Earlier this month, researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada discovered a main cause of celiac disease. Celiac, an autoimmune disorder, has become increasingly common within the past few decades. The research team, led by Dr. Elena Verdu, at McMaster’s Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute have found that a certain gut bacteria can trigger a negative response to gluten.
The researchers tested two different groups of mice. One of the groups was made to have “ultra-clean” gut bacteria while the other group had a number of complex bacteria in their gut. The group of mice with the complex bacteria had a negative reaction to gluten. The negative reaction increased even more when the amount of bacteria was increased.
The group of mice with the clean bacteria in their gut did not have a negative reaction. However, when the researchers added small amounts of the complex bacteria to their guts, they began to form celiac symptoms as well.
The results of this study further clarify how environmental factors and lifestyle choices affect the human body. Between the antibiotics people use and the types of food they consume, the bacteria in the gut is impacted. Once this complex bacteria is developed, it can lead to celiac. This can cause stomach pain, digestive symptoms and even malnutrition.
The research from Dr. Verdu and her team will help develop a treatment for celiac disease. Researchers are hoping to create a treatment that would protect the stomach if someone with celiac was exposed to gluten. While it would not be able to cure the disease, it would be able to act as a buffer if someone with celiac ingested gluten.