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Non-Toxic Wheat May Be an Answer to Celiac Disease
      10/28/05 11:57 AM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
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Non-Toxic Wheat May Be an Answer to Celiac Disease

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Oct 14 - It may be possible to produce varieties of wheat that can be safely consumed by patients with celiac disease, according to Dutch researchers.

"Our work," lead investigator Dr. Liesbeth Spaenij-Dekking told Reuters Health "indicates that not all wheat varieties appear to be equally harmful for patients. This suggests that through breeding programs new varieties may be generated that will be acceptable for consumption by celiac disease patients. Moreover, such varieties may be used to prevent disease in individuals at risk."

In the September issue of Gastroenterology, Dr. Spaenij-Dekking of Leiden University Medical Center and colleagues note that it unknown whether all wheat types are of equivalent toxicity for patients with celiac disease.

To investigate, the researchers examined wheat gluten protein information contained in public databases. The aim was to find varieties low in the T-cell stimulatory sequences that prompt celiac disease.

The team found that ancient grass-like wheat varieties had less gluten, but subsequent breeding led not only to an increase in yield, but an increase in gluten and potential toxicity.

Eventually the researchers assayed samples of 16 wheat varieties, only 2 of which are commercially available, and found that there were considerable differences in the levels of T-cell- stimulatory epitopes.

Thus they conclude that through breeding and screening, "varieties may be identified with a reduced or even absent toxicity profile for celiac disease patients."

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Marco Londei and colleagues at University College London characterize the study as providing important information, but among caveats, point out that the commercially viability of growing "less toxic" wheat varieties is open to question.

Gastroenterology 2005;129:797-806,1111-1113.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/514562?src=mp

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