Nutrition Research Review
Researchers wondered why only 2% to 5% of genetically susceptible individuals develop celiac disease.
It turns out our gut microbiome may affect our risk of gluten intolerance.
In a study published in The American Journal of Pathology, they divided the mice into three groups – mice with pathogens, germ-free, a healthy microbiome with no pathogens. The conventional mice (with the pathogens) were the most susceptible and at risk for gluten intolerance compared with the mice with a healthy microbiome, which had the least rates of gluten intolerance. Interesting, the germ-free mice had some gluten intolerance, showing that a healthy microbiome with good bacteria (not just the absence of pathogens) is important to healthy a gut and proper food tolerance.
In conclusion, the authors state, “In summary, we show that distinct changes in microbiota structure can either ameliorate or enhance IEL [intraepithelial lymphocytes] and CD4+ T-cell responses to gluten in NOD/DQ8 mice. Our results support the concept that alterations in microbiota recently reported in active or symptomatic CD patients who are on a gluten-free diet could be causally related. Importantly, the data argue that the recognized increase in CD prevalence in the general population is causally driven, at least in part, by perturbations in intestinal microbial ecology. Specific microbiota-based therapies may aid in the prevention or treatment of CD in subjects with moderate genetic risk.”
A finding of the article: We need a good microbiome to support good gut health and possible minimize the risk of gluten intolerance, as pathogens/dysbiosis influence our sensitivity to gluten.
Many children today have early exposure to antibiotics including during birth (and many adults have exposure many rounds of antibiotics over their life), resulting in changes to the microorganisms that inhabit the gut, including a potential increase in pathogenic bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria, that may have long term effects on our ability to handle certain foods, in this case gluten.
Research Citation: Galipeau HJ, McCarville JL, Huebener S, Litwin O, Meisel M, Jabri B, Sanz Y, Murray JA, Jordana M, Alaedini A, Chirdo FG. Intestinal Microbiota Modulates Gluten-Induced Immunopathology in Humanized Mice. The American journal of pathology. 2015 Nov 30;185(11):2969-82.
Full journal article can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002944015004769