Saturday, March 6, 2010

Could a Virus Cause Gluten Sensitivity?

Biopsy of small bowel showing coeliac disease ...Image via Wikipedia
This interesting tidbit is from a website called Top News You Can Use. It is fascinating and I think quite hopeful to think that gluten sensitivity could be caused by a virus. Next thing you know, they find a cure for that virus or at least something to limit its effects and life improves drastically for millions of us.

Virus Infections Linked with Gluten Intolerance

A new research has suggested that Virus infections may be a contributing factor in onset of gluten intolerance (coeliac disease).

The experts reveal that gluten intolerance may usually show no symptom, and people may not know that they are hit by the disease if their symptoms are mild or uncharacteristic.

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune reaction in the small intestine. The gluten that occurs naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye hampers the intestinal villi, triggering problems with nutrient absorption and potentially other problems too.

Gluten intolerance, an inherited predisposition, plays a vital role in the onset of the condition. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

Academy Research Fellow Päivi Saavalainen, who initiated the research into the hereditary risk factors for gluten intolerance, quoted: "Some of the genes we have identified are linked with human immune defense against viruses. This may indicate that virus infections may be connected in some way with the onset of gluten intolerance".

Here is another great article about a new drug that could even help repair intestines damaged by gluten.

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