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Gluten intolerance and genetics
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Section 1: Intro
Chapter 45. Gluten intolerance, also called celiac disease, and genetics. This is a specific training for the Gluten Sensor. This is also known as wheat protein intolerance. You will find this test here. It is called the Gluten sensor. It has two roles. It does not help in prevention because there is no way to prevent it. However, it helps you in early diagnosis and when it develops it helps you in treatment. Let me explain the concept. Gluten is a protein that is common in wheat and also in many types of grains and any kind of cereals. Actually, the disease is caused by the incorrect programming of the immune system.
The immune system thinks that gluten is a bacterial infection and it tries to fight it. So, if you eat it the intestine thinks that it has been hacked and it starts with information fighting against it. That causes digestive problems. It can also cause lactose intolerance because the intestine might be damaged so much that it cannot digest lactose or milk protein anymore. It can increase your risk of developing ear-nose or throat tumors or cancer by 9 fold or 80 times higher risk of a lymphatic tumor risk. On average, it takes a person 11 years to get the right diagnosis. That is 11 years from the first digestive problems which are usually persistent all the way until you get the right diagnosis. This is a big problem because 12% of untreated cases are fatal.
People who have these problems, they try to find out what the source of the problem is and it takes them 11 years to do so and many people die because of the follow-up diseases because they could not get the right diagnosis as a gluten-free diet would have to be completely free of symptoms. It is very important to identify these people. Either the ones who already have the problems but they do not have the right diagnosis or people who do not have the disease or the problems yet, so they are made aware that they belong to a high risk population. As soon as the first symptoms arise, they can go to the doctor and get the right diagnosis. This is the aim of this test. As I said, a gluten-free diet is a complete freedom from symptoms and normalization of these tumor and cancer risks.
Section 2: Gluten Intolerance: How it works
Here is how it works. This here is the inside of an APC cell, called the antigen presenting cell. This is the inside of the cell, the nucleus, where the gene sits. The normal process of what these cells do is as follows. They find bacteria. They absorb it. Then, they break it down into small pieces. These bacterial pieces are then recognized by two genes that produce two proteins. These are DQ-A1 and DQ-B1. These genes have instructions for these structures here. They are both part of the receptor. Basically, the receptor takes part of the bacteria, grabs onto it and then presents it to the surface. So, part of the bacteria that the cell has recognized, after having been neutralized, is now presented to the rest of the body.
Then, certain cells, called T-cells, grab onto it, recognize bacteria and then start information fighting against these cells. This is how our immune system works. It recognizes there is a pathogen, an invader. It breaks it down into pieces and then it shows to the rest of the immune system that there is an invasion and this is what you should look for and how it looks like. This is the normal process. Now, when gluten, wheat protein, is absorbed and is broken down into small pieces, it usually does not fit into the receptor. It would not be presented to the surface and it would not cause the immune system to respond. The T-cells do not recognize anything and everything looks fine.
This is what happens in most people. They can eat gluten and they do not activate the immune system. However, there are genetic variations that produce modified versions of these genes. So, the receptor is built in a slightly different way. This is what happens. This receptor is suddenly able to present gluten to the surface. If this was a bacteria, the T-Cells would be activated and then they would cause an alarm. This means that the wheat protein, which completely harmless to us, is suddenly recognized as a bacteria. Whatever wheat protein is eaten, the immune system knows about it and starts fighting it, which inflames the intestine and causes all of these problems.
Section 3: The genetic analysis
So, what can we find out from a genetic analysis in this case? If it is negative, it means the receptors are unable to present the gluten protein, that is why the probability of gluten intolerance or celiac disease is very close to 0 %. 99 % of all cases or even more have these specific receptors able to present gluten. However, this does not necessarily mean you will definitely be gluten intolerant. The risk is somewhere up to 40 % of developing the disease. This is what we call a very strong negative predictive value. If it is negative, you do not usually have to worry about gluten intolerance. If you have digestive problems, it could very likely be because of different reasons. If it is positive, it means it is not sure that you are going to get this disease. However, you should look out for it because it usually takes people 11 years to get the right diagnosis.
Now, you know about it. With the first symptoms, you can talk to your doctor and then you can get the right treatment by avoiding a gluten-containing diet. Then, you get complete freedom from symptoms. So, early detection is one part, pay attention to the symptoms and save yourself 11 years of problems without knowing what the causes. Then, you do a dietary adjustment like avoiding gluten-containing food with the help of the Nutrition Sensor where we have a list of different food types that will help you and show you a warning sign in anything that contains gluten, which will help you to avoid food that might contain gluten.
This is the end of Chapter 45, gluten intolerance and genetics as a specific training for the Gluten Sensor for the celiac disease.