In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
(Celiac.com 04/10/2000) Spanish researchers, including Dr. Alicia Armentia Medina from the Hospital Rio Hortega in Valladolid, Spain, warn that people who have cereal allergies should exercise caution when drinking cola or cocoa products as these beverages may contain cereal proteins. These proteins could cause a severe asthmatic reaction in rare instances. Cereal allergies are very common throughout the world, and it is difficult to know the formulation of cola drinks. According to Dr. Medina: It is possible that they contain cereals. In their study, which was presented to the 16th World Congress of Asthma in Spain, Medinas team analyzed the allergic reactions of nine people who suffered severe asthmatic reactions after drinking cola. The researchers linked their allergic reactions to specific alpha-amylase inhibitor molecules that originate from wheat, rye and barley, and were found in their drink.
The researchers conclude: My personal opinion is that persons who know that they have a cereal allergy should be careful about consuming foods such as (colas) and cocoa that could contain cereal in their composition.