In my inbox this morning is a Google Alert: “A Pill to Treat Celiac Disease Could be Coming Soon.” Be still my heart! Ha ha.
Of course, we’ve seen these types of claims before. It sounds like a real alternative to a life-long gluten free diet, but is at best a way to avoid damage from occasional cross-contamination. If it works. If it passes all the FDA requirements. If it doesn’t have nasty side-effects. Gluten Dude puts it directly and succinctly: No…There is NOT a drug that will allow celiacs to eat gluten.
But, as someone who essentially has no symptoms from being glutened, being a little less nervous every time I eat out would be great. Some people know first-hand to avoid a restaurant that talks-the-talk, but doesn’t walk-the-walk. Not me.
Still, would I really take a pill that is supposed to reduce intestinal permeability? No. I’d rather do that through feeding my microbiome with a good, healthy diet. (Favorite resources (so far): The Hidden Half of Nature and The Good Gut.)
Would I take a pill that breaks apart the gluten molecule and protects me from a little cross-contamination? That’s a tougher call. Maybe. If there were essentially no side-effects. Then again, maybe not. Some medication side-effects take years to surface. I don’t eat out all that often, and I’m almost always very selective about where I eat (or I bring my own food). So. I think that’s a no.
What I would really love is safe cross-contamination protection for my 18-year-old daughter, who has a whole lifetime of socializing ahead of her. Sure, you can think of not-being-able-to-eat-out-most-places as a way for her to know who her real friends are. But wouldn’t it be nice if she could relax just a little? Eating a celiac-safe gluten-free diet is already a pretty good filter.