Organisms in saliva may play a role in breaking down gluten

Scientists from the University of Boston, in Massachusetts, USA, have carried out a study to find out whether saliva may contain gluten-degrading microorganisms. It is known that gluten is largely resistant to degradation by gastric and intestinal proteases, but salivary microorganisms already showed glutamine endoprotease activity.

They found evidence to support the theory that there are indeed gluten-degrading microorganisms associated with the upper gastro-intestinal tract, and that they might play an as yet unappreciated role in the digestion of dietary gluten and also protection from coeliac disease in people at risk.

Source: PLoSone

October 2010.


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