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Celiac.com 12/02/2015 - A strict gluten-free diet remains the only effective treatment for celiac disease, but studies of gluten-free diet adherence have rarely used precise means of measuring data, which means that there really hasn't been much good data on long-term adherence to the gluten-free diet in the adult population. So, what are the factors that keep people on a gluten-free diet? This question has been on the minds of numerous celiac disease researchers. To determine the long-term adherence to the gluten-free diet and potential associated factors, a research team recently conducted a survey of adult celiac patients in a large celiac disease referral center population. The research team included J. Villafuerte-Galvez; R. R. Vanga; M. Dennis; J. Hansen; D. A. Leffler; C. P. Kelly; and R. Mukherjee. They are variously affiliated with the Celiac Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Their team performed a mail survey of adults with clinically, serologically and histologically confirmed celiac disease diagnosed five or more years prior to the survey. To measure dietary adherence, the team used the previously validated Celiac Disease Adherence Test. The team then analyzed demographic, socio-economic and potentially associated factors as they relate to dietary adherence. Of 709 people surveyed, about half responded. Their responses showed an average of about 10 years on a gluten-free diet, plus or minus 6.4 years. Adequate adherence was measured by a celiac disease adherence test score under 13. Just over 75% of respondents reported adequate dietary adherence. A higher level of education was associated with adequate adherence (P = 0.002) even after controlling for household income (P = 0.0220). Perceptions of cost, effectiveness of the gluten-free diet, knowledge of the gluten-free diet and self-effectiveness at following the gluten-free diet correlated with adherence scores (P < 0.001). More than 75% of respondents reported long-term adherence to a gluten-free diet Perceived cost remains one of the main barriers to long-term adherence to a gluten-free diet. Perceptions of effectiveness of gluten-free diet as well as its knowledge, are potential areas where better information may increase dietary compliance. Source: Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015;42(6):753-760.
Celiac.com 03/13/2014 - Two recent articles in Bloomberg Businessweek offer some excellent lessons for companies seeking to introducing gluten-free products at the retail level. Both articles are by associate Bloomberg Businessweek editor Venessa Wong. The first article is titled Can You Trust Gluten-free Restaurant Items? The article describes the gluten-free missteps of a few companies that got their gluten-free efforts wrong, at least at first. Companies mentioned in the article include California Pizza Kitchen, which rolled out pizzas made with a gluten-free crust late in 2010. Many customers became angry when they realized gluten was present in other parts of the pizza, and that the pizzas, as eaten, were not gluten-free. After about six months of the uproar, California Pizza Kitchen quickly pulled the pizzas off the menu, and then spent more than a year working to revamp its kitchen operations and train employees. Domino's pizza recently took a similar approach by rolling out a highly touted, much marketed gluten-free pizza crust, when their final product was not gluten-free. In fact, When many people within the gluten-free community expressed outrage over what they claimed was misleading at least, and possibly a classic bait-and-switch, Domino's tried to quell the the uproar by claiming that they never intended their pizzas to be for people with celiac disease or serious gluten-sensitivity. Those disclaimers did not go over well. It is important to remember that the latest ruling by the FDA requires restaurants to use the term "gluten-free" in the same way as commercial food producers. That is, they can only use the term gluten-free if the product contains no gluten ingredients and tests below 20 parts per million. The second article is titled Why the Long Wait for Dunkin's Gluten-free Donuts? Ostensibly an article about why Dunkin' Donuts has taken its time in bringing gluten-free donuts to its customers, works as a loose guide for companies looking to get it right. In the end, Dunin' Donuts decided not to go to market with a gluten-free product at this time. Companies that successfully introduce gluten-free products at the retail level strictly control and monitor every step of the gluten-free process, from supply to production to preparation and final delivery to the customer. These companies also invest in training their workers at all level of the process to achieve uniform results. Companies that approach gluten-free food as a medical issue, and which set their sights on offering celiac-friendly gluten-free food, seem to do best in the long run. Companies that have difficulty in introducing gluten-free products at the retail level either fail to strictly control and monitor every step of the gluten-free process, or they do not design such a comprehensive process in the first place. Many failed efforts involve companies offering products that incorporate gluten-free ingredients, such as Domino's gluten-free pizza crust, but which are not part of a truly gluten-free final product. Companies that approach gluten-free food as a trendy issue, and tout food with gluten-free ingredients, but which can harm people with celiac disease seem to run into troubles. So what do you think? Can you name some other bad rollouts of "gluten-free" products?
Celiac.com 07/09/2012 - These handy tips will help you to better navigate the challenges of gluten-free living in both dorm rooms and shared housing. Having the right tools, and adopting some wise practices will help you eat gluten-free week-in and week-out, without breaking your bank account, or risking gluten exposure. Having a few tools can help your efforts come together much more easily, and keep your eating consistent over the semester. Helpful tools: Rice Cooker Small Crock Pot Microwave Blender Fridge/freezer (even a miniature one will come in handy) Resealable freezer bags Sharpie permanent marker Shop wisely by making lists What's the old saying? Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance? Nowhere is this more true than with a gluten-free diet. Planning your meals in advance can save you time, money, stress, and, of yes, the pain of an adverse reaction to gluten. This practice starts with shopping, and shopping starts with planning. Make lists and use them. Check out Asian, Mexican, and other ethnic markets in your area. They often have good, gluten-free food at reasonable prices. Cook your food in advance You can make the most of your smart shopping practices by planning and preparing your meals in advance. Consider spending one day each week, or at least a good block of time, cooking and prepping food. Just a few hours of gluten-free cooking can prepare you to sail smoothly through the week ahead. Use all the tools at your disposal. Use your crockpot, use your rice cooker, your freezer bags, and your markers. Keep your own shelf and label your foods Package and label the food you make, then store it in your fridge or freezer. By packaging and labeling food, your housemates are less likely to "accidentally" eat it. If they do, you'll likely be on top of the situation. Keep gluten-free dry goods on hand Having a drawer full of gluten-free food that does not require a fridge or freezer is also helpful. Good items to have include microwaveable rice, gluten-free pretzels, crackers, chips tuna fish, fruit snacks, and beef jerky. Gluten-free Condiments Keep a collection of spices and sauces to help keep your snacks from getting boring. Good things to keep on hand include honey, gluten-free tamari, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce. Cover the Basics Make sure you keep simple items that are rich in protein and carbohydrates on hand, so that you won’t go hungry and will always have gluten-free food available. Avoid the Dining Hall Unless your dining hall is one of the more progressive campus dining halls that offer a variety of good, reliable gluten-free foods, you should avoid it. Some good foods to prepare in advance or keep on hand include: Fried rice - Frying rice is a good way to use leftover food, and it's easy to pack and take with you to campus. Try it with lots of veggies, meat, eggs, and any other items that seem tasty. Grilled or roasted chicken, or other meats cut into small slices - These are great items to add to your fried rice, or to your pasta sauce. Stews, soups or casseroles - Stews, soups and casseroles freeze easily and age well. They can be prepackaged and frozen ahead of time. They can be easily thawed in the bag by placing them in the microwave, or in lukewarm water. Sauces - Making sauces in advance and freezing them can cut your food prep time during the week. They can give you plenty of room for adjustment and broaden your options. Ideas include: Pasta sauce, pizza sauce, sweet and sour sauce, teriyaki sauce, Pizza - Use your favorite gluten-free pizza crust to make gluten-free pizza. Then place it in individual bags, label and freeze. If you have hungry roommates with boundary issues, consider numbering the bags to keep track of them. French toast - Making French toast with your favorite gluten-free bread is a great way to have a quick, reliable breakfast ready to go. Fruit - cutting up fruit and putting it in bags for the week ahead is a great way to be ready to make quick breakfast smoothies, or to have a great fruit salad ready to go. Yogurt and kefir are also good to have on hand. They are excellent for making fruit smoothies, or for giving you much needed protein and fat with that fruit smoothie. Dessert items - Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cakes are a great way to enjoy dessert when you want it without being forced to choose from the often dismal gluten-free selection at the local coffee shop, or the over-priced frozen section of your local grocery store. Lastly, compile a list of reliable local eateries where you can get good, safe gluten-free food when you are in a pinch, or need to dine on the spur of the moment.
Celiac.com 02/25/2005 - Today a team of scientists at Alba Therapeutics Corporation and the University of Maryland School of Medicine report a direct link between zonulin-mediated increased intestinal permeability and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in the BB/wor Rat Model of Diabetes. Even more remarkable, the investigators were able to successfully prevent the onset of the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells and the onset of T1D in these animals by using the specific zonulin blocker AT-1001. Daily, oral administration of the drug beginning before the onset of auto-immunity in the diabetic prone rats cut the incidence of the disease by 2/3, and completely blocked the development of autoimmune antibodies in the treatment responders. Published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), these results constitute the first successful result in preventing the autoimmune process characteristic of T1D by blocking the zonulin-mediated abnormal intestinal permeability. These results go well beyond the development of a prevention strategy for T1D, says Dr. Alessio Fasano, lead author of the paper and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Physiology and The University of Maryland School of Medicine. They open a new field of investigation in which the interplay between host and environment at the mucosal level may help us understanding the molecular basis of many diseases. These results reinforce our conviction that the zonulin pathway provides a roadmap for the discovery and development of innovative products to treat many important diseases, including diabetes, in ways previously thought to be inconceivable stated Dr. Blake M. Paterson. These preclinical proof-of-concept results with AT-1001 support the salvaging of beta cell function in pre-diabetics or in new-onset diabetes, giving us the impetus to rapidly move through the development process, bringing this dream to a reality for treatment in the diabetes community. T1D is an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, the islet beta cells. Current treatment of T1D is limited to the administration of insulin and other medications to treat the consequence of diabetes, elevated blood sugar and the complications thereof. The inability to treat the cause of T1D - a process known as autoimmunity, in which the bodys immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas - has been the key obstacle to the freeing patients from the yoke of this disease. Autoimmune diseases are thought to occur in individuals with the genetic pre-disposition to attack and destroy various organ tissues by the bodys own immune system. This immune misrecognition is thought to be triggered by the presence of an environmental stimulus; in the case of T1D, the trigger is unknown. While the majority of research efforts have focused on identifying the trigger of T1D and modifying immune pathways, little is known about how such a trigger might enter the body and about how such an entry-way might serve as a target for the treatment of the disease. The discovery of zonulin - a gatekeeper of intestinal barrier function, and its involvement in celiac disease, led to the hypothesis that its malfunction could be involved in a series of other autoimmune diseases characterized by a leaky gut, including T1D. Previous work by Dr. Alessio Fasano has shown a close association of celiac disease in children at risk of developing T1D and led to the novel discovery research in support of AT-1001. About Alba: Alba Therapeutics is a Baltimore based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to commercializing disease-modifying therapeutics and drug delivery adjuvants based on the zonulin pathway. Albas lead molecule, AT-1001, is targeted towards the treatment of Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes and is in the final stages of pre-human testing. Contact Alba Therapeutics Corporation, Baltimore Dr. Blake Paterson, 410-522-8708