Author Archives: John Libonati

Ghirardelli Chocolate Bars & Squares Not Gluten Free

Ghirardelli Chocolate bars and squares are NOT gluten-free.

From GlutenFree Indy, excerpt from a post on a well known chocolate
bar:

Thank you for your email regarding Ghirardelli Chocolate.  The
60%Bittersweet Chocolate Chips are manufactured on a line free of
gluten.   In June 2008, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company  introduced
new milk chocolate bar which has a barley gluten as an ingredient.  As
a result,the line which produces our chocolate bars and squares will
no longer be safe for consumers with gluten allergens
. Kind regards,
Shawna OrtezSenior Consumer Affairs Coordinator Ghirardelli Chocolate
Company1111 – 139th AvenueSan Leandro, CA  94578

How celiacs and others can get the most from gluten-free supplements.

Ever wonder what “active ingredients” are and why “inert ingredients” (a hiding place for gluten) are added to vitamins, minerals, herbals or other supplements? Thanks to Nature’s Made, you can find out.  Visit http://www.naturemade.com/ProductDatabase/prd_label.asp?tab=Products to access their quick and easy primer on reading label information.   Fast track learn to safely and accurately obtain the % daily you need and other important information like what I.U., mg, and mcg measurements mean.  While you’re there, click on “A consumers guide to smart vitamin use.”

New safety standards set for baby formula and nuts – gluten free

This article describes safety standards for internationally shipped baby food and includes benchmarks for producing gluten-free foods set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

Tue Jul 1, 2008 1:59pm BST  Email | Print | Share| Single Page| Recommend (0) [-] Text [+]  
1 of 1Full SizeBy Laura MacInnis

GENEVA (Reuters) – Diplomats in Geneva have agreed new limits for bacteria in baby formula and natural toxins in nuts, setting safety standards to apply for internationally shipped food, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

At a meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint body of the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), officials also set benchmarks for producing gluten-free foods.

Peter Ben Embarek, a scientist in the WHO’s food safety division, said the adoption of the “landmark” code of hygienic practices for powdered formula could reduce contamination from two bacteria that can cause severe illness and death in babies.

People with wheat allergies would also be protected by the standards for gluten-free food that countries pledged to work into their national legislation, and to meet in food exports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

“They have to use these standards as the baseline standards to be able to trade at the international level,” Embarek told a news briefing on the second day of the week-long Codex meeting.

The new benchmark dictates that food labeled gluten-free may not contain wheat, rye, barley or oats, and its gluten level may not exceed 20 milligrams per kilogram. Gluten intolerance can cause symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to osteoporosis.

The 124 countries participating in this week’s Codex meeting also agreed maximum levels for aflatoxins — natural toxins that are known carcinogens in laboratory animals — in almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios.

FOOD CODE

The Codex Alimentarius, or food code, is a global reference for consumers, food producers, food processors, national food control agencies and international food traders.

Its standards — meant to avert contamination, spoiling and ill-health — are the benchmarks against which the WTO reviews countries’ adherence to international trade agreements on food safety and sanitation.

Other topics to be considered this week include flavorings, frozen foods, natural mineral water, tomatoes, bitter cassava, and bivalve mollusks such as mussels, oysters and clams.

The Commission, whose full membership includes 176 countries plus the European Union, is also due to discuss the food safety impacts of veterinary drugs, animal feeds, and pesticides.

Groups including the International Chewing Gum Association, the International Peanut Forum, the International Association of Fish Inspectors, the International Baby Food Action Network, the World Sugar Research Organisation and the World Self-Medication Industry have observer status at the meeting, which ends Friday.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL0166682420080701?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10216&sp=true

Bell and Evans Gluten Free Items – Chicken

Below is a list of gluten-free items from Bell & Evans.  You can also find hundreds of recipes that can be converted to gluten-free at their website:

http://www.bellandevans.com/index.cfm?act=recipes

Thank you for contacting Bell & Evans.  In addition to our line of breaded, gluten free items, the following are also gluten free:
All fresh chicken

Fully cooked wings  – Honey BBQ and Buffalo Style

Fully cooked grilled breasts – Honey BBQ, Buffalo Style and Plain

Chicken Burgers
As we reprint packaging we are adding gluten free to all these packages.
If I can be of any other assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Susan Ranck

Quality Assurance Manager

Bell & Evans Poultry

(717)865-6626

www.bellandevans.com

Recognizing Celiac Disease – Your book is by far the best one we have found

Below is a recent message we received from someone who bought “Recognizing Celiac Disease.”

Thank you. My husband and I both have Celiac Disease and your book is by far the best one we have found in print on Celiac Disease. We love the format with the concise, current overview in the beginning and the detailed charts that make up most of the book. We refer to it on a regular basis as we research questions for ourselves, friends, family and others.

We shared your book with the head of the pathology dept. at our local hospital, our Celiac Disease support group members at our last meeting (and encouraged them all to purchase their own copies) and even with our dentist.

I wish there were a way to get your book to all of our local doctors since none of them are informed about Celiac Disease and few people are diagnosed in our area. My doctor had never dx’d a case of Celiac Disease before mine (I was on my deathbed 6 years ago), and our pediatrician has never dx’d a case!

I have proposed that our support group purchase books for all of our local gastroenterologists, providing you are not planning to publish an updated version in the near future.

If there is any way you recommend that our support group, or we personally, can promote your book please let us know.

Thank you again!

Suzanne Ludlam
Fairfax, VT

You can read more reviews Here!

Celiac Disease – Microbes Matter – Probiotics a.k.a. Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Health Alert – Microbes Matter – Probiotics a.k.a. Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Strange as it seems, our well-being is uniquely tied to the condition of our colon, which is commonly unhealthy at diagnosis of celiac disease. To keep our colon healthy, we need to understand what happens there on a microscopic level.  Hundreds of varieties of intestinal microbe populations called “flora” live there, numbering in the billions.  To put these numbers into focus, dead bacteria make up about a third of each bowel movement.  Our resident microbes, whether beneficial or harmful, play a decisive role in nourishing or damaging the cells that form the intestinal lining.  Probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements restore and feed our friendly microbes.


Probiotic flora inhibit colonization of pathogens by physically preventing them from adhering to the gut lining.  Other important functions are:

  • Produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA)s.  SCFAs are important and necessary energy byproducts formed during fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon by flora.  SCFAs nourish the colonocytes, the cells that line the colon. They also help absorb salts and water from stool.

  • Produce a form of vitamin K and appreciable amounts of biotin.
  • Reduce the presence of putrefactive enzymes.

  • Protect against toxic substances.

  • Contribute to normal bowel movements.

For these reasons, we need to use probiotics and prebiotics every day to improve our overall health and specifically our intestinal health.  This is especially important if fatigue, weakness, achiness, depression, foggy thinking and digestive problems continue while maintaining a gluten-free diet. 


(This Health Alert was taken from information found in
Issue #9 – Microbes Matter of the Gluten Free Gazette.)  Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the

US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.  Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.

Rice Chex is now gluten free!

This just in from the Cincinnati Celiac Support Group listserve:

Rice Chex is now gluten-free – click the link below and check out the label where it says gluten-free on the middle of the box…
 
http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/brands/product_image.aspx?catID=23344&itemID=131

This was the response someone received on the Delphi Celiac Disease Forum when they emailed General Mills about the cross contamination issue:
 
Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.  Rice Chex has been reformulated to insure that it does not include gluten-containing ingredients or have the possibility of cross contact with gluten containing ingredients or products.
We hope you find this information helpful.  Please let us know if we can help you again.
 
Sincerely,
 
Connie Sellers
Consumer Services

BE AWARE THAT OLDER, BARLEY MALT CONTAINING BOXES MAY STILL BE ON THE SHELVES!  MAKE SURE TO READ THE INGREDIENT LABEL.

Hyperthyroidism, Celiac Disease and the Gluten Connection

Hyperthyroidism, also called Grave’s Disease, is an immunologically mediated thyroid disease.  That basically means it is brought on by the action of specific abnormal autoantibodies, called thyroid receptor antibodies (TRAb), that stimulate excessive release of normal thyroid hormones into the blood.  Thyroid hormones control body metabolism.

Features of hyperthyroidism are diffuse non-tender goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), elevated blood levels of thyroxine hormone, suppressed blood levels of thyrotropin hormone (TSH), and the presence of thyroid receptor antibodies in the blood.

Symptoms include various degrees of bulging eyeballs, staring, firm areas of edema or swellings of the lower legs in most patients, rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, palpitations, nervousness, depression, anxiety, heat intolerance, weight loss, thigh and upper arm weakness, brisk tendon reflexes, cardiac abnormalities and oligomenorrhea in females – infrequent or scanty menstruation. 

According to a recent medical study of 111 people with hyperthyroidism, 4.5% had positive celiac disease antibodies, 14% had anti-gliadin antibodies and 3% had IgA deficiency. Anti-gliadin antibodies demonstrate a normal reaction to the abnormal presence of gluten in the blood. The high presence of anti-gliadin antibodies in thyroid disorders is likely related to gluten entering the bloodstream through the small intestine via “leaky gut.”  Leaky gut can result from poorly digested gluten with or without celiac disease. 

An immune-linked reason for the co-existence of hyperthyroidism and celiac disease revolves around the fact that both disorders (and several other diseases) share the immune system genetic markers HLA B-8 and HLA DR3. Individuals having these genetic markers can develop one or more of a certain cluster of diseases associated with these genes.1

The good news is that a strict gluten free diet can successfully treat hyperthyroidism in celiac disease.

Thyroid function should be assessed in all celiac disease patients at diagnosis and follow-up if clinically indicated. Screening of high-risk groups such as those with autoimmune thyroid disease is a reasonable strategy.2

If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your doctor tests you for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG) tests for gluten sensitivity while EMA-IgA and EMA-IgG or tTG-IgA and tTG-IgG  are specific tests for celiac disease.  Testing that is based on IgA only would give a false negative result for individuals who are unable to produce IgA antibodies, that is, in IgA deficiency.

If your physician refuses or dismisses the idea of testing for celiac disease, please get a second opinion from a medical provider who is knowledgeable about celiac disease.  The longer gluten is consumed, the greater will be its damaging effects on your body.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #11 – “Gluten and the Thyroid” of the Gluten Free Gazette.)

Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.  Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.
Grave’s Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Enteropathy (GSE). Elaine Moore. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/graves_disease/54749
Ch’ng CL, Keston Jones M, Kingham JGC. Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease. Clinical Medicine & Research. May 2007; 5(3)184-192.

Wellness Center treats autistic children with natural therapies instead of drugs

Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer

Article Launched: 03/12/2008 09:09:57 PM PDT

Cries from a child shaken from his sleep instantly transformed into shrieks of joy.
Little Royce Block had spotted his wicker basket. But it wasn’t filled with candy or toys. It contained about 10 medicines he takes every day.

The 2-year-old has autism.

For about a year, Jess Block watched her son live his life without smiling, playing or leaving his stroller.

After some research, Block found Dr. Hitendra Shah, who works at the Wellness Clinic in Diamond Bar. Shah diagnosed Royce with autism in February.

The condition is not about a delay in a child’s development; it’s about regression.

“One of the most common stories we hear with most children is that they were born normal,” Shah said. “Maybe they were talking and saying some words, then they will completely stop talking.”

Shah is one of just a couple dozen in the state who practice the Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, approach.

Instead of using psychiatric drugs to treat these children, the approach incorporates natural therapies.

The most basic treatments include relieving the body of toxins and incorporating a casein- and gluten-free diet.

“The most important thing we do is take out all the foods with casein and gluten,” Shah said. “It makes them substantially improve.”

For now, Block is just excited to see her baby acting like a normal toddler.

“For every parent it’s a joy to see your child grow and develop,” she said, “but to see your child stop regressing is just amazing.”

Source: http://www.sgvtribune.com:80/living/ci_8551563

Neurological Disorders, Gluten & Celiac Disease

The brain is a delicate organ, where billions of cells, electrical and chemical reactions have to interact correctly to function optimally.  When something unbalances brain chemistry, interrupts reactions or damages the cells, brain dysfunction results. Gluten does all these things – whether or not you have celiac disease.

Neurological disorders from gluten can arise in either, or both, of the following ways.  Gluten can penetrate the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, by its own mechanism, travel to the brain where it can damage or disrupt cells or cause inflammation.  This is the direct effect of gluten on the brain.  Gluten can also lead to malabsorption of nutrients in celiac disease.  In this case, the body does not absorb the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are chemicals. The brain, therefore, does not receive the chemicals it needs to function correctly and problems develop.

Nervous system disorders have been found in over 50% of newly diagnosed celiacs.  The list of nervous disorders is long: autism, gait ataxia, gluten ataxia, progressive myoclonic ataxia, chorea, tremors, brain atrophy, cerebral perfusion abnormalities, cortical calcifying angiomatosis (cerebral calcifications), dementia, headaches, epilepsy, chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis of the central nervous system, chronic maladaptive anxiety, apathy, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and peripheral neuropathy.  New disorders are being added as the link between

These nervous disorders can include either hard or soft disorders.

Examples of hard disorders would be epilepsy, ataxia (motor abnormalities), myoclonus, internuclear ophthalmoplegia, multifocal leukoencephlopathy, dementia and peripheral neuropathies.  Hard disorders, besides peripheral neuropathies, do not respond to gluten restriction – so identifying gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease early is critical.

Soft disorders in celiac disease include a broad range of what are considered common neurological disorders.  Hypotonia (flaccid muscles in babies), developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headaches and cerebellar ataxia are examples.  Importantly, there does not seem to be a difference in whether people with infantile-onset gastrointestinal symptoms, those with late onset symptoms or are asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) develop soft disorders.

This means you may never experience a gastrointestinal symptom, yet still suffer from neurological disorder due to celiac disease.

Recovery from these neurological disorders usually depends on length of time gluten has been digested. The gluten-free diet can result in complete recovery, improvement or no recovery depending on the amount of damage incurred. This means the earlier gluten is removed from the diet, the greater the likelihood of successful recovery.

For these reasons, anyone with an unexplained neurological disorder that does or does not respond to traditional treatment should be screened for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #10 – “How Gluten Perturbs the Brain” of the Gluten Free Gazette.)

Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.

Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.

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