Canadian scientists are working on a pill that could help people who can’t digest gluten. This might cause some panic for actual gluten-free people, half of whom do actually get sick, and half of whom just read Goop. (“I’ve only been gluten-free for a week, but I’m already really annoying,” as that New Yorker cartoon quips.)
Hoon Sunwoo, a professor at the University of Alberta, says that he and his team have developed an antibody out of chicken yolks that prevents the absorption of the troublesome component of gluten known as gliadin. “This supplement binds with gluten in the stomach and help to neutralize it,” Sunwoo explains, “therefore providing defense to the small intestine, limiting the damage gliadin causes.”
Celiacs and gluten-senstives can swallow the pill a few minutes before eating, and researchers say it opens a one- to two-hour window where they can gorge on bread, pasta, and beer with impunity (side effects to their waistlines perhaps notwithstanding). Clinical trials are supposed to kick off within the year, and the pill could be for sale in Canada as soon as three years from now. Sunwoo tells Quartz that it’s expected to be sold as a simple over-the-counter med, just like Tylenol.