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Can Better Allergen Statements on Product Labels Lead to Better Choices for Celiacs?

Do allergen advisory statements for wheat help US consumers with celiac disease make safe food choices?


Can better allergen statements improve food choices by celiacs? Photo: CC--Alex Juel

Celiac.com 11/11/2016 - Do allergen advisory statements for wheat help US consumers with celiac disease make safe food choices?

A team of researchers recently set out to review food that were not labeled gluten-free, but which appeared to be free of gluten ingredients based the ingredients list. The product labels indicated that the products contained no wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewers yeast. The research team included T. Thompson, TB Lyons, and A Jones. They are variously affiliated with Gluten Free Watchdog, Manchester, MA, USA; the Department of Clinical Nutrition, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA, and with Mary Rutan Hospital Nutrition, Bellefontaine, OH, USA.

Looking for allergen advisory statements noting wheat, gluten or both, the team retrospectively reviewed labeling information for 101 products tested for gluten content. They tested products through the gluten test reporting service Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC in Manchester, MA, USA. The review included all commercially available products tested by Gluten Free Watchdog not labeled gluten-free or low gluten at the time of this analysis.

Gluten testing was conducted via Bia Diagnostics in Burlington, VT, USA. Each product sample was tested in duplicate using the Ridascreen Gliadin sandwich R5 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Mendez method (Ridascreen Gliadin R7001) and extracted with the cocktail solution (Art. No. R7006—official Mendez method) following the kit manufacturer’s directions (R-biopharm, Darmstadt, Germany).

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Seven of the 14 foods with quantifiable gluten in this assessment are single-ingredient foods, such as oat fiber, spices, and green tea leaves. Many single-ingredient foods are considered by consumers to be naturally gluten-free. However, US grain standards allow certain percentages of foreign material in grains, seeds and legumes.

On the basis of this analysis, the current use of allergen advisory statements for wheat or gluten are not useful predictors of whether or not a single or multi-ingredient food product contains 20 or more p.p.m. of gluten.

The authors are urging the regulation and standardization of such precautionary statements so that they are helpful to gluten-free consumers.

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I went into menopause at age 42. I didn't know I had celiac until I was 56. Now I know why my menopause was so early.

Have been dealing with splinter hemorrhages on three of my toe nails since February. I did go to my doctor who rightly so did a very complete blood work-up ruling out other diseases such as lupus and RA and referred me to several other doctors to make sure that it was not cancer, endocarditis, or something serious. I went to the doctors. I have done some research on vitamin deficiency and it seems that some link splinter hemorrhages to vitamin C deficiency. For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have been eating 3 clementines a day (in addition to the usual multivitamin that I take) and it seems to be helping the splinter hemorrhages. One has grown out and not returned. Visited my GI doctor today and talked about malabsorption of nutrients as a potential issue. We are doing more blood work and checking nutrient levels. I have to believe it has something to do with the celiac. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but like you am trying to figure this out. Please let me know if you find any answers, and yes, be sure to check with your doctor to rule out anything serious.

You only need one positive on the celiac panel. I tested positive only to the DGP IgA and had a Marsh Stage IIIB intestinal damage. Good luck!

Welcome to the forum. First, you need to get copies of your celiac test to confirm you actually had it done and what the results were. Second, to confirm a diagnosis, you must obtain biopsies via an endoscopy. Were the doctors gastroenterologists? Third you need to research celiac disease. Yes, you can be asymptomatic, but could still have instestinal damage as the small intestine is vast. here is a good place to start: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You might think you are a silent celiac, but ever been anemic? Had your bones checked?

That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.