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Elafin: Promising New Therapy to Prevent Gluten Toxicity

Scientists have discovered a promising new treatment prospect for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. French researchers with Swiss and Canadian colleagues found that the human protein, Elafin, can prevent the destruction of the gut’s barrier and reduce inflammation. People with celiac and gluten intolerance don’t have enough Elafin to properly process gluten.

The scientists propose delivering the missing Elafin through a harmless lactic bacterium (probiotic) found in food. This strain, developed by the French national institutes for agricultural and medical research, enables Elafin to be produced. The initial pre-clinical results show the protein can also help those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The research revealed that gluten intolerant mice taking Elafin had significantly less inflammation when consuming gluten.  The next step will involve delineating the exact mechanisms that cause the positive effects of elafin in celiac disease.  

Source: Science
Pamela Hasterok