It is believed that at least 1 in 100 people suffer from celiac disease worldwide. Those diagnosed with the autoimmune disease must eat a strict gluten free diet in order to manage their symptoms, as there is currently no known cure.
Exposure to gluten is a serious problem for those with celiac disease, even trace amounts can cause serious symptoms. In fact, there are currently 200 recognized celiac symptoms, including gastrointestinal upset, severe headaches, bloating and bone pain. Sustained exposure to gluten can increase the risk of infertility, anemia and cancer in these individuals.
An international team of researchers believe genetically modified wheat may be a viable solution for those with celiac disease. Researchers from Washington State University have developed a variety of wheat that has ‘built in’ enzymes that break down the gluten peptides that cause the immune response in celiac disease. Further research is required, but if the study proves successful this would be breakthrough for celiac sufferers.
Source: Genetic Literacy Project
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