Zonulin is what regulates our tight junctions, and is increased in predisposed people by wheat (glidain more specifically), which opens up our tight junctions and gives us 'leaky gut'.
Supposedly there is a pill in the testing stages that would prevent this increase and maintain the integrity of the gut lining. This would let people with celiac disease, etc consume wheat.
If this came out would you take it? What unintended consequences could it have?
Dr. Fasano, who was involved in developing the zonulin pill, said Zonulin is there for a reason and we don't know what that is. So by blocking zonulin there may be some unanticipated consequences and we have no idea what they are. So far it looks like it will only help with cross contamination issues.
Nope, would not want to change my body so I can eat a toxic substance. Does not make sense.
I am interested in the enzyme that breaks down gluten. In clinical trials it seems to be helpful for cross contamination issues. It would be nice to be able to eat out without the worry of getting an accidental crumb of gluten. There are some OTC enzymes but they are not as strong as the one in clinical trials. I have heard mixed reviews of the OTC ones.
Go back to eating gluten - never.
As a celiac, I wouldn't bother with the risk of the wheat.
As a non-celiac, I wouldn't bother with the risk of the pill.
The leaky gut syndrome caused by gluten, wheat and other grains (mediated by zonulin) is far from being the only bad thing about them... I would never eat wheat again just because of its antinutrients content, high carb content, lack of nutritional value, high-FODMAP content, because grain culture is depleting our topsoil and is not a sustainable form of agriculture.
You might have a positive effect on leaky gut, but if that "allowed" you to eat lots of grain with no problem, you'd still run into issues with blood sugar control.
I eat very little grain but not because I have celiac (I don't), and I haven't noticed any health issues I could attribute to a a gluten sensitivity. The reason I have to stay away is because I simply have no "off switch" when it comes to refined grains. I could eat an entire box of cereal or an entire sleeve of crackers (and still be "hungry.") I don't think affecting zonulin would help me there! ;-)
That being said, if you're someone who can control themselves with that stuff, it might be interesting to give the pill a whirl, but I'm with Fasano on this - tinkering with a natural process in the body is always iffy. (Fosamax and Boniva causing MORE bone fractures, anyone?!)
If you know wheat is bad for you, why take a pill that lets you "get away with it?" That's like telling a diabetic to go ahead and keep eating danishes; just up your insulin dose to compensate. :-/
Edited to add: I might have been a little too harsh. If you look at this from the angle that the only reason wheat is bad is because of its effects on the tight junctions lining the gut (and all the nasty things that stem from that), then I'd say pop the pill and go enjoy some fresh baked biscuits. But it seems like there are other issues besides that. Like what I said above with me having nearly no self-control when it comes to refined grain products. I'm not sure where that comes from. To me, it's not the opiate receptor thing making me addicted, because the minute it hits my tongue, the switch gets flipped (long before it's had time to make it to my intestines.) And it's not the sugar either, b/c even grain-based foods that are not sweet at all have that effect on me: plain saltines, plain cornflakes, etc. (Granted, they're all carbohydrate, but not sweet, per se.)
Wonderful! So if someone invented a pill that would allow you to eat iron filings and not get poisoned would you use it as directed? If someone invented a pill to let you eat broken glass, would you do so? What about lye?
Thanks, but no thanks. I don't need a pill to eat something that's bad for me in the first place. Just avoid eating crap and you won't need a pill.
I would consider trying it if I was getting sick from accidental exposure to tiny amounts of gluten from cross-contamination. My sister believes she is having this problem, and it's almost impossible to live a normal life and avoid all potentially cross-contaminated food. I wouldn't use it as a way to eat portion-sized amounts of gluten, partially because I'd rather someone else be the guinea pig, and partially because it would be very remarkable if the drug was so effective that it blocked all zonulin activity.
There's a lot more to celiac than that. It's an autoimmune disorder and I doubt the pill would help with the damage to the villi and the subsequent digestive issues beyond the issues of permeability or the related substantial risk of cancer.
It would probably be easier to come up with better alternatives than fund the research that would be required to prove the pill actually makes gluten safe for celiacs and honestly I don't think that would be the conclusion. Personally, I think the massive amount of research dollars that would be required could be better spent.