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 Treatment May Reverse Celiac Disease: Clinical Trial

Bread could someday be back on the menu for people with celiac disease following a potentially major treatment advancement.

On Oct. 22, a research team from Chicago’s Northwestern University shared findings from a phase 2 clinical trial in a late-breaking presentation during a medical conference in Spain.

Phase 2 trials are used to determine the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, as opposed to Phase 1 trials where a treatment’s safety is considered. In this case, researchers tested a new technology developed in the lab of Dr. Stephen Miller, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Miller has spent decades refining a biodegradable nanoparticle with potential to treat a host of other diseases in addition to celiac, such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, peanut allergy and more.

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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.

Nanoparticles are microscopic particles that have been studied intensively over the past few years. Recent advances have shown the potential for major applications in the field of bio-medicine.

The nanoparticle developed by Miller’s team contains gluten. When ingested it teaches a person’s immune system that the allergen is, in fact, safe. According to Northwestern University: “The nanoparticle acts like a Trojan horse, hiding the allergen in a friendly shell, to convince the immune system not to attack it.”

This is potentially exciting news for people with celiac.

It’s the first time the technology has been demonstrated to work in patients. Essentially, the study found that after treatment, patients in the study could ingest gluten with a substantial reduction in inflammation. The results also revealed a trend where patients’ small intestines were protected from gluten exposure.

Specifically, the treatment is called CNP-101/TAK-101. In the study, the nanoparticles were administered to celiac patients intravenously on the first and eighth days. After a week, they consumed gluten for 14 days, and their reactions to the gluten were then tested. The trial showed that those who received the treatment showed 90% less immune inflammation response to gluten compared to a group who received a placebo (inactive treatment). The study included 34 participants, six of whom did not complete the trial in light of gluten-related symptoms.

According to Northwestern: “Autoimmune diseases generally can only be treated with immune suppressants that provide some relief, but undermine the immune system and lead to toxic side-effects. CNP-101 does not suppress the immune system but reverses the course of disease.”

“Celiac disease is unlike many other autoimmune disorders because the offending antigen (environmental trigger) is well known – gluten in the diet,” said Dr. Ciaran Kelly, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in a press release. “This makes celiac disease a perfect condition to address using this exciting nanoparticle induced immune tolerance approach.”

Recently, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda, purchased the license to use the technology specifically to treat celiac disease. Miller and the company he co-founded, COUR Pharmaceutical Development Company, retains ownership of the technology.

Currently, there is no treatment for celiac disease, a gluten-free diet being the most effective way to avoid symptoms.

While the results show some promise for new treatment options, it’s important to note that it’s too soon to expect a cure until further studies are completed.

Gluten Free Expo Returns to Bay Area with New Name, Same Mission

Nourished: The Gluten Free, Allergy & Specialty Diet Festival, formerly The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, is returning to the San Francisco area. The Bay Area stop of the festival is set for November 16-17 in the San Mateo County Event Center, Fiesta Hall.

In 2019, all Nourished Festival locations will provide expanded offerings to better accommodate the most popular food lifestyles. In addition to the existing gluten-free and nut-free zones, paleo, keto, and plant-based products will bring variety and educational opportunities to everyone living a gluten-free lifestyle. As in the past, all products at the festival will be gluten free.

At the Nourished Festival, attendees will have one-on-one moments with over 75 brands exhibiting the best products for food sensitivities, food allergies and specialty diets. The festival also provides the opportunity to sample and purchase products, meet founders, receive coupons and attend free educational presentations hosted by industry-respected speakers.

While all products at the festival are gluten free, many exhibitors will also showcase products free from the top eight allergens – and beyond. The Nourished Festivals are managed by The Nourished Group, with a team fluent in gluten-free living, celiac disease, and food allergies – and the rising need to find safe and delicious food and lifestyle products for any specialty diet. Presented by allergen-friendly sponsor Enjoy Life Foods, this event is family friendly.

“Our festivals nourish the needs of the entire food community – whether its those with celiac disease, autism, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions or those committed to living a healthy lifestyle,” says Nourished Festival founder, Jen Cafferty. “With comfort foods like pizza and baked goods to healthy lifestyle options like protein bars and probiotic drinks, this festival truly offers something for everyone. An event of this scale being accessible to the general public is a rare and exciting way to explore new options and sample products before buying them in store.”

A sample of this year’s exhibitors includes: 

  • Santa Barbara’s Lilac Patisserie, a dedicated gluten-free bakery and cafe that ships nationwide. 
  • LarkEllen Farm featuring Grain-Free Granola including new limited edition Gingerbread flavor for the holidays.
  • Bay Area’s Marin Gourmetfeaturing vegetarian products – like their artichoke, green olives, capers and garlic dip – made from fresh ingredients grown in Northern California. 
  • Local favorite Odd Bagel, providing gluten-free bagels to the Bay Area and beyond.

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. A one-day ticket is $15 for adults and $5 for children at the door. Parking is $15 a day at the San Mateo County Event Center.

For more information, visit

Gluten Free Living: Here’s What’s Trending

We’ve got the latest on gluten-free news, research, and updates, but Gluten-Free Living also enjoys sharing the  off-beat items that are making the rounds online in Here’s What’s Trending. Find out more about actress Kristen Bell learning she had a genetic marker for celiac disease, a gluten contamination study with some surprising results and much more!

The Good Place Star Kristen Bell Sees Bright Side of Celiac Disease “The Good Place star Kristen Bell got some bad news earlier this year when her doctor revealed that she has a genetic marker for celiac disease. She had already started an elimination diet to clear gluten from her system and suss out other problematic food groups, when she got the word. ‘I was like come again? All I eat is bagels,’ Bell tells Women’s Health.” Click here for the full story.

Allergen-Friendly Faves for Halloween

Simply Gluten Free: “Halloween is all about treats and indulgences, and while that’s great for most people, it can be pretty daunting for families with food allergies and intolerances. Luckily, we’ve found some delicious gluten-free treats that are also free of many other allergens. The following products can be handed out to trick-or-treaters, shared with your kids’ class for Halloween parties, or enjoyed at home for a special occasion.” Click here for more.

Ten Amazing Facts About Celiac Disease Did you know the celiac disease is linked to Neanderthal ancestry? How about that celiac affects more women than men? Or that most people don’t ever exhibit symptoms? Learn about more amazing facts by clicking here.

The Gluten Contamination Study We’ve Been Waiting For A team of researchers recently set out to assess three common scenarios where people with celiac disease might reasonably fear gluten contamination. How did the actual risk for each situation measure up? Click here to learn more.


Conservatives Just As Likely to Avoid Gluten as Liberals: Study

Does someone’s diet predict their political leanings? Hard to say for sure, but at least one study asked that question and found that conservatives are just as likely to avoid gluten in their diets as others on the political spectrum.

Published this June in the academic journal Agricultural and Human Values, the study, called ‘Gluten Aversion is Not Limited to the Political Left,” notes that while collecting data on the number of people who avoid gluten as well as political affiliation is simple, identifying exactly why the two intersect is difficult. Mainly because there are many reasons why a specific correlation between diet and politics could exist.

The authors describe four potential scenarios that could cause a person’s eating habits to become linked to political leanings. In one example, the authors say, health problems could hypothetically lead someone to “both conclude that gluten is harming one’s health and that government should provide universal health care.”

If that sounds like a liberal stance, you’re correct, and the authors note that: “These specific examples are contrived to show how someone could become more liberal and begin avoiding gluten. Of course, the opposite examples might show how someone could become more conservative and begin consuming gluten.”

Conducted in September 2017, the study surveyed 1,000 people in the United States. Researchers found that 29 percent of people surveyed believed avoiding gluten would improve their health.

According to the study, people who described themselves as leaning liberal and people who identified as conservative reported the same degree of gluten-avoidance.

Of the 1,000 respondents, 41 have celiac disease. Researchers noted that the sample size was too small to draw meaningful conclusions. They did note that more research may be needed on the relationship between disease and political ideology.

Whatever your political opinions, according to this study, there’s a chance they relate to your opinions on food products.

And anyone who’s ever gotten into a debate about the gluten-free diet knows that – sometimes – it can be just as polarizing as talking politics.

Justin Bieber ‘Officially Allergic’ to Gluten

Justin Bieber took to Instagram to say he’s searching for a new brew after a discouraging diagnosis.

“Worst news ever I’m officially allergic to gluten,” the pop star said on his Instagram story Saturday night. He went on to say: “No more Coronas unless they make gluten free beer like this!”

Justin Bieber Gluten Allergy

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Bieber was referring to a pale ale from Omission Brewing. Launched in 2012 by Terry Michaelson and Joe Casey, the company has made it its mission to develop traditional beers for people on a gluten-free diet. Like other craft beers, Omission is brewed with malted barley, hops, water and yeast. An enzyme called Brewers Clarex breaks apart the gluten protein chains, and the beers are packaged in a closed environment to eliminate any cross-contamination risk. It’s important to note that Omission Beer and other “gluten-removed” beers are brewed with barley (which contains gluten). While Omission Beer does undergo a process that breaks down the gluten to less than 20ppm, researchers have found that those and similar “gluten-removed” beers may not be truly gluten-free, and may be unsafe for people with celiac disease. 

What is a wheat allergy?

On his Instagram story Bieber praised the brew, saying it’s “actually fire.”

Bieber didn’t elaborate on his condition and it’s unclear when he received the diagnosis. A wheat allergy can cause several symptoms in those affected. Exposure to wheat can lead to breathing difficulties, nausea, hives, bloating, and inability to focus. In some cases, a life-threatening allergic reaction can occur.

Looking for the basic ground rules of the gluten-free diet? Click here for everything you need to know to get started.

Gluten-Free New England to Host First Expo in Greater Boston on Oct. 27

Gluten-Free New England will present their first Greater Boston expo on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boston Marriott Burlington in Burlington, Mass. The event includes 75 gluten-free vendors as well as food trucks, cooking demos and educational seminars.

Gluten-Free New England operates and is a regional resource for healthy gluten-free living and dining.

Thousands of attendees are expected to attend sampling gluten-free samples and food for purchase from national and international brands, as well as area bakeries, restaurants, businesses, and artisans. Outreach organizations will also be on-hand, along with a cooking demo and book signing by clean-eating expert Terry Walters. Celiac-safe lunch and dessert options will be available from food trucks and local cafes.

Admission includes a reusable shopping bag, entrance to all presentations, and all-you-can-eat samples.

For tickets or more information, visit

Abby Helman Kelly, of Connecticut, first wickedglutenfree.comas “Gluten-Free Connecticut” in 2016.

Since then she has been organizing expos and delivering content to people like herself seeking the best and safest gluten-free dining, products and services in the region since 2016. Gluten-Free New England offers restaurant and product reviews, a dining directory, features, blogs, news, community forums, personal stories, and more. Additional expos are scheduled for 2020 in three locations throughout the region.

For more information contact Kelly at 860-836-5041 or [email protected].

New Gluten-Free Breakfast Options for Babies, Toddlers

A San Francisco-based meal service is offering parents new options when it comes to delivering healthful, gluten-free meals to their little ones.

Raised Real, a direct to consumer delivery service which focuses on organic, nutritious meals, has announced the launch of its new breakfast line, Breakfast Oats, with four plant-based meal options.

Click here for learn about the keys to a healthy pregnancy with celiac disease 

According to the company, these four new meals are designed for functionality including immunity, digestive support, and brain development in infants and toddlers. Emerging ingredient cranberry seed oil is utilized in several of the options; the oil is cold-pressed from the superfood berry to provide infants and toddlers with a trio of essential healthy fats. Each meal includes a variety of ingredients and all are made with certified gluten-free oats.

The four new meals are as follows:

  •  Oats, Açaí, Banana, Raspberry, and Cranberry Seed Oil
  •  Oats, Mango, Butternut Squash, Ginger, and Coconut Butter
  •  Oats, Strawberry, Blueberry, Date, and Cranberry Seed Oil
  •  Oats, Cinnamon, Pear, Sweet Potato, and Date

Like all other Raised Real meals, Breakfast Oats are pre-portioned and flash-frozen at the farm level. Parents can prepare Breakfast Oats in a matter of minutes, by adding 4-6 tbsp. of water to the meal in a saucepan and heating for 5-6 minutes. Raised Real is available in boxes of 12 or 24 meals, every 2 or 4 weeks starting at $4.99 per meal. Shipping is free.

Founded in 2017, Raised Real has made delivering organic, nutritious meals with superfood ingredients directly its mission.

“Parents are looking for clean label options to feed their kids throughout the day, and adding Breakfast Oats to our offerings is an important step for us,” said Santiago Merea, CEO and co-founder of Raised Real. “We believe that there is an opportunity to go back to the start with a product that is pretty much the opposite of what we know today as ‘baby food’ – not pre-pureed, not processed, using only ingredients you can see, and now for every meal of the day.”

For more information, visit Raised Real at​.

Recall: Muffin Mix Pulled for Possible Gluten Contamination

Hometown Food Company announced on Monday, Sept. 8 it is voluntarily recalling approximately 374 cases of Martha White Gluten Free Sweet Cornbread Muffin Mix for possible gluten contamination.

According to the company, quality testing showed the presence of gluten from wheat, rye, barley and other grains. Consuming gluten may cause adverse health effects or serious allergic reactions for people who have celiac disease, a wheat allergy  or wheat sensitivity.

The recalled product was distributed across the country. The muffin mix has the following case item codes, UPC codes, and lot codes:

Martha White Gluten Free Sweet Cornbread Muffin 7oz 1 1330082014 5 0 1330082014 8 9 204 JAN 23 2021

Martha White Gluten Free Sweet Cornbread Muffin 7oz 1 1330082014 5 0 1330082014 8 9 205 JAN 24 2021

No other Martha White or Hometown Food Company products are impacted by this limited, voluntary recall.

If you have the above products, discard or return them to the store where they were purchased for a complete refund. For more information, call 1-866-219-9333 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

Must-Try Fall Treat: Trader Joe’s New Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin spice season is in full swing. And diehard fans of the flavor’s lightly spicy sweetness have a new reason to rejoice: Trader Joe’s is now offering gluten-free pumpkin spice bagels.

The grocery chain had been offering plain old pumpkin-flavored bagels for years; however, this fall marks the first time you’ll be able to pick up a gluten-free version of the bagel – now with the seriously addictive “spice” added.

Trader Joe’s dropped the news on its Instagram. Followers and fans were overjoyed with many leaving comments. Check out what they said below:

Serranamarie: I could cry

Theactiveelena: STOP. NO. THIS IS NOT REAL

Thatladyjulie: Choked on my chocolate covered almond seeing this

According to Trader Joe’s, some stores won’t start offering the fall-flavored products until September 10. Be sure to check with your local store before spicing up your morning routine.

Click Here for Your Local Trader Joe’s Location