Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gluten Is Everywhere Including Probiotics

More than half of the top-selling probiotic supplements analyzed in a study contained gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that is harmful to people with Celiac Disease.Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

I have to say that I'm not surprised, were you? Trusting in the free world has gone way out the door.  Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA and probiotic supplements, albeit are vital to your gut health, are just not being watched enough. Gluten can be used as fillers, coating, and simply all over the tools and machinery in a  manufacturing facility. Therefore,  foods of all sorts are being contaminated even with some form of "gluten-free" claim. Small and large companies are likely, all culprits according to the NY TIMES article via Many Probiotics Taken For Celiac Disease Contain Gluten from Wed, May 19th. 



Dr. Green said that he and his colleagues were troubled by a 2013 article in The New York Times that described a study carried out at the University of Guelph in Ontario. That study found that many herbal supplements contained cheap fillers, substitutes and unlisted ingredients such as soy and wheat.


There is an ongoing cluster-F*&* that people think gluten-free can signify no gluten ingredients. That's far from the truth. In fact it's companies like Trader Joe's who used to have labels for 20 years (labeled as g+) that said "no gluten ingredients" sending terrible mixed messages to their mainstream shopper. Store associates have told me that they actually took pride in their early adoption of no gluten, yet they frustrated the gluten free movement more than helping. Trader Joe's as I found out again yesterday when shopping, still is trying to remove all g+ label and are also constantly changing their shelves due to contaminated store brand issues stemming from their hundreds of manufacturers who have gluten present. Yesterday, I tried to find gluten free crackers and they do not carry them anymore. This happens on a regular basis at Trader Joe's. 


“The question is: Why are companies putting wheat or barley or rye in probiotic supplements?” Dr. Green said. “People use these natural products in an attempt to be healthy. Yet it’s a very poorly regulated industry. Can anyone trust a gluten-free label?”



The gluten contamination issue is everywhere from food, beverages and vitamins and supplements. Let's not even dare to jump head into the restaurant industry. Everywhere you go a restaurant says gluten-free yet has a disclaimer that holds them not responsible for cross contamination. News flash, no restaurant can in their right mind guarantee gluten free when wheat flour is present, in addition to the many foods that already have gluten in it. It's impossible without thorough regular protein/allergen checking. Those of you who trust too easily eating out and find yourself with regular or occasional symptoms this is likely the reason.

Who can be trusted? There are gluten-free labels found on food/beverages/skin care, etc, that you may recognize such as these but can you tell which is real and which isn't? Certified labels will often mention "certified" or "verified" or list an agency taking the credit such as "Celiac Spru Association" as a rule of thumb.  Just remember to read the label and ingredients, research and phone companies. Utilize your human judgement because gluten free also doesn't mean healthy. People make mistakes and so do machines. It's okay and empowering to learn to say No.



Apologies for semi-distressing. The issues here are obvious; Gluten was used and continues to be a  contamination in our entire food supply. If you have Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivities, auto-immune disease or believe that you may have gluten related illnesses you have to learn to say, "No" and eat farm fresh produce and meats (less processed or not at all) and make your own food. You can't stop there though as it's inevitable to eat in a gluten free household that doesn't have any gluten contamination. Loved ones, family and friends need to understand that "kinda gluten-'free" doesn't exist. Don't be that person instigating.