Author Archives: Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Why Oats Should Be Excluded from the Gluten-Free Diet

oats glutenThe suitability of oats as part of the gluten-free diet has been a source of controversy, with some groups pointing to research suggesting oats are safe and others pointing to other research demonstrating oats are dangerous to those with celiac disease. Close inspection of available medical research clearly shows that oats, even “gluten-free” oats, should not be included in the gluten-free diet at this time.

Until the early 1990’s, oats were excluded from the gluten-free diet, along with wheat, barley and rye. Then, a few pilot studies suggested oats may not cause the harm previously thought. The idea was proposed that people with celiac disease would find their diet more palatable, and would benefit nutritionally, if they were allowed to eat oats.

Heavy contamination of many oat products with wheat, rye, and particularly barley, was a concern. Companies began to produce so-called “gluten-free oats.” These oats were tested for the presence of wheat, barley and rye. They are vigorously marketed as “safe” for celiacs. However, studies show that even “uncontaminated oats” (oats not containing wheat, barley or rye) are toxic to an unknown number of people with celiac disease.

Early studies proclaimed oats to be safe, but they have since been judged faulty with poor validity. Nevertheless, they opened the floodgates to Read More »

Are You Ready for a Disaster? Follow These Steps

gluten free emergencyFearsome tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, radiation contamination, tornados, thunderstorms, mudslides and floods are in the news.  Still, other kinds of disasters like hurricanes, house fires, wildfires, explosions, extreme heat and biological threats and are real possibilities in the upcoming months. Being ready is being smart.

Underlying any disaster is the need to prepare for injuries, lack of power, unsafe water, contaminated food, loss of clothing and loss of shelter.  www.ready.gov site says, “You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately.”

Make an emergency plan now for these three options and review it with the family: Read More »

Agave Nectar Pros and Cons

Agave Americana

We have been asked about the safety of using agave syrup as low glycemic substitute for cane sugar.  Here is some useful information.

Of the several hundreds species of agave, commercial agave syrup is produced from Agave Americana, a desert succulent plant. The syrup, or nectar, is obtained from the sap.  The sweet sticky sap is extracted from the base of the plant then boiled to produce the “syrup.” Cooking converts the sap’s natural Read More »

Celiac Disease & Excessive Gas in the Digestive Tract: What it is and How to Get Rid of It

Source: Buzzle.com

It’s a fact. Everyone produces gas. Ordinarily, most people produce about 1 to 3 pints of gas in a day. Gas is normally painless, creating a feeling of fullness until it is passed.

But sometimes pain is experienced, and when it does it can be either dull or sharp, leaving us feeling bloated or tender in places. It can be localized in one spot, or felt throughout the abdomen.

About 50% of people with celiac disease complain of chronic discomfort from gas at the time of diagnosis.

What is Gas?

The accumulation of gas in the digestive tract is called flatus, and having Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: Vitamin D Deficiency is Associated with Insulin Resistance and ß cell Dysfunction

 

Editor’s note:

In the following medical research study, healthy participants were enrolled to examine the effects of vitamin D on insulin production and use in the body. This research shows that:

1) Vitamin D plays an important role in insulin sensitivity in the body, and deficiency of vitamin D hampers production of insulin hormone by beta cells in the pancreas.

2) People with vitamin D deficiency are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by lack of insulin sensitivity in body tissues and inadequate production of insulin hormone in the pancreas. Read More »

Correcting Potassium Deficiency in Celiac Disease with a Gluten Free Diet

Potassium is a mineral that is easily absorbed by the digestive tract. This micronutrient is essential for life because of the vital functions it performs in our bodies. Normal nerve conduction, muscle contraction, fluid balance, acid-alkali balance, blood pressure regulation, digestion, protein production, and metabolism require the action of potassium. For example, in metabolism potassium is required for the movement of sugars, amino acids, and other molecules into cells.

Potassium is an electrolyte that takes part in electrical conduction and chemical reactions in opposition to the electrolyte, sodium. In bodily fluids, potassium is the major cation (positively charged ion), while sodium is the major anion (negatively charged ion).

About 98% of the body’s potassium is contained within muscle cells, while Read More »

Gluten-Free Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

High fiber and nutrient rich, these tasty, natrually gluten-free pumpkin seeds are hard to resist and simple to make. Use any leftovers to sprinkle over a salad or add to cooked rice. A fourth cup gives you half your RDA of manganese and magnesium and a third of your tryptophan to keep you calm and strong! These seeds are very high in iron, copper, vitamin K and zinc. Read More »

Copper Malabsorption in Untreated Celiac Disease Common

 

Editor’s note:  

In this study, researchers investigating the absorption of copper in untreated patients who had damage to their duodenum found anemia in 3 out of 10 of these patients that was due to copper deficiency.  They gave all the study subjects a solution of copper to drink that was equal to a daily dose then tested their blood level.  Read More »

Gut Microflora Associated Characteristics in Children with Celiac Disease

Editor’s note: This important study demonstrated that short chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels in stool samples were abnormal in participating children with celiac disease, with and without treatment with gluten-free diet. SCFAs are healthy energy byproducts produced by microflora (beneficial organisms) in the colon during fermentation of undigested carbohydrates arriving from the small intestine. SCFAs nourish the colonocytes, cells that line the colon, to maintain normal function. They also help absorb salts and water from stool.  

“Gut Microflora Associated Characteristics in Children with Celiac Disease”

Tjellström B, et. al.

Microbiology and Tumour Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Dec;100(12):2784-8.

 

Background and aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: “Pediatric case series evaluating a standardized Candida albicans skin test prod

 

 Editors’ note: This study investigating the value and safety of Candin for clinical use in children demonstrated effectiveness and safety.  Candin is a reagent or skin test for sensitivity to Candida albicans, a yeast microorganism that can cause infection.  The study recommends using Candin in combination with other reagents in infants with anergy to see if they react to antigens other than Candida albicans.  Anergy is described in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary as the impaired or absent ability to react to common antigens administered through skin testing. Antigens are markers on the surface of cells that stimulate production of antibodies.  In this study, Candin was tested at the same time as a skin test for tuberculosis (purified protein derivative tuberculosis) for comparison of results. Read More »