G-Free Feb News

Happy February! There’s been so much interesting news in the gluten-free world that this month’s newsletter is devoted to new research and developments of interest to the Celiac and gluten-free community.

Finally! The FDA has issued draft guidance on gluten in medications, and the comment period is open now. In short, currently there are no specific rules for labeling gluten in medications, and gluten (or wheat, more specifically) may be used as a filler or excipient without being clearly labeled. “We encourage drug manufacturers to have accurate information about their products’ gluten content available so they can respond to questions from consumers and health care professionals. Manufacturers should pay attention to possible sources of gluten in their products, consider specifications when appropriate, and consider the impact of changes in ingredient sources or formulations on gluten content.” Full statement here

Note: the FDA is proposing suggestions or recommendations for manufacturers, which means it’s not enforceable. But it is still a start! I’m glad to see it because this has been a long time coming—I presented to the FDA in 2011 and it was definitely not of interest then.

Want to comment on this draft guidance? https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2017-D-6352-0002

Speaking of comment periods, the FDA petition on enforcing current gluten labeling regulations is only open until Feb 19th. More here.

A new study suggests that cardiovascular diseases and complications are more common in people with Celiac, and recommends more aggressive screening.

The debate rages on the ideal time to introduce gluten to infants. A new study shows that later introduction may raise the risk of type 1 diabetes. In a nutshell, the TEDDY study follows children at high risk of type 1 diabetes. There’s a lot of overlap here with genes for Celiac. For these infants, introduction of gluten before 4 months led to less autoimmunity than intro 4-9 months, or after 9 months. The study was prospective, which is generally a plus, but they also didn’t look at the quantity of gluten introduced, which may be relevant. Previous studies have shown the opposite of this effect, and all current guidelines recommend introducing all foods after 4 months. Hopefully further research will give us a clearer direction.

…and a podcast on children from a few weeks ago, and factors that affect risk of developing Celiac

For those of you who are low FODMAP, or just craving a sweet and delicious treat, try these Maple Spiced Nuts. They’re a long-time favorite of mine.

And a few of my favorite gluten-free Valentine’s day treats.

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, food allergies, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742. 

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