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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Scott Adams
    The following Medline abstract describes a unique study that was done on the quality of life of two groups of people with celiac disease: One that was diagnosed as the result of having symptoms, and the other which had little or no symptoms and whose diagnosis was reached via screen-detection. Both groups were treated for one year with a gluten-free diet, and were then studied to determine their overall response, including their psychological response. Here is the abstract:
    Eff Clin Pract 2002 May-Jun;5(3):105-13
    Mustalahti K, Lohiniemi S, Collin P, Vuolteenaho N, Laippala P, Maki M.
    Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Finland.
    CONTEXT: Since the advent of serologic testing for celiac disease, most persons who receive a diagnosis of celiac disease have few or no symptoms. Although pathologic changes of celiac disease resolve on a gluten-free diet, how a gluten-free diet affects the quality of life for patients with screen-detected celiac disease is unclear.
    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a gluten-free diet on the quality of life of patients with screen-detected celiac disease.
    DESIGN: Prospective study of patients before and 1 year after initiating a gluten-free diet.
    PARTICIPANTS: 19 patients with screen-detected celiac disease (found by serologically testing first-degree relatives of celiac patients) and 21 consecutive patients with symptom-detected disease. In all cases, celiac diagnosis was confirmed by finding villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia on small-bowel biopsy.
    INTERVENTION: Gluten-free diet (explained during a single physician visit). MAIN OUTCOME
    MEASURES: Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS), in which scores range from 0 to 6 (higher scores represent worse symptoms); and quality of life measured with the Psychological General Well-Being Questionnaire (PGWB). Scores range from 22 to 132 (higher scores mean greater well-being).
    RESULTS: At baseline, patients with symptom-detected celiac disease had poorer quality of life and more gastrointestinal symptoms than those with screen-detected celiac disease. Reported compliance with the gluten-free diet was good. All mucosal lesions of the small bowel had resolved at the follow-up biopsy. After 1 year of following the diet, quality of life for patients with screen-detected disease significantly improved (mean PGWB score increased from 108 to 114; P
    CONCLUSIONS: Gluten-free diet was associated with improved quality of life for patients with symptom-detected celiac disease and patients with screen-detected celiac disease. Concerns about the burden of a gluten-free diet, at least over the short term, may be unfounded.
    PMID: 12088289


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/20/2011 - Very little study information exists concerning rates of celiac disease-predisposing, HLA-related genes in Arab populations.
    A research team recently investigated the distribution of HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 genotypes in Libyan children with celiac disease, and in healthy control subjects.
    The study team included Kamla Alaridaa, Jumma Harownb, Maria Rosaria Di Pierroc, Sandro Dragoc, and Carlo Catassid.
    They are affiliated variously with the Department of Pediatrics, “Omar Al Mukhtar” University, and the El Thoura Hospital in Al Bayda, Libya, the Biodiagene S.r.L., Palermo, Italy, the  Department of Pediatrics of the Università Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Italy, and the Center For Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
    The team tested 31 Libyan children with celiac disease (22 females and 9 males, median age 9.2 years) and 156 Libyan control subjects (81 females and 75 males, median age 10.9).
    To determine HLA genes, the team used DQ-celiac disease Typing Plus kit by DiaGene of Palermo, Italy, on a drop of dried blood.
    Test results showed that the HLA-DQ pattern for the 3 children with celiac disease was: hetero DQ2 (n = 15), DQ2 with homo β2 (10), DQ8 and β2 positive (3), DQ8 (2), and hetero β2 (1).
    Meanwhile, the HLA-DQ pattern of the 156 controls was: hetero DQ2 (n = 36), hetero β2 (30), DQ2–DQ8 negative (23), DQ8 (19), α5 (14), DQ2 with homo β (12), homo β2 (10), DQ8 and β2 positive (7), and DQ2/DQ8 (5).
    The study team found that HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 in was as common in Libyan children with celiac disease as in Italian children with the disease. However, there were more “high-risk” genotypes in Libyan children with the disease compared to their Italian counterparts.
    Lastly, the prevalence of HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 genes was higher among the Libyan general population that among the Italian population, which suggests a strong genetic predisposition to celiac disease among the Libyan population.
    Source:

    Digestive and Liver Disease 42 (2010) 425–427

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/04/2013 - Ever wonder what happens to all those celiac disease patients who volunteer to do a gluten-challenge in the name of science? Well, the short answer is that they likely suffer, and may incur gut damage, at least in the short term.
    A team of researchers looking for ways to reduce or eliminate that problem recently conducted a study using larazotide acetate, a first-in-class oral peptide that prevents tight junction opening, and may reduce gluten uptake and associated problems.
    The research team included C. P. Kelly, P. H. R. Green, J. A. Murray, A. DiMarino, A. Colatrella, D. A. Leffler, T. Alexander, R. Arsenescu, F. Leon, J. G. Jiang, L. A. Arterburner, B. M. Paterson, R. N. and Fedorak. They are affiliated with the Celiac Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York, NY, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, the Pittsburgh Gastroenterology Associates in Pittsburgh, PA, with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Troy, MI, the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, KY, with Alba Therapeutics Corporation in Baltimore, MD, and with the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB.
    The team wanted to find out how well larazotide acetate worked and how well it was tolerated by celiac disease patients undergoing a gluten challenge.
    To do this, the team conducted an exploratory, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study that included 184 patients who maintained a gluten-free diet before and during the study.
    After a gluten-free diet run-in, the team randomly divided patients into groups and gave them either larazotide acetate in doses of 1, 4, or 8 mg three times daily, or a placebo. Both groups also received 2.7 grams of gluten daily for six weeks.
    The team then assessed ratios of lactulose-to-mannitol (LAMA), an experimental biomarker of intestinal permeability, and measured clinical symptoms by Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) and anti-transglutaminase antibody levels.
    They found no significant differences in LAMA ratios between larazotide acetate and placebo groups. Larazotide acetate 1-mg limited gluten-induced symptoms measured by GSRS (P = 0.002 vs. placebo).
    They did find that the average ratio of anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA levels was 19.0 over baseline in the placebo group compared with 5.78 (P = 0.010) in the 1mg larazotide acetate group, 3.88 (P = 0.005) in the 4mg larazotide acetate group, and 7.72 (P = 0.025) in the 8mg larazotide acetate group.
    Both the larazotide acetate and placebo groups showed similar rates of "adverse events."
    Overall, the team found that larazotide acetate reduced gluten-induced immune reactivity and symptoms in celiac disease patients undergoing gluten challenge and was generally well tolerated.
    However, the team found no significant difference in LAMA ratios between the larazotide acetate and placebo groups.
    Even though they did not find anything revolutionary, the results and design of their study will likely be helpful in shaping future gluten-challenge studies in patients with celiac disease.
    Source: 
    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013;37(2):252-262.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/06/2014 - Although the role of human digestive proteases in gluten proteins is quite well known, researchers don’t know much about the role of gut bacteria in the metabolism of these proteins. A research team recently set out to explore the diversity of the cultivable human gut microbiome involved in gluten metabolism.
    Their goal was to isolate and characterize human gut bacteria involved in the metabolism of gluten proteins. The team included Alberto Caminero, Alexandra R. Herrán, Esther Nistal, Jenifer Pérez-Andrés, Luis Vaquero, Santiago Vivas, José María G. Ruiz de Morales, Silvia M. Albillos and Javier Casqueiro.
    They are variously associated with the Instituto de Biología Molecular, Genómica y Proteómica (INBIOMIC), the Área de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología y Ciencias Ambientales, and the Instituto de Biomedicina (IBIOMED) Campus de Vegazana at the Universidad de León, León, Spain, and with the Departamento de Gastroenterología, Hospital de León, the Departamento de Inmunología y, Hospital de León, and with Instituto de Biotecnología (INBIOTEC) de León all in León, Spain.
    For their study, they cultured twenty-two human fecal samples, with gluten as the principal nitrogen source. They also isolated 144 strains from 35 bacterial species potentially involved in gluten metabolism in the human gut. They found 94 strains that metabolise gluten, while 61 strains showed an extracellular proteolytic activity against gluten proteins.
    In patients with celiac disease, several strains exhibited peptidasic activity towards the 33-mer peptide, an immune-triggering peptide. Most of the gluten-metabolizing strains belong to the phyla Firmicutes and Actinobacteria, mainly from the genera Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Bifidobacterium.
    Their findings show that the human intestine hosts numerous bacteria that can use gluten proteins and peptides for food. These bacteria could have an important role in gluten metabolism and could give rise to new treatments for celiac disease.
    Source:
    FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 88, Issue 2, pages 309–319, May 2014. DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12295

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/21/2018 - Would you buy a house advertised as ‘gluten-free’? Yes, there really is such a house for sale. 
    It seems a Phoenix realtor Mike D’Elena is hoping that his trendy claim will catch the eye of a buyer hungry to avoid gluten, or, at least one with a sense of humor. D’Elena said he crafted the ads as a way to “be funny and to draw attention.” The idea, D’Elena said, is to “make it memorable.” 
    Though D’Elena’s marketing seeks to capitalizes on the gluten-free trend, he knows Celiac disease is a serious health issue for some people. “[W]e’re not here to offend anybody….this is just something we're just trying to do to draw attention and do what's best for our clients," he said. 
    Still, the signs seem to be working. D'elena had fielded six offers within a few days of listing the west Phoenix home.
    "Buying can sometimes be the most stressful thing you do in your entire life so why not have some fun with it," he said. 
    What do you think? Clever? Funny?
    Read more at Arizonafamily.com.

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    Bakery On Main started in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Founder Michael Smulders listened when his customers with Celiac Disease would mention the lack of good tasting, gluten-free options available to them. Upon learning this, he believed that nobody should have to suffer due to any kind of food allergy or dietary need. From then on, his mission became creating delicious and fearlessly unique gluten-free products that were clean and great tasting, while still being safe for his Celiac customers!
    Premium ingredients, bakeshop delicious recipes, and happy customers were our inspiration from the beginning— and are still the cornerstones of Bakery On Main today. We are a fiercely ethical company that believes in integrity and feels that happiness and wholesome, great tasting food should be harmonious. We strive for that in everything we bake in our dedicated gluten-free facility that is GFCO Certified and SQF Level 3 Certified. We use only natural, NON-GMO Project Verified ingredients and all of our products are certified Kosher Parve, dairy and casein free, and we have recently introduced certified Organic items as well! 
    Our passion is to bake the very best products while bringing happiness to our customers, each other, and all those we meet!
    We are available during normal business hours at: 1-888-533-8118 EST.
    To learn more about us at: visit our site.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/20/2018 - Currently, the only way to manage celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from the diet. That could be set to change as clinical trials begin in Australia for a new vaccine that aims to switch off the immune response to gluten. 
    The trials are set to begin at Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre. The vaccine is designed to allow people with celiac disease to consume gluten with no adverse effects. A successful vaccine could be the beginning of the end for the gluten-free diet as the only currently viable treatment for celiac disease. That could be a massive breakthrough for people with celiac disease.
    USC’s Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said trial participants would receive an injection of the vaccine twice a week for seven weeks. The trials will be conducted alongside gastroenterologist Dr. James Daveson, who called the vaccine “a very exciting potential new therapy that has been undergoing clinical trials for several years now.”
    Dr. Daveson said the investigational vaccine might potentially restore gluten tolerance to people with celiac disease.The trial is open to adults between the ages of 18 and 70 who have clinically diagnosed celiac disease, and have followed a strict gluten-free diet for at least 12 months. Anyone interested in participating can go to www.joinourtrials.com.
    Read more at the website for Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre.

    Source:
    FoodProcessing.com.au

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/19/2018 - Could baking soda help reduce the inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease? Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University say that a daily dose of baking soda may in fact help reduce inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
    Those scientists recently gathered some of the first evidence to show that cheap, over-the-counter antacids can prompt the spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be helpful in combating inflammatory disease.
    A type of cell called mesothelial cells line our body cavities, like the digestive tract. They have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment, and warn the organs they cover that there is an invader and an immune response is needed.
    The team’s data shows that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda, the stomach makes more acid, which causes mesothelial cells on the outside of the spleen to tell the spleen to go easy on the immune response.  "It's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection," is basically the message, says Dr. Paul O'Connor, renal physiologist in the MCG Department of Physiology at Augusta University and the study's corresponding author.
    That message, which is transmitted with help from a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, seems to encourage the gut to shift against inflammation, say the scientists.
    In patients who drank water with baking soda for two weeks, immune cells called macrophages, shifted from primarily those that promote inflammation, called M1, to those that reduce it, called M2. "The shift from inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile is happening everywhere," O'Connor says. "We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood."
    O'Connor hopes drinking baking soda can one day produce similar results for people with autoimmune disease. "You are not really turning anything off or on, you are just pushing it toward one side by giving an anti-inflammatory stimulus," he says, in this case, away from harmful inflammation. "It's potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease."
    The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
    Read more at: Sciencedaily.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2018 - Celiac disease has been mainly associated with Caucasian populations in Northern Europe, and their descendants in other countries, but new scientific evidence is beginning to challenge that view. Still, the exact global prevalence of celiac disease remains unknown.  To get better data on that issue, a team of researchers recently conducted a comprehensive review and meta-analysis to get a reasonably accurate estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease. 
    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
    For their review, the team searched Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE for the keywords ‘celiac disease,’ ‘celiac,’ ‘tissue transglutaminase antibody,’ ‘anti-endomysium antibody,’ ‘endomysial antibody,’ and ‘prevalence’ for studies published from January 1991 through March 2016. 
    The team cross-referenced each article with the words ‘Asia,’ ‘Europe,’ ‘Africa,’ ‘South America,’ ‘North America,’ and ‘Australia.’ They defined celiac diagnosis based on European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition guidelines. The team used 96 articles of 3,843 articles in their final analysis.
    Overall global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals, based on positive blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or anti-endomysial antibodies. The pooled global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7% in 138,792 individuals. That means that numerous people with celiac disease potentially remain undiagnosed.
    Rates of celiac disease were 0.4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania; the prevalence was 0.6% in female vs 0.4% males. Celiac disease was significantly more common in children than adults.
    This systematic review and meta-analysis showed celiac disease to be reported worldwide. Blood test data shows celiac disease rate of 1.4%, while biopsy data shows 0.7%. The prevalence of celiac disease varies with sex, age, and location. 
    This review demonstrates a need for more comprehensive population-based studies of celiac disease in numerous countries.  The 1.4% rate indicates that there are 91.2 million people worldwide with celiac disease, and 3.9 million are in the U.S.A.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.