For those who suffer with coeliac disease, the effects can be debilitating and incredibly painful. When gluten is digested by those suffering from the disease, an immune response is triggered that can lead to serious damage of the small intestine.
The disease, which causes a noticeable allergic reaction to the gluten protein found naturally in wheat, rye and barley based foods, has up until this point been treated through elimination diets and a careful focus on ingredients of all kinds.
But what if scientists told you that you could be eating gluten with no nasty side effects, from as soon as next year?
Scientists at the University of Alberta are currently working on a supplement, that when taken before ingesting foods that contain gluten, could silence the otherwise troubling immune response of sufferers.
Hoon Sunwoo, an associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has created a supplement that prevents the absorption of gliadin – a component of gluten that causes pain to coeliacs.
The component is found naturally in the yolks of chicken eggs.
“This supplement binds with gluten in the stomach and helps to neutralise it, therefore providing defence to the small intestine, limiting the damage gliadin causes” said Sunwoo.
“It is our hope that this supplement will improve the quality of life for those who have coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.
The next step is an efficacy trial that should be beginning within the next year. Once trial results are conclusive, the research team hope to have the finalised product on shelves within the next three years.
Would this be something you would want to try?