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Celiac.com 01/16/2018 - More and more, people are adopting a gluten-free diet due to perceived health and weight-loss benefits. A team of researchers recently set out to ask people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity about their views on the health effects of gluten, and safety of vaccines and gluten-free food products. The research team included Loren G. Rabinowitz, Haley M. Zylberberg, Alan Levinovitz, Melissa S. Stockwell, Peter H. R. Green, and Benjamin Lebwohl. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York USA; the Department of Philosophy and Religion James Madison University Harrisonburg USA, the Department of Pediatrics Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York USA, the Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University New York USA, the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University New York USA, and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University New York USA. Their team conducted an online survey of celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients from a celiac disease center e-mail list. They used univariate and multivariate analysis to compare responses from the two groups. The overall response rate was 27%, with 217 non-celiac gluten sensitivity responses, and 1,291 celiac disease responses. Subjects with non-celiac gluten sensitivity were more likely than those with celiac disease to disagree with the statement that "vaccines are safe for people with celiac disease." In all, 41.3% of respondents with non-celiac gluten sensitivity said vaccines are safe for celiacs, while just 26.4% of celiac patients said so. Celiac patients were slightly more likely to decline vaccination when offered, at about 31%, compared with just over 24% of gluten-sensitive respondents. After adjusting for age and gender, non-celiac gluten sensitivity subjects were more likely than celiac disease subjects to avoid genetically modified (GMO) foods, eat only organic products, believe that the FDA is not a reliable source of information, and believe a gluten-free diet will improve energy and concentration. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity were more likely than those with celiac disease to have doubts about vaccine safety and to believe in the value of non-GMO and organic foods. The team's findings suggest that there might not be enough easily accessible information on gluten and its inclusion in food and drugs, and that may reinforce incorrect beliefs that are contrary to good public health. Source: Springer.com.
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance ResearchCeliac.com 06/19/2013 - Currently, immunosuppressant drugs are the only real treatment option for most autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes. However, researchers are busily exploring the possibilities offered therapeutic vaccines, known as antigen-specific immunotherapy. ImmusanT is one company working to develop a vaccine that will allow patients with celiac disease to safely eat gluten (the antigen). That vaccine is presently undergoing clinical trials. ImmusanT and its research partners are looking to build on their expertise in celiac disease to improve their understanding of antigen-specific immunotherapy for other autoimmune diseases. In Current Opinion in Immunology, researchers Bob Anderson and Bana Jabri describe how identification of pathogenic T cell epitopes (segment of the antigen) and recent initiatives to optimize immune monitoring have helped drive rational vaccine design in human autoimmune diseases. Celiac disease has provided researchers with the first opportunity to design and test epitope-specific immunotherapy with a thorough understanding of disease-causing T cell epitopes. This approach offers "truly customized immunotherapy for patients with celiac disease according to their genetics and the molecular specificity of their immune response to gluten," said Bob Anderson, PhD, MBChB, Chief Scientific Officer of ImmusanT. Because celiac disease shares key features, such as susceptibility genes, presence of autoantibodies and destruction of specific cells, with other autoimmune disorders, like Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, it provides a model for understanding and exploring the triggers and drivers of autoimmunity, in general, write Drs. Bana Jabri and Ludvig Sollid in the Perspectives section in Nature Reviews Immunology. By factoring in the association with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), post-translation modifications, the antigen and the tissue, researchers can design methods that help to the spot potential drivers of autoimmune disease. Because peptide-specific therapy specifically targets the immune cells that drive the disease process, "it offers the potential to prevent and cure disease, without inducing general immunosuppression," said Bana Jabri, MD, PhD, Director, University of Chicago Celiac Center; Professor, Department of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Chicago; and Senior Scientific Advisor to ImmusanT. Ludvig M. Sollid, MD, PhD, is Director, Centre for Immune Regulation; Professor of Medicine, Department of Immunology, University of Oslo; Consultant, Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet; and member of ImmusanT's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Jabri is Co-Chair of the 15(th) International Celiac Disease Symposium to be hosted by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, September 22-25, 2013. The event will draw the world's top scientists and physicians to discuss the most recent scientific advances in managing and treating celiac disease and gluten-related disorders.