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Found 2,701 results

  1. Celiac.com 12/06/2018 - The growing popularity of gluten-free foods has led to numerous new products for consumers, but it has also led to some problems. One recent study showed that up to one-third of foods sold as gluten-free contain gluten above 20ppm allowed by federal law. Other studies have shown that restaurant food labeled as “gluten-free” is often contaminated with gluten. The problem of gluten in commercial food labeled gluten-free is not isolated to the United States. Recent studies abroad show that the problem exists in nearly every gluten-free market in every country. In Australia, for example, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne found detectable gluten in almost 3% of 256 commonly purchased “gluten-free” manufactured foods, a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday says. Furthermore, the study shows that nearly 10% of restaurant dishes sold as "gluten-free" contain unacceptable levels of gluten. Now, the Australians have a stricter standard than nearly anyone else, so look for them to be on top of potential problems with gluten contamination in gluten-free products. The study did not name the food manufacturers responsible for the contaminated products, but did note that better, more frequent gluten testing by manufacturers would make gluten-free foods safer for people with celiac disease. In a related study, the same researchers found in May that nearly one in ten samples of “gluten-free” dishes from restaurants within the City of Melbourne contained gluten levels in excess of the official Food Standards Australia New Zealand definition of gluten-free. “It’s troubling to think that these foods could be hindering the careful efforts of patients trying their best to avoid gluten,” an author of the study, Dr Jason Tye-Din, said. A spokeswoman from Coeliac Australia said the organization was taking the findings seriously. “The research team that conducted this study has liaised with the food companies and is following up the positive samples with further retesting to ensure the issue is resolved,” she said. In addition to urging consumers to be diligent in reading labels, and to report any suspect products, “Coeliac Australia advises all people with coeliac disease to have regular medical check-ups as they do have a serious autoimmune condition and medical assessment is important to determine that their gluten-free diet is going well and no complications are developing.” Read more at: TheGuardian.com
  2. Celiac.com 12/04/2018 - In a major development in wheat genetics, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) recently presented the first high-quality fully annotated reference genome sequence of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring. The IWGSC Reference Sequence (RefSeqv1.0), catalogues the location and structure of more than 107,000 genes, and 4 million markers, across all 21 chromosomes of the wheat variety - some associated with important agricultural features. According to the authors, the sequence can be used for both genetic research projects and CRISPR- based genome modification. The results of a later study appear in Science. In that study, researchers used the new reference genome to perform a genome-wide analysis of the expression of homoelogs, genetic copies that are similar, but have different origins. Mapping these genetic features will improve scientists’ understanding of the basic structures of polyploid wheat. By combining gene expression datasets with the IWGSC RefSeqv1 wheat genome sequence, the researchers demonstrated the balance of gene expression among homeologs across the various tissues, developmental stages and cultivars of wheat. The team identified tissue-specific biases in gene expression and co-expression networks during development and exposure to stress, and their work offers a way to target key genes responsible for valuable agricultural traits in wheat. In a third study that also made use of the new IWGSC reference sequence, researchers closely examined the proteins contributing to various wheat-immune diseases and allergies, such as celiac disease, baker's asthma and wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA). Certain proteins in wheat can trigger serious allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Celiac disease, for example, is triggered by prolamin proteins gliadin and glutenin in wheat. Moreover, respiratory or skin exposure to other types of proteins have also been implicated in adverse immune responses. However, because of the complexity of the wheat genome, and the paucity of comprehensive genome information, a detailed description of these proteins has remained out of reach until now. A research team led by Angela Juhász used the IWGSC RefSeqv1.0 wheat genome to search for the genes that encode known allergy-inducing wheat proteins and mapped each across the entire sequence. The team’s analysis revealed previously unknown genes potentially related to immune-responsive proteins. Their results show that the genes associated with celiac and WDEIA are found in wheat’s starchy endosperm, the main ingredient in baking flour. Also, several lipid transfer proteins and alpha-amylase trypsin inhibitor gene families play a role in baker's asthma. Interestingly, the study showed that temperature stress during flowering can boost wheat’s natural levels of prominent celiac and WDEIA proteins. The researchers' detailed analysis offers important insights into the role of environment and growing conditions on the levels of proteins problematic for human consumers, they say. Their work will also inform production of low allergy wheat varieties, among others useful to the food industry. The many discoveries and breakthroughs in genetic analysis and engineering promise a very bright future when it comes to understanding and treating celiac disease, and numerous other anti-inflammatory diseases. Stay tuned as more developments unfold. Read more at Eurekalert.org
  3. Celiac.com 12/10/2018 - More and more people are eating gluten-free for non-medical reasons. These days, people with celiac disease make up a small percentage of overall gluten-free food sales. However, the effects of eliminating or reducing wheat, barley and rye ingredients from the diets of in healthy adults have not been well studied. A team of researchers recently set out to assess the effects of a gluten-free diet in healthy adults. To make their assessment, the researchers conducted a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial of 60 middle-aged Danish adults with no known diseases. The trial included two 8-week assessments comparing a low-gluten diet of 2 grams of gluten per day, and a high-gluten diet of 18 grams of gluten per day, separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet including 12 grams of gluten per day. Compared with a high-gluten diet, the data show that a low-gluten diet triggers slight changes in the intestinal microbiome, increases food and drink intake and postprandial hydrogen exhalation, and reduces self-reported bloating. The team’s data indicate that results of a low-gluten diet in non-celiac adults are likely triggered by qualitative changes in dietary fiber. Studies like this are important for understanding the effects of a gluten-free diet in both celiacs and non-celiacs alike. Better understanding of a gluten-free diet will help doctors, celiac patients, and healthy individuals to make better, more informed dietary decisions. Source: Nature Communications; volume 9, Article number: 4630 (2018) The research team included Lea B. S. Hansen, Henrik M. Roager, Nadja B. Søndertoft, Rikke J. Gøbel, Mette Kristensen, Mireia Vallès-Colomer, Sara Vieira-Silva, Sabine Ibrügger, Mads V. Lind, Rasmus B. Mærkedahl, Martin I. Bahl, Mia L. Madsen, Jesper Havelund, Gwen Falony, Inge Tetens, Trine Nielsen, Kristine H. Allin, Henrik L. Frandsen, Bolette Hartmann, Jens Juul Holst, Morten H. Sparholt, Jesper Holck, Andreas Blennow, Janne Marie Moll, Anne S. Meyer, Camilla Hoppe, Jørgen H. Poulsen, Vera Carvalho, Domenico Sagnelli, Marlene D. Dalgaard, Anders F. Christensen, Magnus Christian Lydolph, Alastair B. Ross, Silas Villas-Bôas, Susanne Brix, Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén, Karsten Buschard, Allan Linneberg, Jüri J. Rumessen, Claus T. Ekstrøm, Christian Ritz, Karsten Kristiansen, H. Bjørn Nielsen, Henrik Vestergaard, Nils J. Færgeman, Jeroen Raes, Hanne Frøkiær, Torben Hansen, Lotte Lauritzen, Ramneek Gupta, Tine Rask Licht and Oluf Pedersen. They are variously affiliated with the National Food Institute; the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark; the Department of Bio and Health Informatics; the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby, Denmark; the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences; the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports; the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports; and the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen in Frederiksberg, Denmark; the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre in Hvidovre, Denmark; the Department of Radiology, Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Department of Autoimmunology & Biomarkers, Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden; the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand; the Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Research Centre for Prevention and Health, The Capital Region of Denmark in Frederiksberg, Denmark; the Research Unit and Department of Gastroenterology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, the Capital Region of Denmark in Herlev, Denmark; with Clinical-Microbiomics A/S in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, KU Leuven–University of Leuven, Rega Institute; and VIB, Center for Microbiology in Leuven, Belgium; with Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Biology; the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research; the Department of Radiology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Department of Biomedical Sciences; and the department of Biostatistics at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  4. Celiac.com 12/05/2018 - Everyone with celiac disease has their war stories. Stories of uncomfortable of painful symptoms. Stories of tough, slow diagnosis. Of accidental gluten ingestion. Picture the worst case of celiac disease you can imagine with bad symptoms and a seemingly endless quest for a diagnosis. Now imagine you’re ten years old and that worst case is you. That’s the story of 10-year-old Lillian Bordoni, whose positive attitude is helping her to recover from the worst case of Celiac Disease that Children’s Hospital Colorado has ever seen, and inspiring even the doctors she credits with saving her life. Bordoni’s book, “Cecilia the Celiac Superhero,” tells the story of her long and complicated fight with celiac disease, and she prevailed via a diagnosis, a gluten-free diet, and eventually, a change of location. She hopes to someday share her story with others. It’s a story that starts when Lillian was around four years old and living with her family in Kansas. Lillian suffered from what were, in retrospect classic symptoms of celiac disease. However, a diagnosis remained elusive. The family saw numerous doctors until they found a doctor who tested her for celiac disease and made a formal diagnosis. Even after the whole family cut out gluten, Lillian will still unable to keep food down, and lacked the energy to play outdoors. Eventually, the Bordonis traveled to the celiac clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where Dr. Edward Hoffenberg helped them to figure out that Lillian’s problems were being aggravated by the fact that the family lived “in the heart of wheat country,” said Lillian’s mom, Miriah Bordoni. “There was wheat farming all around us. There were four of the largest grain elevators within blocks of our house that were processing wheat 365 days a year.” Breathing gluten every day was not an option, so the family moved to Colorado. Ever since then, Lillian has been healthy. Her experience has inspired her to write a book about her challenges with celiac disease. Of her book, Lillian says “It’s about Cecilia which is this girl here, and she has to beat gluten and cross contamination, which I had to beat too, but I turned it into like a superhero story so that it would be fun and interesting for all kids.” Lillian is in the beginning stages of having her book published. Once that happens, Children’s Hospital Colorado will distribute copies to all newly diagnosed celiac patients. Read more.
  5. Celiac.com 11/19/2018 - People with celiac disease cannot reliably determine whether they ate gluten or not based on symptoms, however severe those symptoms may be, according to research presented by Amanda K. Cartee, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, and her colleagues, at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Because there is presently no FDA-approved test to confirm gluten exposure, celiac patients commonly rely on the presence or absence of gastrointestinal or other symptoms as an indicator of gluten exposure. But how reliable is that method? Not very reliable at all, says Dr. Cartee. Now, the study was small, but it was also rigorous. Dr. Cartee and her associates developed a double-blind, placebo-controlled gluten challenge to identify the rapid onset of symptoms after gluten ingestion, and to figure out if celiac patients could really tell whether they had been exposed to gluten. Researchers recruited 14 patients with celiac disease and 14 healthy controls for the trial. They then randomly assigned each patient to receive either a 6 g gluten suspension or placebo. Each patient completed a 100 mm visual analog questionnaire to assess their symptoms at baseline, every 30 minutes to 60 minutes for 6 hours and then daily for 3 days. The researchers also asked patients at each time point if they believed they received gluten. During the study, only two of the seven celiac patients who received gluten were able to correctly identify the gluten suspension. Cartee said it took a full day for one patient to come to that conclusion, while another gave varied responses sporadically throughout the study. Nausea and abdominal pain were the most common symptoms for celiac patients. Interestingly, there was no statistical difference in symptoms in the gluten celiac disease group compared with the placebo celiac disease group. That is, celiac disease patients receiving the placebo reported symptoms that the same rate as those who received actual gluten. So, not only could the celiac patients not tell when they got gluten, they also couldn’t tell when they got a placebo. Dr. Cartee said because physical symptoms are subjective and non-specific, they are largely unreliable for self-diagnosing gluten exposure. Dr. Cartee is calling for the development of a better, more objective way to identify gluten-related symptoms, especially in celiac patients with ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms. Do you have celiac disease? Would you welcome an easy reliable way to determine gluten exposure? How would you find it helpful? Source: Healio
  6. Celiac.com 08/25/2011 - This is a controversial topic. Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The gluten-free Diet (1), has been attacked because it suggests that a gluten free diet can help some people lose weight. One celiac support group has condemned this book as misleading (2). However, I thought it was a pretty good book, and I’m grateful for the public attention that Hasselbeck has drawn to celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. There are at least two sides to the question of whether a gluten free diet is useful for weight loss. As with much other dietary advice, each of these conflicting views is sometimes presented in very strident voices. On one side there are numerous websites and newspaper articles, with an array of “experts” weighing in on this issue, decrying the use of a gluten free diet for weight loss. I even saw a segment of a television show called “Dr. Oz” where the gluten free diet was asserted to cause only weight gain. On the same show the diet was referred to as a “fraud” with respect to weight loss. Similarly, one group of researchers claim that an important side effect of the gluten free diet is weight gain. Even some very popular advocates of the gluten free diet insist that it is inappropriate for weight loss. Yet there are some individuals who advocate this diet as an effective weight loss tool and there is some evidence to back them up. There are even a couple of research reports of weight loss on a gluten free diet. In fact there is at least one study that provides some support for each paradigm. So who are we to believe? What information supports each side of the argument? And how can we evaluate that information? Before we get to the evidence, however, I’d like to say that I have listened to Ms. Hasselbeck express some of her political and economic opinions. I am now of the firm belief that she is one of the five people on this continent who may know even less about these issues than I do. So let’s leave out the politics and confine our discussion to the issue of the gluten free diet and whether it is suitable for weight loss. The first and most compelling piece of evidence (for me) is a personal observation. I watched my mom try to lose weight, starting when I was in elementary school. She tried just about every diet out there, from radical fringe to mainstream. She drank protein powders mixed with water instead of eating meals. She tried eating these “rye” crackers that I thought tasted like cardboard.... very crunchy cardboard. She tried a low sodium diet, then a low fat diet, then a sugar free diet, an all fruit diet, a raw food diet, or maybe that was just a single diet of raw fruit. I’m not sure. She probably tried a host of other diets that I don’t remember, but I think you get the idea. She sometimes lost weight only to gain it back as soon as she stopped the diet. More often, she gave up because she got tired of being hungry all the time. She eventually gave up on dieting altogether and accepted being overweight. Then, about fifteen years ago, in her early-mid 70s, she started a gluten free diet. It wasn’t aimed at weight loss. She was trying to reduce the pain caused by her arthritis. In the first year and a half or two years, she lost 66 pounds. From that time onward, her weight continued to gradually diminish to the point where she had lost about 100 pounds over about ten years of eating gluten free. She was not trying to lose weight. She had long since given up on that objective. Yet the excess pounds just melted away. If only because of its weight loss benefits, I suspect that the gluten free diet has extended her life substantially. At about 85 years of age, she started eating gluten occasionally. Part of her gluten consumption is wilful. She sees something that she thinks she might enjoy eating, and she requests a serving. Perhaps because of mom’s lapses into gluten, the staff at the home where she now lives have also become quite cavalier about her gluten free diet. They frequently serve her dishes that contain gluten. Still, her weight has remained fairly stable. My mom is not the only example of weight loss on a gluten free diet. There are other stories on the Internet. Just Google “gluten free weight loss diet” and you will see what I mean. But I can’t vouch for those stories. I didn’t observe their weight loss. All I saw was my mom’s. Currently, there are only a few formal studies that have explored body mass changes on a gluten free diet. One conducted in Ireland reveals that there are eight times as many overweight celiacs as underweight celiacs (Dickey & Kearney). That is quite surprising in light of the common perspective that celiac disease is one of under-nutrition, suggesting that underweight should be a more likely sign of celiac disease. For a long time, that was the dominant belief, but there is clearly a flaw in this paradigm. Suspecting celiac disease only in underweight patients is not the only complication of this issue. Dickey and Kearney also report that after two years of dietary compliance, eighty two percent of their 143 overweight and obese patients with celiac disease had gained yet more weight on a gluten free diet. This would seem to suggest that the gluten free diet is not a good bet as a weight loss tool. However, these results do not seem to have been replicated by other investigators. Another follow-up study, conducted in New Rochelle, NY, reports that ’’ 66% of those who were underweight gained weight, whereas 54% of overweight and 47% of obese patients lost weight’’ on a gluten free diet (Cheng et al ). Thus, on this side of the Atlantic, of the eighty one overweight and obese celiac subjects, about half lost weight following a gluten free diet. That is quite different from the findings in Ireland. Another, much smaller study of childhood celiac disease revealed that about half of the eight overweight children they studied also experienced weight loss (Venkatasubramani et al ). This research was conducted in Milwaukee and is congruent with the findings from New Rochelle. So, on this side of the Atlantic, about half of the overweight celiac patients studied experienced weight loss on a gluten free diet. Perhaps these differences are the result of variations between the versions of the gluten free diet in North America, as compared with the diet in the United Kingdom. The primary difference I am aware of is that gluten free in the UK includes wheat starch whereas most American organizations do not accept wheat starch as gluten free. However, the gluten free diet that includes wheat starch has been shown to reduce cancer risk and many other celiac-associated risk factors, and has therefore been deemed safe. Nonetheless, that same wheat starch may be a factor in the different body mass findings between Ireland and the USA. Or maybe the difference lies in variations in research methods. Without further research, it is difficult to guess.... and that is exactly what we would be doing. Without solid evidence, our beliefs are no more than just guesses. For instance, my mom’s weight loss could have been the result of some factor other than her gluten free diet. Perhaps the beginning of her weight loss just happened to coincide with when she started the gluten-free diet. I’m convinced by my observations of her experience, but that doesn’t mean that you should be. After all, I could be kidding myself. Or her weight loss could have been caused by some other factor that I’m not even aware of or recognizing. That is why many of us contribute our hard-earned dollars to research. We need something more than stories about my mom’s experiences. We need solid, peer reviewed research such as what is found in medical journals. However, even there we need to be cautious about reported findings. One good indicator that researchers are on the right track is when we see a convergence of results from very different studies. When one study produces a given result, and another study produces a similar result despite very different study designs and objectives, the results of the first study are said to have been replicated by the second study. The advantage, in the case of celiac patients experiencing weight loss following institution of a gluten free diet clearly goes to the two studies conducted in the USA. The studies looked at two different sub-populations of celiac patients yet produced approximately the same results. But both studies still have a problem with selection bias. One of the greatest difficulties in assessing research findings is that we are really just assuming that what we see in one or two small groups will be reflected in the general population. This is why, where possible, study subjects are picked randomly from the general population. However, this cannot happen in studies of celiac patients. They are a select group. This is partly because these subjects have celiac disease and partly because they have a diagnosis of celiac disease. I’m really not splitting hairs here. Please bear with me for a moment as I try to explain this important distinction. Unlike more than 95% of Americans with celiac disease, these study subjects have a diagnosis. And don’t be fooled. Clinicians are missing almost as many cases of celiac disease in Europe as they are in the USA. Thus, all three of these studies are looking at a sub-group (diagnosed with celiac disease) of a select group (celiac disease). And the lengthy delays to diagnosis, somewhere between five and eleven years, also occur in Europe and Canada, so the difference is probably not dependent on whether there is a socialist medical system in place, as some have suggested. The select group is formed by people with celiac disease. The sub-group is people drawn from the three to five percent of those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease. We know some of the ways that those with celiac disease differ from the general population. But we don’t know any of the ways, beyond the diagnostic criteria, that people with undiagnosed celiac disease differ from the general population or from the population of people whose celiac disease has been diagnosed. Studying a small sub-group of celiac patients who have a diagnosis, then assuming that the features observed will be present in all those with celiac disease, whether they have a diagnosis or not, is a flawed approach. Statisticians call this mistake ‘selection bias’. It is a well recognized type of statistical error. For instance, if you wanted to predict the buying habits of people living in Pennsylvania, you would not just observe members of the Amish community. Doing so would not only induce a selection bias, it would lead to very misleading information about the general population of Pennsylvania. While many Amish live in Pennsylvania, their buying habits probably do not reflect the buying habits of most people in Pennsylvania. Similarly, the selection bias driven by extrapolating from observations of sub-groups of people with diagnosed celiac disease and applying those principles to undiagnosed celiacs, leading us to either assume that weight loss will or will not occur on a gluten free diet is mistaken and likely to produce misleading information. In addition to selection bias, sample size is another important factor in predicting features of a larger population based on observations of a sub-population. The smaller the group, the less likely it is to reflect the variations present in the larger population of those with celiac disease. For instance, if the US population is currently about 311 million, and the rate of celiac disease is about one in every 133 people, then there should be about 2.3 million Americans with celiac disease. Only three to five percent of Americans with celiac disease are thought to be diagnosed with celiac disease. And the studies of overweight celiacs who gained or lost weight on a gluten free diet include about 89 Americans and 143 Irish people. Is it credible to imagine that we can predict the responses of 2.3 million Americans based on observations of a sub-group of 89 of their compatriots and 143 Europeans? I think that most readers will agree that leaping to such conclusions is unreasonable. Yet that is what we do if we insist on the exclusive correctness of either side of the question of whether the gluten free diet is an effective weight loss tool. I am convinced, both by my observations of my mom, and by the results of these two small studies, that some celiacs will lose weight on a gluten free diet. However, I would not presume to insist that it is the best, or even a good tool for all overweight celiacs. Neither would I insist it was a good weight loss tool for all diagnosed overweight celiacs. Given the US studies, that is clearly not the case. Equally, denial of anecdotal reports or the two US studies claiming that the gluten free diet is not an effective weight loss tool for anyone is also unreasonable. We can only say, with confidence, that these study results may apply to those who are diagnosed with celiac disease. Yet we have a fairly even split, with American researchers showing that about half of overweight celiacs lose weight on a gluten free diet, and Irish researchers asserting that eighty two diagnosed overweight celiacs gained even more weight on a gluten free diet. Yet these statistical problems are not insurmountable. If a group of researchers conducted random screening blood tests for celiac disease in a variety of settings and circumstances, confirmed the celiac diagnosis in a large group of these individuals, and followed up with those who were overweight and undertook the gluten free diet, then their observations might reasonably be applied to the celiac population in general, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. There would still be a relatively minor statistical error induced by cases of sero-negative celiac disease, but the statistical problems would not be anywhere near as problematic as asserting that any or all of these three studies tell us much about weight loss on a gluten free diet, except that it sometimes happens in small sub-groups of diagnosed celiac patients. Since such research has not been conducted, it behooves all of us to take a moderate stance on either side of this debate. That does not mean that we can’t or shouldn’t make use of the available information. Each of us can draw our own conclusions based on our interpretations of the available data. If you believe that, in North America, a gluten free diet can induce weight loss in about half of overweight, newly diagnosed celiac patients, it does seem reasonable to suggest that the gluten free diet may be all that is needed for some diagnosed celiacs to lose weight. However, since we are missing more than 95% of cases of celiac disease, it is difficult to say whether it will help those undiagnosed, overweight celiacs to lose weight. Nonetheless, it is possible. Thus, if it will help some, perhaps about half of them to lose weight, those individuals might well consider this information, limited though it may be, very valuable. Anecdotal reports, such as my mother’s story, might also be considered very valuable by those who can lose weight on a gluten free diet. For those who do not lose weight on this diet, I suspect that many of them have walked the path my mother did, and it won’t be the first time that a diet failed to work for them. This, of course, raises the question of why some individuals and organizations have vigorously opposed and decried anecdotal claims that a gluten free diet may help some people lose weight. Clearly, there is hard scientific evidence to support this claim. The reverse is not the case. Nobody has, or can, prove that the gluten free diet is always ineffective at helping people lose weight. Meanwhile, we can hope for more research that will answer some of the many questions that arise from this relatively new information that there may be many more overweight people with celiac disease than there are underweight people with celiac disease. Several of the questions that remain include: What causes overweight and obesity in patients with celiac disease? It is, after all, a disease that is characterized by inadequate absorption of nutrients from the food that passes through the gastrointestinal tract. I have previously suggested that specific nutrient deficiencies may induce food cravings that cause some to continue to eat despite feeling ’’full’’ because their bodies continue to demand these missing nutrients. The new field of metabonomic research may soon shed more light on this area. It has already demonstrated that subjects diagnosed with celiac disease are not as efficient at metabolizing glucose (usually derived from carbohydrates) as those without celiac disease. Does wheat starch have any impact on nutrient absorption or appetite? If even small amounts of opioid peptides survive in wheat starch and are allowed access to the bloodstream and brain, they may well have an impact on appetite. Opioids or some other component of wheat starch might also alter ghrelin (a hormone that incites appetite) and/or leptin (a hormone that suppresses appetite). We just don’t know. Are there other dietary differences between Ireland and the USA? We are aware of the difference in wheat starch, but what other factors might contribute to these divergent research results? How does wheat starch compare with the 20 parts per million currently being put forward as the labelling standard for American legislation in the offing? Does wheat starch contain 20 ppm? Will the legislation in question change conditions for celiac patients? Just how much contamination from gluten grains is present in commercial oats? Even in the absence of contamination, how many people with diagnosed celiac disease experience cross-reactions with oats? This is where the selective antibodies are sensitized to protein segments found in oats as well as in gluten grains. What other differences between Ireland and the USA might explain these variations in research findings? Could variations in sunlight, or water-borne minerals, or even genetics contribute to the difference in findings? How representative are these groups of other groups of celiac patients? Do they reflect what is going on among all the other diagnosed celiacs in their region? And how do these findings apply to the undiagnosed celiacs? Is region a genuine factor in all of this? I remember when many researchers were quite willing to believe that there was some difference that had Italy showing a rate of celiac disease of one in 250 while in the USA and Canada it was thought to afflict about one in twelve thousand. We now know that was silly, but at the time, there were a lot of apparently intelligent people who were vigorously asserting the accuracy of those variations and postulating many creative explanations for them. I remember one, now prominent celiac researcher, admonishing me not to take the Italian findings too seriously. He was very confident that they represented a large overestimation of the true incidence of celiac disease in Italy and could not reasonably be suggested as reflecting anything about Canada or the USA. Now here is a really startling thought. Some of the overweight people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity might also be able to lose weight on a gluten free diet. If so, this could produce as much as a ten-fold increase in the number of people who might lose weight on our diet. Has anyone tested obese and overweight people for anti-gliadin antibodies? Could gliadin be a factor in some peoples’ weight problems? I wonder how many people might be helped to lose weight if pre-conceived notions about the gluten free diet could be relinquished in favour of a more open minded view.... one that recognizes that there is some evidence that some people can and do lose weight on a gluten free diet? The dogmatic certitude that abounds on the question of weight loss through the gluten free diet is profound and disturbing. As is pointed out by nutritionist, Brian Dean, in his article on gluten and heart disease in this issue of The Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, one long-standing dietary sacred cow has been killed. We now know that eating saturated fats is not a causal factor in heart disease. Equally, the emerging sacred cow that a gluten-free diet is not appropriate for weight loss is, as yet, supported only by flimsy evidence, all of which is contradicted by other research. So let’s avoid making rigid pronouncements about the gluten free diet until we have a better understanding of the complex and perplexing causes of obesity and overweight in the context of untreated celiac disease. And please, let’s remember that some people can and do lose weight on a gluten-free diet alone. My mother is an excellent but by no means unique example. Others have similar stories. My own experience on the diet was weight gain, and now I have to work at keeping from gaining any more. Only those who know all there is to know should speak in absolutes. The rest of us should constrain ourselves to offering opinions and perspectives. Sources: Hasselbeck E, The Gluten-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. Center Street- Hatchette Book Group, NY, 2009. http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/05/gluten-free-diet-opinion-from-elaine-monarch.html Dickey W, Kearney N. Overweight in celiac disease: prevalence, clinical characteristics, and effect of a gluten-free diet. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;101(10):2356-9. Cheng J, Brar PS, Lee AR, Green PH. Body mass index in celiac disease: beneficial effect of a gluten-free diet. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Apr;44(4):267-71. Venkatasubramani N, Telega G, Werlin SL. Obesity in pediatric celiac disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Sep;51(3):295-7.
  7. Hey folks, I'm new here, and hoping to get some fresh ideas or insight into my situation. Gluten free going on 13 months, now. I have DH (severe on my hands) and I've come to realise I'm extremely sensitive, some "gluten free" processed foods and even rice trigger a reaction, so I've reverted to a basic paleo diet. All meat and all veges. Anyway, up until almost two months ago everything was great. I'd given up the rice (seemed to have withdrawal symptoms from stopping it) and felt really good - lots of energy, no fatigue etc. Also, my new girlfriend and her six year old moved into our home. Now, I know what you may be thinking or suggest, but we don't have gluten in our home. My girlfriend was inadvertently eating gluten free anyway due to eating an paleo type diet, and her son follows suit, so I'm sure they're not contributing to my glutening symptoms. Which started when we started redocorating the home. It all began when I stripped the old wallpaper off the walls for new paper - my DH Rash that was healed flared, so I stopped. Then we had two new wardrobes built in each bedroom which required knocking walls down and extending them which had dust everywhere. Within sleeping in that environment for a week things got bad. So, we both cleaned every inch of the house making sure there was no dust, then had new carpets all through the house - but I'm still sick! My DH is back with a vengeance and I have stomach cramping/knotting like when I did my gluten challenge along with fatigue and headaches. I keep saying the house can't be making me I'll, but then I stay at my mum's to test this theory and I improve. The headaches go and my DH goes pink then heals and fades. What could it be? I'm being driven insane. Am I going to have to move home? It's ridiculous. I personally thought it was the drywall dust, but surely with the cleaning and new carpet it should be gone?. Everything I eat is fresh. Meet and vegetables and soups all prepared by me. My main staples are chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, swede, brocolli, mushrooms and kale. So it's not my diet. All thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know if paint can contain gluten, but we used a Valspar V500 paint mix to re paint the house. Cheers. Elliott.
  8. Celiac.com 11/15/2018 - Gluten-free products, marketed as such, were largely unknown 20 years ago, but the gluten-free industry is set to reach an estimated $2.34 billion in sales by 2019. That’s more than double figures for 2014. The growth has been exponential. What sets gluten-free foods apart from other culinary trends or diet fads is that they address a legitimate health concern that affects millions of people around the world. With the massive influx of gluten-free products, and the expansion of “gluten-free” restaurant options, it’s easy to forget that gluten exists in some obvious and not so obvious places that people with celiac disease need to avoid. Here are 15 foods or food ingredients that many people wrongly assume are gluten-free: Beer Light or dark, lager, IPA or Stout, traditional beer is brewed with barley, and is not gluten-free. However, a number of major and micro breweries create tasty gluten-free alternatives. There are a number of tasty, award winning beers that are brewed from gluten-free ingredients and are fully gluten-free. There are also gluten-reduced beers. These beers are brewed like traditional beers and EU regulations allow for gluten-removed beer to be labeled as gluten-free. Plenty of people with celiac disease do fine drinking these beers, but many do not. Know your beer, know your body, and drink accordingly. Read more at Celiac.com's Oktoberfest Beer Guide! Gluten-free vs. Gluten-removed Beers. Barbecue Sauce Many barbecue sauces use artificial colors, flavorings or thickeners that may contain gluten, so it’s important to check labels, and even contact a manufacturer if you're not sure about something. Couscous, Tabbouleh and Falafel Couscous and bulgar are wheat and are used in many different Middle-eastern foods, and some people do not realize that they contain gluten. Bulgar or couscous are also used to make another popular Middle-eastern dish called tabbouleh (salad). Couscous or wheat flour are sometimes used to make falafel, so be sure to ask about the ingredients before eating. Candy Always be careful about candy. Many candies are safe and gluten-free, but many candies are not. Sometimes trusted products can change. Read labels, check websites, contact manufacturers as needed, and be careful! If you’re not sure, Celiac.com’s Annual Safe Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List is a good place to start. Cookie Dough This might seem obvious, but cookie dough, unless specifically gluten-free, almost always contains standard wheat flour and is not gluten-free. Dried Spices Some manufacturers actually use flour to keep their spices from clumping. Pay special attention to spice blends and mixes, including curry powders, which may contain wheat. Gravies, Soups, Sauces and Mixes—Packaged, Canned, or Jarred If you’ve ever made gravy from scratch, you might recall that it involves making a roux, a paste of butter and flour which thickens the gravy and gives it a nice sheen. Well, roux is also used as a thickening agent in many packaged, canned or jarred gravies, soups, sauces and mixes. Even some fresh soups may contain wheat or flour. Gazpacho, for example, can be made gluten-free, but most recipes call for a piece of bread soaked in sherry vinegar and blended into the soup. When it comes to gluten in soup, eater beware! Hot Dogs & Sausages The bun is an obvious source of gluten, but the dog itself can contain traces of wheat as well in the form of both filler and binder. So check labels, know the ingredients, and double-check when it comes to hot dogs and sausages. Ice Cream Although many ice creams are gluten-free, some may contain wheat in the form of added ingredients, like cookie dough, toppings or candy pieces. Double-check the ingredients to be safe. Packaged Deli Meats, Marinated or Pre-Seasoned Meats & Vegetable Proteins Packaged, marinated meat, fish, chicken, or other meats may contain gluten as a binder or hidden ingredient. Some vegetable-based proteins like Seitan contain gluten. Also, many deli meats claim to be gluten-free, but the same companies have released specific lines of gluten-free meats, raising the question of why they needed a separate product in the first place. Deli meats are controlled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the Food and Drug Administration, which currently uses a different gluten-free standard. Prescription Drugs, Vitamins and Supplements Even though they are not technically foods, and they are meant to keep you healthy, prescription drugs, vitamins and supplements may contain gluten as binders, typically in the form of wheat starch. Ask you pharmacist for guidance, read labels closely, and make phone calls to companies or visit their Web sites to be sure. Salad Dressings Many salad dressings have updated their recipes to exclude any wheat or barley-derived additives, but some still contain gluten, especially the powdered mix kind. Soy Sauce Most soy sauces contain wheat and should be avoided. Be sure to find a gluten-free soy sauce. Sushi Although raw fish by itself is gluten-free, there are many ingredients in sushi rolls and other items that contain soy sauce and other sources of gluten. The seaweed wrappers in sushi may contain soy sauce, and the wasabi or fake crab may contain gluten. Teriyaki sauce is another source of gluten because it is made with soy sauce. See our How to Safely Order Sushi article for more info. Teriyaki Sauce Teriyaki is nearly always made with made with soy sauce, and most commercial brands contain wheat, so be careful. Read more on: Celiac.com UNSAFE Food List Celiac.com SAFE Food List Celiac.com's SAFE and UNSAFE Halloween Candy List
  9. Celiac.com 11/28/2018 - Patients with gluten ataxia without enteropathy have lower levels of antigliadin antibodies (AGA) compared to patients with celiac disease. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NAA/Cr area ratio) of the cerebellum improves in patients with gluten ataxia following a strict gluten-free diet, and is associated with an improvement in symptoms. A team of researchers recently set out to present their experience of the effect of a gluten-free diet in patients with ataxia and low levels of AGA antibodies measured by a commercial assay. The research team included Marios Hadjivassiliou, Richard A Grünewald, David S Sanders, Panagiotis Zis, Iain Croall, Priya D Shanmugarajah, Ptolemaios G Sarrigiannis, Nick Trott, Graeme Wild, and Nigel Hoggard. They are variously affiliated with the Academic Departments of Neurosciences and Neuroradiology; the Departments of Gastroenterology, the Departments of Dietetics; the Departments of Immunology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, in Sheffield, UK. The team conducted MR spectroscopy on 21 consecutive patients with ataxia and serum AGA levels below the positive cut-off for celiac disease, but above a re-defined cut-off in the context of gluten ataxia, at baseline and after a gluten-free diet. Of the 21 included patients with gluten ataxia, the team found that ten were on a strict gluten-free diet with elimination of AGA, 5 were on a gluten-free diet, but continued to have AGA, while 6 patients did not follow a gluten-free diet. The NAA/Cr area ratio from the cerebellar vermis increased in all patients on a strict gluten-free diet, increased in only 1 out of 5 patients on a gluten-free diet with persisting circulating AGA, and decreased in all patients who did not follow a gluten-free diet. From these results, the team concludes that patients with ataxia and low levels of AGA benefit from a strict gluten-free diet. The results suggest an urgent need to redefine the serological cut-off for circulating AGA in the diagnosis of gluten ataxia. Read more in Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1444; doi:10.3390/nu10101444
  10. Celiac.com 11/22/2018 - Figuring out the best way to make sure that oats are gluten-free is an interesting and important piece of the gluten-free manufacturing puzzle. That’s partly because getting representative test samples for antibody-based testing is challenging when analyzing whole grains for gluten. Moreover, when whole grains are ground into flour for testing, confocal microscopy studies have shown that gluten tends to exist as aggregates within the starch background, making single-sample testing inaccurate and complicating the ability to arrive at an accurate average from multiple samples. In addition, whole-grain products are riskier for gluten-free consumers, because contamination is localized to specific servings, rather than being distributed throughout the product. This makes parts-per-million values less relevant for whole-grain products. Intact grains, seeds, beans, pulses, and legumes offer an alternative opportunity for gluten detection, in that contaminating gluten-containing grains (GCGs) are visible and identifiable to the trained eye or properly calibrated optical sorting equipment. A team of researchers recently set out to assess the use of visual inspection for assessing levels of gluten-containing grains in gluten-free whole oats, grains, seeds, beans, and legumes, and to determine a Gluten Free Certification Organization threshold level for the maximum number of GCGs within a kilogram of non-gluten grains sold as specially processed gluten free product. Researchers LK Allred, C Kupper, and C Quinn are affiliated with the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, 31214 124th Ave SE, Auburn, WA 98092. In their study, they ran 180 samples containing one or two wheat, rye, or barley grains through an optical sorter at the Grain Millers, Inc. facility 30 times each. In every base, the sorter diverted the GCGs into the smaller stream of rejected material. The calculated probability of detection, or in this case probability of rejection from the oat sample for all three grain types, was 1.00, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.96–1.00.” Their study showed that a gluten grain threshold of 0.25 GCG/kg can be achieved for oats, and is, likely achievable in other cereals, beans, pulses, legumes, and seeds with naturally lower levels of GCGs. Their conclusions rest in part on data quality, and the assumption of a low false-negative rate. Their conclusions were supported by optical sorting verification done by Grain Millers, Inc., and by Discovery Seed Laboratories and Kent Agri Laboratory Ltd, which are CFIA-accredited seed testing facilities. One way to ensure that gluten levels in gluten-free flour remains below 20 ppm might be to visually examine intact grains, seeds, beans, pulses, and legumes; this process is called “hand sorting.” GCGs are generally visible and identifiable to the trained eye or properly calibrated optical sorting equipment. This potentially offers exciting possibilities for creating a system to physically spot-check batches of gluten-free oats. Basically, gluten levels below 20ppm are achievable by both hand and optical sorting. However, a properly calibrated optical sorter is much faster, and much more accurate than hand sorting. Also, as the report states, “even with well-trained personnel, hand picking for grading has shown accuracy in the range of 86–90%, and we have assumed a 14% non-detection rate with the proposed sampling plan presented.” A non-detection rate of 14% could lead to gluten levels as high as 140,000 ppm, compared with optical sorting alone. General Mills claims their optical sorting equipment achieves under 20 ppm. For companies that have access to optical sorting equipment, such as General Mills, employee performance can also be checked by running the batch of material they have accepted through the sorter to determine whether any GCGs have been missed. Employees who do not accurately detect the GCGs in these samples must be retrained and monitored to ensure accuracy. Properly calibrated optical sorting looks to be the best way to sort gluten-containing grains from large quantities of oats and other materials. Any human role in such an undertaking would largely be relegated to spot-checking and re-scanning sub-samples to confirm overall results. This study authors rather diplomatically note that their study does not serve as a validation for either the Purity Protocol or the mechanical sorting method of producing gluten-free grains, “but rather demonstrates that achieving the proposed threshold is possible under both systems.” However, the fact is that even Purity Protocol oats will have to be inspected at some point, using either optical sorting, human sorting, or a combination of both. The reality is that inspecting oats for GCGs using humans alone is both time-consuming and fraught with error. That potentially means increased production costs. In the end, a combination of optical sorting systems and humans checking each other might be the way to go. For now, studies like this one will help us narrow down the best practices and help to ensure that we take the best path toward the manufacture of gluten-free oats. Read more at the JOURNAL OF AOAC INTERNATIONAL VOL. 101, NO. 1, 2018
  11. Celiac.com 11/05/2018 - ImmusanT, Inc. is a clinical stage company looking to deliver innovative peptide-based immunomodulatory vaccine therapies to patients with autoimmune diseases, initiated enrollment in Australia and New Zealand for its celiac disease vaccine. Along with Nexvax2, ImmusanT is working to develop vaccines for other HLA-associated autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. The Phase 2 trials will assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of its celiac vaccine, Nexvax2, on celiac patients who carry the immune recognition genes for HLA-DQ2.5. Carriers of HLA-DQ2.5 account for approximately 90% of people with disease, and Nexvax2 is designed to protect these patients from the effects of gluten exposure. Nexvax2 is currently the only disease-modifying therapeutic candidate in clinical development for patients with celiac disease. Injections of Nexvax2 are designed to reprogram T cells that trigger an inflammatory response to gluten, thereby suppressing inflammation in patients with celiac disease. Phase 1 studies showed Nexvax2 to be safe and well-tolerated at even its highest dose levels. In Phase 2 clinical trials, ImmusanT hopes to confirm clinical efficacy of Nexvax2 administered by injection into the skin for treatment of celiac disease. The study plan consists of an initial screening period of 6 weeks, an approximately 16 week treatment period, and a 4 week post-treatment observational follow-up. The trials will be conducted at sites in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, in addition to sites in New Zealand. For the U.S. study researchers will enroll approximately 150 patients across the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. Phase 2 is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of Nexvax2 in adults with confirmed celiac disease who have followed a gluten-free diet for at least a year prior to screening. “This trial is important in establishing clinical proof-of-concept for a treatment that would provide benefit beyond that of the gluten-free diet,” and will “test if Nexvax2 can specifically target the immune response to gluten in people with celiac disease and modify associated symptoms,” said Jason Tye-Din, MBBS, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and head of celiac research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. For more information about RESET CeD, including inclusion and exclusion criteria, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov (Identifier: NCT03644069).
  12. Celiac.com 11/07/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to explore the relationship between dermatitis herpetiformis, as a common extraintestinal manifestation of celiac disease, and a gluten-free diet as a path to overall dermatitis herpetiformis improvement. The research team included Timo Reunala, Teea T. Salmi, Kaisa Hervonen, Katri Kaukinen and Pekka Collin. They are variously affiliated with the Celiac Disease Research Center, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Tampere, the Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital, the Department of Internal Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, and with the Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a condition marked by itchy papules and vesicles on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a common in people with celiac disease. People who have just dermatitis herpetiformis alone rarely have obvious gastrointestinal symptoms. Dermatitis herpetiformis is easily diagnosed by immunofluorescence biopsy showing pathognomonic granular immunoglobulin A (IgA) deposits in the papillary dermis. One theory currently in play is that dermatitis herpetiformis is triggered by celiac disease in the gut and eventually develops into an immune complex deposition of high avidity IgA epidermal transglutaminase (TG3) antibodies, together with the TG3 enzyme, in the papillary dermis. The age at which people are diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis has risen steeply in recent decades to the current average of 40–50 years. The researchers found that the ratio of dermatitis herpetiformis to celiac disease is 1:8 in Finland and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Additionally, the incident rates of dermatitis herpetiformis are currently 2.7 per 100,000 in Finland and 0.8 per 100,000 in the U.K., is decreasing, whereas incidents of celiac disease are on the rise. One positive finding is that Dermatitis herpetiformis patients who are on a gluten-free diet face an excellent long-term outlook, with an even lower mortality rate than the general population. Read more in: Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 602; doi:10.3390/nu10050602
  13. What is Gluten? Gluten is a huge molecule held together by smaller molecules linked together called amino acids. A very tiny part of the gluten molecule can initiate a response. If each amino acid that makes up gluten is represented as a single letter that very tiny part would be: SGQGSFQPSQQ. There are other sequences of amino acids that cause a reaction in gluten sensitive individuals, but the point is, as tiny as this fragment is with respect to the entire gluten protein, it is still HUGE with respect to the size of ethanol (the stuff you are drinking). What is Alcohol? The alcohol you drink is ethanol. Ethanol is smaller than the size of the smallest amino acid in the smallest fragment of gluten that has been shown to initiate an autoimmune reaction. More specifically, ethanol is about 10 atomic mass units smaller than just the G in the sequence shown above. What are Amino Acids? The G is glycine, and by the way, each of these amino acids (represented by letters) by themselves is safe, and sold at most health food stores. For example Q = glutamine (yes, “L-glutamine,” the same amino acid mentioned in a recent post and used to heal intestinal damage). If the protein is viewed as beads on a string, then one of those beads might be good for you, but certain sequences strung together can initiate an allergic reaction of many types from acute peanut allergy to less-than-obvious gluten sensitivity. What is Distillation? When a distillation is performed, pure ethanol is separated away from all of the other “stuff” that forms as a result of fermentation. This is because ethanol is volatile (meaning it becomes a gas in the distillation process). Imagine a vat of fermentation products, you heat it, and only the volatile molecules like ethanol enter a tube attached to the vat. This tube is not just any tube - it is a curved condensation tube! Here is what it does: While the heated gas form of ethanol floats into it (because that is what gases do), the molecules are cooled and condense back into a liquid, and fall into a new sparkling clean vessel containing the stuff that intoxicates you and any other volatiles. So the fancier distillation columns that are actually used industrially also purify the ethanol away from other volatiles. Gluten does not stand a chance of “crossing over” because it is not volatile. Here is a simplified analogy. Let's say you put some sand in the bottom of your tea kettle. If you take the spout off your tea kettle, and attach a condensing tube to the opening (a curved tube would be the simplest type of condensing tube but there are many elaborate types), you could distill your water away from the sand. The condensing tube would be curved so as to open into a new clean pot. Let us pretend that the sand is gluten and the water is ethanol. When you heat to the boiling point, the liquid becomes gas so it travels into the condenser, cools and becomes liquid, then falls into the clean pot. Now having read that, is there any way that the new clean pot would contain any sand? No, and distilled alcohol (ethanol) does not contain any gluten. Remember, gluten is not volatile. Another non-volatile compound is table salt. So you could perform a distillation at home, with salt water. Has anyone ever inadvertently done this? Boiled a pot of salt water, perhaps to make some Tinkyada pasta, and walked away to do something else. You came back to find your pot almost empty with white crusty stuff (salt) all inside the pot. So the gluten is left behind in a distillation process. If malt is added to the distilled product it will be disclosed on the ingredients label. What is Vinegar? Vinegar is formed by fermentation in a similar way that ethanol is formed by fermentation. The process is to take ethanol and ferment it with bacteria. Later, there is a filtration to remove the bacteria. Rarely, vinegar is fermented from wheat-based alcohol. “Distilled vinegar,” gets its name from the fact that it was fermented from distilled alcohol. Why is Vinegar Still Questioned? The answer could be, perhaps, because so many people report a reaction to it and vinegar-based products. The never-ending fear is that cross-contamination during the fermentation process is leading to barely detectable amounts of gluten in the finished product (by barely detectable, I mean in terms of commercially available tests). Since the vinegar is rarely distilled post fermentation from the ethanol, the “messy” nature of the second fermentation step could pose a problem, especially for highly sensitive individuals. If the alcohol gets all used up by the bacteria, the bacteria go on to form carbon dioxide and water from the vinegar. So alcohol is periodically added in the fermentation process. Conceivably, one “shortcut” would be to just add beer at this juncture. Adding beer or some other form of cheap malted alcohol would keep the culture alive, and increase the “quality” and yield of the vinegar. Another fear is that the bacterial “mother” as it is called, contains trace gluten through cross-contamination. Claims that these practices actually take place are unsubstantiated by evidence. Why are Distilled Spirits Still Questioned?That is a good question, I do not know.Take a Short Quiz on this Topic: You bought mustard and pickles at the grocery store. These products contain “distilled vinegar” according to the ingredients labels, and the label does NOT say “contains: wheat.” Are the mustard and pickles gluten-free? Rum, gin, whiskey, and vodka are distilled beverages. If they are not flavored with something that contains wheat (would be declared on the label), rye, or barley (usually in the form of “malt”), are they gluten-free? What is wrong with the following statements (they have all been cut and pasted from various blogs and forums on the topic of celiac disease)?a. “Most alcohols are distilled in such a way that any wheat gluten is no longer present.”b. “Even trace amounts of gluten that make it past the filter system can be harmful.”c. “It seems improbable to me, too, that gliadin could survive the distillation process.” Answers: Yes, unless you have reason to believe otherwise, in which case you should simply avoid them. Yes. 3a. All alcohols, if distilled, have been removed from any type of gluten. 3b. Distillation is nothing like a filtration. We are not separating small from large, there is no filter. Filtration would be like how your coffee pot separates water from the coffee grains. A tear in the filter would result in a big problem, right? Filtration is a separation based on size, distillation is a separation based on volatility. 3c. Do we care whether gliadin (a name given to part of wheat gluten) “survives” the process or not? No, because it has been left behind to stew in its own juices in the distillation pot. Your stuff (the ethanol) has floated away, and entered a new, clean pot. Some people have this idea that we heat the fermented mixture to smithereens and it somehow decomposes the molecules of gluten. Clearly, such a process would be ineffective or else we could simply “cook,” “roast,” “fry,” or “burn” the gluten out of our foods, and we know that we cannot do that.
  14. Celiac.com 11/12/2018 - Here’s an uplifting celiac story. Now, this happened a while back, but it's all just coming to light in the way that so many warm and fuzzy family stories do. It starts like this: Once upon a time, a simple check for celiac disease opened the door to parenthood for couple. Just over ten years ago, AnnMarie Bradley from Celbridge, Co Kildare, thought she’d never become a mother. After two devastating miscarriages over a decade, Bradley, who is 47 years old, and her husband Christopher (48) were at wit’s end. "I was just heartbroken,” said Ms Bradley. Then, a simple visit to her doctor changed everything. A blood test indicated she might have celiac disease, which further evaluation confirmed. She began a gluten-free diet, and less than a year later, Bradley was pregnant with her son, Cameron. “Being a mother had been everything I'd wanted," she said. Cameron is nearly 16 now, and has an 11-year old sister, Emily. And they all lived happily and gluten-free ever after. In the UK, the Coeliac Society advises women struggling to conceive to consider celiac testing. Read more at: Independent.ie
  15. Celiac.com 10/31/2018 - It’s official. Twitter official. Kourtney Kardashian has made peace with wheat and dairy, and called off her highly touted gluten-free, dairy-free diet. After several years of avoiding them like the plague, the celebrity is now on good terms with both gluten and dairy and is ready to accept them back into her diet. In a new post on her website, the ever busy Kardashian says she’s relaxing a bit, and allowing for dietary deviation and occasional indulgences "in moderation." Kardashian and gluten are not exactly new besties. For now, Kardashian says, she plans to remain gluten-free and dairy-free at home, but more flexible when traveling and dining out. "Lately, I've been less strict about avoiding gluten and dairy…Everything in my pantry is still free of dairy and gluten, so when I'm at home, it's still how I eat," she writes. "But when I go out, or have a craving, I'll have whatever I want. I try to do everything in moderation in my usual routine." In addition Kardashian noted recently on her website that, in addition to a few choice supplements, she usually starts her day with “one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water." Can’t get enough? Follow Kourtney Kardashian on Twitter: @kourtneykardash
  16. Celiac.com 11/01/2018 - A terse one-star TripAdvisor review expressed outrage over the lack of gluten-free bread at a family funeral, and slammed the hotel that hosted the reception for the perceived offense. Complaining that, among other things, she had to "munch on some lifeless salad" after the wake reception failed to meet her dietary requirements, a user, known as "Jan" poured her frustration upon the Elmbank Hotel in York. According to Jan, the staff at the Elmbank informed her that why had no gluten-free option, and asked her to bring her own bread. She wrote that she called the hotel a few days before the event, and was “told they don't have gluten-free bread, but if I wanted to take my own they'd make a sandwich for me.” Apparently, Jan chose not to bring her own bread, as she was reportedly “shocked” to discover that they had no gluten free bread on offer. Her outrage on full display, Jan added that "In this day and age you'd think they 'd get their act together, it's quite a common dietary requirement, adding that she had to "sit there, at lunch time, munching on a chicken drumstick and some lifeless salad. Next stop Tesco's on the way past!" In all, Jan gave the funeral reception just one TripAdvisor star, and said that she would never go back again. It didn’t take long for the internet to reply with characteristic mockery. Jan’s review was tweeted by a woman who lives near the hotel who seemed to enjoy the reaction from other users. The tone-deaf nature of Jan’s "munch on some lifeless salad" comment was mentioned in one of the replies. One person wrote: "The genuine coeliacs I know would never complain about this sort of thing." Another said: "I'm glad she was so sensitive and didn't miss the real point of why she was there!" Commenters also took aim at Jan’s admission that she was gluten-free ‘by preference,’ with one user writing: "Glad you saw fit to add the *by preference. I don't know a coeliac who could be this insensitive, they know suffering and would never be so insensitive. Those who 'choose' are princesses." Okay, perhaps the funereal nature of the proceedings makes Jan’s complaint a bit tacky, but does she have a point in general about accommodations for gluten-free eaters? How about you? Been to any tough non-gluten-free funerals or other events lately? Read more in TheSun.co.uk
  17. Hi, i'm a 29 y/o male and basically to try and keep it as short as possible. For the last, i'd say 3-1/2 years i've had strange symptoms that don't fit to any definite diagnosis. I've had MRI'S, X-rays, EMG's, all the blood works done plus countless visits to neurologists and still I have no diagnosis and they're scratching their heads. It's been a nightmare stuck in limbo. I will list a few of my symptoms as i'm just wondering if anyone else can relate. I just want to say autoimmune runs in my family. Both my first cousin and aunt have Crohn's disease. It all started with severe burning in my right foot, then it spread to my left almost immediately and them started progressing upwards. When it got to my calfs, it started in my hands, only it's itching instead of burning. The burning an itching is still present, but for the last 2 years, my muscles (where the burning is) have been twitching and i've lost muscle mass, mostly in my feet, calves and hands, and shoulders, but it's progressing. I've had all the tests I can think of for ALS, MS, etc... I have a lot of sensory issues that have spread through my body, but no numbness, as well as ocular migraines which I get from time to time and a jagged line across my sight appears and then my vision goes in one eye. I suffer with depression and anxiety and all seems to have been triggered around the same time it's all started. Also I have noticed a mass of fruits I all of a sudden can't eat due to sensitivities that I never used to have. So i'll just bullet point symptoms, and I would really be appreciative if someone could give me their opinion or if someone has similar symptoms. Thank you in advance all :) *muscle wasting *muscle twitching/fasciculation's *chronic fatigue *unsteady walking & off balance *unable to empty bladder fully *constipation *itching *brain fog *irritability *ocular migraines *depression & anxiety *sudden food allergies *restless legs
  18. Celiac.com 11/02/2018 - In sensitive individuals, some foods can cause allergic or other immune system reactions. These reactions can be as mild as a little fatigue (many physicians believe the #1 symptom of allergies is fatigue), a mild headache, some congestion, or a ‘fuzzy brain’. Or, the reaction can be as severe as immobilizing migraines, asthmatic attacks and even life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Many of us have felt these types of reactions to foods. And if I tell the truth, I am guilty of many times in the past wondering, “how far can I push this? How much of this food (which isn’t good for me) can I eat without getting sick?” Researchers are now telling us, and studies are being published that gives answers to these questions. It seems to depend on the level of sensitivity. When a person has elevated antibodies to wheat or gluten, the evidence is suggesting ‘none at all’ is the answer to the question. In a recent paper entitled ‘A Milligram of Gluten a Day Keeps the Villous Healing Away’, the authors tell the story of a 32-year-old woman. Her symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss were present for over 10 years. She also had a history of failure to thrive in childhood (one of the smallest children in the class throughout her education), late onset of menstrual cycles, recurring anemia, and hair loss. This is the history of a body physically ‘just barely getting by’. A positive blood test indicated elevated antibodies, and an endoscopic examination (biopsy of the intestines) confirmed Classic Celiac Disease. She had followed a wheat and gluten free diet for 16 months. Diarrhea and abdominal pain stopped completely and weight loss had been recovered. Some of her blood work had returned to normal. However anemia, hair loss, and increased antibodies suggestive of persistent Celiac Disease were still present. A focused interview revealed she was not on a strict gluten-free diet because she was taking a communion wafer and had several other unintentional dietary lapses. After discussion with her Doctor she refused to stop taking a daily fragment of communion wafer. Eighteen months after beginning a complete gluten-free diet, but still taking a communion wafer, her anemia, hair loss, diarrhea, and abdominal pains were gone. Most blood work was now normal. However some blood markers of possible Celiac Disease were borderline high. From how her body was functioning, one would think she was healed and her Celiac Disease was gone. However her repeat biopsy still showed the highest degree of severe intestinal damage—Marsh IV villous atrophy, and an increased number of intraepithelial lymphocytes, putting her at increased risk of osteoporosis and a severe form of cancer of the intestines (T-cell lymphoma). Her Doctors were concerned. She was following the diet perfectly. No hidden glutens in medications or foods. All of her symptoms were gone. She felt very good. But why weren’t her intestines healing? Could it be the fragment of communion wafer she refused to give up for religious reasons? She did not want to have this discussion and continued to refuse abstaining from the wafer fragment. An evaluation of the communion wafer revealed that it contained approximately 0.5 mg of Gliadin (1 milligram of gluten). That’s about 1/16 of a thumbnail. Now remember this woman’s symptoms had all but disappeared, she felt fine and her blood work was much improved (not quite normal, but close). She was very reluctant to give up her daily fragment of Communion wafer. Eighteen months later she returned and surprised her Doctors by announcing she had given up the wafer. A repeat biopsy now showed her intestines had healed and were completely normal. Discussion: What can we learn from this case? In sensitive individuals (with elevated antibodies to wheat or gluten), the symptoms are not just in the intestines. This person had suffered for years from anemia, hair loss, failure to thrive, weight loss, and hormone irregularities. Implementing a wheat and gluten free diet brought favorable results in eliminating all of the above symptoms Even with the elimination of symptoms and the return to normal of her blood work, ongoing very serious damage was occurring in the intestines without any noticeable symptoms. It only took 1/16th of a fingernail worth of gluten per day to stop intestinal healing and create great risk to life-threatening diseases. Blood antibody values that are border line may be an indicator of more aggressive damage occurring inside the body—not identifiable without an endoscopic exam. Conclusions One can be completely fooled as to whether they are having serious damage occur in their body if they just go by symptoms (or a lack of symptoms). Testing for wheat allergies and Celiac Disease must include comprehensive blood work and, when indicated, an endoscopic examination. If either test comes back positive, a complete elimination of wheat and gluten is necessary—not even 1/16th of a fingernail’s worth-not even a crouton on a salad can be considered harmless. Personal Note It is a necessity to do an endoscopic exam with positive blood work to wheat and/or gluten allergies. I’ve always thought doing the blood work was enough, especially in children. I was wrong. In researching this further I’ve found many studies that emphasize this necessity. Blood work comes first, but if positive, an endoscopic exam is essential. Otherwise, as in this study, severe damage may occur without any symptoms whatsoever.
  19. Celiac.com 10/26/2018 - Did you know that a new study shows people with celiac disease are more likely to suffer nerve damage? Jonas E. Ludvigsson, a clinical epidemiology Professor in Sweden, discovered that women with celiac disease are 2.5 times more likely to develop neuropathy or nerve damage. There is a real association between celiac disease and nerve damage. "We have precise risk assessments in a way we haven't had before" he stated last year. Yet even Sweden has its quandaries. 60% of women in Sweden who have celiac disease have neuropathy and they do not totally know why! Statistics vary from country to country, and even vary between specialists within that country. Nerve damage is no laughing matter, it presents with numbness and tingling of exterior areas (extremities). Basically, numbness in the nerve endings of the fingers and toes and other frustrating areas. Just try picking up pencils, or something hot out of the oven. If you do not feel the heat you will know that you may have nerve damage. Following a rigid gluten-free diet, however, can alleviate this problem to a certain degree, and that is why we keep repeating the mantra: “Eat Clean & Gluten-Free!” However, sometimes accidents happen, and people who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or dermatitis herpetiformis get exposed to gluten. How to Recover From Accidental Gluten Exposure Kathy Holdman, M.S., R.N. and Certified Nutritional Therapist lists numerous ways to recover after gluten exposure. You need to take into account the amount of gluten exposure, length of time from last exposure, degree of gluten intolerance present, health of the digestive tract, existing inflammation or infection in the body and overall health status. Some people say they can recover in a few days, others say they may experience significant setbacks in their health that lasts weeks to months. For those with positive celiac disease it may take years for complete healing of the small intestine after gluten exposure, although "outward symptoms" may resolve sooner. Nurse Holdman suggests the following 10 tips to help alleviate symptoms from gluten exposure, and hopefully speed up recovery: Drink plenty of water, and this cannot be emphasized enough. Water is an essential nutrient for every cell in the body for proper function. Many people live in a state of chronic dehydration, which of course results in constipation. Then they take something to rid themselves of constipation and take too much and lose potassium, magnesium and throw out the balance of the salts in their body. When you have celiac disease you learn something new every week. Last week an Internist told me, after incurring my second bladder infection in eight weeks, that it could possibly be from the diarrhea following being glutened, and not totally washing myself. That made me a little sick just thinking about it. But, she told me an interesting fact about urinary tract infections and celiac disease. Celiacs do incur more frequent urinary tract infections due to more frequent diarrhea, no matter how meticulously clean we are. Taking four or five "Craisins" with each meal several times a day can limit the amount of bladder infections. I told her that I was also taking Cranberry tablets and she told me to throw them out because they are "useless." She said that you do not need to buy fresh cranberries, as they are "sour and expensive." Just buy a bag of the dried Craisins and eat some either before or after meals. Ingredients in the pure dried cranberries helps prevent bladder infections from occurring. Studies done in several Nursing Homes where many incontinent patients lived were given five Craisins either alone or in a salad twice daily and the decrease in urinary tract infections was nothing less than amazing. Get extra sleep and rest. Sleep is the time your body repairs itself. Avoid strenuous exercise, (the type that causes you to sweat). Exercise in moderation is what I think she wants to tell us. Drink bone broth. It is rich in minerals and gelatin and other nutrients that are soothing to the digestive system and nourishing to the entire body. Another health benefit of bone broth is hydration, and the more liquid intake the better. You can dress up bone broth with onions and garlic to improve the taste. Take epson salt baths. They contain magnesium, a mineral that can help the body to relax. The sulphate minerals found in Epson Salts are detoxifying, and they can stimulate the lymphatic system and support the immune system. Nurse Holdman also urges us to take digestive enzymes which can help modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. Take digestive enzymes. If taken immediately following the accidental consumption of gluten, some people believe that digestive enzymes can help to modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. It is well known that digestive enzymes soothe the stomach lining and ease the abdominal pain. Drink ginger or peppermint tea. They are both known to help relieve nausea and can be soothing to the digestive system. Drink a cup if you are having nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Take activated charcoal. It is an over-the-counter-supplement that may be beneficial if taken immediately after an attack. It helps by binding with the offending food and preventing it from being absorbed into the body. This supplement can bind with medications so be sure to consult your licensed health care professional prior to taking it, especially if you take medications for other diseases or conditions. Eat fermented foods. Who knew!? Possibly the Koreans and their staple Kim Chi, or the Ukrainians/Romanians with their fermented red cabbage coleslaw of course! Fermented foods are high in nutrients that nourish the entire body. Start out with a small amount of fermented food and slowly increase it. Drink nettle leaf tea. It is an antispasmodic with antihistamine properties. It can help relieve muscle and joint pain, and relax your body naturally. Neither gluten intolerance nor celiac disease are mediated by histamine, but some people report that nettle leaf can help relieve symptoms of rash and itching following gluten exposure. It is a gentle diuretic and can be detoxifying. So if you experience dehydration symptoms it is time to drink more water. Get acupuncture treatments. It may relieve inflammation, especially in the abdominal area, and it can be relaxing. Only you can tell how many treatments are beneficial, and you need to take into consideration the cost factor because most health insurance plans do not cover acupuncture. Tips to Help People with Dermatitis Herpetiformis Recover from Accidental Gluten Exposure A suggestion from Me: If you have itching from dermatitis herpetaformis, try Scalpacin. I have been using it for years and nothing stops the itching in such a short time span. Once the sores start to appear, even just a slight "itch" is like a doorbell warning you ahead of time. I apply Scalpacin lotion, which is not a cream, but is a clear liquid. At first it stings but that is how I know that I have an impending outbreak. It is a non-fragrant liquid. You can use it on your scalp without totally ruining your hair style. Don't wash you hair with it, search out the spots, or, if you have a partner, they may be able to help you with the sores in your scalp, and you can point out itchy areas. For dermatitis herpetiformis itch you can also try a mix of baking soda and water by making it into a paste. This is not great for your scalp and hair, but it will ease the itching. It can be a little messy when it dries and the white powder flakes off on your floors, but you do not have to use it for hours at a time; it is a temporary method for temporary relief. You can also ask your physician if he or she will prescribe the prescription drug "Atarax" for you. It is a strong allergy medication and must be taken exactly as directed. It really helps the itch, but it can be sedating, especially when first trying it. Don't over-use the prescribed dosage. I would not suggest driving a car while taking Atarax, but if the itching, scabbing and bleeding have become so severe it definitely is the one allergy medication that helps with the itching from dermatitis herpetiformis. I have tried Benadryl, Claritin and other over the counter allergy medications, and nothing works as well as Atarax. Talk to your family physician about a prescription and read the instructions carefully. Hopefully these tips will prove helpful in the unfortunate event that you ever get cross-contaminated by gluten. I certainly hope this never happens to you!
  20. I have severe pain when I have pasta but not when I have bread. I have been tested for celiac disease numerous times as I have another auto immune disease and have had about 5 negative results over 4 years. Every doctor I get referred to does the celiac test before they consider trying anything else. I’ve had A camera and a CT scan (no problems found), and I am waiting for results for another test(malabsorption). Could it just be a simple intolerance? Is there something in pasta that could upset me more than bread or something that would just be in pasta and not bread?
  21. Celiac.com 10/17/2018 - In the interviews I conducted last year, the Celiac.com viewers shared with me some disturbing stories about how others either sabotaged their gluten-free diet or how their gluten-free requirements are continually scrutinized and doubted. Here are a few examples: A co-worker at my office ate a gluten-containing burrito and thought it would be funny to cross-contaminate my work space. With his gluten-coated hands, he touched my phone, desk, pencils, pens, etc. while I was not at my desk. I came back and was contaminated. I had to take several days off of work from being so sick. The waiter at a restaurant where I was eating dinner asked me if I was really “a celiac” or if I was avoiding gluten as a “fad dieter.” He told me the food was gluten-free when he served it, only to come up to me after I ate the dinner and admit there was “a little” gluten in it. My cleaning people were eating Lorna Doones (gluten-containing cookies) while cleaning my gluten-free kitchen, cross-contaminating literally everything in it. When I noticed I exclaimed, “I am allergic to gluten, please put your cookies in this plastic bag and wash your hands.” They chided, “You have insulted our food. We are hungry and we will eat anything we want to, when we want to.” At a family dinner, Aunt Suzie insisted that I try her special holiday fruit bread. In front of everyone around the table, she brushed off my protests and insisted that I over exaggerated my food sensitivities saying, “a little bit wouldn’t hurt you.” These are but a few of an exhaustive list of situations that we regularly contend with. What can possibly be the rationale for any of this conduct? I’m providing some recent headlines that may impact the attitudes of those we interact with and would like to hear what you think influence this behavior (see questions below). Recently, the New York Times published an article entitled, “The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten.” The title alone casts doubt on the severity of gluten exposure for those with CD (Myth, 2015) In his political campaign, Senator Ted Cruz stated that if elected President, he would not provide gluten-free meals to the military, in order to direct spending toward combat fortification (Wellness, 2/18/16). Business Insider.com called Tom Brady’s gluten, dairy free diet “insane” (Brady, 2017). Michael Pollen is quoted as saying that the gluten-free diet was “social contagion.” Further, he says, “There are a lot of people that hear from their friends, ‘I got off gluten and I sleep better, the sex is better, and I’m happier,’ and then they try it and they feel better too. [It’s] the power of suggestion” (Pollan, 2014). Jimmy Kimmel said, “Some people can’t eat gluten for medical reasons… that I get. It annoys me, but that I get,” and proceeded to interview people following a gluten-free diet, asking them “what is gluten.” Most interviewed did not know what gluten is. (ABC News, 2018). Do headlines like this enable others to malign those of us making our dietary needs known? Do these esteemed people talking about gluten cast doubt on what we need to survive? Humans are highly influenced by others when it comes to social eating behavior. Higgs (2015) asserts that people follow “eating norms” (p. 39) in order to be liked. Roth, et al. (2000) found that people consumed similar amounts of food when eating together. Batista and Lima (2013) discovered that people consumed more nutritious food when eating with strangers than when eating with familiar associates. These studies indicate that we are hypersensitive of what others think about what we eat. One can surmise that celebrity quips could also influence food-related behaviors. Part of solving a social problem is identifying the root cause of it, so please weigh in by answering the following questions: How do you handle scrutiny or sabotage of others toward your dietary requirements? Please speculate on what cultural, religious or media influences you suppose contribute to a rationalization for the sabotage and/or scrutiny from others when we state we are observing a gluten-free diet? Are people emulating something they heard in church, seen on TV, or read online? We welcome your answers below. References: ABC. (2018). Retrived from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/jimmy-kimmel-asks-what-is-gluten-23655461 Batista, M. T., Lima. M. L. (2013). Who’s eating what with me? Indirect social influence on ambivalent food consumption. Psicologia: Reflexano e Critica, 26(1), 113-121. Brady. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/tom-brady-gisele-bundchen-have-an-insane-diet-2017-2 Higgs, S. (2015). Social norms and their influence on eating behaviors. Appetite 86, 38-44. Myth. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/the-myth-of-big-bad-gluten.html Pollan, M. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/michael-pollan-gluten-free_n_5319357.html Roth, D. A., Herman, C. P., Polivy, J., & Pliner, P. (2000). Self-presentational conflict in social eating situations: A normative perspective. Appetite, 26, 165-171. Wellness. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ted-cruz-gluten-free-military-political-corectness_us_56c606c3e4b08ffac127f09f
  22. Celiac.com 10/16/2018 - Apparently, local St. Louis radio station Z1077 hosts a show called “Dirty Little Secret.” Recently, a woman caller to the show drew ire from listeners after she claimed that she worked at a local bakery, and that she routinely lied to customers about the gluten-free status of baked goods. The woman said she often told customers that there was no gluten in baked goods that were not gluten-free, according to local tv station KTVI. Apparently the woman thought this was funny. However, for people who cannot eat gluten because they have celiac disease, telling people that food is gluten-free when it is not is about as funny as telling a diabetic that food is sugar-free when it is not. Now, of course, eating gluten is not as immediately dangerous for most celiacs as sugar is for diabetics, but the basic analogy holds. That’s because many people with celiac disease suffer horrible symptoms when they accidentally eat gluten, including extreme intestinal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and other problems. Some people experience more extreme reactions that leave them in emergency rooms. As part of a story on the “joke” segment, KTVI interviewed celiac sufferer Dana Smith, who found the punchline to be less than funny. “It’s absolutely dangerous, somebody could get very sick,” said Smith. KTVI also interviewed at least one doctor, Dr. Reuben Aymerich of SSM St. Clare Hospital, who pointed out that, while celiac disease is “not like diabetes where you can reduce the amount of sugar intake and make up for it later, it’s thought you need to be 100 percent compliant if you can.” For her part, Smith sought to use the incident as a teaching moment. She alerted the folks at Z1077 and tried to point out how serious being gluten-free is for many people. Mary Michaels, owner of Gluten Free at Last Bakery in Maryville, Illinois, says it’s time people became more respectful. “I wouldn’t make fun of you if you had diabetes or a heart condition it’s kind of like that,” Michals said. We will likely never know if the radio station caller was telling the truth, or just putting listeners on. The Z1077 morning team did post a follow-up comment, which stated that they take celiac disease seriously, and that they did not intend to offend anyone. One host said his mom has celiac disease. It’s good to see a positive response from the radio station. Their prank was short-sighted, and the caller deserved to be called out on her poor behavior. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson and will avoid such foolishness in the future. Let us know your thoughts below.
  23. Celiac.com 10/15/2018 - If you’re on a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, then you’re probably already cautious about eating out. A new study tells us exactly why people with celiac disease and other gluten-sensitive conditions have reason to be very careful about eating out. According to the latest research, one in three foods sold as "gluten-free" in U.S. restaurants actually contain trace levels of gluten. This is partly due to the fact that the gluten-free diet has become popular with many non-celiacs and others who have no medical need for the diet. That has led many restaurants to offer gluten-free foods to their customers, says study author Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, of Columbia University's Celiac Disease Center. But, if this research is any indication, too many restaurants don’t do a good job with gluten-free. For the study, more than 800 investigators set out to assess the true gluten content of dishes listed as "gluten-free" on menus. Armed with portable gluten sensors, they tested for gluten levels that met or exceeded 20 parts per million, the standard cutoff for any gluten-free claim. Based on more than 5,600 gluten tests over 18 months, the investigators determined that 27 percent of gluten-free breakfast meals actually contained gluten. At dinner time, this figure hit 34 percent. The rise could reflect a steady increase in gluten contamination risk as the day unfolds, the researchers said. Off course, the risk is not all equal. Some restaurants are riskier than others. Unsurprisingly, the biggest culprit seems to be restaurants that offer gluten-free pastas and pizzas. Nearly half of the pizza and pasta dishes from those establishments contained gluten, according to the study. Why is that? Well, as most folks with celiac disease know all too well, kitchens aren’t really set up to segregate gluten, and "sharing an oven with gluten-containing pizza is a prime setting for cross-contamination," says Lebwohl. Also, too many restaurants use the same water to cook gluten-free pasta as they do for regular pasta, which contaminates the gluten-free pasta and defeats the purpose. Moreover, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates gluten-free labels on packaged food products, there is currently no federal oversight of gluten-free claims in restaurants. The results of the study will be presented today at a meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, in Philadelphia. Research presented at meetings is usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. In the absence of federal enforcement at the restaurant level, the burden for making sure food is gluten-free falls to the person doing the ordering. So, gluten-free eaters beware! These results are probably not surprising to many of you. Do you have celiac disease? Do you eat in restaurants? Do you avoid restaurants? Do you have special tactics? Feel free to share your thoughts below. Read more at UPI.com
  24. Celiac.com 10/22/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to determine if there is any association between prenatal gluten exposure and offspring risk of type 1 diabetes in humans. The research team first designed a national prospective cohort study using the national health information registries in Denmark. They looked at data on pregnant Danish women enrolled into the Danish National Birth Cohort, between January 1996 and October 2002, and assessed maternal gluten intake, based on maternal consumption of gluten containing foods, as reported in a 360 item food frequency questionnaire at week 25 of pregnancy. The team gathered information on type 1 diabetes occurrence in the participants’ children, from 1 January 1996 to 31 May 2016 by linking to the Danish Registry of Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes. Overall, their study included data on 101,042 pregnancies in 91,745 women, of whom 70,188 filled out the food frequency questionnaire. Once they corrected the figures to account for multiple pregnancies, pregnancies ending in abortions, stillbirths, lack of information regarding the pregnancy, and pregnancies with implausibly high or low energy intake, they included 67,565 pregnancies and 63,529 women. Gluten intake averaged 13.0 grams per day, ranging from under 7 grams per day to more than 20 grams per day. There were 247 children with type 1 diabetes among the group, for an incidence rate of 0.37%, with an average follow-up of 15.6 years. Risk of type 1 diabetes in offspring increased proportionally with maternal gluten intake during pregnancy per 10 grams per day increase of gluten. Compared to women with the lowest gluten intake of under 7 grams per day, those with the highest gluten intake who consumed 20 or more grams a day had double the risk for type 1 diabetes development in their children. These numbers indicate that high gluten intake by mothers during pregnancy may increase the risk of their children developing type 1 diabetes. However, the team is calling for further study to confirm the findings, preferably in an intervention setting. Read more in BMJ 2018;362:k3547. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3547 The research team included Julie C Antvorskov, assistant professor, Thorhallur I Halldorsson, professor in food science and nutrition, Knud Josefsen, senior researcher, Jannet Svensson, associate professor5, Charlotta Granström, statistician, Bart O Roep, professor, Trine H Olesen, research assistant, Laufey Hrolfsdottir, director, Karsten Buschard, professor, and Sjudur F Olsen, adjunct professor of nutrition. They are variously affiliated with the Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Centre for Foetal Programming, Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark; the Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland; the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; the Copenhagen Diabetes Research Center (CPH-DIRECT), Department of Children and Adolescents, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark; the Department of Diabetes Immunology, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at the Beckman Diabetes Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA; the Departments of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands; the Department of Education, Science, and Quality, Akureyri Hospital, Akureyri, Iceland; and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
  25. Celiac.com 06/13/2012 - In general, doctors and researchers know a good deal about how celiac disease works, and they are finding out more all the time. However, they know very little about non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). In an effort to learn more about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a team of researchers recently carried out a study to measure the presence of somatization, personality traits, anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life in NCGS individuals, and to compare the results with celiac disease patients and healthy control subjects. They also compared the response to gluten challenge between patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity and those with celiac disease. The research team included M. Brottveit, P.O. Vandvik, S. Wojniusz, A. Løvik, K.E. Lundin, and B. Boye, of the Department of Gastroenterology at Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål in Oslo, Norway. In all, the team looked at 22 patients with celiac disease and 31 HLA-DQ2+ NCGS patients without celiac disease. All patients were following a gluten-free diet. Over a three day period, the team challenged 17 of the celiac disease patients with orally ingested gluten. They then recorded the symptoms reported by those patients. They did the same with a group of 40 healthy control subjects. The team then had both patients and healthy control subjects complete questionnaires regarding anxiety, depression, neuroticism and lie, hostility and aggression, alexithymia and health locus of control, physical complaints, and health-related quality of life. Interestingly, patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity reported more abdominal (p = 0.01) and non-abdominal (p < 0.01) symptoms after the gluten challenge than patients with celiac disease. The increase in symptoms in non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients was not related to personality. However, the two groups both reported similar responses regarding personality traits, level of somatization, quality of life, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Responses for both groups were about the same as for healthy controls. The results showed that patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity did not show any tendencies toward general somatization, as both celiac disease patients and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity showed low somatization levels. Source: Scand J Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr 23.
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