Tag Archives: Gluten-Free (NOT)

Food Allergies Can Lead To Asthma: Study (And Again on the Anti-Gluten-Free Movement!)


This item is a bit outside the course of what this blog normally covers, but it is food-related, and it does provide information about a subject people in the food trade and/or with an interest in children’s health should pay attention to.

A recent study, reported on last month in BMC Pediatrics, noted that, “Childhood food allergy is associated with impaired quality of life, limited social interactions, comorbid allergic conditions, and significant economic cost; Importantly, a severe allergic reaction resulting in anaphylaxis can be life threatening, and food allergens are the most common cause of anaphylaxis and anaphylaxis-related mortality in children and adolescents; Recent estimates have reported food allergy prevalence figures between 4 and 8 %, however, these studies are limited in size and scope or rely on participant reporting rather than healthcare provider-based diagnosis.”

Put another, simpler way, the researchers found evidence that food allergies can contribute significantly to the development of asthma. (Yeah, I know, why didn’t they just say that??)

This may be putting the solution in front of the cure, but it would seem to me – no expert in such things! – that studies such as this one, which represent significant advances in medical science and knowledge, point to a need for [1] greater testing tools to ascertain what, if any, foods very young kids may be allergic to, and [2] approaches to dealing with, and curing, childhood allergies to prevent both life quality and budget busting costs down the road.

And, at the risk of sounding like I’m on an anti-gluten-free bandwagon (which I sort of am!), the food industry needs to stop fostering trends that, truth be told, truly are against the interests of a majority of the audience(s) they serve.

The cut-out-gluten case is a, um, case in point: As we reported recently, only a fairly miniscule portion of the U.S. population (with similar percentages likely elsewhere) has celiac disease – “About 1 in 100 people — about 1 percent — have celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested,” according to The Celiac Disease Foundation; and, from the same source, “About .4 percent of people have a doctor-diagnosed wheat allergy, according to a 2006 study; In those people, a true allergic response to wheat (which contains gluten) can include skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms.”

But as this blog pointed out recently, people without or with little risk of celiac disease could be doing themselves a disservice by going ‘gluten-free’. And, by implication, the ever-increasing number of companies declaring their processed food products to be ‘gluten-free’ are both deceiving and even putting at risk some of their consumer clients.

I find it both disturbing and disheartening that companies either fail to explore or disregard scientific

studies that strongly suggest they should stop wasting money on removing gluten from products and focus, instead, on making their products truly healthier for those who’ll consume them.

They should ignore what the latest ‘pair of dimes’ says, and go with the truth: Gluten-free is not, for most consumers, a solution to anything. And it’s truly detrimental for many of them!

Not a Celiac Sufferer? Forget ‘Gluten-Free’



Eliminate the gluten, eliminate the value of foods, too!

Gluten-free diets have become a fad – for no practical reason, and often impractically, experts say.

People with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which foods containing gluten trigger the immune system to attack and damage the small  intestine, are for all intents and purposes the only people who really need to eliminate gluten from their diets.

But while significantly larger numbers of people have – with the help of food-processors offering gluten-free products – dramatically reduced their gluten intake, the number of celiac cases has remained pretty steady, according to The Celiac Disease Foundation.

Gluten, a protein found naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, really should be avoided by people with celiac disease or risk damage to their

While gluten-free diets seem to be the latest fad, the number of people being diagnosed with celiac disease hasn’t budged, new research shows.

And while the latter is a good thing, the former certainly isn’t: Limiting or eliminating gluten from your diet if you don’t have – or aren’t at serious risk of contracting celiac disease – could do you more harm than good. Unless you suffer from what’s called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there may be only marginal benefits in that, as Dr. Daphne Miller of the University of California, San Francisco wrote recently, people without celiac disease may think a gluten-free diet is beneficial is because it reduces the amount of processed foods in their diet.

But such a diet could also put you at risk of certain nutritional deficiencies (see the fifth paragraph of this link).