I am sure you know people who have decided to go gluten free because they want to be healthy. However, for most of these people buying gluten free products is just a way of throwing money away since only about 1-2% of Europeans suffer gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Could it be that a bacteria is behind celiac disease?
People affected with celiac disease have to avoid gluten, a protein present in cereals like wheat, because when exposed to it, their immune system will recognise them as antigens and drive an inflammatory response in the intestine. This can eventually lead to various symptoms like stomach pains, bloating, or diarrhoea among others.
What drives celiac disease?
Like in many other diseases, it is known that there is a genetic component to the disease, but also that environmental factors play a key role in the onset of the disease symptoms. Now, an international research collaboration has shown that a certain type of bacteria could be behind the onset of celiac disease, at least for certain patients.
The results of their study, published in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology, show that isolated T cell receptors from celiac patients could recognise protein fragments of certain bacteria. What does this mean?
Read the rest of the article in Mapping Ignorance