In pursuit of a new drug therapy to treat cholera, Dr Alessio Fasano made a discovery that would inadvertently change the landscape of gastrointestinal disease in modern medicine.
In 2000, Dr Fasano uncovered the protein zonulin as a mechanism which negatively influences the regulation of the intestinal tight gap junctions, and thus provided credence to the notion of a "leaky gut".
In this podcast, Dr Fasano reveals the widespread clinical significance of zonulin, Coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity, as well as a myriad of disorders related to the ubiquitous nature of the zonulin protein, not just in the gut, but in diverse tissues throughout the body.
World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist and entreprenuer Alessio Fasano, M.D., founded the Center for Celiac Research in 1996. His visionary research led to the awareness of celiac disease as a growing public health problem in the United States. His prevalence study published in 2003 established the rate of coeliac disease at 1 in 133 Americans. In 2000, he and his team discovered zonulin, opening up the door to a new way of looking at the function of intestinal permeability, not only as it affects the gut, but also what role it plays in both inflammation and autoimmunity throughout the systems of the body.
As Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Fasano moved the Center to Boston in 2013, where he treats both children and adults for gluten-related disorders. A passionate advocate for collaboration in research and clinical work, Dr. Fasano recently authored Gluten Freedom to provide patients, healthcare providers and general readers an evidence-based yet entertaining book to dispel confusion about gluten and how it can affect your health.