New Treatments For Gluten Intolerance
Coeliac’s Disease (Gluten Intolerance) is a major illness around the world. Currently there isn’t a cure, with an abstinence from gluten in the diet being the only major treatment. This is not, though, wholly effective, and is very restrictive.
Research is being undertaken in many countries, aiming to find a cure for this debilitating disease. Major discoveries have recently occurred.
At the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, in Melbourne, it has been found that three protein fragments in gluten cause the most damage to sufferers of gluten intolerance. This information is being used to develop an immunotherapy, which aims to desensitize sufferers.
Stamford University Medical Centre is also researching the disease. It has identified a complex peptide which will not break down into simpler amino acids. This is toxic, and causes auto-immune inflammatory reactions. It was thought that a peptidase, (an enzyme that breaks down proteins), would be able to reduce the fragment into its components. Initial tests have confirmed that the toxic amino acid, proline, is broken down in this way. It is hoped that peptidase supplementation will assist Crohn’s Disease sufferers, through the diet.
Deakin University, also in Melbourne, has several research projects under way. This research is concerned with gluten’s effects on those who only have are sensitive to it. It has also found a link between gluten sensitivity and the development of schizophrenia.
Advancements in the understanding of the effects of gluten are therefore very promising, and new treatments, or indeed a cure, for Crohn’s Disease may well eventuate in the next few years.