September 9, 2016 – Gut Bacteria and Celiac


Anchor lead:  Can certain gut bacteria help celiac disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

A type of bacteria known as lactobacillus may help people with a genetic predisposition to develop celiac disease avoid it or lessen its impact, a recent study concluded.  Theodore Bayliss, professor emeritus of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins, says the observation may have some merit.

Bayliss: Probiotics can alter the gut flora to some degree. It is conceivable that they are doing away with or replacing the bacteria that might be digesting gluten, making gas.  We know for example you cannot induce lactase, if lactase levels are low, that’s the enzyme that digests milk sugar, if one continues to consume small amounts of lactose your colonic bacteria adapt, so you are able to continue to take small amounts.   :29

Bayliss acknowledges that some very provocative research points to the remarkable ecosystem that is our gut flora, demonstrating its interaction with our immune system.  It has been convincingly shown that the population of bacteria in the gut can be changed, so stay tuned.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.