Archive for the ‘Celiac disease’ Category

 

FDA Gluten Free Labeling Update

September 9th, 2011 by Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD


Cheryl Harris Gluten Free Works

The FDA is finally moving on regulating the claim “gluten-free” on packages, which is fantastic news!  Lots of people have put in countless hours to make this happen.  We’ve got 1 month left to comment—until October 3rd—and YOUR comment is vital to getting the law YOU want.

During the Aug 2nd teleconference, we heard that the comment period was re-opened and we might have a law by late 2012.  Several prominent researchers, including Dr. Alesso Fasano and Dr.Stefano Guandalini, spoke in favor of the new proposed legislation. “This is a standard that has been in use in Europe for almost two decades, & the science supports the U.S. adopting it as well,” commented Dr. Fasano.  I posted highlights of the teleconference, but upon reading the 90+ page safety assessment, I had a lot of questions! http://1.usa.gov/r4NDLA

The safety assessment suggests that for the most sensitive Celiac, (more…)


Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA.  Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing.  He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.

Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them.  He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs.  At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being.  What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature.  Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t.  Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. (more…)

In  Part 1 of this article about nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population, I posed four critiques and questions that I promised to answer in today’s part 2. Without further ado, here we go…

Critique #1 questioned the small sample size of the research. I can’t do anything about that, and there’s not much to be said about it, so let’s move on.

Next, I think it’s easiest to address critique #3: How did nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population compare to Americans as a whole? To answer that question, I pulled data regarding nationwide averages from the USDA’s Community Nutrition Mapping Project. If I amend yesterday’s table that showed the percent of the gluten-free population who are deficient in given nutrients, and add to it a column for the national averages, this is what you find:

 

Nutrient GF Deficiency Nationwide Deficiency
fiber 74% 92%
calcium 82% 69%
thiamin 59% 19%
riboflavin 25% 11%
B6 35% 26%
folate 85% 40%
B12 29% 20%
iron 41% 11%

 

These numbers change the perspective a bit, I think. It’s not simply that the gluten-free population is nutrient deficient. When you compare us to the national averages, it gets slightly more complex. In some cases, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and iron, we’re two or more times as deficient (as a group) than the nation. However, in other cases, such as B12, B6, and calcium, we still have greater rates (more…)

I was recently reading a press release from Nature’s Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals “provide gluten avoiders with whole grains… unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits…” The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.

There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I’ll use our good old enemy – wheat – to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in (more…)

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

On August 3, Smart Balance, Inc. announced it purchased Glutino Food Group for $66.3 million cash.  With this purchase, Smart Balance picks up arguably the #1 most recognized gluten-free brand in the United States.

Smart Balance Gluten FreePARAMUS, N.J., Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Smart Balance, Inc. (NasdaqGM: SMBL) announced it acquired 100% of the equity interest of Importations DE-RO-MA, which owns Glutino Food Group (“Glutino”), for $66.3 million, from Claridge, aMontreal-based investment firm.  Based in Laval, Quebec, Glutino is a leading manufacturer and marketer of innovative, premium-priced, gluten-free foods sold under the Glutino and Gluten Free Pantry brands.  Glutino offers a wide range of shelf-stable and frozen gluten-free products, including snack foods, frozen baked goods, frozen entrees and baking mixes throughout North America and on its website www.glutenfree.com.  Glutino had annual sales of $53.9 million during its fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.

Commenting on the announcement, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hughes stated,

(more…)

Gluten Free Spells Success for Big Time Athletes

August 8th, 2011 by Josh Ecker

Finally it seems that athletes have become savvy to the benefits of a gluten free diet.  As the general population has started to become more aware of the prevalence of gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease, there has been a noted increase in the number of athletes turning to the gluten free lifestyle in an attempt to maximize their training and find greater success in their respective sports.

Among the most notable athletes making the gluten free switch are Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies, Cedric Benson of the Cincinnati Bengals, and tennis player Novak Djokovic, the 2011 winner of Wimbledon who went on an unprecedented 43-match win streak.  Most significant about their decision to go gluten free is the marked improvement in all three athletes after the switch. (more…)

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper (more…)

Gluten-Free Labeling Update: Big News!

August 3rd, 2011 by Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD

Cheryl Harris Gluten Free Works

Could it possibly be?  At long last, there’s some movement on the behalf of the gluten-free labeling movement.

nutrition labelThis is REALLY big news for people who are gluten-free in the U.S.!  The FDA has re-opened a comment period for 60 days to solicit opinions from health professionals, scientists and the public on a potential ruling for defining gluten-free as less than 20 ppm.

Why 20ppm? According Michael Taylor at the FDA at stakeholder teleconference on Aug 2nd, it’s the lowest amount that can be accurately quantified, and many leading experts believe it is a safe amount. Europe has used it for 20 + years.  Several prominent researchers, including Dr. Alesso Fasano and Dr.Stefano Guandalini, spoke in favor of the new proposed legislation. “This is a standard that has been in use in (more…)

PMS Nutrition Gluten FreePremenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a female menstrual disorder that occurs regularly around ovulation and subsides within a few days of the onset of menstruation.  PMS affects up to 75% of women during their childbearing years.

Symptoms.  Most women with PMS will have abdominal cramps, be anxious, irritable, sad, emotionally unstable and feel bloated and uncomfortable in the days leading up to their period.  PMS symptoms commonly worsen in the years approaching menopause.

Diagnosis of PMS depends on 5 or more of the symptoms listed below with at least one symptom being one of the first 4: (more…)

Gluten-Free Vegetarian or Vegan

June 27th, 2011 by Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD

Cheryl Harris Gluten Free Works

Gluten free vegetarian diet

Photo: Whole Foods, http://wholefoods.com

It can be challenging enough on gluten-free diet, but what if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet? 

It’s well established that there are health benefits to reducing the amount of meat in the diets of most Americans, and the lifestyle has appeal for some people based on ethical and/or environmental reasons.  Fortunately, with extra planning, a well-rounded and delicious gluten-free vegetarian diet is possible.

The good news is that many vegetarian staples, like beans, lentils, tofu, dairy, nuts, seeds and eggs are already naturally gluten-free.  And some of the best sources of vegetarian and vegan protein are gluten-free pseudo-grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. Also, grains, such as millet, teff and sorghum are very nutritious.  In addition to protein and fiber, they all have other vital nutrients, like (more…)