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Could Enzymes from Oral Bacteria Treat Celiac Disease?

Do Enzymes from our mouths offer the best next treatment celiac disease?


Photo: CC--Fredrik Rubensson

Celiac.com 10/21/2016 - Researchers at Boston University's Henry M. Golden School of Dental Medicine have identified a metabolic enzyme that alerts the body to invading bacteria, which may lead to new treatments for celiac disease.

A research team that set out to isolate and identify the enzymes and evaluate their potential as novel enzyme therapeutics for celiac disease, reports that the enzymes exhibit exceptionally high gluten-degrading enzyme activities, and are "naturally associated with bacteria that colonize the oral cavity."

Rothia bacteria, found in human saliva, can break down gluten compounds that cause an exaggerated immune response and that are typically resistant to the digestive enzymes that mammals produce. The team was able to isolate a new class of gluten-degrading enzymes from Rothia mucilaginosa, an oral microbial colonizer. The Rothia enzymes in question belong to the same class as food-grade Bacillus enzymes. The researchers noted that "B. subtilis is food safe and has been consumed for decades, e.g. in a product called natto, a Japanese fermented soy bean dish."

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B. subtilis and its products have been safely consumed by humans for many hundreds of years, with very few problems reported. They add that the "…food-grade status of B. subtilis, and the already widely consumed natto products, open new avenues for potential therapeutic applications of the subtilisin enzymes."

The Rothia subtilisins and two subtilisins from Bacillus licheniformis, subtilisin A and the food-grade Nattokinase, efficiently degraded the immunogenic gliadin-derived 33-mer peptide and the immunodominant epitopes recognized by the R5 and G12 antibodies. This study identified as promising new candidates for enzyme therapeutics in celiac disease.

Based on these results, the research team concludes that gluten-degrading Rothia and food-grade Bacillus subtilisins are the "preferred therapy of choice for celiac disease," and that their exceptional enzymatic activity, along with their connection to natural human microbial colonizers, make them "worthy of further exploration for clinical applications in celiac disease and potentially other gluten-intolerance disorders."

Their study appears in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

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I went into menopause at age 42. I didn't know I had celiac until I was 56. Now I know why my menopause was so early.

Have been dealing with splinter hemorrhages on three of my toe nails since February. I did go to my doctor who rightly so did a very complete blood work-up ruling out other diseases such as lupus and RA and referred me to several other doctors to make sure that it was not cancer, endocarditis, or something serious. I went to the doctors. I have done some research on vitamin deficiency and it seems that some link splinter hemorrhages to vitamin C deficiency. For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have been eating 3 clementines a day (in addition to the usual multivitamin that I take) and it seems to be helping the splinter hemorrhages. One has grown out and not returned. Visited my GI doctor today and talked about malabsorption of nutrients as a potential issue. We are doing more blood work and checking nutrient levels. I have to believe it has something to do with the celiac. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but like you am trying to figure this out. Please let me know if you find any answers, and yes, be sure to check with your doctor to rule out anything serious.

You only need one positive on the celiac panel. I tested positive only to the DGP IgA and had a Marsh Stage IIIB intestinal damage. Good luck!

Welcome to the forum. First, you need to get copies of your celiac test to confirm you actually had it done and what the results were. Second, to confirm a diagnosis, you must obtain biopsies via an endoscopy. Were the doctors gastroenterologists? Third you need to research celiac disease. Yes, you can be asymptomatic, but could still have instestinal damage as the small intestine is vast. here is a good place to start: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You might think you are a silent celiac, but ever been anemic? Had your bones checked?

That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.