THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers believe they have finally answered a basic question about the cause of celiac disease -- where in the body does the wheat protein gluten enter one's system?

A study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology identifies the CXCR3 receptor in the intestine as a gluten gateway. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the protein triggers their immune system to attack the body, causing a wide range of serious health problems.

"This is a scientific question that had never been answered before," Dr. Alessio Fasano, medical director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in an university news release. "It is not only significant in the basic science of autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, but in therapeutic approaches for the future. This opens a new scientific paradigm for the study of immunity."

The research team found that gliadin, the part of gluten that causes the most trouble for those with celiac disease, binds to the CXCR3 receptor. This results in the release of zonulin, a human protein that lowers the intestinal barrier to make it more permeable. While this effect is temporary in most people, the barrier stays down for long periods of time in people with celiac disease, causing disruption in the body's system.

The finding may help in research on the cause and treatment for other autoimmune diseases, Fasano said. People with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis may experience a similar condition in which offending antigens enter the body through this gateway in the intestines.

"For the first time, we have evidence of how the foreign antigen gains access to the body, causing the autoimmune response," said Fasano, who is also a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "Further study is needed, but this could allow us to intervene before the zonulin is either released or activated, preventing the immune response altogether."

------------------------- Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com. Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease. John can be reached by e-mail here.


csa-logo The Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) made the initial presentation of its pilot physician education program to Robert Wergin, MD, at the Milford Family Center in Milford, Nebraska. Recently named ‘Family Physician of the Year,” Dr. Wergin is in general practice at the Milford Clinic.

With this presentation, CSA launched the first phase of the most ambitious celiac disease physician education program in United States history – the CSA Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Physician Education Program (CSA-PEP).

The CSA-PEP was created to increase diagnosis and improve treatment while increasing celiac disease awareness in the medical community and the public. It will provide 60,800 doctors and 10,000 medical students with information and resources that will aid them in identifying, diagnosing and treating people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

The program is designed so individuals have the option, with a donation of $70 or more, to present the CSA-PEP package to their personal physicians so they can receive optimal care.

This program advances CSA efforts to promote the CSA mission statement: “Celiacs Helping Celiacs.”

Materials in the CSA-PEP package include both physician and patient information: National Institutes of Health (NIH) celiac disease materials; information on dermatitis herpetformis; a gluten-free diet guide by Dr. Jean Guest, CSA’s consultant dietitian; the CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing; the medical reference Recognizing Celiac Disease; a current issue of the CSA Lifeline membership newsletter; fact sheets, brochures, patient pamphlets and other CSA publications.

For more information about this opportunity or to get involved with fundraising and distribution, please contact the CSA at 1-877-CSA-4CSA, or visit CSA online at www.csaceliacs.org.

Celiac disease is the most common inherited autoimmune disease in the world. The National Institutes of Health estimates 1% of the United States population has celiac disease, making it more common than breast cancer, autism or type 1 diabetes. Of the 3 million people in the US who have celiac disease, less than 5% are diagnosed. Gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect many more people than celiac disease. Healthcare costs of untreated celiac disease are estimated to run $14.5 to $35 billion per year. The disorder is triggered by ingesting wheat, barley, rye or oats and results in inflammation, tissue damage, and malabsorption of nutrients leading to a host of varied symptoms. The treatment of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is removing wheat, barley, rye and oats from the diet.

With almost 100,000 contacts, over 9,000 members and 125 local support group chapters across the country, the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) is the largest member-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis worldwide through education, information and research.

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7/21/2009 Wonderful, gluten-free evening at Citizens Bank Park. ________________________________________ The Philadelphia Phillies supported NFCA and other area celiac support groups by hosting celiac disease awareness night at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, and commemorated the occasion with a 10-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs!

From MLB.com

Phillies host Celiac Awareness Night Club raises money, spreads info on digestive disease By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hosted the second Celiac Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, raising money for and spreading information about the autoimmune digestive disease that affects roughly three million Americans.

Celiacs cannot eat gluten, a protein particle found in wheat, barley, rye and all of their derivatives.

In conjunction with the Phillies, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) sold over 500 tickets for Monday night's game against the Cubs, raising over $2,000. Aramark set up a stand of gluten-free food items behind the section, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, Redridge beer and Woodchuck draft cider.

Most of these are offered every night at select locations throughout Citizens Bank Park, which for three consecutive years has been named the No. 1 vegetarian ballpark by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

"So many parents and concerned fans give me a call and want to see what's available to them," said David Lippman, director of concessions for Aramark. "A lot of folks were just thrilled that they have something here. They can come here, enjoy their team and eat something. "

Oz Ostrofsky -- whose wife, Nany Lozoff, has celiac disease and whose daughter is gluten-intolerant -- was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"It's an honor to be nominated by the NFCA and it's great to be on the field with the World [Series] champions," said Ostrofsky, a former chef who has worked to increase the number of gluten-free items in Philadelphia restaurants. "It's about making it easy for everyone. So no one's 'special needs,' no one has to go out of their way."

Indeed, awareness was the No. 1 objective of Monday's charity event, since 97 percent of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Celiacs who, unaware of their condition, continue to eat products with gluten suffer nutritional problems, especially anemia; reproductive disorders, which affects half of all women with celiac disease; insufficient growth in children; reduced bone density; neurological disorders; and some cancers. Although research is under way, there is currently no cure or vaccine; the only treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

"How could you get more awareness than to be with the Phillies?" said Nancy Ginter, NFCA director of operations. "It's a great forum, and everybody's watching the Phillies. ... What we want to engender is instead of saying, 'Oh my God, I've got celiac disease, and this will be horrible,' to say, 'No, it's great. Now you know what's wrong with you.'"

More information on gluten-free options at Citizens Bank Park can be found here.

More information on celiac disease can be found here.

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Join the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and Celiac Groups in the Delaware Valley for Celiac Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, July 20, 2009 at 7:05 p.m. when the Phillies face the Chicago Cubs. This is a fun-filled, gluten-free event that the entire family will enjoy. Citizens Bank now has gluten-free beer, gluten-free hot dogs and other gluten-free foods for kids and adults.

Tickets are located on the Pavilion (Sections 206 - 208) and the Pavilion Deck (Sections 307 - 308), but I would recommend getting yours ahead of time. They sold out early last year. Sections in 307 and 308 are selling for $22 each and sections 206, 207 or 208 are $30 each. Proceeds from ticket sales for this event will support raising celiac awareness and funds for research.

Celiac Groups in the Delaware Valley include The Greater Philadelphia Area Celiac Support Group, R.O.C.K., Children's Celiac Center of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, CEPA, and F.A.C.T.

To order your tickets, click on the "Buy Tickets" button below and enter the promotion code CELIAC.

“Buy Tickets”

For groups of 25 or more, contact Stephanie Nieland in the Group Sales Office at 215.463.5000 ext. 5111.

So come on out, grab a gluten-free hot dog and watch the game. See you at the game!

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The following list of gluten free foods was provided by Safeway July 7, 2009. -John Libonati, Editor. Glutenfreeworks.com

SAFEWAY CELIAC SPRUE GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCT LIST

Please note that these products also apply to Vons, Dominick’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Genuardi’s.

Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic explains his landmark study that tested blood samples from 50 years ago and compared them to people of the same ages today. The results: 1. Celiac disease is 5 times more prevalent than it was 50 years ago, 2. People with untreated celiac disease are 4 times more likely to die prematurely than the general population. This breaking information shows us that the rate of celiac disease is rising and people must be identified and diagnosed to insure good health. - John Libonati, Editor. Glutenfreeworks.com

John Libonati

Mayo Research Suggests Celiac Disease More Common

July 1st, 2009 by John Libonati

(Editor's Note: The author of the article reprinted below may have meant celiac disease when he wrote "gluten allergies.")

Mayo research suggests gluten allergies more common by Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio July 1, 2009

Rochester, Minn. — Celiac disease -- an allergic reaction to gluten - is four times more common today than it was 50 years ago, according to research conducted at the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo gastroenterologist Joseph Murray says one in 100 people now have the disease.

He says doctors had thought the marked increase was a result of better screening, but the research suggests that celiac disease is truly becoming more common, paralleling other diseases like type one diabetes or allergies.

Murray says that suggests this could be an autoimmune response, or it could be that something has changed about gluten.

"When it's not busy fighting infections in our environment it's up to no good and turns on ourselves or create autoimmunity. That's one theory," he said. "Celiac disease is unusual in that we know the environmental trigger for the disease. You have to eat gluten, the protein from wheat, barley or rye to get the disease. So another possibility is that something changed about gluten."

People with untreated celiac disease are also four times more likely to die earlier than people without the disease. Murray says people of all ages can develop the disease.

Source: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/06/30/mayo_gluten_allergies/

John Libonati

Walmart Now Carrying Gluten Free Products!

June 26th, 2009 by John Libonati

walmart-logo It's true! Walmart is now carrying gluten free products in test stores with a roll out across the country to follow. Below is a letter from the woman who made it happen, Celiac Sprue Association chapter president and National Foundation for Celiac Awareness volunteer - Carolyn Lynch McKinley. She's a gluten free dynamo!

This morning my dream came true. I waited two years to the day and it happened. I walked into Walmart and it has been remodeled with new Gluten Free 12 foot aisle. For those of you near the Bentonville store you will find the items below in grocery aisle 9. Words can not express how excited I am to have a store in our community that can help customers save money so they can live better.

The following are currently on the shelf and it is still getting stocked. All of these listed below are quality gluten free food and you can save around $1.00 buying it at Walmart.

Erewhon crispy brown rice cereal Glutino - pretzels, crackers Envirokids and Natures Path cereal Ener g bread Schar buns and pasta Gluten free pantry muffin mix Pamela's mix and cookies Mi-Del cookies Enjoy life bars and cookies Lundberg chips Blue Diamond crackers Bakery on Main granola Mrs. Leepers dinner mixes Tinkyada pastas Bobs red mill Hodgson muffin mix Road's end organic I will keep you posted as more items are stocked!! And don't forget the Great Value Brand will label Gluten Free if it truly is.

Several stores around the country are getting the gf section. Right now I know one store in Springfield, MO and another is Vineland, NJ. If the store does not have a gf section, the gf food will slowly go throughout the aisles.

Thank you to everyone who provide support on this project. Your time was much appreciated.

Carolyn McKinley CSA Chapter 73 President, NW AR/SW MO and Volunteer, NFCA

John Libonati

Burts Bees Gluten-Free Lip Products

June 25th, 2009 by John Libonati

burts-bees-lip-products3This just in from a member of the Las Vegas listserve. This was Burts Bees customer response to a question about whether their lip products were gluten-free. Burts Bees Consumer Care number is below so you can contact them about their other products.

Dear Susan:

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry, we do apologize that we are unable to provide you with a gluten free list at this moment; all of our lip products with the exception of our Res-Q lip balm with SPF 15 are gluten free. We thank you for making Burt's Bees your Natural Personal Skin Care company, in the meantime if you have any additional questions and or concerns, please feel free to contact us with your inquiries.

Best Regards,

Tiffany K.

Consumer Care Specialist Burt's Bees Inc 1-800-849-7112 option 2, then 1 Mon-Fri 10am-4:30pm EST

Please consider the environment before printing this email

*Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.*

* Come Celebrate our 25th anniversary with us at www.burtsbees.com *

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Apple Dumplings

June 16th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

gluten free apple dumpling recipeWhen Apple Dumplings are baking, their unmistakable aroma fills the air. Much more satisfying than apple pie, everyone is sure to appreciate them.

 

Ingredients
  • Pastry for 2 pie shells (see below)
  • 6 medium tart apples (Jonathon, Pink Lady, Winesap, Granny)
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons fructose or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter (optional)

 

Ingredients for syrup
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

 

Equipment
  • 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish.

 

Process
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease bottom of baking dish.
  2. Make the syrup: in a medium pot, mix together the apple juice, honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and clove.  Bring to boil, then turn down to low and cook 3 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the pastry dough, or see below for our recipe. Divide pastry into 6 balls, then chill.
  4. Pare and core apples.  Mix together raisins, nuts, fructose or honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Evenly fill apples with this mixture and add a half teaspoon of butter.
  5. Make the dumplings.  One at a time, roll each pastry ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to form an 8 inch circle.  Remove the top piece of plastic and place an apple in the center of the circle.  Bring the edges of the pastry to the top of the apple to enclose it, then press to seal.   Peel away the bottom piece of plastic.  Repeat with the remaining 5 apples. Space the dumplings evenly in the baking dish and pour the syrup over each one.
  6. Bake 40 minutes or until crust is golden and syrup has lightly carmelized or thickened.

 

Pie pastry from our recipe file:
  • 1 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup GF millet four or sorghum flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Blend dry ingredients - flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.  With a pastry blender, mix in the shortening till it resembles coarse meal.  Lightly mix in the beaten eggs just until the dough pulls together. Makes 6 dumplings.