Innovative Celiac Drug Moves Forward in FDA Approval Process

“No one wants to just survive with the disease – they want to thrive. That’s the goal. We want to give someone the ability to thrive.” – John Temperato, CEO, 9 Meters Biopharma

Larazotide, the first, and so far, only celiac treatment to reach the final stages of patient clinical trials, may be on track for FDA approval within the next couple of years.

The drug hit a milestone in August 2019 when it became the first celiac treatment administered to a Phase 3 clinical trial patient. The Phase 3 clinical trial is a promising sign for those seeking a new treatment option, said John Temperato, CEO of 9 Meters Biopharama, Inc.

“We know how life altering suffering daily from the disease can be. We want to do everything we can to work with patient groups to help them do better,” said Temperato, whose company is developing larazotide. “I often say that no one wants to just survive with the disease – they want to thrive. That’s the goal. We want to give someone the ability to thrive.”

About 1% of the population has celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease where eating gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine.

How does larazotide it work?

Larazotide is designed to be a “tight junction regulator,” which should help prevent an inflammatory response if a celiac patient ingests gluten. The disease disrupts how the gut works. Essentially, gluten causes an inflammatory response in the intestines that, over time, will damage the intestinal villi – tiny, finger-like projections found inside the small intestine. Several symptoms are associated with the disease including diarrhea, fatigue, depression and more. 

According to 9 Meters Biopharma, Inc., the oral therapy shows promise in reducing an inflammatory response by helping junctions in the gut to work properly. Specifically, the drug is expected to mitigate symptoms in those who are accidentally exposed to gluten or as an adjunct therapy for patients whose symptoms persist, even if they maintain a gluten-free diet

Will larazotide be available soon?

Larazotide’s Phase 3 clinical trial is expected to enroll between 600 to 700 patients. Data from the first half of the study could be ready by early 2021.

A Phase 3 trial is one of the final steps before a drug becomes publicly available. During a Phase 1 trial a treatment’s safety is considered. Phase 2 trials determine the effectiveness of a drug or treatment. Phase 3 trials evaluate how a medication under development compares to existing, already approved treatments. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. 

The final step, Phase 4, occurs after FDA approval. It involves monitoring some patients to gather additional information about a drug’s long-term effects and efficacy.

Larazotide was initially developed by Innovative Biopharmaceuticals. After launching the Phase 3 trial, the company announced a merger with RDD Pharma back in October 2019. The North Carolina-based biotech firm’s focus was on developing innovative therapies for gastrointestinal disorders. Temperato had been RDD Pharma’s CEO before being tapped to lead the new company. 

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free: What’s the Connection?

Avoiding gluten (a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye) is a given following a new celiac diagnosis. It’s the only way to deal with a condition that, left untreated, can lead to serious health consequences. Unfortunately, if the disease has progressed unnoticed for some time, there’s another dietary restriction new patients might have to deal with while giving their gut time to heal — dairy.

Lactose intolerance sometimes develops in those with untreated celiac due to the damage the condition inflicts on the lining of the small intestine. So, not only must the newly diagnosed give up bread and other gluten-containing foods, but they also need to avoid ice cream, milk, cheese, butter and more — at least for a little while.

According to Amy Keller, MS, RDN, LD, a dietitian, celiac support group leader and regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living, lactose intolerance may be temporary. The gut needs time to heal while a patient follows a strict gluten-free diet.

“A new celiac diagnosis indicates that there is damage to your small intestinal villi. These villi have many functions related to the absorption of nutrients, and they also house our lactase enzyme,” she wrote in a recent column for Gluten-Free Living. “Continuing on your gluten-free diet will help heal these villi, and the lactase enzyme should become more readily available over time.”

Keller notes that there are different degrees of lactose intolerance, and some people might find they can eat small amounts of dairy with no problems.

“If tolerated, lower-lactose dairy products, such as aged cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan), cream cheese, half-and-half and sour cream, can be enjoyed,” she says. “Furthermore, plant-based milk such as almond or soy milk can be a good alternative.”

A celiac diagnosis is never welcome, but there is good news for those with allergies and sensitivities, as major companies have started offering plant-based versions of foods that are off-limits.

Earlier this year, Upfield, the parent company of Country Crock, launched its own line of plant-based butter. The goal, says Tom Wajda, Upfield’s Head of Research & Development for North America, was to craft a spread indistinguishable from regular butter. The company launched the new line in March. It’s been rolling out to stores across the country since.

“We specifically formulated a product that would taste, cook and bake just like butter,” Wajda told Gluten-Free Living. “We’ve done a lot of work analyzing butter flavors at the molecular level to understand the composition of butter flavor…I’ve developed and tasted a lot of spreads and products, and many of them are tasty, but I can tell you none of those tasted and acted just like butter.”

Simply called Plant Butter, the new offering is made with plant-based oils, including those from avocados, almonds and olives. Wajda said Country Crock’s plant butter has 25 percent less saturated fat than dairy butter. Also, he said there’s an added environmental benefit by switching.

“We’ve done a detailed analysis, and the carbon emissions used to make plant butter are roughly half of what they are from making dairy butter,” said Wajda. If the country made the switch from dairy butter to plant butter, it would be the equivalent of removing 1.3 million cars from the road,” he said.

Overall, there are more dairy-free and gluten-free options available now than ever before, and a celiac or lactose intolerance diagnosis may not mean saying goodbye to favorite foods. Even though the ingredients may be different, you just might find they’re better for you — and, perhaps, better for the environment.

Less Flour, More Power: Promise Gluten-Free Now Selling Bread in U.S.

Irish bakers with a half-century of history behind them are promising to bring some serious (gluten-free) flour power to the United States.

Earlier this year, Promise Gluten Free started selling its celiac-safe loaves in select stores in Washington state and Boston, Massachusetts, with plans to add more regions and retailers in 2020.

The move follows the Ireland-based business’s successful expansion into other countries like Australia and, most recently, Canada. Founded 51 years ago, the business started selling gluten-free bread in 2012.

“We started playing around with recipes for gluten-free bread, in particular,” Promise Gluten Free co-founder Tom Doyle told Gluten-Free Living. “Our motivation being trying to produce a gluten-free bread that tasted as good as regular, wheat-based bread, but — nutritionally — was even better than regular bread.”

At the time, the competition was lacking, says Doyle.

“Gluten-free breads fell into two categories. Either they tasted awful, were dry, dense and would fall apart if you tried to butter them or…some of the newer breads were maybe a bit better tasting and less prone to falling apart.”

However, the better-tasting bread wasn’t necessarily better for you.

“Manufacturers were achieving that taste by loading the breads with fat and sugar, which improved the moisture of the bread, but nutritionally that turned the bread into junk food,” says Doyle.

Crafting tasty bread that also didn’t have the nutritional profile of a candy bar was important to the business, notes Doyle, because celiac disease disproportionality affects Ireland. According to The Coeliac Society of Ireland, approximately one in 100 Irish people has celiac disease, with more likely undiagnosed.

“We have much higher instances of celiac in Ireland than in most parts of the world,” says Doyle. “All of us here have got friends with celiac or family with celiac. This means that there was a little more emotion for us attached to finding a good quality product.”

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where those with the condition are unable to consume gluten, a protein found in some grains, without experiencing symptoms such as stomach pain and bloating. Left untreated, celiac disease can permanently damage the intestinal lining. Currently, the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet.

All of Promise Gluten Free’s bread is made in a facility designed to meet a stricter set of standards for gluten-free products. Instead of meeting the industry standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which is deemed a safe level for those with celiac, the business works to meet a gluten level of less than 5 parts per million.

“We’re not critical of the less than 20 parts per million,” says Doyle. “We operate at a much stricter standard.”

So, how does the business bake a loaf of bread sans gluten that’s tasty, but also better for you? Doyle says the key difference is time. 

The bread undergoes a fermentation process that lasts roughly 20 hours. In bread baking, fermentation occurs when yeast takes sugar and converts it into carbon dioxide and alcohol. This process is what causes the dough to rise. When it comes to bread baking, a lengthy fermentation process leads to better taste, better texture and better quality.

“That does a few things,” says Doyle. “You get a sourdough-type eating experience without the strong sourdough flavor. It also means we don’t need to add fat and sugar as binders. That’s a lot of time to bind together and it’s what the gives the bread a really great taste.”

Doyle says the business is currently speaking with a number of retailers in different areas of the U.S. and hopes to have Promise Gluten Free in many more stores later this year. Right now, Promise Gluten Free is available in select Shaw’s and Star Markets on the East Coast and Albertsons and Safeway on the West Coast. 

For more information on Promise Gluten Free, click here.


Oat Milk: Is it Gluten Free?

Is oat milk gluten free? Well, if you already know that oats are naturally gluten-free then the answer seems to be “yes.” But the truth is a bit more complicated.

Oats, like wheat, barley, rice, and cornmeal, are a grain. Unlike wheat, though, unprocessed oats do not contain gluten. It seems straightforward, but here’s the catch: Oats are often processed on the same equipment used for making wheat products.

Because of that fact gluten contamination is often inevitable. In fact, it’s possible that even certified gluten-free oats may cause a bad reaction in some people who have celiac disease. Those with celiac who find that they can stomach oats should be cautious when it comes to buying oat milk. Unless the oats used in oat milk are certified gluten free, then there is a risk that they’ve come into contact with grains at a processing facility.

If you find oat milk that is certified gluten free (we have a few suggestions below to get you started in your search) what exactly would you be drinking? Simply, oat milk is made by blending oats with water. The mixture is then strained to remove any pulp. The result is oat milk, which many find thicker and creamier than other types of plant-based milk. Also, there’s a slightly sweet taste making it perfect for coffee, cereal or just about any other drink or dish that requires milk.

Now, it’s important to note that every body is different. For anyone who has difficulty digesting grains, oat milk might not be the best choice. The good news is there’s plenty of non-oat milk options widely available including rice milk, soy milk, almond milk and many more. If you have no trouble digesting grains, oat milk may be a great choice, especially for those who have dairy or nut sensitivities or allergies. Also, it is low in saturated fat.

If you want to give oat milk a try, check out the brands listed below.

Gluten-Free Oat Milk

Oat Milk: Is it gluten free


Coconut Oatmilk – MSRP $5.59

Texas-based Mooala started offering its plant-based and dairy-free oatmilk in early 2019. Best known for its organic line of products such as bananamilk and almond milk, the business notes that its oatmillk is made from certified gluten-free grains.

See here for more on Mooala oatmilk

Learn more about Mooala Coconut Oat Milk on Amazon or Instacart!


Oat Milk: Is it gluten free


Milked Oats – MSRP $13.98 for two 32 oz. cartons

Established in 1925 as a dairy company, New York-based Elmhurst made the switch to plant-based milks in 2017. Its Milked Oats is made with 5 ingredients (filtered water, whole grain oats, cane sugar, salt, natural flavors) and has no added gums or emulsifiers.

Click here for more on Elmhurst and purchasing information.

Learn more about Elmhurst Milked Oats on Amazon or Instacart!


Oat Milk: Is it gluten free

Planet Oat

OatMilk – MSRP $3.99

Planet Oat has a wide variety of oatmilk flavors including dark chocolate, original, vanilla and extra creamy. According to the company, its products are free of dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, soy, and lactose. What it does have is 2 grams of protein and soluble fiber in each serving.

See here for more information on Planet Oat

Learn more about Planet Oat oatmilk on Amazon or Instacart!


Oat Milk: Is it gluten free

Califia Farms

Barista Blend Oat – MSRP $27.99 for six 32 oz. cartons

Califia Farms (pronounced Cal-i-fia) says is focused on reducing sugar in its products and has reduced sugar by 57 percent since 2014 by offering new unsweetened products. Its Oat Barista Blend is made with gluten-free oats grown in North America. And, the milk has no gums or stabilizers. It’s also dairy free, sugar free, carrageenan free, non-GMO, vegan and kosher.

Click for more on Califia Farms and purchasing information

Learn more about Califa Farms Barista Blend Oat on Amazon or Instacart!

VIDEO: World-renowned celiac expert urges caution after cross-contamination study

Researcher, scientist and leading authority on celiac disease Dr. Alessio Fasano has responded to a recent study claiming to find no significant gluten transfer when kitchen appliances and utensils were used for both gluten-free and gluten-containing foods.

In a brief video (see below) posted on YouTube, Fasano, who directs the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, says the study poses some thought-provoking questions. However, he warns that other factors should be considered.

“There is a cumulative effect of cross-contamination that may eventually break a tolerance…with all the consequences that come with that,” Fasano says in the video.

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The study was conducted by Children’s National Hospital and appeared in the journal Gastroenterology. The authors tested three scenarios where it was thought that gluten transfer could be high enough to pose a gluten exposure risk for someone with celiac disease—in general, greater than 20 parts per million (ppm) or .002%. It found less gluten transfer than expected in several everyday kitchen scenarios.

Fasano, who wrote the landmark 2003 study that established celiac disease affects one in 133 Americans, noted the recent study was not a large one. He stressed that the results should not justify a relaxation in current food preparation guidelines for people with celiac disease. 

“I think it’s very provocative,” Fasano says of the new study in the video. “I think it’s opened up questions that we never ask ourselves, but I personally believe that we have to have a word of caution.”

New Gluten-Free Travel App Promises Worldwide Eats At Your Fingertips

Pursuing a passion for travel while living gluten free is no easy task, but that’s exactly what Carrie Veatch, founder of For Gluten Sake– a new globally-focused gluten-free app – is inspiring others to do.

Focused on 100% gluten-free restaurants around the world, the app is a one-stop-shop for travelers, especially those with celiac disease, who don’t want to worry about cross-contamination.

“I am here to advocate that you can live a life on purpose, regardless of your current circumstances,” says Veatch.

She stumbled upon the idea for the app in 2017. At the time, she was searching for a 100% gluten-free places across the globe. While lots of sites had good information, there wasn’t one place to find 100% gluten-free restaurants internationally.

“What I wanted was to find all these gluten-free places and not only list them, but also highlight them in more depth,” says Veatch. “And what do we do when we can’t find something we desperately want? We create our own!”

Truly a labor of love, the app is the result of countless hours of seeking as many 100% gluten-free restaurants across the globe. Right now the app lists over 1,200 gluten-free restaurants, places, food trucks and more in 49 countries. Users will be able to review those places and add 100% gluten-free establishments not already in the ever-growing database.

Specifically, For Gluten Sake will be a locator app for all the dedicated gluten-free spots around the world. It will feature photographs of all those places along with videos, giving travelers a glimpse behind the scenes. The app will be available on both iPhone and Android in early July. Veatch said a date isn’t set yet, but is tentatively hoping for the second week of July. 

“This will be the premier app to find all the dedicated gluten-free food trucks, bakeries, breweries, restaurants, and more around the globe since it will be updated in real-time as places open and close,” says Veatch. She adds that more than 200 people signed up to become beta testers for the app in less than 12 hours when the call first went out.

For Gluten Sake founder Carrie Veatch relaxing in Brazil.

Veatch is not only compiling all of those places in the app, she’s also going to tell the stories of the restaurant owners, chefs and others who make international travel a little easier for those who have celiac disease.

“How did they have the courage to take the leap and jump full time into this gluten-free world?” she asks. “Why did they decide to quit a corporate job and pursue what might have started as a hobby?”

One of the stories that Veatch enjoys highlighting is a 100% gluten-free bakery in Alabama. Located in Hunstville, the Mason Dixon Bakery is the state’s first-ever gluten-free bakery and bistro.

Husband and wife Taylor and Ashley Ramirez opened the Mason Dixon Bakery in 2013. Diagnosed with celiac disease while an undergrad in college, Ashley used lessons learned in her Ph.D. chemistry program to start experimenting with gluten-free recipes. Eventually, she could fool even the harshest gluten-free critics.

Veatch says in a TEDx talk Ashley participated in the bakery owner posed this question to the audience: “Are you living free?”

That resonated with Veatch, whose business, For Gluten Sake, shares the same name as the app.

“The tag line for my business is “be free For Gluten Sake” and this felt like the perfect story to highlight because Ashley and her husband have pushed through the fears in order to ensure that they are living freely,” says Veatch.  

The mission is one Veatch takes seriously.

In 2011, she was completely overwhelmed after receiving the call from her doctor that confirmed she had celiac disease. After a brief cry in her car, Veatch said she became determined to make her mark in the gluten-free community.

Since then, she’s been featured on Lonely Planet, her local news station Fox 31 in Denver, Colorado, the website Thrive Global, and publishing platform Medium. 

For Veatch, her business is all about three things: gluten-free food, community, and travel. She has a message for others who may think their carefree travel days are over following a celiac disease diagnosis.

“I want to use my voice in the gluten-free fight,” she says. “You are not alone. It will get better. It does get better and there is an amazing community to help you, myself included.”

The app is the latest project Veatch is working on. On her website, she has compiled a robust resource for those with celiac disease. Tips on gluten-free basics, voices from others dealing with the disease, interviews and much more are all available.

Veatch invites anyone with an interest in gluten-free travel or a willingness to connect with others dealing with celiac disease to check out her website. She’s especially grateful to all those who helped make the For Gluten Sake app a reality.   

“To each and every store owner and dreamer, I applaud you,” she says. “Thank you, thank you. I’m coming to a city near you. And I cannot wait to tell your stories and share your gluten-free goodness with the world.”

Gluten-Free Living’s Top 10 Gift Picks for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is almost here and while socks and ties are old standbys, consider getting him something a little less traditional this year. Whether your dad is searching for the perfect steak, a surprisingly good gluten free beer or something to spice up his shower routine, we’ve found 10 gifts that let him know you’re thinking about him, all with a gluten-free spin.

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1. For the dad with the good sense of humor

BallsyBallsy ( is unlike anything on the market (you will see when you check out the website – they put a primary focus on men’s prized jewels!).  For their Father’s Day Gifts, Ballsy is premiering their “Keep Your Tools Clean” box, which includes their Nut RubBallwash and Sack Spray. It’s free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates or synthetic dyes, so it’s safe to use.


KC Cattle Company's Big Daddy Beef Package2. For the dad that loves steak, veterans and grilling

KC Cattle Company’s Big Daddy Beef Package provides a solution for the man who’s always on a quest for the perfect steak. KC Cattle is a veteran-owned company that sells hormone-free Wagyu beef raised on its own farms. The company employs and mentors veterans and donates proceeds from sales to many veterans’ foundations. 

Luster Pro Light Dental Whitening System

3. For the dad that loves coffee or red wine, but has stained teeth

 Luster Pro Light Dental Whitening System features a patented Dual Power Xenon Whitening Light and Stain Lifting Serum to whiten teeth up to 6 shades in 30 minutes. It’s a clinically proven professional whitening system with no messy trays or strips. The system gently whitens without sulfates (SLS). Enamel-Safe. System includes: a dual-energy whitening light, Accelerinse, stain lifting serum and fluoride toothpaste. 

4. For the dad who’s sweet, but a little wild

Endangered Species Chocolate makes all natural, organic, certified gluten-free chocolate with a mission – fueling conservation efforts across the world. The company’s distinctive packaging, which features an assortment of wild animals, isn’t just for show. Over the past three years, the company has donated $1.4 million to support endangered species and habitats. Feed his wild side this Father’s Day while also helping the planet.


5. For the Cratejoy's fly fishing boxdad who thinks inside the box

Cratejoy‘s man-themed monthly subscription boxes take the guess work out of gift giving not just for Father’s Day, but for the whole year! If dad enjoys getting new stuff (and who doesn’t?), but hates to shop (don’t they all?), Cratejoy will deliver – literally. With boxes aimed at fishermen ($16.95 a month), grill masters ($27.95 a month) cigar aficionados ($27.95 a month) and even surfers ($99 a month) there’s no shortage of options.

6. For the cool dad who enjoys a cold one

Güten Beer– It wasn’t too long ago that gluten-free beer simply didn’t exist. Then it did, but many people said the taste was lacking. Flash forward to today and there’s many tasty gluten-free beers to choose from with Güten Beer leading the pack. Less than a year after launching, the company won the first-ever World Beer Cup. Consider this award-winning beer for the world’s greatest dad.

7. For the dad who deserves a night out

Find a 100 percent gluten-free restaurant or one with a robust gluten-free menu and take your special guy there. A really great treat for someone living the gluten-free lifestyle is being able to dine out without worry! If there are no 100 percent gluten-free restaurants nearby call ahead and speak with a manager or the chef to see about meal options. Doing the work is as much a gift as paying for the meal.

8. For the dad who deserves a night in

Or just whip up a gluten-free meal at home. Ask ahead of time for what should be on the menu and for any special preparation instructions. If you know him well, don’t spoil the surprise and cook up his favorite meal. Consider some inspired wine parings when putting a menu together. The effort will be appreciated more than you might realize!


9. For thSabatier Knife Sete dad with the culinary chops

Sabatier Edgekeeper Pro 21-Piece Forged Triple Rivet Knife Block Set– If your man fancies himself the next Bobby Flay, this is the gift to give. This 12-piece set ($59.99) includes an 8-inch chef knife, 8-inch slicer knife, 6-inch cleaver and more all made from high-carbon stainless steel. Each handle is perfectly weighted and balanced for optimal control. Useful, stylish and affordable, here’s a gift that’s guaranteed to get some use.

10. For the dad who’s prone to being “glutened”

A homemade recovery kit can go a long way toward helping someone get over being exposed to gluten. Take some time and put together a care package with things such as: bottled water, aspirin, charcoal tablets, ginger, tea and other items to ease the symptoms of gluten exposure. Add some personal touches, perhaps a note to make him smile, to let him know you’re thinking of him this Father’s Day. 

Study: Accidentally Eating Gluten a Problem for 74% of Patients

More gluten-free products are available now than ever before (plenty are pretty good, too!). So avoiding accidentally eating gluten should be easier as well. But is that true?

On May 20, researchers from the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Celiac Disease Foundation presented the results from a new study. Results show that many struggle to avoid accidentally eating gluten even while paying close attention to diet. Patients who do maintain a strict gluten-free suffer from a variety of symptoms.

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Titled “Adherence to the gluten-free diet and celiac patients outcomes: real world evidences from an international patient registry, iCureCeliac”, the study surveyed 552 people. All had self-reported biopsy-confirmed celiac disease who completed the Celiac Symptoms Index (CSI) and Celiac Dietary Adherence Test (CDAT). Participants were all members of iCureCeliac, an online patient-powered celiac research network hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation with more than 6,000 members.   

Researchers measured patient demographics, disease characteristics, diagnostic journey and outcomes, diet compliance, symptom burden and quality of life.

The researchers noted that:

  • Although 96% of patients believe they are sufficiently adhering to a gluten-free diet, as measured by the Celiac Dietary Compliance Test (CDAT), half are not.
  • Among the half who are not sufficiently adhering to a gluten-free diet according to the CDAT, more than 50% report high symptom burden, poor quality of life, and missed, on average, five weeks of work or school a year due to celiac disease.
  • 74% of all patients report accidental exposure to gluten in the last 30 days.

“This is why we at the Celiac Disease Foundation are devoting enormous energy and resources towards finding alternative treatments to the gluten-free diet, and a cure,” said Marilyn G. Geller, executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation.

For tips from Gluten-Free Living on what to do after accidentally eating gluten, click here.

Geller said the foundation is currently seeking donations. Funds will help officials support iCureCeliac, celiac research and hopefully one day find a cure. Donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate.

Study results were presented during the Digestive Disease Week meeting in San Diego. Digestive Disease Week is the world’s largest meeting of physicians, researchers, and industry in gastroenterology and related fields.

For more information on the Celiac Disease Foundation project, contact 818-716-1513, ext. 101 or [email protected].

Lawmakers Urge Celiac Cure Research After Health Hearings

Congress wants federal health officials to look closer at funding celiac cure research after receiving 750 stories from those affected by the autoimmune disorder and hearing from Celiac Disease Foundation CEO Marilyn Geller.

Delivered in April, the congressional testimony urged lawmakers to develop a first-ever National Institutes of Health comprehensive plan to treat and cure celiac disease. On May 7, the Celiac Disease Foundation announced that lawmakers have since included language calling on the National Institutes of Health to fund new celiac cure research.

Click here to learn more about Geller and the Celiac Disease Foundation. 

Geller spoke before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service, which is the subcommittee responsible for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Medicaid/Medicare budgets.

Following Geller’s testimony and the submissions of the more than 750 stories, the house subcommittee included a passage written by the Celiac Disease Foundation in an upcoming health bill.

In her testimony, which can be read in full here, Geller touched on the lifetime burden of the gluten-free diet for patients, time missed from work and school and stressed that celiac disease is a serious medical condition – not a fad.

The language calls on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support new research finding a cure.

“This is a clear directive to NIH leadership, however, that this Subcommittee wants to the NIH to confront celiac disease with the urgency and research funding it deserves,” said Geller. “This is great news for patients, caregivers, and researchers. This is great news for all of us.”  

Geller, a member of Gluten-Free Living‘s advisory board, has been working with the Celiac Disease Foundation for years to advocate for celiac disease on Capitol Hill. The Celiac Disease Foundation is fully committed to bringing the voice of the celiac disease community to Washington, D.C.,” said Geller. “We know that effective advocacy is critical to our efforts to accelerate the search for treatments and a cure.”

The bill containing the language; however, is still working its way through Congress. Eventually, it will end up at the White House for approval.

3 Videos That Will Help Your Friends Understand Eating With Celiac Disease

Celiac sufferers see food differently, and it can be hard to convince those without the disease that their favorite meals can cause some serious pain. Fortunately, Beyond Celiac, Celiac Disease Foundation, along with several other organizations, have joined forces for Celiac Awareness Month.

A new campaign highlights the seriousness of the disease for the 3.2 million Americans that are diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder. It includes three eye-catching videos along with a social media campaign. In the videos, which at first appear to be for ordinary recipes, feature some not-so-tantalizing ingredients. Pepperoni is swapped for scorpions, thumbtacks add some crunch to pasta salad and forget sprinkles on cupcakes – there’s something much sharper in store. 

It’s all about raising awareness for celiacs, says Alice Bast, Beyond’s Celiac’s CEO, adding that for many eating gluten-free is a medical necessity, not a choice.

“There tends to be a lot of confusion about the difference between a gluten-free diet as a lifestyle choice and the necessity of avoiding gluten because your body can’t tolerate it,” said Bast. “We at Beyond Celiac were happy to have a leadership role in the campaign’s development and hope it helps to educate as well as inspire compassion and empathy for those who experience the physical and social pain of celiac disease.” 

For those who don’t know, celiac disease is a serious, genetic autoimmune disorder with no cure or pharmaceutical treatment. Those who suffer from it experience intense physical symptoms such as abdominal bloating, pain and vomiting when they ingest gluten. Celiac disease can also lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.

The campaign was spearheaded by Hill Holliday and was created in partnership with the Canadian Celiac Association, the Celiac Disease Foundation, Beyond Celiac, the Gluten Intolerance Group, and the National Celiac Association.  

Razor Blade Bliss from NBIZ on Vimeo.

Check out all the videos here.

New Test May Make Diagnosing Celiac in Kids Simple

While diagnosing celiac disease in children can be difficult, getting that diagnosis early is important because parents should know to take precautions when it comes to keeping their kids gluten free and healthy.

If your child is newly diagnosed with celiac disease, click here for the next steps to take.

Current tests can be painful, time consuming, and costly. However, new research out of Flinders University in Australia shows promise that a simple breath test may be on the way.

According to researchers, trials will begin for the new dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) breath test. This test could replace an invasive procedure where a doctor inserts a pressure-sensitive tube through the nose into the stomach. By comparison, the breath test is simple: patients would only have to blow into a glass tube.

“This breath test represents a potentially new way to non-invasively measure gut health,” said lead researcher and Flinders research fellow Dr. Roger Yazbek. “Not only will these tests improve patient quality of life but potentially save the health-care system time and money.”

Lower levels of DPP4, a digestive enzyme, may indicate the presence of celiac disease, said Yazbeck. The breath test might provide a new tool for diagnosing celiac in children. 

“Some research groups have suggested that DPP4 is involved in the breakdown of gluten, and that people with celiac disease have a reduced amount of the DPP4 enzyme along their small intestine. However, the tools to measure this in celiac disease have not been available,” said Yazbek. “This breath test will help us to answer this question, and we are about to begin a trial…to shed some insight into this question.”

Larger clinical trials would have to occur following the pilot study. If the test proves viable there would be broader applications, including testing for gastrointestinal damage. Emerging research also shows support for the style of “13C isotope” breath test. That type of test could detect changes in liver or pancreatic function and gastric emptying. Besides diagnosing celiac disease, the test might be also used for cancer screening. 

“Certain cancers also exhibit high expression of DPP4 as exemplified by the adenocarcinoma cell line in this study and this may provide a measure of cancer activity and response to therapy,” according to the university’s report published recently in Scientific American.