Archive for December 16th, 2008

 

John Libonati

Shared Genes in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease

December 16th, 2008 by John Libonati


A 2008 study provides more evidence that there is a link between celiac disease and gluten. This article in Scientific American reviews the study.

Diabetes and celiac disease: A Genetic Connection
Patients with type 1 diabetes have been known to be more prone to another autoimmune disorder, celiac disease, in which gluten in wheat, rye and barley triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine or gut. Now there’s evidence that the two diseases have a genetic link: they share at least seven chromosome regions.

The discovery, published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that both diseases may be triggered by similar genetic and environmental mechanisms, such as certain foods, that cause patients’ immune systems to become overactive and destroy healthy instead of infected tissue. Previous research has found that celiac disease is five to 10 times more common in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population, an editorial accompanying the study notes.

“These findings suggest common mechanisms causing both celiac and type 1 diabetes – we did not expect to see this very high degree of shared genetic risk factors,” said study co-author David van Heel, a gastrointestinal geneticist at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Van Heel and his colleagues studied genetic material or DNA from about 20,000 people, half of them healthy, nearly half with type 1 diabetes, and 2,000 with celiac disease. The overlapping genetic variants occurred on regions of chromosomes (parts of cells that carry genetic code) that are believed to regulate the gut’s immune system, the BBC notes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy beta cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which is needed to convert glucose into energy. In celiac disease, a similar attack occurs on the small intestine when sufferers eat gluten-rich grains, causing inflammation in the gut that can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, headaches, weight loss and failure to thrive in children. Whereas diabetes 1 patients must inject insulin daily to make up for their deficiency, people with celiac disease can avoid damage and symptoms by sticking to a gluten-free diet.

“The finding raises the question of whether eating cereal and other gluten products might trigger type 1 diabetes by altering the function of the gut and its interaction with the pancreas, the authors write. But Robert Goldstein, chief scientific officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which helped fund the study, says it would be premature to assume from this study that gluten is also a diabetes trigger.

“I fear the newspaper headlines in the popular press will read like, ‘Eating wheat will cause type 1 diabetes,’” Goldstein tells us. “The presence or absence of these associations has to be linked to some biological consequence” for a person’s health.

Article Source: http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=diabetes-and-celiac-disease-a-genet-2008-12-11

*UK Study Source: Shared and Distinct Genetic Variants in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease, New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0807917


John Libonati

Gluten Free Restaurants – Philadelphia

December 16th, 2008 by John Libonati

Celiac disease – Gluten Free friendly restaurants in Philadelphia (listed alphabetically)

Applebee’s Restaurant

http://www.applebees.com/

Applebee Dietary Inquiries
888-592-7753
You can call this number and someone will provide information on gluten free menu items. I have spoken with them while seated in the restaurant – though you could certainly call ahead of time.

Arpeggio

http://www.arpeggiobyob.com

542 Springhouse Village Center
Springhouse, PA 19477
{GPS} 1101 BETHLEHEM PIKE OR SPRINGHOUSE VILLAGE CENTER
215-646-5055
Mediterranean BYOB. Per my GI doc, the owner is very in tune to the needs of celiac patients.

Boston Style Pizza
447 N Sumneytown Pike
North Wales, PA
(215) 699-3977
Has gluten-free pizza as well as a recently expanded gluten-free menu.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

http://carrabas.com/index.aspx

2575 Maryland Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
(215) 659-3950
Has a gluten-free menu

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse
324 W. Swedesford Road
Berwyn, PA 19312
(610)240-0997
www.charliebrowns.com/
Has a gluten free menu and location information online.

Chipotle
www.chipoltle.com
Plymouth Meeting Mall location
Website has a gluten-free listing. Staff and management were very receptive to requests as well as the food being delicious and healthy.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
www.fiveguys.com
Check website for local sites – coming soon to K of P mall. Great burgers and fries! Locations I visited were very gluten-friendly.

JB Dawson’s

http://jbdawsons.com/index.html

Has a gluten free menu available online as well as upon request at each location. This is a local chain with five outlets –one near Plymouth Meeting Mall. The corporate Director of Kitchen’s is very Celiac aware as he has family member with Celiac.

Jules Thin Crust Pizza

http://www.julesthincrust.com/

Offers great gluten –free pizza and crusts to make your own. Locations in Doylestown and Newtown.

Legal Seafoods

http://www.legalseafoods.com/

King of Prussia Mall. Great food and great attention to gluten-free concerns. Gluten-free menu is available.

Morton’s Restaurant

http://www.mortons.com/

King of Prussia Mall location is actually working on an allergy menu for customers, though other locations have been very responsive to gluten-free requests. My waitress, Gina, was very well versed and great at offering gluten-free alternatives.

Outback Steakhouse

http://www.outbacksteakhouse.com/

Has a gluten free menu available online as well as upon request at each location.

Pasta Pomodoro

http://www.pastapomodoronj.com

Won 2007 NFCA Gluten-free cooking competition
Voorhees NJ

PF Chang’s China Bistro

http://www.pfchangs.com/

Great Chinese food. They have a gluten-free menu available and are very responsive to concerns. Plymouth Meeting Mall location is now open.

Redstone American Grill
www.redstonegrill.com
Plymouth Meeting Mall
Have spoken with Director of Culinary Operations from corp office. Gave me local chef’s name and email as well as a listing of gluten-free menu items.