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Celiac.com 07/03/2013 - Researchers have completed a genetic study of six autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, the largest such study of human disease genetics to date. The study will help scientists in their efforts to uncover the causes of these diseases, which include autoimmune thyroid disease, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. While currently unknown, the underlying causes of these conditions are believed to involve a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. In each of the six diseases, the identified genetic variants explained only a proportion of the heritability. Under one of the current major genetic disease hypotheses, the so called ‘rare-variant synthetic genome-wide association hypothesis,’ a small number of rare variants in risk genes are likely the major cause of the heritability of these conditions. In their study, the research team used high-throughput sequencing techniques, in an effort to identify new genetic variants, including rare and potentially high risk variants, in 25 previously identified risk genes taken from a sample of nearly 42,000 patients. Their data suggest that the genetic risk of these diseases more likely results from a complex interaction of hundreds of variants, each small on its own, but which, taken together impact the development of these six diseases. They estimate that rare variants in these risk genes make up only about three per cent of the heritability of these conditions that can be explained by common variants. The results, says lead study author David van Heel, suggest that "risk for these autoimmune diseases is not due to a few high-risk genetic variations." Rather, risk is likely due to a "random selection from many common genetic variants which each have a weak effect.” This could mean that it will never be possible to accurately predict a person's risk of developing any of these six autoimmune diseases, simply because there are too many variables. “However, the results do provide important information about the biological basis of these conditions and the pathways involved, which could lead to the identification new drug targets,” said van Heel. Source: Nature Genetics 42, 295–302 (2010). doi:10.1038/ng.543; and Firstpost.com.
For my first gluten-free baking experience, I made vanilla cupcakes with orange-flavored frosting using Gluvana Complete Gluten-Free All Purpose Mix. I also made a batch of gluten-containing cupcakes using the same recipe to allow for comparison. I didn't do blind taste testing or anything like that, but I can honestly say that the cupcakes made with Gluvana's flour were better. The gluten-free cupcakes had a pleasant consistency and a hint of a cornbread-like flavor that complimented the orange frosting well. The wheat flour cupcakes seemed dense and flavorless in comparison. I'm going to try subbing Gluvana into some other recipes to test its other applications, but thus far I am very impressed! Note: be sure to omit baking powder from your recipes, as Gluvana's mix already contains it. For more information, visit their website. Note: Articles that appear in the "Gluten-Free Food Reviews" section of this site are paid advertisements. For more information about this see our Advertising Page.