According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, a food additive may be one of the causes of the development of coeliac disease. This research reveals that microbial transglutaminase, an enzyme which is used as an additive in many food products, may contribute to the onset of the disease.

The work carried out by doctors Matthias Torsten (Germany) and Lerner Aaron (Israel) suggests that microbial transglutaminase, which is used to maintain texture, improve food qualities and elongate shelf life of products, could be one of the factors that generates the immune response seen in coeliac disease. Food producers are not required to label this additive on packaging. According to the study, the additive imitates tissue transglutaminase, which is produced in the human body and is known for being the autoantigen in coeliac disease, and although the additive has a different structure to the enzyme, it has a similar effect on the body.

However, this is only a hypothesis, further investigation using different species of animals is required to confirm the results.  The study is available at the following link: