Gluten Free Pill

Research is being conducted on developing a pill making it possible for celiacs and gluten intolerant folks to eat gluten.  This pill would be similar to the pills developed for lactose intolerant folks that is currently available now.

According to the website

… Justin Siegel, Ingrid Swanson Pultz and colleagues think that an enzyme might be Pills & Test Tubeable to further break down the offending peptides in the stomach, thus permitting people with celiac disease to safely eat gluten-containing foods.

Their efforts led to the discovery of a naturally occurring enzyme that has some of the ideal properties for doing so. They then used a computer to modify the enzyme in the laboratory so that it would do the job completely.

The newly engineered enzyme, which they called KumaMax, breaks down more than 95 percent of gluten peptides associated with celiac disease in acidic conditions that mimic the stomach.

Most of the comments on the article were favorable, but one person posted a concern about the genetic engineering of the pills:

Did you notice the part that says they “used a computer to modify the enzyme in the laboratory”? This is a genetically modified enzyme, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have the potential to cause all sorts of problems/imbalances in our bodies. In fact, some people argue that GMOs are to blame for the plethora of food allergies we are seeing in the US today (BT Corn might be causing a leaky gut and allowing food particles to enter the bloodstream, in-turn causing the immune system to react to these foods). I worry that long term, using a genetically modified enzyme to treat Celiac disease could actually make matters worse for people who are already dealing with serious digestive issues. Who knows in what ways this human engineered enzyme will interact with the naturally occurring enzymes and flora in our gut, not to mention the lining of our digestive system.

This pill sounds like a wonderful breakthrough, but what about the GMO implications?

What are your thoughts?  Would you be interesting in such a pill?  Would the possible genetic engineering concern you?

Let me know your thoughts!


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