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Friday, December 23, 2011

Celiacs find gluten-free options make holidays easier

Celiac disease patient Barbara Johnson says rules of a gluten-free diet include eating “plain meat, plain vegetables, plain fruits.” She says, however, holidays do not have to be boring thanks to an abundance of gluten-free food products, including candy and pie crusts, on the market for making favorite treats.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gluten-free dining is challenge at home, in restaurants

People on a gluten-free diet have a lot to worry about when eating in restaurants or at dinner parties, including cross-contamination of food in the kitchen and hidden gluten in recipes. While it is getting easier for gluten-free followers to dine out and grocers are stocking shelves with more gluten-free foods, people with celiac disease or those who are gluten intolerant still face big challenges in determining which foods are safe to eat.

Food companies, athletes push gluten-free diet into mainstream

Crowds at the Gluten Free Expo in Sandy, Utah, are a testament to the increasing and seemingly recession-proof interest in gluten-free foods, going well beyond a treatment for celiac disease. While researchers continue to study who may be gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, food and beverage manufacturers are making and promoting more gluten-free products and athletes are pushing the diet to mainstream consumers.

Dietitian says going gluten-free is a full-time proposition

In the year since registered dietitian Kristin Sousek was diagnosed with celiac disease, she says she has found going gluten-free requires a complete commitment to "eliminating all grain allergens all the time." Sousek says she avoids processed foods and uses a separate set of cooking utensils and dishes because it only takes a small amount of gluten to trigger a reaction.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Are You Allergic to Your "Natural" Makeup?

New research shows that the gluten in cosmetics can put vulnerable people, such as those suffering from celiac disease—an autoimmune digestive disease that affects at least 3 million Americans— at risk.
Gluten-free brands like AfterGlow Cosmetics andJuice Beauty are certainly great options.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sales of gluten-free products increase as diet becomes trendy

A gluten-free diet is good for those who can't digest wheat or have celiac disease, but the diet is becoming popular among health-conscious celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey. That popularity means manufacturers such as General Mills and Anheuser-Busch InBev are creating products to keep up with the trend. The gluten-free market is expected to reach $1.68 billion in the U.S. and $3.38 billion worldwide in 2015.

Study looks at differences in celiac disease treatments

Practicing gastroenterologists and academic experts treat celiac disease differently, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. The study found they differ in their use of IgA anti-endomysial antibodies, human leukocyte antigen DQ2/8 testing, gluten challenge and oat consumption, and academics were more likely to recommend celiac testing for Type 1 diabetics, people with Down and Turner syndromes and relatives of people with celiac disease.

Nutritionist focuses on gluten-free, dairy-free recipes

Ontario nutritionist Kathy Smart has celiac disease and a dairy allergy, which led her to write a cookbook called "Live the Smart Way" that will be turned into an eight-part TV series featuring easy recipes that are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and wheat or dairy-free. Smith says the TV show is not just about cooking, however, because she also plans to talk about staying healthy and good lifestyle habits.

Gliadin challenge can help patients get celiac diagnosis

Patients who do not get a confirmed celiac diagnosis from standard tests could obtain one from an in vitro gliadin challenge, in which biopsied duodenal mucosa are tested using the toxic part of wheat gluten called gliadin, according to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. University of Salerno researchers said the challenge method is helpful for patients who are on a gluten-free diet prior to the biopsy because they do not have to revert to eating gluten foods to achieve the diagnosis.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seattle food banks offer little help to celiac patients

Nutrition advocates say that while many Seattle restaurants offer gluten-free menu options, low-income people with celiac disease still struggle to afford gluten-free products. Lisa Garza, who writes the Gluten Free Foodies blog, has urged food banks to create gluten-free pantries, but none have done so because of space and cost issues.

Gluten-free food labels get closer FDA scrutiny

Food labels on gluten-free products are getting closer scrutiny from the FDA as it broadly studies revamping food labels in general. The FDA says new technologies allow for more accurate validation of gluten levels in food so it has extended a comment period to the end of September on a 2007 proposal that said products with 20 parts per million or more of gluten could not be labeled as gluten-free.

FDA gluten-free standard is important for celiac patients

An FDA standard that says food products must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to achieve gluten-free status is an important first step for celiac disease patients even if it is not the preferred zero amount, Mayo Clinic dietitians say. There are no analytic methods that reliably detect lower concentrations, they say, and experts have said the 20 ppm level is a point at which there are few or no adverse events associated with eating the food.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Packers' running back goes gluten-free for better health

Green Bay Packers running back James Stark has adopted a gluten-free diet on the advice of a nutritionist who said it was the best way to ensure he is healthy for the 2011 football season. While Stark did not say if he was diagnosed with celiac disease, for which a gluten-free diet is the only treatment, he joins other pro athletes, including Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls, U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer and UFC fighter Dennis Hallman, who have found the regimen has improved their health.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Are there degrees of gluten sensitivity?

Gluten sensitivity is a real diagnosis and may cover more than one condition, according to gastroenterology experts. Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic says gluten sensitivity could be called "celiac lite," in that a patient may have symptoms of celiac disease but not show the blood antibodies nor the intestinal damage characteristic of it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gluten-free expo showcases abundance of products

Anyone on a gluten-free journey or intrigued with this emerging trend can put June 15, 2012 on their calendar to make sure to attend next year’s expo.

More than 60 vendors got to connect with customers as they showcased products at the D.C. Gluten-Free Expo in Washington. Some vendors got into the business because they or a family member have celiac disease and they offered generous samples to show people the wide range of food options available in gluten-free form. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chef finds gluten-free cooking gains traction in U.S.

Jacksonville, Fla., chef Aaron Flores says one sign that gluten-free cooking is making inroads in America is that this year the Gaylord Palms Hotel did not need his help cooking for people attending the Gluten Intolerance Group's annual conference. The chef at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Washington, D.C., works to raise awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free diets and is starting a company, I Eat What I Want! Hospitality, to help educate hotel chefs on gluten-free menu options.

Tennis star's gluten-free diet is not for everyone

Though Wimbledon tennis champion Novak Djokovic has used a gluten-free diet to his benefit, Dr. Christian Jessen writes that such a diet is not beneficial for those who do not have gluten intolerance or celiac disease. The diet can deprive the body of fiber and lead to other nutritional shortcomings. In addition, Jessen says, avoiding gluten altogether is difficult to do, as the substance appears in foods people might not expect, such as gravies, soy sauces and beer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Celiac patients may have higher risk of cataracts

Celiac disease patients may be at higher risk for cataracts, possibly because of nutritional deficiencies, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden said cataracts did not develop any earlier in celiac patients compared with the general population, and they did not rule out other autoimmune issues, such as chronic inflammation, as possible causes.

Gluten-free diet "fad" still helps raise celiac awareness

Some people who do not have celiac disease are going gluten-free anyway. It may be considered a fad diet, but that's fine with celiac patients, who say it still raises awareness about the disease. Dietitians warn people who do not need a gluten-free diet that it can be a difficult regimen to follow and could lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gluten-free baked goods rise to new heights

In the past decade, gluten-free baked goods have gone from dense and unappealing to light and delicious, with bakeries such as Babycakes churning out gluten-free products that rival traditional ones. "Gluten-free baking is getting better as bakers, myself included, learn more about using all the different ingredients," said Shauna James Ahern, who wrote "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" with husband Daniel Ahern.

Few celiac patients have high liver enzyme levels

Only a small percentage of patients with celiac disease have elevated transaminase levels, which likely will respond to a gluten-free diet, according to a study American Journal of Gastroenterology. Researchers from the University of Tampere in Finland said routine testing of celiac patients for elevated liver enzymes should be re-evaluated.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Celiac disease is gluten intolerance, not wheat allergy

Celiac disease is not a wheat allergy but an intolerance of gluten -- a protein in wheat, rye and barley -- which causes the body's immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine, registered dietitian Barbara Quinn writes. May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and people should know that celiac disease, which can be difficult to diagnose, leads to nutrient deficits and can be treated only through adopting a gluten-free diet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More People May Benefit From Going Gluten-Free

A study found that a gluten-free diet improved gastrointestinal and overall health for people who are related to someone with celiac disease and also have antibodies specific to the disease but exhibit no symptoms. Researchers said the findings suggest more screening is needed for at-risk populations.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FDA tries for 7 years to define "gluten-free"

The FDA failed to meet a 2008 deadline for defining what it takes for a product to be labeled "gluten-free," and the agency still has not issued regulations. Foodmakers haven't waited, and some products that are labeled gluten-free may contain significant amounts of gluten, endangering consumers who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. "The FDA has spent years calling upon experts to have open-forum debates, town hall meetings. ... it really should be a no-brainer," said Alessio Fasano, medical director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Some other countries, as well as the international Codex Alimentarius Commission, have set labeling standards, typically at a maximum of 20 parts per million -- the amount that can be reliably detectable.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicago sports venues find gluten-free fare is a hit

Chicago-area sports venues, including Wrigley Field, are adding gluten-free foods to their concessions menus, which are a big hit among those with celiac disease. Levy Restaurants vendors even are using separate utensils to handle the gluten-free fare to avoid cross-contamination.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grand Forks schools offer gluten-free lunch options

Public schools in Grand Forks, N.D., regularly offer students with celiac disease gluten-free choices for lunch, such as corn, rice, potatoes and beans, according to the Grand Forks Herald. Schools are joining restaurants and manufacturers in providing more options for people with celiac disease.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Online tool aims to provide English lessons in China

A new online video tool is aimed at improving the way individuals in China learn English. WeblishPal, which was created by two Canadian entrepreneurs, connects Chinese users with native English speakers for live video chats. Lessons are personalized for each student. The company targets young students, those who wish to study in English speaking countries and employees in international business who need to communicate with English speaking colleagues.

Chinese instruction continues to proliferate in U.S. schools

More public schools are incorporating programs in Chinese language and culture into the curriculum as China continues to grow as an economic power. One Massachusetts school district has created an extensive exchange program with the Chinese city of Bengbu. Students and teachers participate in the program, which is aimed at preparing U.S. students to compete in a more diverse and internationally focused workplace.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity differ, study says

A study published in BMC Medicine said researchers have found a molecular-level difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. The University of Maryland team said both are part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders but the two vary in terms of intestinal complications and genes that regulate immune responses in the digestive system.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hot dogs, pies and math: Happy Pi Day

Students and teachers across the country are celebrating Pi day today -- March 14 or 3.14. The mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference over its diameter was first calculated in ancient times. Read more

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Researchers find a link between celiac disease and asthma

Swedish patients with celiac disease had a 60% increased risk of developing asthma compared with those without the condition, while those who had asthma also had an increased risk of developing celiac disease, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, the lead researcher, said vitamin D deficiency and immunological factors might play a role. Read more

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chloe see China as No. 2 market in 2 years

ChloƩ, owned by Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, sees China becoming its number two market by revenue after Japan in two years, according to Reuters. Read more

Arabic, Hindi and Mandarin not so scary to kids

Languages are different, but they're also a pathway to mutual understanding. Is your child studying the right foreign language?

Read more:

Why language study is key to global competitiveness

Language learning is essential to ensuring global competence and national security, writes Clarissa Adams Fletcher, the 2011 National Language Teacher of the Year for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Fletcher advocates in this article for early and consistent access to sequenced language study for K-12 students to prepare them for a professional world that will require them to communicate in languages other than English. Language study also can help develop students' 21st century skills and offer them a better understanding of other cultures, she writes.

Dual immersion programs thrive in Utah schools

Utah schools are leading the nation in the expansion of dual language immersion programs for students. The state's leaders are behind the push, which includes a goal to quadruple enrollment in immersion programs, and a federal grant will allow some Chinese programs to continue through the summer. Educators say the language learning is giving students an academic boost. "You can actually see that those [students] are performing at and above their peer[s] that aren't in the immersion program," principal McKay Robinson said.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More restaurants serve gluten-free fare

Several restaurants in Columbia, Mo., offer gluten-free entrees, part of a national trend of increased gluten-free options in both eateries and at retail stores. Sales of gluten-free food rose 16% from 2008 to 2009, according to Nielsen, driven in part by people who do not have celiac disease but believe there are health benefits to cutting gluten. Read more

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New online program offers virtual language immersion

Middlebury College is partnering with online-learning company K12 to create an Internet-based immersion program for high-school students learning foreign languages. The program will modeled after an intensive summer language academy and will offer the equivalent of a school year of language immersion through online video, audio and avatars. Organizers say the program, which will be available first in Spanish and French, can be used in online schools, brick-and-mortar settings or as part of blended-learning models. Read more

Social-networking tool for tweens is headed to schools

A new social-networking tool that targets children between ages 8 and 13 launched Tuesday and soon could be available to more than 56,000 schools. The Everloop network has established a partnership with the Internet-safety program i-Safe, which will introduce the program in schools to teach about social media. The network, which says it is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, requires parental permission to join and is monitored by the company to prevent inappropriate behavior. Read more

Celiac expert pens cookbooks, advises people to read labels

Carol Fenster finally got a celiac disease diagnosis in 1988 for her sinus infections and respiratory problems and since then has made it her mission to develop gluten-free recipes. Her latest cookbook is "100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes" and her website,, offers even more ideas, but she encourages people to first read food labels at the grocery store to ensure products are gluten-free. Read more

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gluten-free market grows but not due to celiac disease

The gluten-free food market in the U.S. is growing faster than expected but not many people are buying these items to treat celiac disease or gluten intolerance, according to Packaged Facts. Its consumer survey found the top reason for buying gluten-free products was a perception they are generally healthier, followed by a belief they will help with weight control. Read more

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celiac mortality is not affected by serological tests

Serological tests to help diagnose celiac disease have not affected mortality rates, British researchers reported in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The introduction of serologic testing increased the number of people being diagnosed with celiac disease tenfold, but researchers said it probably led to identification of milder cases.
Read more Medscape (free registration)/Reuters 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

6 Ways Apples Have Been Used to Predict Love

To find out your love's initial: "If someone peels an apple in one piece and throws it over his or her shoulder or head, it will fall in the shape of a future love's initial."
To have a dream about your future love: Stick "18 pins into a golden apple...tying (your) left garter around it, and placing it under (your) pillow at night."
To see a vision of your love: "Eating an apple in front of a mirror by the light of the candle was supposed to cause the image of you future love to appear in the mirror as if he was looking over your shoulder."
To find out which way your love will approach: "Squeeze a seed between your fingers, and observe where it flies out."
Or, "you can throw a seed in the air and let it fall to the ground or simply shake it between your cupped hands. Your love will come from the direction in which the seed points."

To find out if he will propose: Name two seeds, one for yourself, one for your lover and toss them into a fire, if they "fly off in different directions, there will be no romantic relationship. If the seed burn together without flying off, the man will never propose. If they both fly off the same side...the pair will marry."
If you can't decide between potential suitors: Stick a bunch of apple seeds to your face "each named for one of the lovers...the last seed to fall off represents the person who loves you wholeheartedly."

Which one(s) have you heard/tried? What's your trick?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gluten-free diet should lead to prompt results, expert says

Many people with celiac disease see fairly rapid improvement after adopting a gluten-free diet but it still can be five years before their intestines fully heal, says nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis. If symptoms persist, she says look for hidden gluten in the diet or a nutrient deficiency and investigate refractory sprue, a less common form of celiac disease that doesn't retreat solely after removing gluten and requires stronger immune treatment.

Study finds genetic links for celiac, Crohn's diseases

A study in the journal PLoS Genetics found several genetic risk factors are the same for celiac and Crohn's diseases. An international research team found two new shared genetic risk loci. They also discovered two shared risk loci that previously were linked individually to each disease.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fermented wheat flour may be safe for celiac patients, suggests study

Celiac disease patients may be able to tolerate foods made from wheat flour fermented with certain micro-organisms, according to a study in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Researchers from the University of Naples in Italy reported that wheat flour containing sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases decreased the concentration of gluten to safe levels for most patients with celiac disease.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Google plans ambitious language translation system for the Web

Google is attempting to break down language barriers on the Internet by creating a system that will allow users to find the best results for their searches regardless of the language and then will translate for them. Some experts say Google's translation system falls short of the work a human translator could do. Google executives say that the project is in its early stages but that the quality of the translations is improving. "Human language is just so complex. It has so many rules, and those rules have exceptions," said the Google researcher leading the translation project.