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Coeliac disease could originate in a viral infection

Research carried out by Research Fellow Päivi Saavalainen at the Academy of Finland (and to be published in the journal Nature Genetics) has shown that the genes which carry a higher risk of developing celiac disease are closely linked with the immune system and with inflammation rather than specifically with the breakdown of gluten in the digestive tract.

Some of the genes identified are linked with human immune defence against viruses and this could indicate that virus infections are connected in some way with the onset of gluten intolerance.

The genes that predispose people to gluten intolerance are very widespread in the population so are only a minor part of the explanation for the way in which gluten intolerance is inherited. However, the knowledge of the genes behind gluten intolerance is valuable in itself, as it helps researchers explore the reasons behind gluten intolerance, which in turn builds potential for developing new treatments and preventive methods. This is essential, because the condition is often relatively symptom-free, yet it can have serious complications unless treated.

Courtesy of Medical News Today

Click here for more research on coeliac disease



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