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Enzymes Found In Saliva May Someday Treat Gluten Intolerance

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have determined that a novel class of gluten-degrading enzymes found in saliva may have the potential to treat celiac disease, a severe allergic reaction to the protein found in wheat-based products. The enzymes were isolated from Rothia bacteria, which are natural colonizers of the oral cavity. The enzymes (subtilisins) belong to the S8 family of peptidases. Food-grade Bacillus species also produce such subtilisins, and these were also able to break down gluten compounds that cause the immune response. The main course of treatment for people with celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
Guoxian Wei et al., "Identification of Food-grade Subtilisins as Gluten-degrading Enzymes to Treat Celiac Disease. ", American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, September 06, 2016, © American Physiological Society
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