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Found 6 results

  1. Celiac.com 08/19/2015 - For the first time since it was described and named by 1st century Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia, first linked to wheat in the 1940's, and specifically linked to gluten in 1952, scientists have discovered the cause of celiac disease. Professor Ludvig Sollid, and his team at the Centre for Immune Regulation at University of Oslo, have discovered that people with celiac disease suffer from one of two defective human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), which cause the immune system to see gluten molecules as dangerous, triggering the immune response that causes classic celiac-associated inflammation and other symptoms. To be true, the team was not working in the dark. They were armed with a complete map of the genes, an understanding that two types of HLA (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) predispose a person for celiac disease, and the very crucial recent discovery by a team of German colleagues that celiac patients have antibodies for a very precise enzyme: transglutaminase 2. "We also found that the bits of gluten that were presented to the T-cells have some changes caused by an enzyme in the body – transglutaminase 2", says Sollid. HLAs are proteins which act as markers, binding to fragments of other proteins, and telling T-cells how to treat them. So it wasn't much of a stretch for Professor Sollid's team to determine that the defective HLAs bind to fragments of gluten, causing the T-cells to treat them as bacteria or viruses. Basically, two HLA types present gluten remnants to the T-cells, causing the T-cells to regard the gluten as dangerous, and to trigger immune reactions that cause inflammation in the intestines, and this is what causes celiac disease. "We think that this is huge," Sollid said. "We understand the immune cells that are activated and why they are activated." At present, Professor Sollid and his group are investigating how antibodies against transglutaminase are formed. This is a simple, but huge moment in the annals of medicine and in the annals of celiac disease. It's a discovery that will help researchers develop new approaches to treatment, and/or a cure for celiac disease in the future. Source: Med.uio.no
  2. Celiac.com 10/24/2016 - A team of researchers led by Mahmoud A Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, has made a breakthrough in understanding Crohn's disease. The researchers were the first to document the role of a fungus in the human gut as playing a major role in Crohn's disease. As part of their efforts, their research team assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn's disease, their Crohn's-free first degree relatives in 9 families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn's-free individuals from 4 families in the same region. For their study, the team analyzed fecal samples from 20 Crohn's patients, and from 28 Crohn's-free patients from nine families, and of 21 Crohn's-free patients from four nearby families. The team found that people with Crohn's disease showed strong fungal-bacterial interaction. Specifically, in Crohn's, two bacteria, Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens, acted in unison with the fungus Candida tropicalis. Family members with Crohn's showed substantially higher numbers of all three microbes, as compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting co-action between the bacteria and fungus in the gut. The team's lab tests confirmed that the three work together by E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells, while S. marcescens acts as a bridge to connect the microbes. This produces what is called a biofilm, a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms that, among other things, coats part of the intestinal tract, triggering the inflammation seen in Crohn's disease. Researchers had previously found the fungus in mice with Crohn's, but this is the first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn's in humans. The study is also the first to document S. marcescens as a main factor in Crohn's. The team also found that Crohn's patients suffer from substantially reduced numbers of beneficial bacteria, which corroborated earlier study findings. These findings could lead to helpful new treatment approaches to the traditionally stubborn condition that is Crohn's disease. Source: ScienceDaily.com
  3. Celiac.com 08/19/2016 - Gwyneth Paltrow, Miley Cyrus and the clean-eating bloggers of Instagram have all helped propel gluten-free foods out of health-food stores and into the aisles of Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. Anyone who has ever tried a gluten-free bread or cake has likely found what sufferers of celiac disease have long known. They often don't taste very good. Gluten-free baked goods are often dry, crumbly and flat tasting. As long as there has been gluten-free bread, there has been mediocre gluten-free bread. This is not the fault of bakers. The problem is structural, chemical. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, triggers adverse immune reactions in people with celiac disease. But that same gluten also has uniquely elastic properties that make it perfect for mixing with water, kneading into dough, and baking into chewy delicious bread. Gluten is what makes our breads spongy, and chewy, and delicious. Cereals and grains like rice, sorghum, buckwheat, which are often milled into gluten-free flours, lack this important component. Now two inventive Italian food scientists, Virna Cerne and Ombretta Polenghi, are being lauded for their isolation of a protein called zein, that is found in corn. Under the right temperature, humidity, and pH, zein forms an elastic network similar to gluten. These days, says Cerne, "gluten-free products include a lot of fiber but the fiber cannot be really elastic." Added to different gluten-free flours like rice or corn flour, Cerne adds, isolated zein protein "solves the problem of no elasticity." That means that products using zein protein can be used to develop gluten-free products with many of the same chewy, flaky attributes as bread and baked goods made from wheat flour. Currently, products using isolated zein protein are still in the research and development phase, but food scientists hope the abundance of low-priced corn will allow the protein to be made cheaply, and thus give rise to more affordable gluten-free alternatives. Cerne and her co-inventor Polenghi, who both work with Italian-based food company Dr Schär, say that their research remains focused on people with serious medical reasons to avoid gluten. Stay tuned to see how Cerne and Polenghi's work develops and what food breakthroughs might result from their efforts. Read more at Quartz.com.
  4. Celiac.com 02/25/2015 - General Mills has announced that original Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios and three other Cheerios varieties will undergo formula changes, including a switch to gluten-free oats, and will be released as a gluten-free cereal. The move by the food and cereal giant mirrors a similar recipe change that successfully boosted sales for its Chex brand, which has been gluten-free since 2010. The company will likely begin selling gluten-free versions in July, says Jim Murphy, president of Big G Cereals, General Mills' ready-to-eat cereal division. Apparently, General Mills felt that that could no longer ignore the skyrocketing sales of gluten-free foods, and the slow decline of foods that contain gluten, including breakfast cereals. "People are actually walking away from cereal because they are avoiding gluten," says Murphy, a development that, at a time when cereal sales, including Cheerios, are already weak, the company can ill afford. Meanwhile, unit sales growth of food with a gluten-free claim on its packaging grew 10.6% in 2014 compared to the previous year, and gluten-free sales, especially among breakfast cereals are expected to continue double-digit growth through at least 2018.
  5. Celiac.com 01/13/2016 - Researchers are zeroing in on markers for gluten sensitivity in people who don't have celiac disease. So far, there's been scant proof of what causes gluten sensitivity in people who don't have celiac disease. It's been difficult to even pin down the existence of a condition that can be tested and diagnosed. The results of a recent study may change that. The study, from Giovanni Barbara and his team at the University of Bologna, Italy, suggests that inflammation in gluten-sensitive individuals may result from high levels of a molecule called zonulin. Zonulin has been linked to inflammation, and people with celiac disease have been shown to have high levels of zonulin when consuming wheat protein. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, alternating diarrhea or constipation. And there can be other symptoms, including "brain fog," headache, fatigue and joint and muscle pain. Barbara's study found that zonulin levels in gluten-sensitive individuals almost matched those of celiacs. The researchers stress the preliminary nature of the results, but note that this information could lead to testing methods for detecting gluten sensitivity in people who don't have celiac disease. According to gastroenterologist Alessio Fasano of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, about 6 percent of the global population may be sensitive to gluten, so any breakthrough in identifying and testing for non-celiac gluten sensitivity could impact tens of millions of people worldwide. Stay tuned for more on zonulin and it's role in non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Source: NPR.ORG
  6. Celiac.com 05/07/2015 - Are chefs are improving their awareness of gluten-related disorders? That's one of the questions addressed in a new 10-year follow-up study in the UK. The study was conducted by a team of researchers headed by I. Aziz of the Department of Gastroenterology in Royal Hallamshire Hospital at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in Sheffield, UK. The team also included M.A. Karajeh, J. Zilkha, E. Tubman, C. Fowles, and D.S. Sanders. The team set out to measure any changes in awareness of gluten-related disorders among the general public, and among chefs. To do so, they compared results from face-to-face questionnaires on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity on the general public and chefs based in Sheffield, UK. The survey was conducted in 2003, and repeated in 2013. They compared the results from the 265 chefs in 2013 against results from the 322 chefs in 2003. Whereas in 2003 the public were significantly more aware of gluten-related disorders than chefs, by 2013, rates of awareness in the groups were about equal. The 2003 group was 85% male, with a mean age 37.6 years old. The second group was younger at 27.1 years, on average, and more evenly mixed, with 38% women. Overall, the results showed a significant increase in chefs' awareness of gluten-related disorders from the years 2003 to 2013. Awareness of celiac disease had risen from a dismal 17.1% in 2003 to a respectable 78.1% in 2013 (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 12.5; 95% CI 7.9-19.6). For Gluten Sensitivity, awareness had climbed from a mere 9.3% in 2003 to 87.5% in 2013 (AOR 65.7; 95% CI 35.4-122; P<0.001). The survey also showed that 44% of the public and 40% of chefs (P=0.28) properly recognized the official gluten-free symbol. There has been a marked increase in both the public's and chefs' awareness of gluten-related disorders. Hopefully, this awareness will translate into better, safer gluten free offerings for people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. Find further reading, including hard numbers from the survey, in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Source: Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Nov;26(11):1228-33. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000166.
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