There are lots of updates in the gluten free world this week. Here are some quick updates on the Gluten Free Ticker today:
Research: Test Detects Tiny Amounts of Gluten in Food
In Spain, researchers tested out a new assay that can detect amounts of gluten as low as .5 ppm. Significantly lower than 20 ppm which is the standard in Europe, Canada and US. The FDA says it has agreed to the 20 ppm level because, “Analytical methods that are scientifically validated to reliably detect gluten at a level lower than 20 ppm are not currently available.”
An article in Chemical & Engineering News interviewed Maria Jesus Lobo-Castanon from the University of Oviedo in Spain. She says they decided to create a highly-sensitive assay for gluten after a colleague was so sensitive that even “products labeled gluten free triggered his symptoms”. The article quotes Jose Manuel Pingarron of Complutense University of Madrid it shows more reliable results “at low concentrations where other methods fail.”
For much more detail, there is a lot of technical, chemistry-laden detail in the article and in the abstract published in Analytical Chemistry.
Celiac Disease Foundation’s Interactive Symptom Checklist
The Celiac Disease Foundation has done some innovative things in the last few month. In late 2013 they created a practitioner database where you can find experts in celiac disease in your area. This week they came out with an Interactive Symptom Checklist for detecting celiac.
The news release says the checklist is aimed to “help individuals and families accurately define and report their symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to their doctor or other health care practitioner.”
“The most significant problem in celiac disease is the inadequate rate of diagnosis,” said Daniel Leffler, M.D., M.S., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and CDF Medical Advisory Board member. “While the situation has improved, with only 15% of people with celiac disease diagnosed currently in the United States, we have a great deal of work to do.”
I did the checklist. Basically you go to this link and, online, you will fill out the checklist. Once complete your information is supposed to be emailed to you (although I am still waiting for it). It also immediately and optionally asks for your zip code and gives you a recommendation for a practitioner in your area. Not a bad idea I must say.
Persistent Villious Atrophy and Hip Fractures
Celiac Disease 101: Gluten is toxic to your body. It wipes out the villi in your small intestines (aka villous atrophy) and leaves with malabsorption problems which then leads to many other symptoms. For most people with celiac, the goal is the villous atrophy would subside and the villi would grow back on a gluten free diet. But new research says some people may have persistent villous atrophy which could lead to continued problems.
This study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism out of Sweden looked at how villous atrophy affected long-term fracture risk. What they found was it didn’t affect it overall fracture risk. But it DID affect hip fractures. Hip fracture risk increased with worsening villous atrophy. The study adds, because this is exclusive to hip fractures and not all fractures “implies that thinner sc tissue and fall or trauma may be mechanisms by which persistent VA confers an increased fracture risk.”