Contact the Celiac Support Association of Tulsa at

Friday, March 25, 2016

How to Connect with the Celiac Support Association of Tulsa, Oklahoma

There are 3 main ways to connect with the group:

1) The CSA Tulsa Facebook - Celiac/gluten-free product and research information will be posted in this group, but the primary function is as a support/conversation tool for members. Post your questions, restaurant/travel experiences, favorite gluten-free products, recipes, etc.

2) E-mail - Our group e-mail list will be used to notify you of events or other special opportunities. E-mails will be sent on an as needed basis. If you are not on the list or want to check to see if you are, please send an e-mail to asking to subscribe to the e-mail list. You can also send e-mails with questions or requests directly to at any time. Response time to e-mails will vary.

3) Group Events - we will be hosting special events as much as possible. Event information will be posted on the Facebook group page ( and sent to the group e-mail list.

This website will remain up but may not be updated on a regular basis. Please send questions or concerns to

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 20, 2015 Meeting Notes

Thank You!

Thank you to the following for providing samples or support for our October meeting:

Natural Grocers – Thank you to the Natural Grocers on 71st between Memorial and Mingo for allowing us to use their meeting room. Natural Grocers has a great selection of natural, organic and gluten-free food, supplements and body care products at reasonable prices. They also have a location at 31st and Harvard.

Kinnikinnick – Thank you to Kinnikinnick for providing samples for tonight’s meeting. Kinnikinnick has a full line up of gluten-free products, including new vanilla wafers and soft donuts. Kinnikinnick products are available at various stores around Tulsa (Reasor’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Akin’s), or you can order online.

Bona Dea – Thank you to Bona Dea for providing samples of their gluten-free mixes for tonight’s meeting. Bona Dea offers gluten-free mixes that contain whole grains and are free from the most common allergens. Their website shows that Reasor’s carries their products, or you can order online.  

Elli Quark – Thank you to Elli Quark for providing coupons for free products for tonight’s meeting. Elli Quark is a spoonable fresh cheese with a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt, but with a richer, less sour taste. It also has a better protein-to-carb ratio than Greek yogurt, with high protein and no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Available at Reasor’s and SuperTarget. Get more information and a printable coupon here -

Remember, if you find any new products you like but they aren’t available where you shop – ask for them! Customer requests are the best way to get new gluten-free products into our local stores.

Gluten-Free Candy List

Gluten-Free Holiday Resources
Check out the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness' (NFCA) information on enjoying the holiday season gluten-free. Find recipes, tips, and more -
Product Information

Recall Issued for Gluten Free Cheerios 

We are embarrassed & sorry to share an incident that occurred at our production facility in Lodi, California, that allowed wheat flour to enter our gluten-free oat-based system. As a result, original and Honey Nut Cheerios produced on several dates may contain wheat and were wrongly labeled gluten free.

We are voluntarily recalling the products made on those dates at our Lodi facility and we ask you to check the “better if used by” code dates on your packages.

We want to reassure you that this was an isolated incident and we have implemented a solution to ensure that this will not happen again. The Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other facilities are, and will continue to be, FDA compliant and gluten-free. We’ll also continue to test products and our oat flour supply extensively to ensure our products meet the gluten-free standard. We care about what you and your family eat and we are truly sorry for this mistake. We will work extremely hard to earn back your trust.

Please see below for details on code dates and further FAQs. Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact our dedicated consumer line at: 1-800-775-8370. You may also find a note from the President of Big G Cereal Division at General Mills here:

Why is General Mills issuing this Class I recall of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios?

General Mills is voluntarily recalling Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal produced at its Lodi, California facility on certain dates because of a potential undeclared allergen in the product. The products contain wheat, though they are labeled gluten free – and could cause severe reactions or illness in people with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Only products produced at the company’s Lodi, California facility, and bearing the following “BETTER IF USED BY” dates are being withdrawn:

What is General Mills asking consumers to do?

Consumers allergic to wheat, or diagnosed as celiac or intolerant of gluten, or who are unsure of whether they are sensitive to or intolerant of gluten, should not consume cereals in packages bearing the affected code dates. Consumers should contact General Mills at 1-800-775-8370.

How did this happen?

General Mills was in the process of changing five varieties of Cheerios cereal to meet the FDA standard for gluten free products. The company had tested its oat supply, and confirmed that it met the standard for gluten free. The company had also tested the oat flour used to make its gluten free products at its Lodi facility, and confirmed that its oat flour met the FDA gluten free standard.

During the dates in question, the company’s Lodi facility lost rail service, and the company’s gluten-free oat flour was off-loaded from rail cars and transferred to trucks. The company believes this isolated incident resulted in wheat flour being inadvertently introduced into the gluten free oat flour system at its Lodi facility, introducing an undeclared allergen – wheat – into products labeled as gluten free.

Is it safe for consumers who are celiac or gluten intolerant to eat Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios produced at Lodi, California, before and after the affected code dates?

Yes. We have confirmed via testing that the products produced at Lodi both before and after the affected code dates are FDA compliant as gluten free.

Is it safe for consumers who are celiac or gluten intolerant to eat Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios produced at General Mills’ other facilities on these same dates?

Yes. Our products produced at our other facilities are not involved. The Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other facilities are FDA compliant and gluten free.

Is it safe for consumers who aren’t celiac – or otherwise intolerant of or sensitive to gluten – to eat the products being withdrawn?

These products would be safe for people without celiac or who are not gluten intolerant or sensitive to wheat or gluten – and that would include most consumers.

But this is an undeclared wheat allergen of great concern to consumers who are allergic to wheat or celiac or intolerant or sensitive to gluten. Celiac and gluten intolerant consumers should not consume Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios cereal bearing the affected code dates. They should contact General Mills for a replacement or full refund.

What about Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at other General Mills facilities? Are any of those cereals or facilities affected?

No. The Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other facilities are and were FDA compliant and gluten free. Only packages of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our Lodi facility and bearing the “BETTER IF USED BY” code dates are affected as listed below.

Honey Nut Cheerios


Yellow Box Cheerios
General Mills to discontinue Gluten-Free Chex Oatmeal

General Mills, Inc. is halting production of its Gluten-Free Chex Oatmeal. The product, which was available in original, apple cinnamon and maple brown sugar flavors, was introduced last year.

“Our oatmeal products were not meeting performance expectations, and as a result, some major retailers decided to no longer carry the product,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We are no longer producing any new oatmeal. We are currently shipping the last of our inventory to retailers now with our final shipments expected in October.”

General Mills’ new Chex Clusters cereal is also gluten-free and features fruit pieces, rice crisps and rolled oats clustered together. The cereal contains no artificial colors, artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup.

New-To-Mass-Market DayClear Allergy & Sinus Medicines Present Uncommon Formula - OTC Medicine For Patients Sensitive To Gluten, Sugar, Alcohol, Acetaminophen, Dyes

DayClear Allergy and DayClear Sinus Relief offer completely clear formulas for allergy and sinus sufferers. This new-to-the-market product line addresses a sometimes forgotten class of patients—those battling Celiac Disease, diabetes, alcohol intolerance, acetaminophen intolerance and dye sensitivities.

GM Pharmaceuticals, the maker of this Clear Generation™ of over-the-counter medicines, already stands as a noted manufacturer of prescription medications. GM Pharmaceuticals believes the DayClear line fills a gap for millions of Americans affected by diseases and intolerances requiring special diets and pharmaceutical considerations. The owners of GM Pharmaceuticals answered this need because the matter hit close to home.

"When my son was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, we struggled to find OTC medicines that he could take, even for something like allergies," explains Odes Mitchell, the owner of GM Pharmaceuticals and creator of the DayClear brand. "We created DayClear because we wanted my son, and anyone else with a sensitivity, to have an option."

DayClear could be a solution for anyone who has struggled with sensitivity to the active and inactive ingredients of name brand OTC allergy and sinus medicine. This new-to-the-market line may become the trusted source of relief for millions of Americans.

One in every 133 Americans is diagnosed with Celiac Disease, demanding a gluten-free regimen. All DayClear products are gluten free, allowing people with Celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies to avoid terrible side effects and symptoms.

Approximately 29.1 million Americans must stringently monitor sugar intake due to diabetes, considering all ingredient labels, even for medicine. By choosing sugar-free products, like DayClear, consumers can lower their risk of illness and disease, control cravings, improve energy, and avoid pesky allergens.

DayClear products are free of alcohol, eliminating the side effects of alcohol intolerance that could include nausea, headaches, flushing, increased heart rate and fainting. Research indicates that cystic fibrosis and fibromyalgia patients may experience intolerance to alcohol and sensitivities to sugar, food colors, and artificial flavors.

Each year, 80,000 people head to the emergency room due to accidental acetaminophen overdoses. Acetaminophen overdoses may present symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, sweating, vomiting, appetite loss and convulsions. All DayClear products use choline salicylate as a pain reliever, and are completely acetaminophen free.

Food coloring and artificial dye sensitivity can lead to hyperactivity, lack of attention, sleep problems, stomach and respiratory issues in some adults. Most prescription and over-the-counter products contain artificial dyes to make them more attractive in the store aisle. All DayClear products are free of artificial dyes and food coloring.

DayClear is currently being launched in the northeast states including: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Delaware. The product is also available nationwide via Amazon.

For more information, visit:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Meeting Notes - August 18, 2015

Mark Your Calendars

Next Meeting
- Tues., Oct. 20, 7pm – Location to be determined
Thank You!

Thank you to the following for providing samples or support for our August meeting:

Natural Grocers – Thank you to the Natural Grocers on 71st between Memorial and Mingo for allowing us to use their meeting room. Natural Grocers has a great selection of natural, organic and gluten-free food, supplements and body care products at reasonable prices. They also have a location at 31st and Harvard.

Canyon Bakehouse – Thank you to Canyon Bakeouse for providing samples and coupons for tonight’s meeting. Canyon Bakehouse has several flavors of great gluten-free bread and just added bagels and brownie bites to their product line up. Canyon Bakehouse products are available at various stores around Tulsa (Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts and more).

Toufayan – Thank you to Toufayan for providing samples of their new gluten-free pita chips for tonight’s meeting. Toufayan now offers Sea Salt, Chili Lime, and Salted Caramel gluten-free pita chips, and they are really good! They also have several flavors of gluten-free wraps. Their website shows that Reasor’s carries their products, but you will have to check your store for availability (check near the deli). If you like the gluten-free pita chips, you will probably have to request that your store start carrying them.

Nogii – Thank you to Nogii for providing samples for our meeting and an online coupon code. This is the gluten-free company started by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. They offer gluten-free protein bars and protein powder. Available at Reasor’s, Walgreens, and more locations throughout Tulsa or order online at - use coupon code NoGiiMoms50 for 50% off one purchase.

Remember, if you find any new products you like but they aren’t available where you shop – ask for them! Customer requests are the best way to get new gluten-free products into our local stores.
Product Information

Burger King Changes Cooking Procedure for French Fries - Not Safe for Celiacs

Burger King Corporation (BKC) is committed to providing accurate nutrition and allergen information for our guests so that they are able to meet their individual needs. As part of this commitment, our process includes timely dissemination of accurate information.

Accordingly, we are informing the food allergen community about the change in cooking procedure for our French Fries. Starting on August 3rd 2015, French Fries will no longer be cooked in a separate fryer. They will be cooked in the same fryer as Hash Browns that contain wheat flour, resulting in the likely risk of cross-contact with a known allergen for the French fries. Therefore,from now on, French Fries may contain wheat.

We are updating our website, to reflect this change. Our guests will continue to find complete and up-to-date nutritional and allergen information for BURGER KING® menu items on our website.

Bloomfield Farms Offers Deals on Bulk Gluten-Free Flour/Mixes

If you use a lot of gluten-free flour and/or mixes, check out Bloomfield Farms for 16, 25, and 50 pound packages of all purpose flour, pancake/waffle mix, bread mix, cornbread mix, cookie mix, brownie mix, and more. Shipping is fairly expensive, but even with shipping, you can still get a good deal. For example, you can order 16 lbs (4 x 4lb packages) of pancake/waffle mix for $31.80 including shipping – that is less than $2 per pound.

Back-To-School Toolkit from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)

There's no doubt that sending your gluten-free kid back to school can be overwhelming. With the right tools, tips and tricks, you'll be able to make this gluten-free school year the best one yet!

Supported by our friends at Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) put together a Back to School Toolkit, complete with all the information and resources you need. Download the free toolkit here -

Inside the toolkit, you'll find:
- An overview of the 504 plan, a legal document to help schools accommodate your child's gluten-free needs
- A roadmap to the 504 plan
- Celiac disease and the older child
- Navigating everyday life
- GREAT training and how it can help your child eat safely at school
- Experimenting with the gluten-free lunchbox
- Your child's nutrition needs
- Essentials for packing the gluten-free lunchbox and printable shopping list
- Gluten-free lunchbox recipes

Are Enzymes Safe for the Celiac Disease Community? Researchers Set the Record Straight    

While the gluten-free diet may still be the only treatment for celiac disease, there are many challenges to strictly maintaining a 100% gluten-free lifestyle.

It’s common for people with celiac disease to continue experiencing symptoms while on a gluten-free diet and sometimes these symptoms can come and go over time. Also, the gluten-free diet requires significant ongoing education and motivation because it’s a self-administered treatment. As a result, patients carry the burden of this self-managed disease. What’s more, it can take more than two years for some adults with celiac disease to heal their small intestine and it is also possible for some people to still have intestinal damage, despite having a normal celiac disease blood test.

Fortunately, researchers are actively studying new ways to help patients better manage and treat this genetic immune-mediated disease. Every day, scientists and physicians are working together to identify and develop new treatment options that meet the needs of celiac disease patients. Most of these new treatment options are still being studied, with some in clinical trials, and none have been submitted for approval to any regulatory agency anywhere in the world for the treatment of celiac disease.

When looking to develop new treatments, researchers pay close attention to the specific points in a disease process where they can change the course of action. For celiac disease, this can include pills or enzymes that can help to breakdown or bind to gluten so that patients can safely eat foods or drink beverages that contain gluten.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) applauds the scientific community for working to advance the celiac disease field and is excited that the media takes such a strong interest in the topic. However, by drawing attention to very early-stage developments, the media can sometimes provide misleading and overly optimistic expectations for patients, leading to disappointment. One recent example has been coverage of pills and enzymes that may one day help to treat celiac disease.

Because having a safe and effective treatment is a top priority for our community, it’s important to NFCA that patients know that at this time, there are no medical treatments on the market that have been approved by the FDA as safe for the management of celiac disease. A strict lifelong gluten-free diet remains the only treatment for celiac disease today.

“Until there is a safe and effective pharmaceutical treatment for celiac disease, it is very important that patients adhere to the only treatment known to be currently effective (the gluten-free diet) until and if an effective alternative treatment is developed,” stated Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinic.

NFCA strongly encourages patients and their families and caregivers to carefully read the fine print of any pills or enzymes currently on the market and available in stores that promote easier digestion of gluten-containing foods. For example, some products do include a disclaimer noting that it is not intended to treat or prevent celiac disease, so it's very important that patients and caregivers read all information on the label or website.

Because celiac disease is a genetic immune-mediated disease that must be taken seriously and managed carefully, NFCA turned to its scientific and medical advisors, Dr. Joseph Murray and Dr. Daniel Leffler, for an update on the facts.

Question 1
Q. First and foremost, what is the most important message people with celiac disease should hear about pharmaceutical or enzyme therapies?

A. “It is vitally important that patients with celiac disease do not use any of these preparations that are being touted for reducing gluten. They have no proven benefit for patients with celiac disease and, indeed, it would be illegal for them to claim so in the U.S. However, sometimes disclaimers are hidden or not at all obvious to people who could be reading this,” Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinic

Question 2
Q. Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has developed the medication ALV-003 for people with celiac disease who continue to experience symptoms despite a strict gluten-free diet. Can you give an example of an everyday scenario where this medication might improve their lives? If approved, would it be taken every day or only in certain situations? What is the status of these clinical trials and, if approved, when do you think ALV-003 would be available on the market? 

A. “I think both are reasonable possibilities. There are some people who are either highly sensitive to gluten or have diets that are difficult to fully control, for instance college students on a meal plan or frequent business travelers. For these individuals, this type of a medication would be most effective if taken routinely. On the other hand, there are people who can achieve adequate dietary control most of the time, but will need some extra protection on weekends when they eat out or on vacation, for example,” Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, BIDMC.

“As of right now, all we know is that the ALV-003 phase IIb trial is closed to enrollment and until there is data released, it will be hard to speculate when it would be available on the market,” Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, BIDMC

Question 3
Q. Recently, a group from University of Alberta in Canada reported creating a supplement from the yolks of chicken eggs that would bind to wheat proteins in the stomach. Would this be suitable for people with celiac disease since they also need to avoid barley and rye, two other gluten-containing grains? How would this work and would patients with celiac disease avoid intestinal damage as well as have symptom relief? Has this been approved in Canada or the U.S. yet? 

A. “There is no published data on this. This has not been approved in neither Canada nor the U.S. as a treatment for celiac disease or for any other disease. This is a great example of media hyping something at the very early stage of development,” Joseph A. Murray

Question 4
Q. BioLineRx Ltd. has developed a potential treatment, BL-7010, that also binds to gliadins, or the parts of the gluten protein that cause damage to people with celiac disease. BioLineRx's Drug Development Director, Yotam Nisemblat, presented data on their phase I/II safety study results at the International Celiac Disease Symposium (ICDS) this past June. What does it mean to complete a phase I/II safety study and what do the results from this study mean for patients? 

A. “A phase I/II safety study basically tells the sponsors (for example, a company who is developing a new drug) if there are safety issues relating to the use of their medication or device in healthy individuals, as well as patients with the disease that is being targeted,” Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinic

Question 5
Q. Earlier this summer a small neutraceutical company introduced Tolerase G (AN-PEP), a product some patients might think of as the "gluten version" of a lactaid pill. Has this product been approved by the FDA? What type of research was involved in developing AN-PEP? 

A. “This has not been approved by the FDA for treatment of celiac disease or management of any disease or diagnosis. The research that has been developed is not sufficient in order to make any claim as a drug in the U.S. or elsewhere. The public should be aware that dietary supplements are very loosely regulated by the federal government and there is no requirement that safety or efficacy data be presented to the FDA. In fact, it is really only regulated in response to complaints or labeling issues, for example where a manufacturer has placed a label that could imply that it could be used to manage a disease,” Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinic

Question 6
Q. Would a patient with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’ or NCGS) benefit from taking any of these currently available over the counter supplements?   

A. “The use of these enzyme preparations for patients with celiac disease has never been proven and, indeed, there is no data to support the use of those enzymes for non-celiac gluten sensitivity either. Additionally, there is no evidence that any agent in development for celiac disease, or for example Tolerase G, has benefit for patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, as no studies have been performed,” Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinic

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 16, 2015 Meeting Notes

Mark Your Calendars

2015 Meeting Schedule
- Tues., Aug. 18, 7pm - Natural Grocers at (on 71st between Memorial and Mingo )
- Tues., Oct. 20, 7pm - Hardesty Library (Pecan Room) at 8316 E 93rd St (93rd and Memorial)


Thank You!

Thank you to the following for providing samples or support for our June meeting:

Natural Grocers – Thank you to the Natural Grocers on 71st between Memorial and Mingo for allowing us to use their meeting room. Natural Grocers has a great selection of natural, organic and gluten-free food, supplements and body care products at reasonable prices. They also have a location at 31st and Harvard.

Smart Flour Foods – Thank you to Smart Flour Foods for providing samples of their gluten-free pizzas, coupons, and giveaways for tonight’s meeting. Smart Flour Foods uses a perfect trio of ancient grains (sorghum, amaranth, and teff) that mix for an unbeatable combination of taste, texture and nutrition. Their frozen pizzas come in various flavors including
Uncured Pepperoni Pizza, Classic Cheese Pizza and Garden Margherita Pizza. They also offer frozen pizza crusts so you can make your own. Currently available in Tulsa at Natural Grocers, Sprouts, and Whole Foods.

Feel Good Foods
– Thank you to Feel Good Foods for providing coupons for tonight’s meeting. If you are looking for gluten-free (and dairy-free) Asian egg rolls and dumplings, Feel Good Foods is here for you. With taste and quality as its top priorities, Feel Good Foods offers gluten-free frozen foods created by a chef and approved by a celiac. Feel Goods Foods products are made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients and never with preservatives, MSG or artificial flavors. Currently available in Tulsa Natural Grocers.

Remember, if you find any new products you like but they aren’t available where you shop – ask for them! Customer requests are the best way to get new gluten-free products into our local stores.


Emergency Planning With Asthma, Allergies and Celiac Disease

No one knows when an emergency will hit and being prepared will help reduce the risk of additional problems – especially for those with asthma, food allergy or celiac disease. Whether wild fire, hurricanes or floods are driving you out of your home, there are few basics that can save time and stress in any evacuation situation.
Keep your gas tank full and create a plan of where you will go if you need to leave in a hurry. Shelters and well-meaning friends may not be asthma or allergen aware. Instead, research and identify a location that provides accommodations with a kitchen or cooking facilities. Designate an out-of-town contact person to call in the event of an emergency. Family and friends can help to save your smart phone’s battery by calling this person instead of you.

Basic Emergency Supplies

Keep a duffel bag within easy reach that is filled with basic necessities. It should include the following:
- List of accommodations including phone numbers and addresses
- Flashlight and fresh batteries
- Battery operated radio (note: solar may not work if skies are dark)
- First aid kit
- Blankets
- Manual can opener
- Canned foods, energy bars and shelf-stable foods that are safe and satiating. Individually packaged items such as Sunbutter packets, rice or soy milk boxes are good on-the-go choices.
- Disposable bowls, plates, forks, spoons, cups and napkins
- Bottled waters and electrolyte drinks (one gallon of water per person per day)
- Ziploc bags for trash and to keep foods fresh
- Grooming items such as allergen-safe soap, toothpaste and shampoo
- Hand wipes and sanitizers
- Whistle
- Car chargers for phones
- If applicable: pet-care items, baby items, feminine products
Important documents to store in fire and/or waterproof containers:
- Cash in the event there are no ATMs or banks open
- Important documents, such as insurance, medical records, passports, deeds, wills and other hard to replace information

Be Medically Prepared

Emergency kits require a few extra items and careful planning for those with asthma, allergies or celiac disease.

- Emergency Action Plans for food allergy, asthma or other disease. Stress during an emergency may cause you to forget simple procedures.
- Medical Information Sheet detailing physician names and contact information, health insurance provider account number and contact data, prescription drug list with pharmacy name, refill numbers, name of prescribing physician, dosing and frequency.
- Supply of prescription medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors, asthma maintenance drugs, inhalers, nebulizer medications.
- Over-the-Counter medications, since stores may be closed, such as antihistamines, eye drops, fever reducers.
- Portable battery-operated nebulizers with car adapters.

For Wild, Wet Weather

Dealing with hurricanes, flooding or drenching? Switch to a waterproof duffel bag and load it with:
- Waterproof bags for food and electrical items
- Waterproof hard cases for medications
- Rubber or waterproof boots
- Extra clothing

When Things Get Hot
Wild fire and compromised air quality challenges? Pack the following:
- Bandana to dampen and place over mouth
- Respirator or strong face mask for those with severe asthma (see physician to better understand what type to purchase)
- Eye goggles to protect eyes from irritation

Keep your Emergency kit fresh and replenish every few months.

For more tips on how to effectively prepare for the worst, check out these helpful resources:
- Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA): Disaster Relief Resources for People with Asthma and Allergies
- Kids with Food Allergies: Disaster Planning for Families Managing Food Allergies
- FARE: Managing Students with Food Allergies during a Shelter-in-Place Emergency
- American Red Cross: Emergency Preparedness
- Canadian Red Cross: Emergency Preparedness
- U.S. Government: How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster


As Celiac and Gluten Sensitivities Gain Prominence, Drug Companies Race to Find Treatments
Like many people with a sensitivity to gluten, Kristen Sweet avoids the protein in wheat that can make her sick. But when she eats at a friend’s house or a restaurant, she cannot be certain that the food is absolutely gluten-free.
“There’s this risk every time you do go out and trust your health in someone else’s hands,” said Ms. Sweet, 29, who has the gluten-related condition known as celiac disease. “When I do get sick I am curled up in a ball for days and there is nothing I can do. There is nothing you can take.”
Now, however, pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop the first drugs for celiac disease, which researchers say is much more common than previously thought.
No drugs are expected to reach the market until 2018 at the earliest, but a couple of them have shown hints of promise in small clinical trials and might soon advance to the final stage of testing. With that in mind, the Food and Drug Administration held a daylong public workshop recently to discuss something it has not had to ponder before: How to measure the effectiveness of celiac disease drugs in clinical trials.
“There’s this risk every time you do go out and trust your health in someone else’s hands,” said Ms. Sweet.
Most of the drugs in development would not eliminate the need for a gluten-free diet, but would help alleviate symptoms when some gluten does leak into food.
They are being developed mainly by small companies, though some larger pharmaceutical companies are now also showing interest. AbbVie paid $70 million for an option to acquire the global rights to a drug being developed by Alvine Pharmaceuticals. GlaxoSmithKline and Avalon Ventures, a venture capital firm, created a new company, Sitari Pharmaceuticals, which is pursuing celiac treatments.
Drug development has lagged, experts say, in part because the illness was once thought to be a rare condition among children. In the last 15 years or so, however, studies have found that around 1 percent of the population, both adults and children, have the disease, meaning it affects about three million Americans. But most of them do not have a diagnosis, in part because the symptoms which include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue and cognitive problems can have many other causes. And not all gluten sensitivity is related to celiac.
Celiac is now believed to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, particularly the lining of the small intestine, through which nutrients are absorbed. The attack is triggered in genetically susceptible people by gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye that imparts favorable properties for cooking but cannot be readily digested.
“It’s the first autoimmune disease for which the antigen was identified,” said Dr. Francisco Leon, co-founder of Celimmune, a new celiac drug development company. He said celiac disease might serve as a test bed for drug companies developing products for autoimmune diseases because it is easy to get a quick read on whether a drug works by feeding people gluten.
It also suggests drugs for other autoimmune diseases might work for celiac disease. Celimmune licensed rights to a drug Amgen had tested for rheumatoid arthritis and will study it for hard-to-treat cases of celiac disease.
The advent of the gluten-free diet has been a major advance for those with celiac disease, but it is not a cure-all. One study, for instance, showed that the small intestines of two-thirds of adults were still damaged two years after starting a gluten-free diet.
That could be because it takes time to heal. Or it could be that people are still being exposed to gluten that seeps into food in small amounts. Gluten can also be in lipstick, prescription drugs and other places that might not be expected. And adhering to the diet can be difficult for some people, specialists say, particularly teenagers who want to have pizza with their friends.
“There’s a whole degree of anxiety and social isolation that comes along with this,” said Dr. Daniel A. Leffler, director of research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who has been a consultant to companies developing celiac drugs.
Drug developers are taking various approaches.
Alvine’s drug, ALV003, consists of two enzymes that are meant to break down gluten before it can get into the small intestine and cause a reaction. The drug is a powder dissolved in water that is taken before meals.
In one small study, volunteers deliberately ate bread crumbs every day for six weeks. The intestines of those who took the drug were not damaged, unlike the intestines of those who took a placebo. But there was not a statistically significant difference in symptoms.
Alvine, a privately held company based in San Carlos, Calif., expects results by this fall from a larger midstage trial involving 500 patients, the largest trial ever for celiac disease, said Dr. Daniel C. Adelman, the chief medical officer.
Christina Buettner, who participated in a study of ALV003, said she did not notice any difference in how she felt, though she does not know whether she got the drug or the placebo. Ms. Buettner, a nurse in the Boston area, said having to drink 8 ounces of the same fruit-flavored liquid before every meal “got kind of old,” but she would be willing to do it if the drug was shown to reduce the long-term damage from the disease.
Both she and Ms. Sweet, who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs, said that ideally they would only take a drug like ALV003 before meals that they could not be sure were gluten-free.
There are also nutritional supplements already on the market that claim to break down gluten. These supplements do not have to be approved by the F.D.A. and some celiac specialists said there is little to no evidence that they work.
BioLineRx, an Israeli company, is in early-stage testing of a polymer that binds to a key part of the gluten protein, preventing it from being absorbed in the small intestine. And Alba Therapeutics, a privately held company in Baltimore, has done midstage trials of a drug, larazotide acetate, that is supposed to prevent gluten from squeezing between cells of the lining of the small intestine and setting off an inflammatory reaction.
In a Phase 2 trial, the lowest dose tested reduced symptoms compared with a placebo. But Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which obtained an option on larazotide acetate when it acquired another company, has decided not to license the rights to the drug, a Teva spokeswoman said. Alba, which declined to be interviewed, is apparently searching for money to move the drug into late-stage testing.
At least one company, ImmusanT, hopes to do away with the need for a gluten-free diet, allowing people to eat what they want. It thinks that injecting people over several weeks with the pieces of gluten that provoke an immune reaction will induce tolerance to gluten, somewhat similar to the way allergy shots work.
Some experts consider this a long shot.
As a discussion at the recent F.D.A. workshop made clear, assessing the effectiveness of celiac drugs can be difficult because the disease affects people differently. There is not a clear correlation between symptoms and damage to the intestine. Ideally, some participants said, a drug would both improve symptoms and heal the damage while also preventing long-term complications like bone loss.
Who should get the drugs would be another question. If a drug comes to market, especially an expensive one, insurers might limit the drug to those with a definitive diagnosis obtained by inserting an endoscope down the throat into the intestine to examine it and take a biopsy.
“I expect we will need an actual diagnosis of celiac disease, not just gluten sensitivity,” said Dr. Sheila E. Crowe, a gastroenterologist at the University of California, San Diego.
Right now, gluten-free foods have become popular even among those without celiac disease or sensitivity. This rankles some people with celiac because they think it trivializes their illness.
Alice Bast, founder and chief executive of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, a patient advocacy group, said the introduction of drugs would help society and the medical community take the disease more seriously, leading more doctors to screen patients for the illness. Ms. Bast, who had celiac diagnosed 21 years ago, said it took her eight years to find out she had celiac disease after visiting 22 doctors and experiencing symptoms including migraines, hair loss, broken teeth, debilitating diarrhea and three miscarriages.
“With drug development there will be better medical awareness,” she said. “There will be disease management rather than self-management.”
Celiac Sends Early Warning Signals - Antibodies present years, even decades, before diagnosis

The immune signals of celiac disease appear long before diagnosis in some patients, researchers have found, suggesting an opportunity for much earlier identification—and treatment—of the condition.
Using samples from military personnel, the investigators found that at least one antibody specific to celiac disease was present in serum in more than 60% of patients before diagnosis. The median time from the positive test to diagnosis was nine years, but stretched to nearly 20 years in one patient, according to the study by gastroenterologists at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. The researchers presented their findings at Digestive Disease Week 2015 (abstract Mo1217).
“Celiac disease is there a long time before it gets diagnosed,” said Joseph A. Murray, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, who led the work. “If you’re going to be screening people, we’ve got a wide window of opportunity. There is the opportunity for early detection.”
Dr. Murray’s group analyzed blood samples from 250 soldiers with celiac disease that had been collected for the Department of Defense Serum Repository as part of routine medical testing for HIV and other conditions. The researchers looked at four samples from each individual, taken at diagnosis of celiac disease, two and four years before diagnosis, and when the soldier started active duty. For 100 of those subjects, the Mayo team tested the samples for any of three antibodies associated with celiac disease: deamidated gliadin peptide [DGP]-IgG, DGP-IgA and tissue transglutaminase-IgA.
The majority of soldiers with celiac disease had signs of the condition long before diagnosis. Samples from 62 of the 100 subjects in the preliminary study were positive for at least one antibody associated with the disease. In soldiers who initially were positive for one of the antibodies, titers rose by as much as 32% (in the case of transglutaminase-IgA) over the study period, the researchers reported.
“We may feel great about making a diagnosis in May 2015, but that patient may have had that disease for 10 years,” Dr. Murray said. “This data tells us that celiac disease is present a long time before it’s diagnosed.”
Gastroenterologists and other clinicians are being encouraged to think about celiac disease earlier, Dr. Murray said, but the condition often goes unidentified, even in people with known symptoms including diarrhea, anemia and painful gas after eating.
“If we’re not asking people if they have a family history of celiac disease, they might not volunteer it. Patients know it and nobody asks them,” Dr. Murray said. “It’s not part of the routine questionnaire.”
“I would say that there is good evidence to test all people with signs or symptoms potentially consistent with celiac disease,” said Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and director of quality improvement in the Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel, in Boston. “Right now, the evidence is insufficient to recommend screening of at-risk adults, including those with a family history or with related autoimmune conditions.”
For children, Dr. Leffler said, although the data on testing are “more limited” than for adults “due to potential irreversible effects on growth and development, we are more aggressive with testing children in high-risk groups. Children with a family member with celiac disease or children with type 1 diabetes mellitus should be tested for celiac disease every few years or with onset of suspicious symptoms.”
However, Dr. Leffler added, the benefits of early detection of celiac disease are uncertain. “We really do not know if earlier diagnosis in general improves long-term outcomes, but for people with signs and symptoms, they are not going to improve until they are treated. So, you can substantially reduce the burden of disease and improve quality of life by prompt diagnosis of symptomatic individuals.”
A recent Spanish study provides strong evidence that the hepatitis B vaccine may not fully protect children with celiac disease from the infectious illness.
While the link between celiac disease and nonresponse to the hepatitis B vaccine has been previously investigated, this new study, recently presented at the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, is more substantial than its predecessors.
Dr. Maria José Pérez, from Henares Hospital in Spain, compared 214 celiac children with 346 control patients, all of whom had received the hepatitis B vaccine within their first year of life and been vaccinated before gluten was introduced into their diets. The researchers then looked at antibody levels to determine the patients’ response to the vaccine – the fewer the hepatitis B antibodies, the lower the body’s response to the vaccine. Celiac patients, particularly those under age 5, had lower response rates to the vaccine compared to the control group.
A gluten-free diet and booster vaccines did not appear to make a difference in the patient’s response to the vaccine.
Here are the key findings:
- Compared 214 celiac children with 346 control patients.
- Overall, 68% of the children with celiac disease were nonresponsive to the vaccine, compared to 60% of the control group.
- 50% of celiac children under the age of 5 were unresponsive to the vaccine, compared to only 30% of the control group.
However, some experts say that the vaccine’s protection is about more than just antibodies.
“Protection from hepatitis B is likely not dependent on antibodies alone,” Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Joseph Murray told Medscape Medical News. “It also involves T-cell response, so the lack of measurable antibodies is not absolute proof of no protection.”
Murray says that due to this body of research, he tests all of his celiac patients, particularly those of a young age or those who work in high-risk environments such as healthcare or corrections, for hepatitis B response. If they show a low response, he recommends redoing the vaccine after a full year on the gluten-free diet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

April 21, 2015 Meeting Notes

Mark Your Calendars

2015 Meeting Schedule
- Tues., Jun. 16, 7pm - Natural Grocers (9137 E 71st St, 71st between Memorial & Mingo)
- Tues., Aug. 18, 7pm - Natural Grocers (9137 E 71st St, 71st between Memorial & Mingo)
- Tues., Oct. 20, 7pm - Hardesty Library (Pecan Room) at 8316 E 93rd St (93rd and Memorial)


Thank You!

Thank you to the following for providing samples or support for our April meeting:

Krissy’s Kupcakes – Thank you to Krissy’s Kupcakes, a new gluten-free cupcake bakery, for providing samples for tonight’s meeting. They were great! Details and ordering information -

Pamela’s Products – Thank you to Pamela’s Products for providing samples of their new gluten-free graham crackers for tonight’s meeting. Available flavors are honey, cinnamon, and chocolate, available in regular or mini grahams. All we can say is YUM! These should be on store shelves soon, or request them at your favorite stores. More information -

Remember, if you find any new products you like but they aren’t available where you shop – ask for them! Customer requests are the best way to get new gluten-free products into our local stores.

Diagnosed with Celiac, on a Gluten-Free Diet, Now What? Follow Up Testing Recommendations – Celiac disease damages the villi, which are finger-like projections in the small intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. Because of this, it is highly likely that people with celiac disease will be deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients when diagnosed. Laboratory tests should be done within three to six months following a diagnosis and annually for the rest of your life. Recommendations here -

Download Free Spring Recipe Book from CSA – The Celiac Support Association has a new Spring recipe book is available for free to anyone who wants to download it. Please spread the word and take advantage of this free book filled with recipes, a candy list, holiday supplies and tips for sharing meals with relatives and friends. Download here -

NFCA Launches Talk, Tell, Test Campaign – New Resources to Help Discuss Celiac Disease Testing with Family

In conjunction with Celiac Awareness Month in May, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has launched "Seriously, Celiac Disease," the only national campaign dedicated to raising awareness among people with diagnosed celiac disease about the importance of having a serious conversation with relatives who may be genetically at-risk for the condition. The campaign was developed as a result of NFCA research that showed when at-risk relatives are properly educated about the condition and armed with the right tools, their receptivity to get screened for celiac disease increases.

For the three million Americans with celiac disease – 83 percent of whom are undiagnosed – consuming the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye triggers an immune response that damages the nutrient-absorbing lining of the small intestine.

"Seriously, Celiac Disease" campaign by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness - Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease....
Celiac disease has a variety of symptoms and can lead to certain types of cancer and other autoimmune diseases if mismanaged or untreated. However, most people with undiagnosed celiac disease don't have any obvious signs or symptoms, and a simple blood test can help avoid some of the long-term disease complications. Additional diseases and conditions, including cancer, other autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis, can all manifest as a result of untreated celiac disease. For people with celiac disease, following a strict gluten-free diet is both medically necessary and the only treatment option to combat symptoms and prevent serious long-term complications.

"Through our community's experience, we know that most untested family members only want to have this serious conversation once, so it's important to use the right information, in the right setting, using proven methods when talking to them," said Alice Bast, President and CEO of NFCA. "By equipping individuals with the right tools to help their relatives understand the importance of formal diagnosis, NFCA hopes to have a major impact on the health and future of many families."

The "Seriously, Celiac Disease" campaign aims to encourage individuals with celiac disease to "Talk. Tell. Test." with their biological relatives using personal, one-on-one conversations:

TALK to your family.
It's important to talk to both immediate and extended family members soon after a celiac disease diagnosis to help them understand why getting tested is important for their own health. These private conversations should be initiated in person using a serious yet personal tone.

TELL them the facts.
Since many people with celiac disease don't have any symptoms at all, it can be hard to clearly explain what undiagnosed celiac disease can do to the body. That's why it's important to relay the facts of celiac disease to relatives. Once one person is diagnosed, all biological relatives need to know that celiac disease is genetic. Those diagnosed play a key role in helping family members understand the importance of a formal diagnosis and its long-term management with a team of knowledgeable healthcare providers.

Urge them to TEST.
A simple blood test is the first step in learning if a person has celiac disease. Depending on the results, a biopsy of the small intestine to check for damage may be ordered by the physician following the blood test.

"Celiac disease is genetically based, so it is more common in those with a family history of the condition, and having an autoimmune condition like celiac disease makes you more likely to develop other autoimmune diseases," said Daniel A. Leffler, M.D., M.S., NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Council Member and Director of Research for The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "Testing at-risk populations for celiac disease has been consistently shown to improve detection rates among family members and accurate diagnosis is vital to ensure that the disease is managed appropriately."

Visit to access the following free NFCA resources to help get the conversation started:
- PSA Video – A powerful video that teaches those diagnosed with celiac disease how to effectively talk to relatives about the importance of celiac disease testing using tactics grounded in the Health Belief Model, one of the most widely used conceptual frameworks in health behavior.
- Discussion Guides – Research-tested tactics that explain the specific "dos" and "don'ts" needed to drive this important conversation between family members, as well as with physicians.
- Personal stories – Personal stories from others diagnosed with the serious genetic autoimmune disease are available to learn about other family testing experiences.

People diagnosed with celiac disease typically have only one chance at discussing testing with their family. Because of this, NFCA encourages the community to share the video with others diagnosed and not directly with family members, as NFCA research has shown that a personal, one-on-one offline conversation is the most successful approach. People in the celiac disease community can follow the hashtag #TalkTellTest to join in the conversation with NFCA and others having similar experiences in helping their family members get tested.

Product Information

Legacy Food Storage Expands Gluten-Free Line with New Emergency Food Kits

Legacy Food Storage, a manufacturer of good tasting, high-quality gourmet meals for food storage and emergency use, today expanded its gluten-free emergency food and supply offerings with a new 16 serving sample kit and a 32 serving, 72-hour emergency kit. These new kits provide more options for individuals suffering from celiac disease or otherwise following a gluten-free diet.

“The new sample kit lets them try these tasty and simple-to-prepare gluten-free meals before deciding to purchase them in larger quantities, and the new gluten-free 72-hour kit makes the entire kit appropriate for their health needs.”

According to a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology in March, more than 1.5 million Americans have a severe immune reaction to the gluten protein in breads and other foods, mainly inflammation in the small intestines. Another 1.5 million without celiac disease follow a gluten-free diet as well for various reasons, including losing weight or for simply eating healthier.

“While Legacy has long provided gluten-free, freeze-dried entrees and sides for emergency situations, those with celiac disease or choosing to eat gluten-free for whatever reason haven’t been able to purchase smaller sample size packets or emergency kits without gluten,” said Phil Cox, CEO, Legacy Food Storage. “The new sample kit lets them try these tasty and simple-to-prepare gluten-free meals before deciding to purchase them in larger quantities, and the new gluten-free 72-hour kit makes the entire kit appropriate for their health needs.”

Each kit includes a variety of servings of Legacy’s nine gluten-free emergency meals and side dishes, all manufactured in strictly monitored, contaminant-free facilities. These foods include:
- Enchilada, Beans and Rice
- Cheese & Broccoli Bake
- Cheese & Broccoli Soup Mix
- Cheesy Potato Soup Mix
- Vegetable and Rice Soup Mix
- Potato Soup Mix
- Spicy Corn Chowder Soup Mix
- Classic Chili Mix
- White Bean Chili Mix
The new kits cost $46 for the 16-serving sample kit and $94 for the 32-serving 72-hour kit, and can be purchased online from Legacy affiliates such as and

About Legacy Food Storage
Legacy’s prepackaged emergency food storage meals and products provide consumers with good tasting, high-quality food that is convenient and provides peace of mind knowing good food will be available during times of emergency or need. For more information, visit

Snyder's-Lance Expands Portfolio of Gluten-Free Snacks

Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: LNCE), maker of innovative, premium and "better for you" snacks, is adding more gluten-free products to its growing product lineup. To meet consumers' increasing demand for gluten-free options, Cape Cod®, Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, Eatsmart Naturals® and Lance® all have new certified gluten-free snacks being rolled out currently and are already on shelves at many retailers nationwide.  A new gluten-free sandwich cracker is being presented to retailers this week for a spring introduction.

"As our family of brands continues to grow and reach more consumers who want healthier snack options, we've developed innovative, gluten-free snacks that will exceed consumer expectations in taste and quality," said Carl E. Lee, Jr., President and CEO of Snyder's-Lance, Inc. "All of these products reflect our passion for premium, differentiated snacking."

Consumer research reveals that nearly one out of three American adults wants to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets. In addition, 77% of people who buy gluten-free products claim it is hard to find good-tasting, gluten-free foods. Snyder's-Lance has stepped up to the plate to offer a variety of flavorful, gluten-free options that do not sacrifice taste.

The new gluten-free options by Snyder's-Lance include:
- Cape Cod® embraces consumers' desire for healthier options and their love for eating dips by creating new gluten-free Dipping Shells packed with whole grains. The shells come in three varieties – Four Bean (Black, Pinto, Red and Adzuki Beans), Blue Corn Multigrain (Blue Corn, Chia Seeds and Brown Rice) and Ancient Grain (Quinoa, Black Sesame and Amaranth).
- Pretzel Crisps®, the world's first flat baked pretzel cracker, introduces new gluten-free Minis, inspired by demand for wholesome, bite-sized snacking options that all the family can enjoy. The minis debut in two flavorful varieties, Original and Salted Caramel.
- Eatsmart Naturals' new Sea Salt and Lime Dipping Chips offer a mouthwatering blend of potato and chickpea flavors. The chips are certified gluten-free, a good source of whole grains and made with GMO-free ingredients.
- Lance® will introduce the first gluten-free sandwich cracker for consumers who desire savory, on-the-go fuel for the day. The gluten-free Peanut Butter and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich Crackers combine the great Lance® taste in a bite-sized snack. This is a major gluten-free product breakthrough as Snyder's-Lance is the first company to pioneer this important innovation. 

These new items join the company's existing lineup of gluten-free products. Snyder's of Hanover, named the No. 1 gluten-free pretzel in the U.S., launched its line of Gluten-Free Pretzels in 2013 and continues to expand the line to offer flavorful snacking options, including Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel Sticks. Also, the entire line of Cape Cod kettle-cooked chips is made with all-natural ingredients, gluten-free, preservative-free and kettle-cooked in 100% canola oil. 

"With improved taste and nutrition profiles, gluten-free foods are now appealing to an even wider audience, and in fact, snacks are the largest and fastest growing gluten-free food segment," said Rod Troni, Chief Marketing Officer, Snyder's-Lance, Inc. "That's why Snyder's-Lance is committed to offering more gluten-free options to consumers who desire them because of a gluten sensitivity or just because they deem them healthier. We have proven success in gluten-free snacking and will continue to raise the bar."

American researchers are investigating ways to develop a strain of wheat that is not gluten-free as such – but would be safe for those with celiac disease.

“Until now, much of the research on celiac disease has focused on the human element of the disorder, in which a person cannot tolerate gluten,” explained the project’s lead researcher Chris Miller. “However, this project is looking at a way to alter the gluten itself – so that it would cause a more mild reaction or even no reaction at all.”

An estimated 1 percent of the American population has diagnosed celiac disease and these rates and the rates of non-celiac gluten sensitivity are thought to be on the rise. At present, no type of wheat is safe for those with celiac disease, and the only method of treatment is following a strict gluten-free diet. As well, many individuals are avoiding gluten (and therefore wheat) as a personal diet choice.

The Kansas Wheat Commission invested $200,000 over the next two years into the research project hunting for celiac-safe wheat – a response to the growing consumer demand for gluten-free products. 

In order to create a type of wheat that is safe for people with celiac, researchers need to identify the specific proteins in wheat that cause reactivity, explains Miller, a cereal biochemist. The first phase of the project, which began in July 2014 in Kansas, involves identifying proteins in different varieties of wheat, and wheat relatives, as well as experimental varieties and historically popular wheat dating back to the 1900s. The identified proteins will then be tested against human celiac disease antibodies to determine precisely which proteins cause reactions.

“This will give us a better understanding of wheat proteins and will allow wheat breeders to use the findings to develop new wheat varieties with lower levels of celiac-toxic proteins,” Miller told Allergic Living.

However, some health experts caution that this may be an overly simplistic approach.

“That this research could contribute to our understanding of all amino acid sequences causing an immune response in individuals with celiac disease is tremendous,” said Tricia Thompson, a registered dietitian and founder of the Gluten Free Watchdog website. “Whether individuals with celiac disease would eat wheat grain deemed to be ‘celiac safe’ is a completely different issue.”

Thompson is reserving her verdict on this idea until the study has progressed further.

“It would be helpful if the research included in vivo testing – human feeding trials – to determine whether the wheat truly is safe for individuals with celiac disease,” she said. “However, the researchers may have difficulty finding human guinea pigs for this study.” According to Miller, there are not yet plans to test the new wheat on celiac patients.

There is the risk that while a new type of wheat might be less toxic to those with celiac disease, it could still be harmful to them. In celiac disease, the immune system’s rejection of gluten proteins can set off immediate gastrointestinal symptoms, lead to long-term damage in the small intestine, and even conditions as diverse as thyroid disease, osteoporosis and anemia.

Despite the challenge, Miller is optimistic. At the end of the preliminary research, he hopes to identify the exact DNA that causes celiac reactions as well as which varieties of wheat are more reactive. Though it will likely be more than a decade before a resulting product is available commercially, he says a lot will be learned in the next few years.

“Whether this results in a truly celiac-safe wheat variety or not, the project will benefit wheat breeders, farmers and the public,” he says.

Anticipated Timeframes for Celiac Drug Launches
There are no pharmacological treatments that are indicated for celiac disease and the current standard of care treatment involves a gluten free diet (GFD). Steroids and immunosuppressants are used to reduce symptoms in severe cases, targeting approximately 5% of the celiac disease patient population and there are no preventative medications.
The anticipated launch of Alba/Teva’s larazotide acetate in 2018 in the US and 2019 in 5EU, followed by the launch of Alvine/AbbVie’s latiglutenase in 2019 and 2020 in the US and 5EU respectively are set to change the management of the disease and drive growth in the celiac disease market. Both drugs are expected to target patients who undergo gluten exposure while on a GFD equating to approximately 95% of the celiac disease patient population. GlobalData estimates that the uptake of both drugs will be equally high, but latiglutenase will rapidly gain market value and emerge the commercially stronger drug with the backing of Immune-Gastro veteran AbbVie.