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How probiotic Bifidobacteria could help celiac disease patients

Gluten is enemy No. 1 for those with celiac disease, and it's hard to avoid. Episodes of this chronic autoimmune illness can be triggered by ingesting gluten, a key protein in wheat and some other grains. Researchers have been exploring how gut bacteria, especially Bifidobacteria, could be used as a treatment. Now, scientists publishing the results of laboratory experiments in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry report how specific types of Bifidobacteria work. Humans have many types of bacteria living in their digestive systems, but those with celiac disease have altered levels of "beneficial" and "harmful" gut bacteria. And even if they stick to a strict gluten-free diet, celiac disease patients typically cannot reestablish an ideal gut microbiome on their own. In particular, the levels of bacteria in the Bifidobacteria family are lower in those with the condition than in healthy individuals. These bacteria can chop up gluten proteins into smaller fragments that are not as triggering or damaging in patients, which has led researchers to try using the microbes as a probiotic to treat gastrointestinal diseases. So Edson Rodrigues-Filho, Natália E. C. de Almeida and colleagues set out to see exactly how various Bifidobacteria strains break down gluten peptides and what effect these smaller gluten-derived peptides would have on the immune response.  Read more....

 

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