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American Dietetic Association Revises Its Gluten-Free Guidelines - Distilled Vinegar is Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet

Celiac.com 12/10/2000 - As reported in Ann Whelans September/October issue of Gluten-Free Living, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has released the 6th edition of its Manual of Clinical Dietetics, which offers revised guidelines for the treatment of celiac disease. This manual is currently used by hospitals and doctors all over North America, and represents the most up-to-date source of information with regard to the dietary treatment of various illnesses. The new standards set in this publication conform more closely with current international standards. Included on their safe list are items that have been on Celiac.coms safe list for over five years, including: amaranth, buckwheat, distilled vinegar (no matter what its source), distilled alcoholic beverages (including rum, gin, whiskey and vodka), millet, quinoa and teff.

A team of American and Canadian dietitians wrote the new gluten-free guidelines, including: Shelley Case, RD, Mavis Molloy, RD, Marion Zarkadas, M.Sc.RD (all from Canada and all members of the Professional Advisory Board of the Canadian Celiac Association), and Cynthia Kupper, CRD, CDE (Executive Director of the Gluten Intolerance Group and celiac). Additional findings of this team regarding buckwheat and quinoa contradict what has been accepted as common knowledge for years by some US support groups, mainly that these two grains are more likely to be contaminated by wheat than other grains. In fact, according to the team, buckwheat and quinoa are far less likely to be contaminated than most other grains.

At the most basic level the new guidelines mean that celiacs do not need to avoid foods containing unidentified vinegar or distilled alcohol, this alone will allow much more freedom when shopping or eating out. Further, celiacs who drink alcohol will have much more freedom and a far greater choice when they want to have a drink. Additionally, celiacs will be able to more easily maintain a well-rounded and nutritious diet because they will have access to a far greater number of highly nutritious and safe grains.

The ADAs 6th edition of the Manual of Clinical Dietetics represents the first time that Canadian and United States dietary guidelines have come together to create a united North American gluten-free standard, and will hopefully lead to the adoption of a single standard by all US support groups so that hundreds of thousands of celiacs will not have to unnecessarily exclude more foods than necessary. These new guidelines go a long way towards an international standard, which should be the ultimate goal for all celiacs and celiac organizations in the world.

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32 Responses:

 
Jennifer
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said this on
19 Nov 2007 9:37:44 AM PST
I was diagnosed in '06 and have found that vinegar of any variety (except apple cider vinegar) bothers me. I've used it in my own cooking and even though I didn't get terribly sick, I still didn't feel 100% well. I also have to watch salsas and other jarred items and condiments because I've not felt well after eating those that contain vinegar.

 
Kelsie
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said this on
15 Feb 2013 1:37:25 PM PST
Jennifer,
I was tested for food allergies and the test came back with several foods I can no longer have, but I also have Candida. It's a bacteria in the intestines. It says to stay away from all vinegars except apple cider vinegar. Maybe this is what you have. It's not a lifetime food I have to stay away from. I just have to give it up for 3 straight months and the infection should go away.

 
Deborah L
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said this on
11 Apr 2013 10:58:57 AM PST
Candida is what causes yeast infections and thrush in kids also. Sugar also feeds it too. Also, yeast type breads are not good, soy sauce and other things that I can't remember at this moment.

 
Janine Quisenberry
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said this on
19 Feb 2008 8:10:42 AM PST
Informative.

 
Sheryl
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said this on
03 Jun 2008 4:46:32 PM PST
I've been on a completely gluten-free diet for about 6 years and still find that any amount of distilled vinegar (from wheat) will trigger the characteristic celiac diarrhea. This is not the case with wine vinegar, cider vinegar or rice vinegar so I assume I am intolerant to all wheat -- any part, in addition to gluten. My daughter, who was diagnosed a year ago, also has this reaction to distilled vinegar and liquors. We can drink rum, which is typically not fortified with wheat distillations, but not vodka or bourbon unless we buy a brand made exclusively from potatoes or corn respectively, even the smallest amount, in a sauce for instance, will make us sick.

 
Suzann Lark
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said this on
29 Jun 2008 2:19:05 PM PST
I have been Gluten free for 10 years. Any distilled vinegar, except for balsamic (made from wine), wine or apple cider triggers an immediate response in my body. I am able to drink rum, wine or 100% agave tequila. Anything else I am not able to leave the bathroom for days. Do the scientists that make these discoveries have access to people with celiac? I was a chef for over 20 years but now am not even able to be in the same kitchen with baking in progress.

 
Christy
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said this on
04 Aug 2008 11:31:11 AM PST
Well this is wonderful news; however, when I eat anything with distilled vinegar I react with sprue. Most alcohols that are distilled from the grains we can not eat are also a sprue effect.
Hope this research was not funded by the groups that will profit from all the thousands that will start buying the products.

 
Jamie
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said this on
15 Sep 2008 9:08:19 PM PST
I must admit I was excited when I read the title, but as the other users stated 'distilled vinegar offsets the system' in more or less terms. I do not suffer, but my father does. We have tried and tried since he lives in a small town, meat and potatoes are the staples of his diet since the grocery store does not have a great selection and he cannot order online due to his work situation. Point being please don't try distilled vinegar or whiskeys if you have celiac!

 
Courtney
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said this on
28 Oct 2008 4:25:48 PM PST
I think it is not good common sense, as many articles point out, to go off what one celiac says about how a certain food makes them feel. I recently was diagnosed and my biopsy revealed that I had 3C damage (according to the Marsh classification system), which is serious damage. I've now been gluten free for about 5 months and I have no problems whatsoever with any vinegars. I try not to by the cheapest, mass-produced kind because of ingredients added after distillation, but still I've not had a single problem with balsamic, red wine, or apple cider vinegars. (I don't use white vinegar myself when cooking but have eaten some prepared/processed foods with that listed as an ingredient).

 
Sharon
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said this on
16 Mar 2010 9:02:59 PM PST
I just read somewhere that vinegar listed as an ingredient is usually apple cider vinegar. It doesn't sound like any of the vinegars you're eating are made from wheat.

 
Stepahanie L.
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said this on
25 Nov 2008 9:49:20 PM PST
I've been Gluten Free for 3 years. I've used white, red wine and apple cider vinegar (some labeled distilled and some not), without problems. I've also eaten various pickled items without any issue. I am sensitive and react strongly to even mild contamination. If vinegar bothers you, I suggest bottled lemon or other fruit juice like unsweetened cranberry juice as a substitute for cooking and salads. I have the type of celiac disease that involves Dermatitis Herpetiformis, so my biopsies and blood tests were normal but my nutritional deficiencies were significant. The only alcoholic drinks I've had since diagnosis are wine and Red Bridge Beer, which were enjoyable and trouble free.

 
Kathleen
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said this on
25 Jan 2009 12:39:31 PM PST
I have had no problem with Irish whiskey like Blackbush that is triple distilled. Also, I have been told that white vinegar here in Ontario, Canada is not made from a grain source, and I have had no problem with it either. How I do miss malt vinegar on my chips!

 
norm
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said this on
07 Apr 2013 4:23:28 PM PST
I agree with bob. I've been gluten-free for about 16 months. I must check everything!

 
Bob
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said this on
19 Apr 2009 6:19:34 PM PST
I disagree with the above statement 'alll distilled alcohols and vinegars are gluten free' I have been Celiac for years over 20 years and I get ill when fed any of the above, even when I am not told one of the ingredients was one of the above.
I think the people doing the research should have Celiac and have to 'eat their words' so to speak.
thanks Bob.

 
Lori

said this on
25 Dec 2013 12:07:42 AM PST
I totally agree, whiskey is made from rye.....hello????

 
Kathy
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said this on
31 Jul 2009 8:36:36 PM PST
I agree with Bob!

 
Shirley & Bob
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said this on
08 Sep 2009 11:04:23 AM PST
Interesting. I'm just learning about gluten free.

 
Diane Lester
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said this on
30 Sep 2009 4:19:14 AM PST
As a scientist I would have also assumed that distillation removes gluten from vinegar and alcohol. However my gut feeling is that it does not (I am highly sensitive to gluten). I have puzzled over this and conclude that it is possible for a distilled product derived from wheat to contain trace gluten for the following reasons
1. The distillation process is not 100% efficient. Boiling a liquid causes it to vaporize, however it also causes the formation of aerosols (tiny droplets of liquid). These aerosols have the potential to carry gluten into the distilled product. Anyone who has worked in a laboratory will known it is standard practice to distill water twice because one round of distillation is only partially effective.
2. Gluten has unusual solubility, being insoluble in water and highly soluble in alcohol. I believe it is also highly soluble in acid. Alcohol and vinegar are prepared from the starch fraction of wheat, which is known to contain residual gluten. This gluten probably concentrates in alcohol and vinegar because they render it highly soluble.
The only way to demonstrate that vinegar and alcohol derived from wheat are safe for celiac disease patients is to perform a clinical trial which includes patients of all degrees of sensitivity. This has never been done and is logistically daunting.
Gluten detection methods have shortcomings which mean that they cannot on their own be used to declare a food safe (I have written a peer-reviewed journal article available in PubMed on this subject Lester DR (2008) Gluten measurement and its relationship to food toxicity for celiac disease patients. Plant Methods. 2008 Oct 28;4:26).
My impression is that there is sufficient anecdotal evidence from forums within celiac disease support groups to raise doubt about alcohol and vinegar, at least for sensitive patients. I am surprised that dietitians can declare a foodstuff ‘safe’ on an evidence base that does not include clinical trials!

 
unicorn 375
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said this on
24 May 2014 5:32:51 PM PST
Thank you! I can't believe this is listed as safe, especially since new research has shown that gluten bi-products (products derived from gluten that do not contain gluten when tested for it) can cause the same reaction as gluten even though they don't know why. Also, alcohols and vinegars regularly contain malt coloring which is known to give celiacs reactions. I always have reactions to any brown alcohols and vinegars and only drink alcohol labelled gluten free. Perhaps the people who feel they are not reacting are passing these things quickly due to the fact vinegar can cut down on fats and aid in digestion, however that does not mean it isn't causing damage. I realize this is an old post and your comment is old, however I believe people who post information on topics such as this have an ethical obligation to keep on top of research and adjust their content accordingly.

 
Karen
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said this on
07 Jan 2010 5:00:26 PM PST
These comments confirm what my "gut" has been telling me in contradiction to those who insist distilled items can't possibly contain gluten. I've learned to trust my gut even when I can't provide a scientifically acceptable reason - the consequences are too severe to do otherwise.

 
Judith nurse and celiac
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said this on
06 Aug 2010 10:05:22 AM PST
I think people should continue to check with the companies of the products they want to consume. I also think that individuals should have an open mind to the evolution of the disease. There are many opinions fact based, science based, life experience based as to what is safe and not safe. Have common sense people don't eat it if it makes you sick but please don't disregard the possibilities for others just because you can't have it.

 
sandra
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said this on
21 Aug 2010 10:46:38 PM PST
I have been struggling for years now and realize that I have celiac or something very close. I cannot eat any animal source proteins nor the traditional foods associated with celiac. I am feeling better after about a week but I haven't weeded out all the offending foods yet. This site will be wonderful in the future.

 
Inez
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said this on
31 Aug 2010 12:39:53 PM PST
I understand about some can have it and some can't. I have a family coming to visit who are celiac. I would sure hate to take a chance with their well-being. Experience is also a fact. Science is based on numbers and numbers can be skewed. I'll stick with non-grain based vinegars to be safe.

 
Jack London
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said this on
07 Dec 2010 6:49:41 AM PST
Obviously, if you have a problem with distilled alcohols, don't drink them. But as a distiller of alcohol, here are some facts that the doctor above is unaware of: Only a small number of the bourbons distilled have any fraction of wheat in the mash (the fermented portion that goes into the still), though they do contain corn and usually barley. When distilling alcohol, the mash in never boiled, ever; as far as I know, it is all either reflux distilled (preventing anything from carrying over to the finished product), or at least double distilled through a pot still; commercial stills are so large and constructed in such a way that the chances of aerosols crossing over to a finished product is virtually eliminated (besides that, it is not boiled during the distillation process--there is a controlled heating of the mash throughout the distillation process stopping well before the boiling point). If you want to know if a beverage contains wheat, chances are a letter, email, or phone call to the distillery explaining why you need to know will give you an answer.
Hole this helps-----JL--

 
austin
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said this on
06 Aug 2011 7:52:45 PM PST
Mr. London, Thank You I'm a Gin lover. Wish I could find some that is made from juniper berries and corn. I know it is distilled. However, the Gin Bombay bottle claims that some Gin is distilled by boiling and others, are distilled by steam and vapor. Would one process be more gluten-free than the other? Last, celiacs are effected by the protein absorbed from wheat, barley, and rye. Does anybody know how to make beer form arrow root flour?

 
Phil
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said this on
09 Jan 2011 5:35:06 PM PST
Actually the answer here is very simple. The AMA does not accept the validity of Homeopathy and it sounds as though the American Dietetic Association (ADA) does not either. However, millions of people world wide continue to use homeopathic remedies because they work. Grain alcohol and vinegar, considering the gluten content, both are not even close to the low levels of active ingredients found in most homeopathic remedies. Also, according to Homeopathic principles, a very low dose of an agent will have an exaggerated effect over a dose of the pure agent. Thus many people has very different reactions, often more sudden and violent, to spirits and vinegar than they do to eating the products containing the grains.

 
Alexander
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said this on
23 May 2011 4:24:25 AM PST
For celiac vodka lovers: Tito's Vodka in the US is made from corn, and Luksosowa in Poland is made from Potatoes. This made a big difference in my life.

 
Lisa
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said this on
16 Dec 2012 8:27:28 AM PST
Chopin, Smirnoff and Ciroc are also non-gluten vodkas

 
Cheryl
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said this on
07 Jan 2012 9:02:55 AM PST
I recently found out I am allergic to wheat/gluten. I break out all over in an itchy rash. I am new to this and am learning that there are "hidden" gluten in things. I would have a reaction to mayo, but thought it was eggs. Then last night I ate a taco sauce that had distilled vinegar in it and broke out in a rash. That's how I found out about the distilled vinegars. I am so thankful I found this site. It makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one that is bothered by the vinegars, since a lot of places state that they are gluten free.

 
Jamie K
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said this on
11 Apr 2012 12:33:05 PM PST
I seem to do ok with vinegar, but I usually use apple cider vinegar, so maybe that's why. I make my own salsa at home using ACV too. I did notice that I still had problems with vodka and whiskeys and other alcohols, so I avoid them now. I only drink gluten free beer, wine, tequila, and rum. Much better!

 
kcrt
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said this on
05 Jul 2012 7:29:21 AM PST
Distilled vinegar source must be identified. Apple Cider, rice or wine vinegar is fine, but distilled is usually made from grain. Most condiments are usually made with distilled vinegar, so be careful.

 
Julane
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said this on
19 Apr 2014 7:54:28 AM PST
This was way informational!!




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