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Dr. Oz: Enemy Of Gluten Free Efforts
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What a bunch of hooey! My friend's dad is not only a celiac but a diabetic. So he has to watch his carb intake as well. One is certainly able to eat a gluten free diet and not take in excess calories.

I know plenty of diabetics who eat low carb to really low carb diets. They eat things like meat, fish, eggs, cheese and low carb vegetables. Their diet is pretty much gluten free simply by the nature of what they are eating. No way would they eat grains of any kind!

I don't know a lot about Dr. Oz. I don't think I want to know. What I do know doesn't impress me in the least.

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... indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.

That is a great analogy for this sucker. I think I may have to borrow this in talking with my mother-in-law about our son and why we keep him gluten free. :)

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(My comments. You can click on the "contact us" at the bottom of the page to e-mail the show directly.)

Dr Oz,

I was somewhat horrified by your recent coverage of celiac disease/gluten sensitivity/gluten intolerance. While I realize it is a complex and understudied subject, there were blatant errors.

First, as any medical professional should know, celiac disease is AUTOIMMUNE. It's not an allergy. Even your average PCP knows this, as do many other health professionals.

Second, processed gluten-free products do often have lower levels of fiber and/or higher levels of refined flours and sugar. This is an issue that many companies are addressing and it is now possible to buy bakery products made primarily from whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and even sorghum. Other products may feature added sources of nutrients like ground flaxseeds, or gluten free oats. Van's, for example, makes a buckwheat waffle which is quite respectable nutritionally (for a frozen waffle, which is the issue). A truly healthy alternative would be my typical breakfast, hot cooked whole grain cereal with fruit, nuts, and sometimes maple syrup and soymilk.

Addressing the issue that processed gluten-free foods are not necessarily "healthier" was a good idea. However, by pushing whole wheat and gluten-containing foods on everyone who is not diagnosed with celiac disease, you neglected to include sufficient information on alternative whole grains and unprocessed gluten-free foods. It is entirely possible to eat gluten-free whole grains in the place of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Cultures ranging from the Andes to East Africa and Asia have do so for millennia. Even areas of Europe were historically dependent on alternative grains like buckwheat or vegetables like potatoes.

A gluten free diet is, like any diet, as healthy as you choose to make it. It is quite easy to prepare your own food and eat generous amounts of fruits and vegetables with whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, eggs, and small amounts of meat and dairy (eaten). I do so most days, but I also like to eat black bean brownies once in a while, munch on the occasional bag of tortilla chips, and even snag some good dark chocolate. As long as these remain in the "treat" category, there is no reason to not consume them.

The statement that people with "gluten intolerance" can eat some wheat is especailly problematic. The most current research shows that there is a substantial "iceberg" of gluten-based disorders beneath the small number of biopsy-diagnosed patients with celiac disease. The broader category includes patients in many situation. For example, some of us have positive bloodwork for the antibodies but negative biopsies (me) and would likely go on to develop it in the future given further exposure to gluten. There was a paper out of Italy recently looking at a range of metabolic biomarkers in biopsy negative, biopsy positive, and controls. The patients with (-) biopsy but (+) antibodies matched of most of the biomarkers shown in the celiac patients, indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.

In another recent paper, there appears to be a separate immune reaction to gluten outside of the celiac path. In this case, patients have different metabolic profiles and no villi damage but a clear set of symptoms and some positive biomarkers like antigliadins. There is no evidence to support the fact that they can or should eat small amounts of gluten.

Finally, being diagnosed for celiac disease can be very difficult in the US. My father, for example, should have been tested as a first-degree relative given my somewhat confusing but nonetheless significant diagnosis. However, his MD refused, based on a lack of classic celiac symptoms. This is one example among many. Sending a confusing message to your wide audience that eating gluten-free is a trend only, and that even those with gluten sensitivity can eat small amounts of gluten only makes it more challenging for those of us who must eat a gluten free diet to safely eat away from home. Personally, I spent six full months convincing my grandmother that I cannot eat ANY flour. She cannot flour the cake pan; I cannot eat butter that has had toast crumbs in it. Undermining the efforts of those with true gluten-based disorders is quite depressing for us.

I do become ill after exposures-- for example, last fall I ate two bites of fudge that actually had wheat flour it in and had severe steatorrhea for three days and lost 5 pounds (I only weight 110, so that was significant). I was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity after mounting classic celiac disease symptoms combined with bloodwork and later genetic testing (anemia, weight loss, diahrrea, pain, fatigue, joint pain, vitamin D deficiency/low vitamin D with supplementation, fingernail abnormalities, bone density loss, and even unexplained bruising, nosebleeds, and fainting). It is very important that I maintain a gluten-free diet, and given the severity of my symptoms combined with bloodwork and genetics, I honestly believe that I was well on my way to developing full-blown celiac disease.

Please do not undermine the important and validity of the gluten-free diet for those who follow the diet for health issues. The celiac community and others who follow a gluten free diet to resolve serious health conditions would appreciate a follow-up show that clarifies these issues.

Thank you,

name, MS

e-mail

blog address

p.s. My apologies for not including lit citations, but I'm not on my home computer. I'd be happy to send them if you or your staff would like them.

This is so well written. Many good analogies. I think more than Dr. Oz should be reading this!

CS

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Shauna,

Thank you for your post. I think Dr. Oz (and his guests, and their ignorance and poor choice of words) have obviously hit a nerve, but I think he was trying, however unsuccessfully, to encourage people (1) not to choose a gluten-free diet to think it's going to help them lose weight (thanks to a lot of other misinformation out there) and (2) to let people know that processed foods - whether gluten-free or not - will likely make you gain weight, and that the better option is whole foods (including safe grains for us).

Simply replacing "regular" processed foods with "gluten-free" processed foods is likely a poor health choice, for anyone. gluten-free processed foods do tend to be higher in calories and fat, and tend not to be supplemented the way that many wheat-based products are. And, let's be honest - how many Americans regularly track how many calories are in their breakfast? (I, too, make breakfast smoothies with whole foods, and pay a lot of attention to what I eat and how much of it I do, but I think it's beyond safe to say that most Americans don't. And though many, if not most, of the folks on this forum do, remember that we also represent a small number of folks with Celiac, so while this reading audience might say "hey, wait, I know what I eat in a day" remember that this popular TV show was not designed for you - it was designed for a much more generic American audience. Like other commenters, I also sometimes choose gluten-free foods with empty calories just because I feel I need the calories and wouldn't mind gaining a pound or two, but I believe, at least, that reaching for those gluten-free chocolate chip cookies shouldn't become a habit.)

I also share your frustration with the gluten-free food industry. Until my antibody levels are down, I will be avoiding oats, but many foods with oats are labelled gluten-free (though I do read packages anyway). There is no reason we shouldn't also have foods that are supplemented (as are wheat-based breads and other processed foods) and higher in fiber.

And I think in some ways Dr. Oz was calling out the gluten-free food industry and highlighting ways it can improve. And isn't that better for us?

Don't get me wrong - I think the language and presentation and some of the information is potentially damaging, and a continued effort to get him to correct the misinformation is great. But it's good to temper criticism with acknowledging positives, too.

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Pssssh, just watched it.

He encourages people to go see their diet and start a gluten free diet before getting any other testing done O.o

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The Dr. Oz show had a guest today that was demonstrating some gluten free recipes, which included oats in two out of three of the dishes, and no mention was made that the oats must be certified gluten free.

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I didn't watch the show, but here's an amusing write-up: http://www.drozfans.com/dr-oz-diet/dr-oz-gluten-sensitivity-celiac-disease-on-the-gluten-spectrum/

Funny how they claim that gluten is "increasingly" appearing in beer and cookies...like it wasn't there before. :rolleyes:

And this:

"Dr Barnard guessed that up to 10% of the population, or 20 million adults, could be Gluten Sensitive or have Celiac Disease, most without even knowing they

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The Dr. Oz show had a guest today that was demonstrating some gluten free recipes, which included oats in two out of three of the dishes, and no mention was made that the oats must be certified gluten free.

And the other dish was full of powdered sugar and chocolate chips...in the same episode where he accuses gluten-free convenience foods as being loaded with sugar and empty calories. So much for "losing weight with gluten free if you do it the right way". :D

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Dr. Oz is a fool!

Any MD will tell you this.

He is merely a marketing puppet for HUGE corporations. His network is there for the ratings and he is there for the exorbitant amounts of $.

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What his observations overlooked is how for many going gluten free balances out their metabolism, quiets cravings, and regulates them to such a degree that weight management becomes MUCH easier to do. Sure it takes time to get there but still.......

I saw this show and felt that the main problem with his approach to it was that he did not have the time to go more into gluten free diets in detail. Shows like this are under great time constraints.

Id bet money they will get enough feedback on this that they will need to do a fallow up to it.

An episode with Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be a good call....... and one or two of these folks:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CeliacDiseaseCenter?feature=CBAQwRs%3D

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