One pill could change everything for coeliac sufferers

BREAD, pizza, pasta, beer: some of life's purest pleasures and gluten go hand in hand. You know what we're talking about.

Sadly, for people who suffer from coeliac disease, where the small intestine is hypersensitive to the gluten in wheat and can't digest it properly, all that carby goodness has been off the menu.

But hope is at hand: researchers at the University of Alberta claim to have created a pill which coeliac sufferers can take as needed before tucking into gluten-based food and drink which will protect them from its side effects.

Associate professor Hoon Sunwoo has been working on the miracle pill for the last ten years, which works by taking antibodies from chicken egg yolk to coat the gluten as it passes through the intestines.

GLUTEN FREE RECIPE: Salted caramel macadamia cheesecake

The invention has passed safety clinical trials, and is expected to begin efficacy clinical trials next year.

A spokesperson for Coeliac UK said that the organisation was aware of the research and there are still many questions to be answered before the pill is embraced as an aid for gluten-free diets.

On his part, Sunwoo said that he began working on the treatment because he saw how coeliac disease affected people in his life.

"My friend is coeliac. We haven't had any entertaining with beers. So, that's why I developed this pill - for my friend," he told CBC.

"It's just to try to help them improve their quality of life so when they want to socialise with peers or friends."

Cheers to that.


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