Celiacs needed for UBC study

ubc celiac study

ubc celiac studyWe are researchers from the School of Kinesiology at The University of British Columbia and are currently looking for people (ages 18-65) who have been diagnosed with celiac disease (at least 6 months ago) to participate in a study about experiences with a gluten-free diet. Note – you do not have to follow a gluten-free diet to participate in this study.

We would like to invite you to participate in this study if you meet the eligibility criteria and agree to participate. Participation in this study will involve completing an online questionnaire at four time points (Time 1 [baseline], Time 2 [1 month after baseline], Time 3 [6 months after baseline] and Time 4 [1 year after baseline]). It will take participants less than 30 minutes to complete the questionnaires at each time point (120 minutes total).

To compensate you for your time, you will be given $5 for each completed food record at Times 1, 2, 3 and 4 (up to $20 total).

For further information about this study please contact Justine Wilson at glutenfree.ubc@gmail.com.

Thank you for your time.

A. Justine Wilson, PhD Student

School of Kinesiology
Psychology of Exercise, Health and Physical Activity Lab
122 – 6081 University Blvd.
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1, Canada

Survey: More see gluten-free foods as healthier choice

Courtesy Vitacost.com

vitacost.com logoIf it seems like “gluten free” is the new dieting catchphrase, you’re not imagining it. The vast majority of consumers responding to a new survey by Vitacost.com, Inc., a online retailer of health and wellness products, said they choose to eat gluten-free foods. Close to half of the 1,484 individuals who responded said they follow an exclusively gluten-free diet, while 38% choose “some” gluten-free products. Those who don’t eat gluten-free foods say the products are too expensive.

The nationwide survey asked individuals about their efforts to follow a gluten-free diet and delved into reasons why consumers avoid gluten. Forty percent said they choose gluten-free foods because they tend to have an upset stomach after eating foods containing this protein, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Meanwhile, 31% choose gluten-free foods because they see them as the “healthier” option. Only 13% of those taking the survey said they had celiac disease, a condition diagnosed with a blood test.

“We have seen increased interest in our gluten-free products and conducted this survey to better understand consumer needs and concerns around this specialty diet,” stated David Zucker, Ph.D., Chief Marketing Officer.

Study finds gluten in unlabeled “natural” products

LotionsMany of the world’s preeminent gastroenterologists have convened this week for the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center at the National Harbor to review the latest scientific advances in gastrointestinal research, treatment of digestive diseases and clinical practice management.

The main Celiac news from the meeting concerns a George Washington University study. It found that the lack of readily available information about cosmetic ingredients has caused Celiacs to unknowingly expose themselves to gluten. The study, prompted in part by a patient case, where a 28-year old woman experienced exacerbation of her celiac symptoms after using a body lotion advertised as “natural,” focused on the top 10 cosmetic companies in the United States in order to evaluate the availability of information about cosmetic ingredients and the accessibility of gluten-free products. The packaging of beauty products rarely provides gluten information.

Wheat breeding may have contributed to prevalence of celiac disease

By David Fowler

I just read an interesting article by Van den Broeck et al. published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

The article hypothesizes that the breeding of wheat may have contributed to the prevalence of Celiac Disease. Conversely, if gluten has been inadvertently breed in to wheat, it can be breed out.  Scientifically, an interesting idea, but controversial as many feel that genetic modification is what got us into this problem in the first place and there are unknown consequences of reducing or eliminating gluten in wheat.

The article is accessible for non-medical types and a good read. Below is the full abstract and a link to the original tests.

Gluten proteins from wheat can induce celiac disease (CD) in genetically susceptible individuals. Specific gluten peptides can be presented by antigen presenting cells to gluten-sensitive T-cell lymphocytes leading to CD. During the last decades, a significant increase has been observed in the prevalence of CD. This may partly be attributed to an increase in awareness and to improved diagnostic techniques, but increased wheat and gluten consumption is also considered a major cause. To analyze whether wheat breeding contributed to the increase of the prevalence of CD, we have compared the genetic diversity of gluten proteins for the presence of two CD epitopes (Glia-α9 and Glia-α20) in 36 modern European wheat varieties and in 50 landraces representing the wheat varieties grown up to around a century ago. Glia-α9 is a major (immunodominant) epitope that is recognized by the majority of CD patients. The minor Glia-α20 was included as a technical reference. Overall, the presence of the Glia-α9 epitope was higher in the modern varieties, whereas the presence of the Glia-α20 epitope was lower, as compared to the landraces. This suggests that modern wheat breeding practices may have led to an increased exposure to CD epitopes. On the other hand, some modern varieties and landraces have been identified that have relatively low contents of both epitopes. Such selected lines may serve as a start to breed wheat for the introduction of ‘low CD toxic’ as a new breeding trait. Large-scale culture and consumption of such varieties would considerably aid in decreasing the prevalence of CD.

Read the full article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963738/

New Treatment for Celiac Disease?

WebMD is reporting some interesting news about a forthcoming mice based research study.

The news? Blocking an inflammatory protein called interleukin-15 (IL-15) may treat symptoms of celiac disease and prevent the development of celiac disease in certain at-risk people.

The study finds that IL-15 may be a major player in driving the inflammatory response in celiac disease. Therefore if you block it, you can tolerate gluten.

Even better, medications that block IL-15 are already being developed for other inflammatory diseases.

As usual, more research needs to be done.

Read the full article in WebMD.