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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Actress Famke Janssen Goes Gluten-free

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Dutch actress Famke Janssen goes gluten-free after tests show gluten intolerance.


    Caption: Dutch actress Famke Janssen give up gluten after tests show intolerance to wheat. Image: CC--gage skidmore

    Celiac.com 06/03/2017 - Dutch actress Famke Janssen is perhaps best known for her roles in movies like X-Men and Taken. But now Janssen is in the news after revealing that a serious intolerance to gluten has forced her to revise her diet and to go completely gluten-free.

    During an interview on U.S. cooking show The Chew, Famke, 52, says she had already taken a test for gluten antibodies, and that she "knew what the outcome was gonna be, I already knew it, so I was stuffing my face with everything that I could find that had gluten in it." 

    However, as with so many people with gluten intolerance, the adverse effects began to make themselves clear, Famke said, when she watched clips of her shoot, and felt that she looked pregnant.

    "I just saw little clips of the movie," she said, "and I was like, 'Wait, I'm pregnant?', 'cause the whole time I just have this belly that sticks out." When the test results came back, she said, the doctors told her that, "It's really bad, as in, you can't really ever eat gluten again."

    The actress did not say which film she had been shooting at the time her gluten-intolerance became known, but she has made dietary changes in the past.

    In 2014, she went mostly vegetarian, and cut meat and dairy products from her diet.

    However, during her appearance on The Chew, she was noshing on a gluten-free gingerbread cake, which contained buttermilk.

    Like many recently diagnosed people with gluten-intolerance, Famke has regrets about getting tested, because not knowing was in many ways easier. "Stupidly, I got tested," she says, "and I'm gluten intolerant, and I love gluten!" Still, the improved health thatcomes with being free from the adverse effects of gluten are more than enough to offset those feelings in most people. That's part of what keeps them committed to their gluten-free diets. 

    Stay tuned for more information of Famke's adjustment to gluten-free living, and for more stories on the world of gluten-free celebrities.


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    What was the test? To my knowledge there is no test for gluten intolerance. If she has celiac disease, it should be stated as such.

    I think a standard antibody test, coupled with basic symptoms, would be enough for many people to determine that they had a sensitivity to gluten. Whether she should get a biopsy remains to be seen. For many people, simply giving up gluten is sufficient from their perspective, as unscientific as it may seem.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior staff writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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