What a hope-inspiring article for those of us with celiac disease. Unfortunately, diagnosis often takes many years (approximately 16 years in my case), during which irreparable damage can occur. I suffered with anemia and fatigue for years and now have osteoporosis and osteopenia at age 45. It’s imperative to concentrate efforts on awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of celiac disease. Kudos to the researchers in this field.

Carol Nartker
Bellbrook, Ohio

One aspect of celiac disease not mentioned in the article is the inadequacy of current food labels for identifying hidden gluten in food products. Manufacturers, when contacted, will reveal that a product “may or may not” contain wheat, rye, or barley. While satisfactory to the legal community, this is singularly frustrating to people living with celiac disease.

Cathy Aviles
Petaluma, Calif.

Amazing. People still believe it’s better to take a pill than to take responsibility. I have lived a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle for years. The gluten-free market is so vast, from cookies to cookbooks, that I don’t understand how living this lifestyle could be considered “suffering” to the point of needing a pill to avoid it. I even find plenty to dine on in restaurants. You can either be mindful of what you put into your mouth or be brain dead and let the drug companies decide for you.

Debbie Underwood
Terrell, Texas

Am I missing something? The article says that researchers have found that a bacterium produces an enzyme that breaks down an offending gluten peptide, but they’re concentrating on developing a pill to carry a similar enzyme. Wouldn’t it be easier and more effective to genetically modify an indigenous gut bacterium to make the enzyme?

Paul Bade
Mankato, Minn.

In principle, bacteria could be engineered to produce an appropriate enzyme, says Chaitan Khosla of Stanford University. But many studies would be needed to select a suitable bacterium and learn how to control its production of the enzyme. Also, researchers need a druglike form of the enzyme for safety tests before bacteria could be used .–B. Harder