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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
    Celiac.com 03/19/2002 - For the past several years, Gary M. Gray, M.D. and Chaitan Khosla, Ph.D., both at Stanford University, have been studying the underlying causes of Celiac Disease, with an eye toward finding a therapeutic solution that would not require the strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. For the past two years, I have helped organize the Celiac conference at Stanford University; and we have collected blood from Celiac volunteers for their research. Based on a series of studies involving animal tissue, Drs. Gray, Khosla, and coworkers have developed a hypothesis for the cause of the disease. Their findings in animal studies need to be confirmed on human tissue, and any differences in normal and Celiac intestine must be defined. The Stanford researchers are now in need of volunteers who are scheduled for a follow-up biopsy as part of their optimal care to provide intestinal tissue samples. Volunteers must be biopsy-diagnosed Celiacs who, as part of their care, will be undergoing an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for recovery of small biopsies from the duodenum. For this research, two small (a few milligrams) of additional tissue will be taken during the biopsy, frozen immediately, and transported to Stanford. Please note that volunteers undergoing procedures at locations other than Stanford Hospital could participate. The small amount of additional tissue does not constitute a significant additional risk over and above that you will undergo due to the endoscopy and routine biopsies for the pathologist to examine. The research has been approved by the Human Subjects Committee at Stanford University Medical Center.
    If you would like to participate in this study, please contact Kelly Rohlfs at 650-725-4771 or kellyr@bonair.stanford.edu.If you have questions concerning the risks and benefits of this study, please contact Dr. Gray at 650-725-3366 or gray@stanford.edu. Dr. Gray will coordinate the study with your gastroenterologist at the time of your endoscopy.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/22/2010 - A $45 million donation to University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research will be used to create a first-of-its-kind institute to find new treatments, and perhaps a cure, for celiac disease. The donation comes at the behest of the family of a grateful patient from Indiana, Shelia Cafferty.
    The institute made possible by the donation could eventually employ up to 200 doctors and researchers who will not only study celiac disease, but use it as a model to better understand other associated autoimmune disorders, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
    Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research announced the donation at a press conference at West Baltimore's University of Maryland BioPark.
    Speaking about the donation, Fasano told interviewers that raising "enough money is always a problem" for celiac research, and that what has been needed "for a major breakthrough is thinking out of the box, and this will allow us to do just that."
    In some ways, Cafferty's nutritional health battle is similar to that fought by many people with celiac disease and gluten-intolerance.
    She suffered nine years of debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms and rashes before she began to suspect wheat a few years ago. Cafferty, a nurse, put herself on a gluten-free diet, which provided relief, but not all of the answers.
    She continued to visit doctors looking for answers. About a year ago, Cafferty's determined husband tracked down Dr. Fasano, who was able to diagnose her gluten sensitivity. 
    Fasano's diagnosis provided tremendous relief for the Caffertys, and left them with a resolve to help save others from going through similar suffering.
    "There are a lot of people like me, not getting answers," she said by phone from Indiana. She was unable to make the announcement with her husband Ken. "When you don't feel good, it impacts your activity and your daily living."
    As a result of their gratitude and resolve, Sue Cafferty and her husband Ken gave $5 million to Fasano's center and arranged for the donation of another $40 million from a foundation with which they are affiliated, but which declined to be named.
    Ken Cafferty said he and his wife want their money to raise the public's and doctors' awareness, as well as to fund research into treatments and a cure for celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders. "It's heartbreaking to see someone you love suffer," he said.
    During the press conference, Dr. Jay Perman, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, said he expected the celiac center to collaborate with numerous researchers across, and that research done "using the Cafferty's funds will...enable research to result in real solutions for patients and their families."


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/28/2011 - While rates of diagnosed celiac disease are less than 1 in 2,000 in the United States, screening studies in European and other populations have shown a much higher prevalence.
    A team of researchers recently set out to assess rates of celiac disease and the benefits of screening in the general adult population in certain geographically isolated areas.
    The research team included Kent D. Katz MD, Shahrooz Rashtak MD, Brian D. Lahr BS, MS, L. Joseph Melton III MD, Patricia K. Krause BS, MBA, Kristine Maggi PA-C, Nicholas J. Talley MD, PhD, and Joseph A. Murray MD.
    They are affiliated variously with the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming, the Department of Dermatology, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the Department of Internal Medicine, the Division of Biostatistics, and the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
    The team measured serum tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG-IgA) in adult volunteers at the annual Casper, Wyoming, Blue Envelope Health Fair blood draw. The team then checked endomysial IgA antibodies in those with positive tTG-IgA results.
    For those who tested positive for both screens, the team offered endoscopy with small bowel biopsy. All participants completed a short gastrointestinal (GI) symptom questionnaire.
    The team did blood tests on a total of 3,850 subjects, 34 of whom tested positive for both tTG and endomysial antibody (EMA) IgA.
    The team excluded three individuals who had been previously diagnosed with celiac disease, leaving 31 subjects, and making the total positive celiac serology in this community sample 0.8%.
    The team offered small bowel biopsy to those 31 subjects. They performed a total of 18 biopsies, with 17 patients (94%) showing at least partial villous atrophy.
    Symptoms reported by test subjects did not predict positive diagnosis. In fact, most subjects showed no symptoms, or else showed atypical symptoms.
    Serologic testing readily detects celiac disease in a general population. Screening results showed that undiagnosed celiac disease affects 1 in 126 individuals in this Wyoming community.
    Source:

    Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication 1 March 2011. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.21

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/06/2012 - The same ultrasound technology that helps doctors and expectant parents to view a developing baby might soon literally mean a better gluten-free bun in the oven.
    That's because engineers researching how ultrasound could be used to improve industrial baking have received a UK government grant of £500,000 (about $725,000 U.S. dollars) to commercialize their technology.
    The grant from the Technology Strategy Board will support the 25-month project,which will be led by food ingredient manufacturer Macphie of Glenbervie and involve Piezo Composite Transducers, Mono Bakery Equipment and Fosters Bakery.
    The engineers, based at Heriot-Watt University, say their technique reduces processing time and improves energy usage, reduces wastage and improves the texture of gluten-free products.
    They declined to give details about the exact nature of their technology, and how it worked. However, they did say that ultrasonic waves helped baking dough to regulate its energy and mass balance, which prevents air pockets from forming and helped protect the structure of the dough against collapse.
    Research leader Dr Carmen Torres-Sánchez said that the technology would allow bakers to create products that met current demand for specific ingredients, but which would be much more aesthetically or texturally attractive.
    For example, she said, ‘[t]here is a lot of pressure on bakers to reduce salt content and that can affect production, causing an imbalance in osmotic pressure so that the dough becomes very sticky…without gluten, products can collapse and look bad. We can use this technology to tailor the texture of products.’
    The lab has researched and developed the technique through several feasibility studies. It is based on methods usually used to control the porosity of industrial materials such as foaming polymer.
    ‘The big question now is how to scale up the technology,’ said Torres-Sánchez. ‘We’ve been doing semi-continuous batches; now we need to use it continuously, producing up to 1,000 loaves in 30 minutes.’
    The team also needs to further examine whether the technique can save energy proportionally as it is scaled up. Torres-Sánchez hopes the project will give rise to ovens and other bakery equipment with built-in ultrasonic technology that can easily be controlled as products are baked.
    Source:

    http://www.theengineer.co.uk/production-engineering/news/ultrasound-could-improve-the-efficiency-of-industrial-baking/1010813.article

  • Recent Articles

    Christina Kantzavelos
    Celiac.com 07/20/2018 - During my Vipassana retreat, I wasn’t left with much to eat during breakfast, at least in terms of gluten free options. Even with gluten free bread, the toasters weren’t separated to prevent cross contamination. All of my other options were full of sugar (cereals, fruits), which I try to avoid, especially for breakfast. I had to come up with something that did not have sugar, was tasty, salty, and gave me some form of protein. After about four days of mixing and matching, I was finally able to come up with the strangest concoction, that may not look the prettiest, but sure tastes delicious. Actually, if you squint your eyes just enough, it tastes like buttery popcorn. I now can’t stop eating it as a snack at home, and would like to share it with others who are looking for a yummy nutritious snack. 
    Ingredients:
    4 Rice cakes ⅓ cup of Olive oil  Mineral salt ½ cup Nutritional Yeast ⅓ cup of Sunflower Seeds  Intriguing list, right?...
    Directions (1.5 Servings):
    Crunch up the rice into small bite size pieces.  Throw a liberal amount of nutritional yeast onto the pieces, until you see more yellow than white.  Add salt to taste. For my POTS brothers and sisters, throw it on (we need an excess amount of salt to maintain a healthy BP).  Add olive oil  Liberally sprinkle sunflower seeds. This is what adds the protein and crunch, so the more, the tastier.  Buen Provecho, y Buen Camino! 

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/19/2018 - Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be an on-going challenge, especially when you factor in all the hidden or obscure gluten that can trip you up. In many cases, foods that are naturally gluten-free end up contain added gluten. Sometimes this can slip by us, and that when the suffering begins. To avoid suffering needlessly, be sure to keep a sharp eye on labels, and beware of added or hidden gluten, even in food labeled gluten-free.  Use Celiac.com's SAFE Gluten-Free Food List and UNSAFE Gluten-free Food List as a guide.
    Also, beware of these common mistakes that can ruin your gluten-free diet. Watch out for:
    Watch out for naturally gluten-free foods like rice and soy, that use gluten-based ingredients in processing. For example, many rice and soy beverages are made using barley enzymes, which can cause immune reactions in people with celiac disease. Be careful of bad advice from food store employees, who may be misinformed themselves. For example, many folks mistakenly believe that wheat-based grains like spelt or kamut are safe for celiacs. Be careful when taking advice. Beware of cross-contamination between food store bins selling raw flours and grains, often via the food scoops. Be careful to avoid wheat-bread crumbs in butter, jams, toaster, counter surface, etc. Watch out for hidden gluten in prescription drugs. Ask your pharmacist for help about anything you’re not sure about, or suspect might contain unwanted gluten. Watch out for hidden gluten in lotions, conditioners, shampoos, deodorants, creams and cosmetics, (primarily for those with dermatitis herpetaformis). Be mindful of stamps, envelopes or other gummed labels, as these can often contain wheat paste. Use a sponge to moisten such surfaces. Be careful about hidden gluten in toothpaste and mouthwash. Be careful about common cereal ingredients, such as malt flavoring, or other non-gluten-free ingredient. Be extra careful when considering packaged mixes and sauces, including soy sauce, fish sauce, catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc., as many of these can contain wheat or wheat by-product in their manufacture. Be especially careful about gravy mixes, packets & canned soups. Even some brands of rice paper can contain gluten, so be careful. Lastly, watch out for foods like ice cream and yogurt, which are often gluten-free, but can also often contain added ingredients that can make them unsuitable for anyone on a gluten-free diet. Eating Out? If you eat out, consider that many restaurants use a shared grill or shared cooking oil for regular and gluten-free foods, so be careful. Also, watch for flour in otherwise gluten-free spices, as per above. Ask questions, and stay vigilant.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/18/2018 - Despite many studies on immune development in children, there still isn’t much good data on how a mother’s diet during pregnancy and infancy influences a child’s immune development.  A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether changes in maternal or infant diet might influence the risk of allergies or autoimmune disease.
    The team included Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Despo Ierodiakonou, Katharine Jarrold, Sergio Cunha,  Jennifer Chivinge, Zoe Robinson, Natalie Geoghegan, Alisha Ruparelia, Pooja Devani, Marialena Trivella, Jo Leonardi-Bee, and Robert J. Boyle.
    They are variously associated with the Department of Undiagnosed Celiac Disease More Common in Women and Girls International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America; the Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Section of Paediatrics, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Stanford University in the USA.
    Team members searched MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), Web of Science, Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Literatura Latino Americana em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS) for observational studies conducted between January 1946 and July 2013, and interventional studies conducted through December 2017, that evaluated the relationship between diet during pregnancy, lactation, or the first year of life, and future risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
    They then selected studies, extracted data, and assessed bias risk. They evaluated data using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). They found 260 original studies, covering 964,143 participants, of milk feeding, including 1 intervention trial of breastfeeding promotion, and 173 original studies, covering 542,672 participants, of other maternal or infant dietary exposures, including 80 trials of 26 maternal, 32 infant, or 22 combined interventions. 
    They found a high bias risk in nearly half of the more than 250 milk feeding studies and in about one-quarter of studies of other dietary exposures. Evidence from 19 intervention trials suggests that oral supplementation with probiotics during late pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of eczema. 44 cases per 1,000; 95% CI 20–64), and 6 trials, suggest that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of allergic sensitization to egg. GRADE certainty of these findings was moderate. 
    The team found less evidence, and low GRADE certainty, for claims that breastfeeding reduces eczema risk during infancy, that longer exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced type 1 diabetes mellitus, and that probiotics reduce risk of infants developing allergies to cow’s milk. 
    They found no evidence that dietary exposure to other factors, including prebiotic supplements, maternal allergenic food avoidance, and vitamin, mineral, fruit, and vegetable intake, influence risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
    Overall, the team’s findings support a connection between the mother’s diet and risk of immune-mediated diseases in the child. Maternal probiotic and fish oil supplementation may reduce risk of eczema and allergic sensitization to food, respectively.
    Stay tuned for more on diet during pregnancy and its role in celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS Med. 2018 Feb; 15(2): e1002507. doi:  10.1371/journal.pmed.1002507

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
    The researchers evaluated the symptoms of celiac patients in a newly diagnosed pediatric group and evaluated their fat soluble vitamin levels and intestinal biopsies, and then compared their vitamin levels with those of a healthy control group.
    The research team included Yavuz Tokgöz, Semiha Terlemez and Aslıhan Karul. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Biochemistry at Adnan Menderes University Medical Faculty in Aydın, Turkey.
    The team evaluated 27 female, 25 male celiac patients, and an evenly divided group of 50 healthy control subjects. Patients averaged 9 years, and weighed 16.2 kg. The most common symptom in celiac patients was growth retardation, which was seen in 61.5%, with  abdominal pain next at 51.9%, and diarrhea, seen in 11.5%. Histological examination showed nearly half of the patients at grade Marsh 3B. 
    Vitamin A and vitamin D levels for celiac patients were significantly lower than the control group. Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies were significantly more common compared to healthy subjects. Nearly all of the celiac patients showed vitamin D insufficiency, while nearly 62% showed vitamin D deficiency. Nearly 33% of celiac patients showed vitamin A deficiency. 
    The team saw no deficiencies in vitamin E or vitamin K1 among celiac patients. In the healthy control group, vitamin D deficiency was seen in 2 (4%) patients, vitamin D insufficiency was determined in 9 (18%) patients. The team found normal levels of all other vitamins in the healthy group.
    Children with newly diagnosed celiac disease showed significantly reduced levels of vitamin D and A. The team recommends screening of vitamin A and D levels during diagnosis of these patients.
    Source:
    BMC Pediatrics

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/16/2018 - Did weak public oversight leave Arizonans ripe for Theranos’ faulty blood tests scam? Scandal-plagued blood-testing company Theranos deceived Arizona officials and patients by selling unproven, unreliable products that produced faulty medical results, according to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter, whose in-depth, comprehensive investigation of the company uncovered deceit, abuse, and potential fraud.
    Moreover, Arizona government officials facilitated the deception by providing weak regulatory oversight that essentially left patients as guinea pigs, said the book’s author, investigative reporter John Carreyrou. 
    In the newly released "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup," Carreyrou documents how Theranos and its upstart founder, Elizabeth Holmes, used overblown marketing claims and questionable sales tactics to push faulty products that resulted in consistently faulty blood tests results. Flawed results included tests for celiac disease and numerous other serious, and potentially life-threatening, conditions.
    According to Carreyrou, Theranos’ lies and deceit made Arizonans into guinea pigs in what amounted to a "big, unauthorized medical experiment.” Even though founder Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos duped numerous people, including seemingly savvy investors, Carreyrou points out that there were public facts available to elected officials back then, like a complete lack of clinical data on the company's testing and no approvals from the Food and Drug Administration for any of its tests.
    SEC recently charged the now disgraced Holmes with what it called a 'years-long fraud.’ The company’s value has plummeted, and it is now nearly worthless, and facing dozens, and possibly hundreds of lawsuits from angry investors. Meantime, Theranos will pay Arizona consumers $4.65 million under a consumer-fraud settlement Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich negotiated with the embattled blood-testing company.
    Both investors and Arizona officials, “could have picked up on those things or asked more questions or kicked the tires more," Carreyrou said. Unlike other states, such as New York, Arizona lacks robust laboratory oversight that would likely have prevented Theranos from operating in those places, he added.
    Stay tuned for more new on how the Theranos fraud story plays out.
    Read more at azcentral.com.