A new study by Dr. Alessio Fasano may reveal means of delaying or preventing celiac disease and offer help for other autoimmune disorders.
The forthcoming August 2009 issue of Scientific American contains a fascinating in-depth article about celiac disease. In this extensive and informative article entitled ‘Surprises from Celiac Disease’, Dr. Fasano announces important research out of the University of Maryland.
A long-term clinical study will investigate the relationship between delayed introduction of gluten during the first year of life and the onset of celiac disease in infants.
“Given the apparently shared underpinning of autoimmune disorders in general, researchers who investigate those conditions are eager to learn whether therapeutic strategies for CD might also ease other autoimmune conditions that currently lack good treatments.”
‘Surprises from Celiac Disease’ examines a connection between the reaction to gluten in those with celiac disease and the onset of other autoimmune diseases. Fasano identifies possible ties through a similar trio of factors that are at the root of the onset of celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions: increased intestine permeability, environmental factors, and a genetic predisposition in patients of celiac disease.
As Fasano explains, “Celiac disease provides an enormously valuable model for understanding autoimmune disorders because it is the only example where the addition or removal of a simple environmental component, gluten, can turn the disease process on and off.”
For information, look in the August 2009 issue of Scientific American online or at your newsstand.
UPDDATE 7/22/2009: the complete article can be viewed here.