Celiac Update. Celiac disease is an uncontrolled immune response to wheat gluten and similar proteins of rye and barley. In those who have celiac disease, gluten can damage the small intestine, inhibit nutritional uptake and lead to malnutrition. Among the symptoms are diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, weight loss and slow growth. One study estimated that 1 in 133 people in the U.S. population have celiac disease. Many people do not know they have it, sometimes because there are no symptoms. Because celiac disease has a genetic component, there can be a much higher prevalence of the disease within families.
Three years ago, a group of Dutch researchers led by Frits Koning of the Leiden University Medical Center published a study on an enzyme that showed promise as a treatment for celiac disease. The enzyme, prolyl endoprotease, or PEP, could quickly break down gluten in the stomach before it ever reached the small intestine, where it causes damage. In this episode, we ask Frits Koning to update us on his research. (Begins at 2:45)
Total Time: 11:20