Suffer From Celiac Disease?

The latest newsletter from U.S. Wheat Associates, which markets U.S. wheat internationally, has an article that will interest Americans with gluten intolerance.

Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, is a digestive condition that damages the surface of the small intestine and blocks the ability to absorb certain nutrients. About 2 percent of Americans suffer from celiac disease, which is caused by some of the proteins found in wheat, according to the article in the newsletter.

A team of researchers at Washington State University is using advanced genetic techniques to shape wheat to have fewer of the problem-causing proteins. Another approach they’re taking is trying to find an enzyme that would break down the proteins while food is still in the stomach.

A fun twist to the article is that the lead researcher is an 83-year-old man who came to the United States from Denmark in 1996, when age-related regulations forced him to retire there.

Science gets a bad rap, at least in some circles. The work at Washington State University is an invaluable reminder that scientists, most of them anyway, are working to make life better.