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Jefferson Adams

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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 Articles by this Author


The finished quinoa salad. Photo CC--Tomatoes and Friends

Quinoa is actually a seed, but let's not allow taxonomy to come between us and dinner. For our purposes, the fact that quinoa is not a grain may be appropriate, because this salad recipe is not a salad in the traditional sense of lettuces ad vegetables. In fact, this dish is more of a fruit salad with beans and quinoa. Whatever you call it, it's delicious.

Toasting your quinoa before cooking before cooking enhances the delicately nutty flavor. Rinsing it well removes the bitter outer coating of saponin.



Photo: CC--Alisha Vargas

If people with celiac disease hope to avoid complications, then it's important for their gut mucosa to heal. However, besides biopsy, there is currently no good way for doctors to assess that a patient has healed enough to experience full remission.

A team of researchers recently set out to assess the role of a point-of-care test (POCT) based on IgA/IgG-deamidated gliadin peptide, in detecting persistent villous atrophy in celiac disease.

This is what they found.



Quinoa, as seen in the salad, is generally safe for people with celiac disease. Photo: CC--Stacy Spensley

Quinoa is regarded as safe for people with celiac disease. For many years, some celiac support groups listed quinoa as unsafe due to cross-contamination concerns. But any grain is unsafe for celiacs if it is contaminated with wheat, rye or barley. Some grains have a higher risk of such contamination, others have a low risk.

Based on its low risk for cross-contamination, Celiac.com has had quinoa on our safe list since 1995. A vast amount of evidence supports that listing.



Photo: CC--Quinn Dombrowski

One reason conventional beers remain unsafe for people with celiac disease is that they contain gluten that push the finished product over the 20ppm standard for gluten-free products. Such gluten fragments in conventional beers render them unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

There's been some confusion about the best ways to measure gluten levels in fermented foods and beverages. That confusion has prompted more confusion over the methods used to remove gluten from beers brewed with traditional barley. Are such beers gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease?



Photo: CC--NIAID

ImmusanT, Inc., the company working to develop a therapeutic vaccine to protect HLADQ2.5+ patients with celiac disease against the effects of gluten, presented data that shows a way to tell the difference between celiac disease (CeD) and non-celiac gluten-sensitive (NCGS) based on cytokine levels.

Professor Knut Lundin, University of Oslo, presented the data at United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2017.



The gluten-free graveyard is full of great companies that didn't survive. Photo: CC--Kicki Zeilon

Gluten-free foods are more popular than ever, and the range of choices and the availability of gluten-free products continues to expand.

One of the more significant changes in the last few years has been the entry of major players in a market once dominated by small companies. General Mills has taken their ubiquitous Cheerios line gluten-free, and is now one of the largest manufacturers of gluten-free food in the U.S. 



You can serve yakitori with sauce, or with no sauce, and just salt, as desired. Photo: CC--Wenjie Zhang

Don't let the foreign sound turn you off. 'Yakotori' is just a Japanese term for grilled chicken on skewers. And what could be more familiar and family friendly than grilled chicken on skewers?

In Japan, yakitori is commonly eaten as a snack with beer or other alcohol. However, when served with rice and other dishes, it can also form the base of a proper dinner. Yakitori is best cooked on a grill or over coals, but you can also do it in a frying pan. You can serve yakitori with sauce, or with no sauce, and just salt, as desired. They go great with your favorite gluten-free beer.



New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady avoids gluten, among other foods. Photo: CC--Kieth Allison.

Gluten-free diets are popular lately, and not just with people who have celiac disease or other gluten-sensitivities. In fact, the vast majority of people who eat gluten-free food do not have celiac disease, or any other clear reason to avoid gluten.

Going gluten-free has also become popular among various sports figures and athletes. Some athletes do claim to have celiac disease or other sensitivities to gluten. Others embrace a gluten-free diet based on beliefs that the diet can help to improve their performance or recovery times. To that latter group, we can now add New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.



Photo: CC--Oliver Dodd

Researchers still don't have much good data on the consequences of antibiotic use in early life and how that relates to the risk of certain autoimmune diseases.

A team of researchers recently set out to test the association between early-life antibiotic use and islet or celiac disease autoimmunity in genetically at-risk children prospectively followed up for type 1 diabetes (T1D) or celiac disease. Their study is part of a larger study called The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young, or TEDDY, for short.



Photo: Marco Paköeningrat

Gluten-free Starbucks patrons in South Florida just got a nice piece of news. Starbucks is now offering a new, gluten-free cupcake to select South Florida locations. Oh, and the cupcake also happens to be vegan.

To deliver their newest gluten-free offering, Starbucks has partnered with Miami-based bakery, Bunnie Cakes, who will provide their locally made, gluten-free, and vegan passionfruit cupcakes to select Starbucks stores in the area.



Photo: CC--Simon Law

If you're looking for a quick, nutritious and lean gluten-free dish, then try this recipe for surefire stir-fry. It's easy, delicious and highly versatile. You can make with chicken, pork or beef, as desired. I bet you can use tofu if you like. You can use nuts of choice, or none at all. You can use snap peas instead of green beans. Whatever you do, serve this over rice for a guaranteed dinner winner.



Photo: CC--Bernard Sprague. NZ

Talk about finding needles in a haystack. Imagine, if you will, sifting through rail cars full of oats and plucking out nearly every stray grain of wheat, barley or rye so that the final product tests at under 20 ppm, instead of the original 200 ppm to 1,000 ppm.

Quite a challenge, yes? It's a challenge General Mills take on every day as it produces Gluten Free Cheerios from raw oats into the final product. According to their website, General Mills ships 500,000 cases of Cheerios each week.

To do this, General Mills uses a proprietary optical sorting process, for which it has filed a patent with the US Patent Office. That process sifts through those rail cars of oats, with stray gluten ranging from 200 ppm to 1,000 ppm, and "takes it down to less than 20" ppm, said Paul Wehling, principal scientist for General Mills.



More than 99.5 percent of "gluten-free" food products meet the FDA gluten-free standard. Image: CC--Alte Wilde Korkmännchen

Recent product testing by the FDA shows overwhelming compliance with FDA's requirement that foods labeled "gluten-free" have less than 20 parts per million detectable gluten.

According to the FDA, more than 99.5 percent of "gluten-free" food products met the agency's gluten-free standard, according to Carol D'Lima, a food technologist in FDA's Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling.

The FDA collected and analyzed 702 samples from more than 250 products labeled "gluten free." So far, D'Lima noted, only one product labeled as gluten-free tested positive for gluten levels above 20 ppm.



Image: CC--cchana

A press release by the Canadian Celiac Association announcing a label change for General Mills' Cheerios is drawing confusion and questions from numerous corners of the gluten-free community.

The press release is also drawing pushback from General Mills, which called the CCA press release "inaccurate," and said it was "not based on facts."

General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas says that "the only thing the CCA got right is that General Mills is changing its label in Canada." Everything else, Siemienas, claimed, was based on opinion, not facts.



Photo: CC--Mack Male

Say what you will about the gluten-free food craze, but one of the benefits of the popularity of gluten-free food is that it now shows up in what would have previously been some very strange, or in this case, remote places.

Like a food truck in Elko, Nevada. The Sisters Food Truck, owned by Jennifer Saxton of Spring Creek, opened for business this summer, and she can often be found at the Conoco station on Idaho Street. Saxton is one of six food trucks licensed to do business in Elko.



White beans and sausages anchor this savory dish. Shown here with baked sausages. Photo: CC--Jules

If you're looking for an easy, savory meal that's sure to satisfy, then give this dish a try. It's a hearty treat that's just perfect for fall. White beans and sausages anchor this savory dish.



Image: CC--Jordan Ferencz

Cereal maker General Mills has announced that it will no longer label their flagship cereal Cheerios as gluten-free in Canada.

Has Canada Changed its Gluten-free Standards?

  • No, the standard for labeling gluten-free foods in Canada remains same, at up to 20 ppm allowable gluten. Such foods are safe for the vast majority of people with celiac disease, according to both U.S. and Canadian regulatory agencies, the EU, celiac researchers and numerous celiac disease support groups.


Photo: CC--Pascal

What role do intraepithelial lymphocyte counts and distribution play in celiac disease mucosal interpretation? Making an accurate count of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) is important to making an accurate diagnosis of celiac disease, but so far, researchers have not been able to establish a definitive 'normal' IEL range. In a recent multi-center study, a team of researchers set out to do just that.



For the first time, researchers have used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to produce low-gluten, non-transgenic wheat. Photo: CC--Sam Beebe

For people with celiac disease, eating gluten proteins from wheat, barley, and rye triggers an auto-immune response, and the accompanying physical symptoms.

A team of researchers recently set out to engineer low-gluten wheat strains that also have low-reactivity for people with celiac disease. To meet their goals, the team designed two sgRNAs to target a conserved region adjacent to the coding sequence for the 33-mer in the -gliadin genes. They then sought to evaluate the results.



Can anything help falling global wheat prices? Photo: CC--Martin Pettitt

Global wheat prices are plummeting in the wake of massive overstocks and anemic consumption. The problem is serious enough that Canada, the world’s top producer of durum wheat, has cut its production nearly in half, to a six-year low.

Even those drastic measures have had failed to raise prices, which are down about 30 percent from 2016.