Coeliac Australia has reported it is spending close to $500,000 to support three groundbreaking Australian research projects that each aim to enhance the quality of life for people with coeliac disease.
The three research projects to receive funding are:
- Why does the gluten free diet fail?
- Determining the safety of oats for people with coeliac disease
- Can hookworms cure coeliac disease?
In his investigation into why the gluten free diet fails, Dr Tye-Din of WEHI acknowledges that many people with coeliac disease can try their very best to follow a gluten free diet but may fail to achieve full healing of their bowel or suffer persistent symptoms. Identifying why and developing strategies to fix this is the focus of his funded project.
The WEHI’s coeliac research team will also strive to answer whether there is a level of oats that can be safely consumed by all patients with coeliac disease. The findings will also determine if a simple blood test can streamline identification of people with coeliac disease who can safely consume oats, which would avoid the need for the traditional protracted three-month oats challenge.
The third study that has been funded will see researchers in Queensland continuing their exciting work into hookworm therapy in a bid to find a cure for coeliac disease. Previous research has suggested the parasites improved gluten tolerance in people with coeliac disease. Now the research team is aiming to recruit 60 clinical trial participants to confirm the efficacy and feasibility of translating worm-based therapies.
More details about the funded research can be found on the Coeliac Australia website.