Are peanuts hiding in your packaged snacks? A warning to those with food allergies!

Posted on June 15th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in News & Research, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products | Comments Off on Are peanuts hiding in your packaged snacks? A warning to those with food allergies!

Ocean SprayOcean Spray announced on June 5, 2014 that it was recalling packages of its Greek Yogurt Covered Craisins® Dried Cranberries because three consumers reported that they founded yogurt-covered peanuts in the bag. Yikes! And there was a recent news story about a 7-year old girl who reached into a bag of chocolate-covered banana pieces only to bite into a chocolate-covered walnut, to which she had a known allergy. Luckily she was okay after a trip to the emergency room.

So how safe is it to eat any packaged food if someone has a food allergy? And how accurate are those food labels? The Craisins label does not have a warning that the product may contain peanuts, but it that does contain a warning that the product is made on equipment that also processes nuts. Perhaps someone with a nut allergy would have steered clear of this product in the first place. However, it seems like many food packages (especially Trader Joe’s labels) contain a warning about all of the top eight allergens just to cover the bases, whether the allergen may be present or not. This can be very confusing for the consumer.

If you are not sure about a product, it is best to avoid it. If you want to find out more, call the manufacturer. They can tell you whether they have Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) with regards to allergens — whether they segregate allergens, clean between runs, have special days that they run products with allergens, have dedicated machinery, or don’t do anything at all to

Of for the generic cialis cheapest lowest price fragancias thin to order viagra cheap disappoints my this view website problems me.

prevent cross-contamination. You will probably get better information from someone at the company than the generic statement on the label.

For recall information, I encourage you to sign up for FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) allergy alerts that you will receive via email. For an entire list of recalls, not just allergen-related, you can visit the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts page.


Turning off food allergies – have researchers found a way?

Posted on November 7th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Food Allergies, News & Research, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy | Comments Off on Turning off food allergies – have researchers found a way?

Can peanut allergies be turned off?Researchers were able to turn off peanut allergy in mice by tricking their immune systems into thinking the nut proteins were not a threat to the body. The researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine attached peanut proteins onto white blood cells and then put them back into the mice. These mice, who were supposed to have an anaphylactic response if they ate peanut, did not have a life-threatening allergic reaction to peanut extract. Essentially, the researchers created tolerance to peanut in the mice. The immune system, which previously treated the peanut protein as a threat, now didn’t. The researchers were able to achieve the same tolerance in other mice using egg protein.

This is exciting new research targeting food allergies specifically and the hope is that these methods could someday be applied to humans. If we could train the immune system not to overreact to food substances, wouldn’t that be wonderful??

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Food Allergy Initiative.

Read full article: Peanut Allergy May Be Turned Off By Tricking Immune System


Probiotics and Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease

Posted on April 14th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Healthy Living, News & Research | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Bacteria – your gut is full of it! But wait, before you call the doctor for antibiotics, you need to know that not all bacteria are bad. In fact, the “friendly” bacteria that reside in your gut are vital to maintaining a healthy digestive system, and amazingly and perhaps most importantly, a healthy immune system.

lactobacillus1Unfortunately, the intestinal flora in many people’s digestive tracts are out of balance, with not enough of the good bacteria. Why the decrease in beneficial gut bacteria? It seems the way we live in our modern society is contributing to the imbalance. Consider some of the following theories as to why:

  1. The use of antibiotics has killed off the good bacteria in addition to the bad.
  2. The sterilization of our society – hand sanitizers and antibacterial cleansers – has eliminated the good bacteria along with the bad.
  3. The decreased consumption of cultured and fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut, means we are not consuming as many probiotics in our diets as we used to.
  4. The increased consumption of whole or processed grains that have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented first has eliminated a source of prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria.
  5. Processing and pasteurization of foods destroys any beneficial bacteria that may naturally occur in the foods.
  6. C-sections and formula feeding changes the microflora of infants, possibly contributing to food intolerance and allergies.

Given the pace of our society today, it is unlikely that any of the above behaviors will change, so people are going to continue to have this bacterial imbalance.

If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease like me, your gut flora may especially be out of whack. WANT TO READ THE REST? Go over to Attune Foods, where you will read some research on probiotics and celiac disease, and also get some advice on probiotics from Certified Nutritionist Sheila Wagner. Go to rest of article on probiotics… and please leave a comment over there!


Multiple sclerosis linked to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity

Posted on March 30th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Autoimmune Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, News & Research | Read 25 Comments - Add Your Own »

ms1One of my main goals in writing a blog is to raise awareness about the conditions associated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, in hopes that people find answers and get well. Multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, is one of those conditions that has been linked to celiac disease, but not much research has been put forth. I could point to anecdotes from people I know who have successfully relieved their symptoms of multiple sclerosis with a gluten-free diet, and some people would be satisfied with that. There are others who like to see research and proof before they will believe in a treatment and make such a radical change in their lifestyle. I understand that thinking too, which is why I try to bring in the studies, if available, to back up the claims.

There is a new study on the prevalence of celiac disease in multiple sclerosis, published in the journal BioMed Central. Below is my summary of the study, but be sure to read my comments after to see that the number of MS patients with a gluten sensitivity may be even higher than suggested in the results of the study.

First, they analyzed 72 MS patients, who had the Relapsing-Remitting form of Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), characterized by intermittent episodes of relapses and prolonged remissions (this type makes up 80% of MS cases)

  • They detected positive Tissue transglutaminase 2 (tTG-2), a blood marker for celiac disease, in 7 MS patients (10%)
  • They detected mild or moderate villous atrophy (Marsh III type) in duodenal biopsies, in 8 MS patients (11.1%). Villous atrophy, or flattening of the nutrient-absorbing villi in the small intestine, is indicative of celiac disease.
  • Overall prevalence of celiac disease in MS patients was between 5-10 times higher than the frequency found in the general population.
  • All the celiac patients were put on a gluten free diet and all of them improved considerably both with respect to gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms in the follow-up period.

Then, they tested the MS patients’ 126 first-degree relatives.

  • They found that 23 out of the 126 first-degree relatives (32%) had celiac disease.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS STUDY:

At first I thought that 11.1% of MS patients having celiac disease is a statistic to pay attention to. But then I read the study more carefully, and saw this sentence buried in the text: “We also discovered several duodenal lesions in 21 (29%) of RRMS patients and mild villous atrophy in 8 (11.1%) of them.” Duodenal lesions in 29% of MS patients! The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine, and lesions are areas of abnormal tissue. So I investigated further, and found that according to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, “celiac disease can cause patchy lesions in the duodenum.” Perhaps those people with duodenal lesions were borderline celiac, or even celiac, and should have been counted.

It’s not clear from the study whether it was 21 patients with duodenal lesions PLUS 8 with villous atrophy, or if the 21 included the 8. If they were separate, then it would be 29 patients out of 72, which would be 40% of MS patients with celiac or borderline celiac! Now that’s a stat that would turn heads!

And, as we know from experience and recent studies, gluten sensitivity is real, and considered a separate condition from celiac because gluten-sensitive people don’t necessarily have the villous atrophy that defines celiac disease. They do, however, often display neurological symptoms.

The conclusion of all this? It’s as was stated in the study:
All of these findings, together with the high prevalence of CD in first-degree relatives, support a frequent association with gluten intolerance in RRMS patients.

You can read the full text of the study at BioMed Central.

The comment section is a great place for anyone with MS to add his/her own experience with a gluten-free diet. Your comments are so valuable to those seeking help.