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Celiac.com 11/01/2017 - Recent product testing by the FDA shows overwhelming compliance with FDA's requirement that foods labeled "gluten-free" have less than 20 parts per million detectable gluten. According to the FDA, more than 99.5 percent of "gluten-free" food products met the agency's gluten-free standard, according to Carol D'Lima, a food technologist in FDA's Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling. The FDA collected and analyzed 702 samples from more than 250 products labeled "gluten free." So far, D'Lima noted, only one product labeled as gluten-free tested positive for gluten levels above 20 ppm. The FDA does not name the products that were tested, but does note that the failed product was "recalled and subsequent sampling by the FDA did not find levels of gluten that violated the regulation." Also, the FDA testing very likely includes products by major manufacturers. That's likely good news for manufacturers like General Mills, which made news recently when they announced that they will voluntarily remove the "Gluten-Free" label from their Cheerios products in Canada. The company says that it did not make the move due to any concerns about gluten levels, but due to a technicality over oat testing protocols under which oat products can be labeled "Gluten-Free." A statement from the company's website reads in part: "Each serving of Cheerios products in Canada are gluten free, as defined by the current regulatory standard of containing less than 20 ppm of gluten. General Mills Canada has made the decision to voluntarily remove the gluten-free label from our Cheerios products in Canada until Health Canada and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats. At this time the product is not changing, just the label on the box." Absent any product recalls in the face of the FDA product testing, it's safe to assume that the consumers can take General Mills and other companies at their word, and trust that products labeled gluten-free meet FDA gluten-free standards, and are safe for people with celiac disease. Such high compliance levels by food manufacturers mean that the FDA may now put more of their resources into other enforcement measure, including ensuring that the supply chain remains free from cross-contamination. Even in the face of such encouraging test results, look for the FDA to remain diligent in validating "Gluten-Free" and other labeling claims. The FDA maintains "an ongoing compliance program," says D'Lima. Under that program, field staff in FDA district offices conduct inspections that include products labeled as gluten-free. If any products are found to be out of compliance for gluten standards, the FDA notifies the company to make appropriate corrections, and works with the company to recall any mislabeled products on the market. Source: foodnavigator-usa.com
Celiac.com 04/07/2011 - People with celiac disease are 60 percent more likely to develop asthma than people without celiac disease, according to a new study, which appears in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Moreover, the study results show that those with asthma are also more likely to eventually develop celiac disease. Indeed, for every 100,000 people with celiac disease, 147 will have asthma that would not have occurred in the absence of the digestive disorder. To assess possible links between celiac disease and asthma, Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson of Orebro University Hospital and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and colleagues compared more than 28,000 Swedes diagnosed with celiac to more than 140,000 similar people without the disease. Ludvigsson cautions that the study merely shows an links between the two diseases, it does not establish that asthma causes celiac disease, or vice versa. The exact nature of the association between the two diseases is unclear, but Ludvigsson told reporters that he thinks "the role of vitamin D deficiency should be stressed." Ludwigsson points out that people with celiac are more likely to develop osteoporosis and tuberculosis, both diseases in which vitamin D plays a role. If a person with celiac also has low levels of vitamin D, this could in turn affect the immune system, which could increase the risk of developing asthma. Another possibility, he points out, is that "asthma and celiac disease share some immunological feature. If you have it, you are at increased risk of both diseases. Ludvigsson also addresses the fact that the study did not establish levels of compliance with a gluten-free diet among the participants with celiac disease by noting that general "dietary compliance is high in Sweden," so he believes that "patients with good adherence are at increased risk of asthma." Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2011. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.1076
Celiac.com 10/12/2007 - A team of Dutch dentists recently conducted a study to determine if Dutch children with proven celiac disease exhibit corresponding defects in dental enamel and to gauge whether children without proven celiac disease, but showing celiac-associated gastro-intestinal complaints lack any such defects in their dental enamel. The research team included CLAAR D. WIERINK, General dentist, DENISE E. VAN DIERMEN, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Academic Centre for Dentistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, IRENE H. A. AARTMAN, Department of Social Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, Academic Centre for Dentistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, HUGO S. A. HEYMANS Emma Children’s Hospital, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands The team was led by Claar D. Wierink, and looked at a group of 81 children, 53 who were known to have celiac disease, and 28 of whom served as a control group. The children underwent examinations from 2003-2004 and the Oral Surgery Outpatient Clinic of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. 29 (55%) of the 53 children with celiac disease showed enamel defects, compared with 5 (18%) of the 28 non-celiac control subjects. Enamel defects were diagnosed as being specific in 20 of the 53 children with celiac disease, compared with only 1 (4%) of the 28 control subjects. Overall, children with celiac disease showed more specific enamel defects than did the control subjects. From these results, the researchers concluded that dentists might have a significant role to play in the early screening of patients who have undiagnosed celiac disease. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2007