How’s a Failed Cholera Vaccine Helping Millions of Children With Autism?
Let’s start from the beginning. Ever wonder how this whole recent gluten thing started?
Cholera and a rock star, of course… well, a scientific rock star, that is. Yes, there are rock stars even in the scientific community and this post will walk you through some fantastic research by the biggest “gluten” rock star — Alessio Fasano, M.D. There is a lot of fiction out there about gluten but here are the scientific facts that launched a multi-billion dollar gluten-free industry… and help many with autism…
So how did this gluten thing really start?
In the 1980s, Dr. Fasano was developing a cholera vaccine. The cholera bacteria produce a toxin that causes massive amounts of diarrhea and therefore a vaccine could be used therapeutically to save lives from this deadly disease. The research went well in animal models so a clinical trial with healthy humans was the next step. Unfortunately, the vaccine did not work completely and the human subjects still had diarrhea when given the vaccine and cholera although the diarrhea was much less. This was a huge scientific disappointment and most would also say a failure.
But this is how a rock star is born.
Dr. Fasano could have easily given up and moved on to some other research project but instead Dr. Fasano set out to find out why his vaccine did not work. This is called resilience! In that act Dr. Fasano became a scientist rock star… he learned from his failure, actually thrived from his failure, and now has a much larger impact in society than he could have ever imagined. Let me explain what he found…
Tight junctions… not quite a “sealed gut”… big difference
Through gene mutation studies and some beautiful science Dr. Fasano and his team were able to identify a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pnas.org/content/88/12/5242.abstract?sid=cba65491-fc7a-4e45-89ab-40ddbba50f91" —> Read More