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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.