A research group of the University of Seville and Biomedal, a Spanish biotechnology company located in Seville, have studied the level of compliance of the Gluten Free Diet (GFD) among celiac patients. The results showed that more than 40% of celiac patients fail to adhere to this diet, at least once every 2-4 days.
The research was carried out thanks to a new analytic test which can detect gluten traces in the feces of patients. Feces and blood from 188 celiacs were analyzed by scientists who found that 75 % of patients with negative results in blood had gluten traces in feces, which mean they had indeed ingested gluten. The Spanish researcher team concluded that the traditional methods used to control gluten ingestion by celiac patients are hardly reliable and they can’t detect transgressions to the Gluten-free Diet.
Nowadays, the most frequent method to detect and monitor the GFD in celiac patients is through blood tests, which measure the presence of antibodies. Blood tests are neither sensitive nor specific enough, and the patient must have ingested gluten during an extended period of time, while this new kit detect gluten ingested in the last 2 – 7 days after the ingestion.
This method could substitute the unpleasant and invasive biopsies to verify gluten ingestion in the more difficult cases, and this could mean also an economic saving for the national health system all over the world.