Researchers from the University of Alberta believe the supplement – which prevents the absorption of gliadin, a component of gluten that people with celiac disease have difficulty digesting - may prove to be welcome news for celiac patients.
"This supplement binds with gluten in the stomach and help to neutralize it, therefore providing defence to the small intestine, limiting the damage gliadin causes," said Sunwoo Dr Hoon Sunwoo, an associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Alberta. "It is our hope that this supplement will improve the quality of life for those who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance."
According to the researchers, the next step is an efficacy trial, slated to happen within the next year. Following that, the supplement could be available within three years, said the team who have partnered with IGY Inc. and UK-based Vetanda Group through an agreement with TEC Edmonton - a partnership of the U of A and Edmonton Economic Development that helps commercialize research from the university - to bring the supplement to market.
"This collaboration gives us the opportunity to change the lives of those suffering with a debilitating autoimmune condition," said Vetanda Group communications director Claire Perry.
"Our groundbreaking new health product has the potential to offer more dietary freedom and, overall, a much better quality of life for gluten-intolerant individuals,” she said. “The product could be available to celiac sufferers in Canada within three years, paving the way for testing and product approval in the United States and Europe."