JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the digestive system, with a cross-section showing the intestinal wall. The left-hand close-up shows normal villi, and the right-hand close-up shows intestinal villi in the case of gluten intolerance (or coeliac disease). The ingestion of gluten causes an abnormal immune reaction, which causes inflammation and damages the intestinal wall. The intestinal villi are destroyed. If the inflammation persists, the damaged intestine becomes unable to absorb certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It can lead to malnutrition, despite normal eating habits.
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