Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Myopathies and Celiac Disease

I encountered this article a couple days ago about the Possible Relationship Between Myopathies And Celiac Disease. The University of Barcelona (UAB, Spain) has been doing some research into inflammatory myopathies (immunological diseases that lead to inflammations in muscular tissue), and in doing so they are investigating the relationship between myopathy and intolerance to gluten.

In general, little is known about the cause of these inflammatory myopathies, but it is believed to be an abnormal immune response by our bodies. And, since celiac disease has occasionally been reported in patients with inflammatory myopathies, they decided to further investigate whether or not there is any type of connection.

This quote pretty much summarizes what the research team has gained from this study:
"The scientists are considering the possibility that, at least in part, some inflammatory myopathies are a clinical expression of intolerance to gluten, though they point out the need for more studies to be carried out to confirm or support these findings."
I am personally not at all surprised by this conclusion. It seems that something is definitely out of kilter in our bodies already, since we can not tolerate gluten, and thus any associated findings like this do not seem too hard to believe.

The article left me to wonder if this is the type of general "inflammation" that is helped by Omega-3 fatty acids, like you would get from Wild Alaskan Salmon. The article talked about testing immunosuppressants, but made no mention (aside from how a gluten-free diet probably helps) about other dietary alternatives or additions that may be helpful. I would think that the fish oils and Flax Seed, Walnuts, etc (all high in helpful Omegas) would be useful, since they are supposed to be good for inflammation in general. Maybe they will address that in a future study. In the mean time, it surely can't hurt to eat these healthy foods just in case they would help stave off the conditions discussed.

Check out the full article for more information.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Hi Mike,
Your theory is very interesting. I supplement fish oils personally and suggest them to quite a few of my patients to reduce inflammation in general.
I would love to see a study on their effectiveness in myopathies.