I’m here at the International Celiac Disease Symposium soaking up cutting edge information about why celiac happens and what can be done to prevent it. Yes, certain genetics are required. About 40% of Americans have the genes, but only 1% have celiac. So, the focus is on why celiac happens in some individuals and not others.
Like food allergy, the bacteria we host (or not) in our digestive system probably plays a major part. We are protected by our immune response to certain “friendly” bacteria. It’s very tricky to figure out which bacteria are best and when they should enter the system to make a positive impact. That is, probiotics probably have a prevention role, but we don’t know which ones would be best or when to introduce them. Other key questions look at how we are affected by unfriendly bacterial infections, viral infections, and the use of antibiotics.
On another hot topic, scientists are still trying to understand the recently named, Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Still don’t really know what it is.
Though so many questions remain, rest assured that brilliant minds are at work solving them and finding new important questions. The funny thing about science is that the answer to one question often leads to more new questions. And, scientists aren’t afraid to say they don’t know an answer until they really do. This is why science rocks!