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Celiac.com 10/03/2014 - Celiac disease patients in Australia have shown a major improvement in gluten tolerance after receiving experimental hookworm treatments. The study is part of an effort to determine if parasitic helminths, such as hookworm, might help to treat inflammatory disorders, including celiac disease. In this case, the research team assessed the influence of experimental hookworm infection on the predicted outcomes of three escalating gluten challenges in volunteers with confirmed celiac disease. The research team included John Croese, MD, Paul Giacomin, PhD, Severine Navarro, PhD, Andrew Clouston, MD, Leisa McCann, RN, Annette Dougall, PhD, Ivana Ferreira, BSc, Atik Susianto, MD, Peter O'Rourke, PhD, Mariko Howlett, MD, James McCarthy, MD, Christian Engwerda, PhD, Dianne Jones, BHSc, and Alex Loukas, PhD. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, the Center for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine of James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, Envoi Specialist Pathologists in Brisbane, Australia, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia, the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, and with Logan Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. This particular study followed twelve adult volunteers with diet-managed celiac disease. The volunteers were inoculated with 20 Necator americanus (hookworm) larvae, and then consumed increasing amounts of gluten in the form of spaghetti. The volunteers first received 10 to 50 milligrams for 12 weeks (microchallenge); they then received 25 milligrams daily + 1 gram twice weekly for 12 weeks (GC-1g); and finally 3 grams daily (60-75 straws of spaghetti) for 2 weeks (GC-3g). The subjects were then evaluated for symptomatic, serologic, and histological outcomes of gluten toxicity. They were also examined for regulatory and inflammatory T cell populations in blood and mucosa. Two gluten-intolerant subjects withdrew after micro-challenge. Ten completed GC-1g, and eight of these ten volunteers enrolled in and completed the full course of the study. Most celiacs who are exposed to gluten challenge will show adverse changes in the intestinal villi, which is measured in terms of villous height-to-crypt depth ratios. Also, such patients will usually show an increase in blood antibodies, such as IgA-tissue transglutaminase, indiucating an adverse reaction to gluten. However, the results here showed that median villous height-to-crypt depth ratios (2.60-2.63; P = .98) did not decrease as predicted after GC-1g. Moreover, mean IgA-tissue transglutaminase titers declined, contrary to the predicted rise after GC-3g. Other results showed that quality of life scores improved (46.3-40.6; P = .05); while celiac symptom indices (24.3-24.3; P = .53), intra-epithelial lymphocyte percentages (32.5-35.0; P = .47), and Marsh scores remained unchanged by gluten challenge. Intestinal T cells expressing IFNγ were reduced following hookworm infection (23.9%-11.5%; P = .04), with corresponding increases in CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (0.19%-1.12%; P = .001). Hookworms in the form of Necator americanus promoted tolerance and stabilized, or improved, all tested measures of gluten toxicity in volunteers with celiac disease. So, after being voluntarily infected with 20 hookworms, these celiac disease volunteers were able to eat increasingly large amounts of gluten with none of the usual changes or adverse symptoms. Could hookworm treatments represent the future of treatment for celiac disease, and maybe other inflammatory conditions? Clearly, further tests are needed to determine exactly how safe it is for celiac patients receiving this treatment to eat gluten. So far, however, the future looks bright. What do you think? If swallowing a small dose of hookworms would eliminate your adverse reactions, and allow you to safely eat gluten, would you do it? The radio program Radiolab has an interesting segment on hookworm, which you can stream here: Radiolab Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.022
Celiac.com 11/08/2007 - A team of doctors led by Christophe Cellier from the Hopital European Georges Pompidou in Paris examined a group people who were diagnosed with celiac disease as children and who tolerated the introduction of gluten into their diets, and continued to consume gluten into their adult years. A total of 61 patients were evaluated with a bowel biopsy. 13 of the subjects exhibited no indications of the disease, a condition known as latent celiac disease. 48 of the patients without symptoms showed celiac-related intestinal damage, a condition known as silent celiac disease. The study team observed that a similar ratio of patients with both latent celiac and silent celiac disease exhibited minor symptoms of celiac disease. Both patients with symptoms and those without symptoms had similar indications of malabsorption and similar body mass idices. Loss of bone density was more common in those with silent celiac disease than in those with latent celiac disease. Patients with silent celiac disease more regularly showed elevated levels of celiac-positive antibodies. As far as clinical symptoms of celiac disease, such as blood and antibody tests, the two groups showed no major differences. The researchers concluded that even with no symptoms, most people diagnosed with celiac disease as children go on to develop active celiac disease as adults. Such patients should undergo screening for villous atrophy, and osteopenia, and should be encouraged to resume their gluten-free diet in the event that villous atrophy is detected. Colleagues at Finland’s University of Tampere go so far as to say that even patients with latent celiac disease should follow a strict gluten-free diet. They feel that villous atrophy is only a small part of the equation, and a sign of well-advanced celiac, and that the use of mucosal damage as a standard for diagnosing celiac disease is incomplete and can lead to missed diagnosis and otherwise preventable damage. Gut 2007; 56: 1379-1386, 1339-1340
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003) 57, 163-169. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601525 S StÃ¸rsrud1,a,b, M Olsson2,b, R Arvidsson Lenner1,b, L Ã… Nilsson3,b, O Nilsson4,b and A Kilander2,b 1) Department of Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden 2) Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden 3) Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden 4) Department of Pathology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden Abstract: Celiac.com 3/14/2003 - Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether adult patients with coeliac disease in remission could include large amounts of oats in their daily gluten-free diet for an extended period of time without adverse effects. Design, subjects and methods: Twenty adult coeliac patients in remission included large amounts of uncontaminated rolled oats in their daily diet for a prolonged period. The examinations, performed four times during the study period, included small bowel endoscopy with biopsies, blood samples (nutritional status, serological analysis), height and body weight, gastrointestinal symptoms and dietary records. Gastrointestinal symptoms and diet were also investigated through unannounced telephone interviews once a month during the study period. Results: No adverse effects of a large intake of oats were seen in small bowel histology, serology nor in nutritional status in the 15 subjects who completed the whole study period. Two of the subjects dropped out because of gastrointestinal symptoms and three for non-medical reasons. The median intake of oats was 93 g/day and the compliance to the oat diet was found to be good. Examinations of the patients after drop-out did not show any deterioration in small bowel histology or nutritional status nor raised levels of antibodies. Conclusion: Results from this study indicate that adult patients with coeliac disease in remission can include large amounts of controlled wheat-free rolled oats for an extended period of time without adverse effects. Sponsorship: This study was supported by Vårdalstiftelsen, Kommunalförbundet Västra Götaland, Stiftelsen Cerealia FoU, and the Swedish Nutrition Foundation. Kungsörnen AB supported the study with rolled oats.