What is Celiac Disease?


In the same proportion that increases the popularity of the gluten in the population, the term Celiac disease was also highlighted, but what is it?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten present in cereals by people genetically predisposed. Besides the use of gluten and genetic susceptibility is also needed immunological factors for the disease is expressed (SVERKER et al., 2005).

Other authors report that Celiac disease is characterized by malabsorption of nutrients syndrome and injuries in the membrane of duodenal mucosa. The disorder reflects a permanent intolerance to gluten, presenting the following symptoms: chronic diarrhea, bloating, malnutrition, lack of appetite and vomiting

(HOWDLE and BLAIR, 1992 STERN et al., 2001). The disease affects both sexes and can occur at any age; It may appear in childhood, so they are introduced into the first feeding cereal grains or subsequently triggered by external factors. A gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac (TRONCONI and ARICCHIO, 1991).

When the celiac consume cereals containing gluten, gliadin comes into contact with the cells of the small intestine, causing an immune response to this fraction and producing antibodies, causing celiac disease express. This damages the small intestine, flattening and atrophy their villi leading to limiting the available area for absorption of nutrients (THOMPSON et al., 2005).

Due to the poor absorption of nutrients may appear serious complications, especially osteoporosis and malignant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Due to these complications and their prevalence, celiac disease is considered a worldwide public health problem (PRATESI and GANDOLFI, 2005).

Given the seriousness of celiac disease in Brazil, the Federal Law 8543/19929 determined the warning printing labels and processed food packages containing gluten. In 2002, by Resolution RDC n 40 ° extended to mandatory warning “GLUTEN FREE” in character especially, crisp and easy to read, also for packaged beverages, excluding alcoholic. Finally, Law 10,674 / 2003 obliges the inscriptions “GLUTEN FREE” or “Does not contain gluten” on labels of foods marketed as a preventive measure and control the disease.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission of the FAO (Food And Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) and WHO (World Health Organization) has established that products containing more than 0.3% of wheat proteins, rye, barley and oats or should celiac be excluded from the diet. The wheat starch with 0.3% protein has about 200 ppm (mg / kg) of gluten, is considered “gluten-free”.

Image reference: labpaulista