Monthly Archives: June 2010
Many people who suffer from food-related problems such as wheat intolerance and celiac disease have discovered through trial and error that taking probiotics helps to control their symptoms. Now, Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has a theory about why.
In the case of celiac disease, not everyone who has the genetic predisposition to the disease shows symptoms. Some develop the reaction to gluten later than others; some never develop it at all. Dr Fasano wants to know why. He thinks that the expression of symptoms may be tied to changes in the person’s gut bacteria, which can happen naturally throughout their lifetime. Some research has shown that such changes have the power to affect gene expression in the host. While it has yet to be scientifically proven, it follows that treatment with probiotics might prevent the original expression of celiac symptoms in some patients.
Does this mean you should run out and buy some probiotics today? Well, it depends on what results you’re expecting. The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. You can’t take probiotics and then start eating wheat, expecting everything to be okay. In the case of wheat intolerance, which is not an allergic or autoimmune response, probiotics may increase a person’s tolerance… or it may not.
One thing about probiotics, though– they’re perfectly safe, and fairly inexpensive, so there’s no reason not to give them a try. Many people have reported that they feel generally better after taking probiotics, so it might be an experiment worth trying, even if you don’t intend to change your eating habits and gluten consumption afterwards.