People with celiac disease are intolerant to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Consuming these foods triggers an immune reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine, which can prevent the body from absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients.
Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is adoption of a gluten-free diet, which means avoiding many types of bread, pasta, cereal and other foods. But gluten contamination in many foods makes it difficult to avoid and leads to long-lasting intestinal damage in some patients, said study senior author Robert Anderson, head of the celiac disease research laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Australia.
Regulating the aberrant immune response to gluten with a drug "would be a much more efficient way of dealing with celiac disease," Anderson said, but an incomplete understanding of how the immune system responds to gluten has prevented researchers from developing such therapies."
NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.