A recent study at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, has shown that antibodies which are produced by people who are sensitive to gluten are different from those produced by people with celiac disease. The discovery could help doctors diagnose gluten sensitivity.
Currently, a large amount of doctors will often dismiss complaints from people who claim to be affected by foods that contain gluten but do not have celiac disease. Celiac disease is a well documented autoimmune disease that is started by exposing a person to the dietary protein that is in barley, rye and wheat.
This belief has changed based partly on studies that have delved into the biological basis for gluten sensitivity that is not the same as celiac disease. However, many conditions of non-celiac gluten sensitivity consisting of how to diagnose it and what causes it is still poorly understood.
This study has shown that people who do suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity like people with celiac disease, produce an elevated level of anti-gluten antibodies. However, the two conditions are different in the antibody types produced and the subsequent inflammatory responses these antibodies trigger.
The research team analyzed blood samples obtained from 40 participants who had celiac disease, 80 participants with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and 40 healthy controls. All participants ate an unrestricted, gluten-containing diet.
They discovered that the B cells found in celiac disease produced a subclass profile of lgG antibodies with high probability of inflammation that is linked to autoimmune activity and also intestinal cell damage. In contrast, the people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity produced lgG antibodies that are linked to a more subdued inflammatory response.
Those antibodies can possibly be used at later dates to provide doctors more easily diagnose people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity which is hard to diagnose. The profiles of the different antibodies also suggest the rise of new therapies for celiac disease. This disease is currently only treated through diet.
The team’s data suggests that celiac patients generate a strong B-cell inflammatory response every time they eat gluten. However, the immune system in person’s with non-celiac gluten sensitivity adheres from its previous encounters with gluten and generates a lower amount of inflammatory responses to the antigen in concurrent interactions.
The team believes that if they can drive specific cells of celiac patients toward less inflammatory states, they would be able to reduce or prevent the degree of the immunologic reaction to gluten.
To view the original scientific study click below