I wanted to give a heads-up to all of my practitioner friends and followers that a new urine test is on the market that could help with tracking gluten free diet adherence and whether your patients and clients are unknowingly getting gluten cross-contamination.
Biomedal, a Spain diagnostics company, is purportedly able to identify two markers for gluten peptides—sensitive identification of antibodies G12 and A1, which are passed for 1 to 2 days after consumption of any gluten. A study presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week 2015 found these specific peptides (urinary levels of excreted gluten) correlate with mucosal damage in celiac patients. This test will potentially provide a means for patients and doctors to track gluten free diet adherence and whether unknowing cross-contamination of gluten in the diet is occurring. If symptoms persist but the test is negative, that will indicate some other pathogenesis besides gluten cross-contamination resulting in symptoms (e.g. other food allergies/sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, dysbiosis, malnutrition, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, etc.).
The majority of celiac patients are asymptomatic which means they may not notice cross-contamination or may not be as strict with their gluten-free diet as is essential. According to Maria T. Greene of Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital: “There are 2 forms of asymptomatic celiac disease: silent and latent. In both forms the serology is abnormal. The 2 forms differ in the intestinal biopsy findings; silent celiac disease has mucosal architecture at the intestinal biopsy examination consistent with celiac disease, whereas latent celiac disease has normal or minimally abnormal intestinal mucosal architecture.” Just because a patient is asymptomatic doesn’t mean that being gluten free is not essential. In fact, research shows that it is just as important for asymptomatic celiac disease patients to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet as symptomatic patients for intestinal health and overall well-being. This urine test could be especially beneficial for asymptomatic celiac patients.