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Kathleen La Point

Kathleen LaPoint is a biomedical writer with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and an M.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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The emerging field of metabonomics offers a new way to understand celiac disease.

Researchers in Finland showed that eating processed foods containing products derived from wheat starch, such as dextrose and maltodextrins, did not trigger symptoms for people with celiac disease.

Preliminary data suggest that probiotic dietary supplements containing Bifidobacterium lactis may be useful in preventing or healing cellular damage caused by gluten-contaminated foods.

Highly sensitive and specific serological tests have led to the diagnosis of celiac disease in patients for whom short stature may be the only obvious symptom. After eliminating endocrine disorders as cause, researchers in India recently found that 27 of 176 (15%) children referred for short stature had celiac disease. Celiac disease can lead to short stature through a number of mechanisms, such as malabsorption of nutrients, resistance to growth hormones, autoimmune hypothydroidism, and hypogonadism. The researchers recommend that all short children be screened for celiac disease.

Although a healthy gluten-free diet can consist entirely of foods that are naturally gluten-free, most people with celiac disease want substitutes for the some of the gluten-containing foods they enjoy. Researchers from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University studied cost and availability of gluten-free substitutes for naturally gluten-containing foods.

Although it has been assumed that sorghum is safe for gluten-intolerant people, this hypothesis had not previously been tested. The results of this small study indicate that sorghum is highly likely to be safe for celiac patients, although more studies are needed.