One of the most troublesome food allergies we face these days is Gluten intolerance – officially known as Celiac Disease.The trouble is, it’s a truly debilitating condition and, at the same time, it’s extremely hard to tell whether some enticing foods contain Gluten or not. Now, a treatment may be on the horizon…
The millions of impressionable folks cutting gluten out of their diets these days ‘just because’ are actually masking the seriousness of Celiac disease. It effects far fewer people than that diet faddists, but it’s a serious thing for them. Compounding the problem is the fact that, unless specially prepared with alternative ingredients, most Grain, Flour and Pasta products are off limits for sufferers. And that’s a huge part of what we’re accustomed to eating in the developed world.
Now, though, science has discovered a new substance that breaks down Gluten quickly and efficiently. KumaMax is an enzyme developed by researchers at the University of Washington. Through genetic engineering, the genes that cause microbes to produce KumaMax are inserted in otherwise benign bacteria which then produce the enzyme. It can then be harvested and purified into a medicine. KumaMax is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration and won’t be marketed unless and until the FDA approve it.
“But it’s a synthetic GMO enzyme!”
The CEO of a new company that’s licensed the enzyme from the University says it’s perfectly safe: “Enzymes are proteins, and proteins make up about 40% of the diet for a human. The human body is well adapted to breakdown and excrete ingested proteins,” Adam Simpson told reporters.
A treatment, but not a cure…
Simpson also cautions that KumaMax is more a treatment than a cure. He says Celiac sufferers should not expect to be able to consume Gluten indiscriminately while taking the enzyme. It is intended, primarily, as something to take to help diminish overt symptoms and intestinal damage after Gluten has accidentally been consumed. But that’s an important start towards an out-and-out cure, nevertheless.
~ Maggie J.