snapping up tasty tidbits of science

Tolerisation therapy for coeliac disease

August 5, 2012


How the immune system responds to gluten peptides

The problem with a gluten free diet is that it’s hard to follow and trace amounts are everywhere, according to Leslie Williams, president of ImmunosanT. ImmunosanT is developing a tolerisation therapy for coeliac disease. People with this autoimmune disease suffer damage to their small intestines when they eat wheat, barley, rye or oats. Currently the […]

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Posted in: Food Reactions, Medicine

How much gluten is safe for coeliacs?

September 29, 2011


1/100th of a slice of bread is the size of one of the small pieces (circled)

Currently the only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict lifelong gluten free diet. However several studies have shown that bowel damage persists in a significant proportion of treated coeliac patients even though their symptoms are resolved. Accidentally or deliberately, they must be consuming small amounts of gluten. One study of coeliac patients’ intestines had […]

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Posted in: Food Reactions, Medicine

Is gluten free food health food?

September 28, 2011


It's gluten free, but does that really make it a health food?

A gluten free diet is the only treatment for coeliac disease, and it’s also become rather trendy. But can we really call gluten free food health food? “A gluten free cake is still a cake,” explains Kathryn Elliott, and cakes are high in fat and sugar whether or not they’re gluten free. In this podcast […]

Food Reactions Video

September 19, 2011



Common food reactions include allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease. This short video shows you visually the amounts of food involved in causing each of these reactions. For more information have a look at the table in a previous post to compare the food reactions.

Low Chemical Cooking

September 15, 2011



If you have a food intolerance it can be handy to supply your family and friends with recipes that suit you. “Beware though – well meaning hosts will sometimes be tempted to spice up a meal, mistakenly believing that you’ll enjoy it more if it has some extra flavour,” warns Friendly Food. This book of […]

Posted in: Food Reactions, Medicine

So how intolerant are you?

September 7, 2011



It seems to be the question on every waiter’s lips when you ask them about the ingredients in a dish. To the person with a food intolerance, it’s a sensible question. But imagine the mother of an allergic child, carrying an epipen in her handbag, or a coeliac who knows that one hundredth of a […]

Posted in: Food Reactions, Medicine

Cells are Clever Cannibals

May 15, 2011


Image author Louisa Howard

If you were starving on a desert island, you might choose to eat your left arm first to preserve your dominant hand, assuming that like most people you’re right handed. Similarly, starving cells can decide which organelles to degrade when they need to recycle nutrients. New research shows that mitochondria, which are like mini-powerhouses in […]

Posted in: Biochemistry