Gianna Ferretti, Tiziana Bacchetti, Simona Masciangelo and Letizia Saturni
Celiac disease (CD), a common heritable chronic inflammatory condition of the small intestine caused by permanent intolerance to gluten/gliadin (prolamin), is characterized by a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Developments in proteomics have provided an important contribution to the understanding of the biochemical and immunological aspects of the disease and the mechanisms involved in toxicity of prolamins. It has been demonstrated that some gliadin peptides resistant to complete proteolytic digestion may directly affect intestinal cell structure and functions by modulating gene expression and oxidative stress. In recent years, the creation of the two research fields Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics, has enabled the elucidation of some interactions between diet, nutrients and genes. Various dietary components including long chain ω-3 fatty acids, plant flavonoids, and carotenoids have been demonstrated to modulate oxidative stress, gene expression and production of inflammatory mediators. Therefore their adoption could preserve intestinal barrier integrity, play a protective role against toxicity of gliadin peptides and have a role in nutritional therapy of celiac disease.