten consumption by people with celiac disease, or whether it would permit limited gluten consumption within certain parameters.

In fact, given the numerous products currently under development for celiac disease treatment, and hoping to see release in the next few years, we're likely to hear many claims, much hypes, and plenty of marketing and PR flash.

Until we actually have a product that works safely and effectively, it seems that any claims regarding a cure for celiac disease are largely overblown PR smoke. That means you, University of Washington. 

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5 Responses:

 
dappy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Jun 2015 7:00:18 AM PDT
Cure or treatment. Go UW !!!!!

 
Michael
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said this on
01 Jun 2015 8:15:52 AM PDT
A lot of wheat is grown and developed in the state of Washington. The banking industry owns trillions of dollars in wheat harvesting and other related equipment. In the corporate world of agriculture and food, it makes sense to spend billions of dollars trying to squelch any knowledge of the harmfulness of toxic gluten beyond celiac, and the harmful proteins in wheat beyond gluten. It also makes sense to them to get approved drugs to "treat" celiac disease that will cost a million dollars to treat every diagnosed celiac with a million dollars worth of drugs over each celiac's lifetime, and to shorten the life of every celiac, and to deny every diagnosis that they can.

 
Seth Bittker
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said this on
01 Jun 2015 11:12:19 AM PDT
Whatever they are working on sounds a lot like an improved version of dipeptidyl peptidase IV. This enzyme is currently in some supplements. See the paper A food-grade enzyme preparation with modest gluten detoxification properties by Ehren if interested.

 
Teresa
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said this on
01 Jun 2015 2:43:02 PM PDT
This is the most promising I've read, out of the University of Naples: Google "Safety for patients with celiac disease of baked goods made of wheat flour hydrolyzed during food processing."

 
celiacmom
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
02 Jun 2015 7:47:25 AM PDT
Excellent reporting by Mr. Adams, as always. We are big fans!




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@cyclinglady thanks for checking in Restricted diet didn't do much. Still had some VA last time they checked. Heath still otherwise fine, so RCD remains unlikely. My sxs kick in lockstep with life stress, so that kind of points to some general IBS stuff on top of celiac disease. Very doubtful I'm getting any gluten in, but fingers crossed my system is just a little hyper-vigilant, as I ponder on this thread.

I have always noticed that the table wine in Europe is pretty damn good! I am a wine lover and so is my husband but he does like his Green's beer.

The reason they set the limit at 20ppms is that through scientific study, they have proven that the vast majority of people with Celiac Disease do not have an autoimmune reaction to amounts below that......it is a safe limit for most. Also, just because that limit is set at 20ppms, does not mean that gluten-free products contain that amount of gluten. Testing for lower levels becomes more expensive with each increment down closer to 0-5ppms, which translates into higher priced products. Unless you eat a lot of processed gluten-free food, which can have a cumulative affect for some, most people do well with the 20ppm limit.

I'm in the Houston area so I'm assuming there are plenty of specialists around, though finding one that accepts my insurance might be hard. This might sound dumb, but do I search for a celiac specialist?? I'm so new to this and want to feel confident in what is/isn't wrong with my daughter. I'm with you on trusting the specialist to know the current research.

Hi VB Thats sounds like a good plan. Would it help to know that a frustrating experience in seeking diagnosis isn't unusual With your IGG result I'm sure a part of you is still wondering if they are right to exclude celiac. I know just how you feel as I too had a negative biopsy, but by then a gluten challenge had already established how severely it affected me. So I was convinced I would be found to be celiac and in a funny way disappointed not to get the 'official' stamp of approval. Testing isnt perfect, you've already learned of the incomplete celiac tests offered by some organisations and the biopsy itself can only see so much. If you react positively to the gluten free diet it may mean you're celiac but not yet showing damage in a place they've checked, or it may be that you're non celiac gluten sensitive, which is a label that for a different but perhaps related condition which has only recently been recognised and for which research is still very much underway. We may not be able to say which but the good news is all of your symptoms: were also mine and they all resolved with the gluten free diet. So don't despair, you may still have found your answer, it just may be a bit wordier than celiac! Keep a journal when you're on the diet, it may help you track down your own answers. Best of luck!