Researchers from the American Chemical Society were able to convert canary seeds into a viable gluten-free food alternative for people with celiac disease. According to the study's author Joyce Irene Boye, around three million people in the Unites States suffer from the immune system's negative reaction to gluten.
Boye and her colleagues from the ACS found that by stripping canary seed of the tiny hairs on its surface, the seeds were able to pass through the human digestive system without obstruction.
The research team also noted that among other health benefits, the canary seeds have higher protein levels than other grains, and still retained essential nutrients. They hope to convert the seeds into flour that can be used to make bread, cereal, and pastries.
People affected by celiac disease experience gastrointestinal complications after consuming grains such as wheat, barley and rye, which all contain gluten. This reaction in the small intestine triggers inflammation, causing more damage to the small intestine lining.
Although celiac disease is usually inherited from a family member who also suffers from the disorder, there are certain factors that put a person at risk. People with Type-1 diabetes, Down Syndrome and Autoimmune thyroid disease are also likely to develop celiac disease.
Unfortunately the only treatment for celiac disease is a lifetime of avoiding products containing gluten and correct nutritional supplementation.
To receive a comprehensive look into a gluten-free diet, visit the Celiac Disease Foundation's Quick Start Guide.