Study supports gluten-free diet in potential celiac disease patients

Dec 15, 2010

Findings from a new study of 141 adults add to an ongoing medical debate over which patients with symptoms of celiac disease should go on a gluten-free diet. Published in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, the study concludes that people currently diagnosed as "potential" celiac disease patients and not advised to follow a gluten-free diet may not be "potential" patients at all. Rather, the scientists found that these patients have the same distinctive metabolic fingerprint as patients with full-blown disease who do benefit from gluten-free diets.

In the study, Ivano Bertini and colleagues explain that celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder characterized by the inability to digest a protein called gliadin, a component of gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. The condition causes diarrhea, bloating, and other symptoms in over 3 million people in the United States alone. Treatment is avoidance of foods containing gluten. But the disease is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Definitive diagnosis involves biopsy of the , showing . People with a positive blood test for the condition but no positive biopsy usually are diagnosed as "potential" celiac patients and may or may not be advised to follow a gluten-free diet.

The scientists used metabolic profiling to analyze the biochemical markers in the blood and urine of 61 patients with celiac disease, 29 with potential celiac disease, and 51 healthy people. They found that those with potential disease largely shared the same profile as those with the confirmed disease and that the biochemical markers in both groups differed significantly from those of the healthy individuals. "Our results demonstrate that metabolic alterations may precede the development of small intestinal villous atrophy and provide a further rationale for early institution of gluten-free diet in patients with potential celiac disease, as recently suggested by prospective clinical studies," the scientists conclude.

Explore further: Local enforcement of federal immigration laws affects immigrant Hispanics' healthcare

More information: "Are patients with potential celiac disease really potential? The answer of metabonomics", Journal of Proteome Research.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Should you go gluten-free?

Dec 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The market for gluten-free food, touted as a cure for all ills, has grown by double digits in the past five years. But are such health claims half-baked? Maya Jerath, MD, PhD, the director ...

Study finds rate of celiac disease is growing

Sep 27, 2010

Working to solve the puzzle of when people develop celiac disease has led researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research to some surprising findings. They have found that the autoimmune ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

3 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

5 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions without risking punishment, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large ...

Infertility, surrogacy in India

5 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind and body

17 hours ago

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new UCL research.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.