Celiac Disease Research and Future Therapies [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Alessio_Fasano_Celiac_Disease_FoundationGuest: Dr. Alessio Fasano
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr Fasano will visit Sydney, Australia as a speaker at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium (22-24 April, 2016) to educate Australian health professionals on celiac disease, and awareness of celiac disease as a growing public health problem. Dr Fasano is the author of Gluten Freedom, which examines the groundbreaking roadmap to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Segment overview: Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, discusses the Celiac Disease Foundation, research and future therapies.


Health Professional Radio – Celiac Disease Foundation

Neal Howard: Hello and Welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio today is world-renowned Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Research Scientist, Entrepreneur, and Author, Dr. Alessio Fasano. And he’s here today to talk with us about his book, “Gluten Freedom,” a book that examines the groundbreaking roadmap to a gluten-free lifestyle and also talking with us as the one of the key speakers at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium entitled “Revolutionary Strategies for Complex Diseases” that’s happening on Sydney, Australia, April the 22nd through the 24th. Good Afternoon Dr. Fasano.

Dr. Alessio Fasano: Good afternoon to you.

N: As an author, where do you find the time to sit down and pen a book? Is this your first work?

F: So to tell you the truth, writing a book for general readership was something that was not even in my wildest desire and plans. It just really materialized out of necessity when there was so much confusion on this world of the gluten-free diets and who should or who should not go on a diet and so on and so forth. And therefore I took some time really to put my thoughts together and it was a lot of fun, again out of comfort zone for sure but I think that to paraphrase one of the comments that I got from one of the readers, “It reads like a novel, nothing like a text book”. So I thought that was a cool comment.

N: You said you wrote the book out of necessity to dispel some of the confusion. Did you find there was more confusion about the disease on the part of folks suffering from disease and seeking help? Or those who are trying to learn what the disease was in order to help patients or was it a mixture of the two? And if it was a mixture, how did you combine the two mindsets as it were in order to pen a book that was useful to both?

F: Yeah, it was both. Actually, it was both on the side of the healthcare professionals and on the receiving end from patients. Well that was the foremost challenging part of the story to try to be factual, to be as evidence-based as possible, but also to be at the level that a general readership can appreciate what the content of the book is so they can really have some guidance on what became a very confusing landscape. Because, of course, now the beauty of being on a world of communication and so new frontiers like the internet and so on and so forth brings tremendous opportunities. But also tremendous amount of confusion if somebody will eventually put something out there professing himself or herself as an expert based on their own personal experience and that becomes the word out there and that is the end of the story. So that was very confusing but again, I think the challenge really also pushed me to think and think very carefully how to frame the book and what to put in the book in terms of information and as a journey from a historical perspective how we end up to have to deal with this problem of gluten related disorders, the rationale why gluten if it’s a protein that should be good for us because it’s a protein for food, it can be so harmful for somebody and what would be the consequences in terms of using counter gluten for people that may have the negative effects and go gluten free and finishing up with what would this apply for the future.

N: Now BioCeuticals is Australia’s leading provider of practitioner only nutritional and therapeutic supplements. They’re at the very forefront of evidence-based integrative medicine. Now as the author of “Gluten freedom” and also as a key speaker of the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium at Sydney, Australia on the 22nd through 24th of April, your newest research “The Role of Gut Permeability in Autoimmunity”, will you be talking about only gluten free diets as they relate to celiac disease or are there other diseases that a gluten-free diet will affect as or treat as well?

F: Well again, of course as I was telling before, gluten-free diet and celiac disease they are a no brainer and this will be used as the paradigm of the discussion. There’s gonna be some mention of other conditions in which, eventually, gluten may be, if not the primary instigator but a co-factor that can really drive the autoimmune process and this will be discussed as well. And then I will expand a little bit more about nutrition in general and how a bad nutrition will eventually leads to negative outcome on a specific genetic background by for example influencing the composition of the gut and microbiome that seems to have such a big role in our immunity nowadays.

N: Now you founded the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment in 1996. Are we talking about the same facility when we’re talking about the Celiac Disease Foundation?

F: No, in the United States there are Celiac Centers so in other words research centers and then there are association of lay-people, association of people with celiac disease and so on and so forth. The Center for Celiac Research is one of the centers that it’s an academic centers who does research, clinical care and education. The Celiac Disease Foundation is one of these lay associations of patients affected by celiac disease so they are two different entities.

N: Titled Revolutionary Strategies for Complex Diseases, the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium being held on the 22nd through the 24th of April this year at Sydney, Australia. Our guest in the studio has been one of the key speakers, Dr. Alessio Fasano. Key speakers including Scientific Director Dr. Mark Houston, Integrative Medical Experts Dr. David Perlmutter, and Dr. Andrew Heyman and Dr. Deanna Minich also will be attending as well. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Fasano.

F: Thank you for having me.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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