Friday, February 17, 2012

Gluten Intolerant? Hidden Source of Gluten Revealed!

Those who are gluten intolerant truly ‘live in fear’ of getting ‘glutened’. Glutened is an expression that’s been coined to mean that you inadvertently consumed gluten. And for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity a little gluten in a food can create negative health ramifications that last for hours, days, weeks or months – literally.

When it comes to cooking oils, they are generally found to be in the ‘no worries’ category when it comes to gluten. Recommended oils such as olive or coconut are made from fruits or nuts that contain no gluten naturally. Other less desirable oils such as canola, corn or safflower not only are made from substances that are naturally gluten-free but they are so refined that any protein that could have potentially caused a problem has been removed.

Typically labels on oils don’t specify that they are gluten-free because they don’t have to. Olive oil has a single ingredient – olives – and they are not a gluten-containing fruit. Some more refined oils may have an ingredient list on the bottle because in addition to the oil itself there are additives such as carotene, lecithin or citric acid that have been added to help the oil from going rancid. These oils are not the healthiest overall and not ones that I recommend for daily cooking, but the additives are gluten-free.

In the world of gluten intolerance we can never be anything less than vigilant and this post illustrates why.

Imagine my surprise when a patient pointed out that her cooking spray contained gluten. I never use cooking sprays which is probably why I hadn’t thought about the fact that such a product could contain gluten, but in over 20 years of educating patients about hidden sources of gluten, it honestly had never come up before.

Now that it has, let’s review the products on the market and what you should be alert for:
Sprays such as Pam Baking, Pillsbury Baking Spray, Spectrum Canola Baking Spray and Bak-Klene Nonstick Baking Spray all contain gluten. They all clearly stated on the ingredient list of the can that gluten was present. If you’ve done much baking you’ll be familiar with the process of greasing and flouring baking pans. These products are attempting to ‘make your life easier’ by having both ingredients in one spray bottle.

Wal Mart’s brand and Pam cooking spray (vs baking spray) state theirs does not contain gluten though both companies label theirs cans with a warning of potential cross-contamination.
So the lesson for this blog is – ALWAYS, ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!

Even if you ‘think’ you know what’s in something and even if you’ve bought it before and it was fine – READ THE LABEL. Too often patients get into trouble thinking that something ‘shouldn’t’ have gluten and therefore they don’t bother to read the label. Or, something that was ‘safe’ in the past has changed its ingredients and it now does contain gluten.

When dining out oil can become a problem from a cross-contamination issue. While your French fries may very well be gluten-free, if they’re deep fried in the same oil that just fried the tater tots, you’re in trouble. The gluten coating from those tater tots is in the oil and now, to some degree, on your French fries.

So when ordering anything deep fried, ensure the restaurant has a dedicated fryer that they use for their gluten-free products. If not, you are risking gluten contamination.

I hope you found this helpful. I am here to assist you to improve your health. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. 

If you’d like assistance I’m happy to offer you a free health analysis. Call 408-733-0400.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Celiac Disease Risk: Why an Emergency C-section is Healthier than an Elective One

When it comes to celiac disease risk, an elective or planned C-section creates a much greater incidence of celiac disease than an emergency one.
A natural, vaginal birth is probably every mother’s plan, but C-sections, at an increased rate, have become a fact of life.
In a recent study (October 2011) published in Gastroenterology, titled “Pregnancy outcome and risk of celiac disease in offspring: A nation-wide case-control study”, Dr Ludvigsson, an avid researcher in the field discovered a rather unexpected result associated with children delivered by cesarean section.
The study of over 11,000 patients with biopsy-proven celiac disease and close to 54,000 controls, were examined based on the type of birth they experienced. The study showed an outstanding 15% increase risk in those born through elective or planned C-section over those born via an emergency cesarean.
In fact there was no increased risk found for those individuals born from an emergency C-section.
Why the vast difference? The reason for the disparity lies in the vital exposure to the health-promoting probiotic organisms present in the birth canal that occurs in vaginal births as well as those who experience emergency C-sections.
Babies born after an emergency C-section typically reside in the birth canal for some time prior to the decision being made to perform the surgery.
Elective or planned C-sections afford the baby no time in the birth canal, in fact they are designed to occur before any major progression of labor has occurred. Therefore these babies are given no exposure to the healthy probiotic population that has recently been appreciated to be capable of keeping the celiac disease gene from expressing itself.
It is as if there is a switch for a disease that one is genetically programmed to be susceptible to, and it has an on and off position. Healthy probiotics can keep that switch in the ‘off’ position, despite the genetic tendency. Conversely, a lack of healthy probiotics allow that switch to move to the ‘on’ position, thereby allowing the disease to be expressed.
Let’s compare two children who both:
1.       Possess the genes for celiac disease
2.       Are exposed to gluten in their diet
The child born with exposure to the good probiotics in the birth canal won’t necessarily develop celiac disease, despite their genetic predisposition. The probiotics, if healthy and abundant, will suppress the expression of the celiac disease genes.
On the contrary, the child born via elective C-section and having no exposure to the probiotics, will not have the defense against the genetic predisposition to develop celiac due and will, therefore, be 15% more likely to develop the disease.
While avoiding a planned C-section is perhaps not a viable alternative for every expectant mother, this knowledge does seem vitally important for any expectant mother, who has celiac disease or any other autoimmune diseases present in their family.
If there is absolutely no recourse to a planned C-section due to whatever circumstance, I would strongly suggest that the mother takes all steps to optimize the health of their digestive tract and probiotic population such that when they nurse their newborn they can at least share their good bacteria through breast milk. This is, I believe, an extremely important practice for all newborns, but most especially in this circumstance.
If you need assistance in determining the best course of action to take to improve the health of your own small intestine such that your probiotic population provides the optimal health benefits to your future unborn children, or if you already have a child and want to ensure that their probiotic level is optimized, please feel free to contact me for a complimentary health analysis – call 408-733-0400.
The benefits to be obtained from keeping the 100 trillion probiotics (also known as the microbiome) in your small intestine healthy are quite remarkable. This is an emerging science, but one we know quite a bit about already.
Ensuring a healthy microbiome in yourself and your children is not difficult and the program is a natural  one. But each individual is unique and therefore the program must be designed on a personalized basis in order to achieve the greatest success.
I hope this was informative. We are here to help you, your children and family. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”