PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) – A team of researchers at Washington State University is hoping to interfere in the gluten-free market by creating a variety of wheat whose diseases reduce the risk of contracting the disease.
The researchers, working with colleagues around the world, published their findings last month in the journal Functional & Integrative Genomics.
Their genetically modified wheat is intended to help the approximately 3 million Americans living with celiac disease, a condition that forces the body's immune system to attack the digestive tract when gluten is eaten.
The spokesman reported that the disease was associated with an increased risk of serious health problems, including malnutrition, diabetes and colon cancer.
Putting the enzymes inside the wheat is intended to create a kind of firewall that prevents this attack from occurring.