Monday, August 1, 2011

Dr Fasano's Insights in Scientific America: Clues to Solving Autoimmunity

Dr. Alessio Fasano, professor of pediatrics, medicine and physiology at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has been studying celiac disease and has uncovered a process that may contribute to many autoimmune disorders. He makes some interesting comments on the use of probiotics to prevent and treat celiac disease. And he says "leaky gut" in a major pathogenesis of the illnesses, especially autoimmune diseases that complicate this food borne illness.
Tina Turbin reports on Dr. Fasano's article in Scientific American:

This research into the leaky gut of celiacs can explain a question that has been perplexing researchers regarding the disease's pathogenesis: Why do some people not develop celiac disease until later in life? According to Dr. Fasano, this issue could be associated with the microbes in the digestive tract. The microbicrobial population varies among individuals and groups and even over the course of one's life.

"Apparently they can also influence which genes in their hosts are active at any given time," he says. "Hence, a person whose immune system has managed to tolerate gluten for many years might suddenly lose tolerance if the microbiome changes in a way that causes formerly quiet susceptibility genes to become active." Should this prove true, we may be able to prevent or treat celiac disease with probiotics.

Probiotics, supplements and other ways to eliminate "leaky gut" are a foundation in my treatment recommendations for people with gluten sensitivity and celiac diseases. Read Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride's book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet , for more details.