Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in 141 people in the United States.
The condition is triggered by the consumption of gluten — a protein that can be found in wheat, barley, and rye and in foods such as bread, pasta, and baked goods.
In a person with celiac disease, consuming gluten causes the immune system to attack the mucus that lines the inside of the small intestine.
This can trigger a range of digestive symptoms, such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Current remedies for the disease involve avoiding gluten, but new research, published in The EMBO Journal, points to novel therapeutic targets that may soon lead to effective treatments.
The study was led by Luigi Maiuri, of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, as well as by Valeria Raia, from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy and Guido Kroemer, from Paris Descartes University in France.
Maiuri explains the starting point of the research, noting that the prevalence of celiac disease is roughly three times higher among people with cystic fibrosis — a condition in which a thick layer of mucus builds up in the lungs and intestines.
“This co-occurrence made us wonder if there is a connection between the two diseases at the molecular level,” says Maiuri.
Source: Medical News Today