Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dr. Russell Blaylock on Dangers of Aspartame MSG - YouTube


Many people with or without gluten induced diseases may be purposefully avoiding sugar and ingesting foods with "no added sugar" only to be exposed to Aspartame. Or just chose foods not knowing what it is made of or where it came from.

Aspartame and MSG are neurotoxins and should be avoided.

Dr. Russell Blaylock MD, is a respected doctor who writes the Blaylockreport where you can find health and nutrition information that can save your life.

In this lecture Dr Blaylock explains one of the most common and important connections between nutrition and our health, how nutrition affects our behaviour, and the detrimental effects of excitotoxins Aspartame and MSG, Citing a series of important studies, he shows that good nutrition can powerfully enhance our memory, mood and behaviour in a socially desirable way. Like wise he shows us that poor nutrition can lead our youth into a world of violence, crime, depression and suicide.

Here is a must see video on YouTube by Dr. Blaylock.

If the link doesn't work you can find it here:

To your health

Dr. B

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Your Prescribed Meds Are Depleting You of Vitamins and minerals

Drug Induced Nutritional Deficiencies and Gluten Sensitivity

Often times, persons with gluten sensitivity are chronically ill and are prescribed medications for their symptoms.
People with gluten sensitivity are already nutrient deficient (see Hallert et al and without knowing it can get into more nutrient deficiencies when they go on most medications. Drug induced nutrient loss is rarely discussed when a prescription is ordered except for perhaps when diuretics are ordered, some potassium may be ordered to counter act potassium loss. But many drugs are metabolized by using up various nutrients and that leaves a person short for their day to day metabolism. The nutrient deficiencies themselves cause symptoms or delay healing. By knowing what nutrients are depleted a person can make up the difference with food and supplements.

I take nutrient loss from drugs very seriously. For example, one year of using a PPI drug for heart burn, like Prepulsid, can increase a persons risk of heart attack by 30%. This is due to the massive calcium and magnesium losses.

For many years now, as a resource, I've used a handbook written by Ross Pelton and James Lavalle called "The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs" published by Morton Publishing Co., 2nd
Ed., 2004.

The authors make many helpful observations and recommendations. Here is a quote from the book-

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency include elevated homocysteine, anemia, headaches, fatigue, depression, hair loss, insomnia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Again, there are medical ironies here. Folic acid is helpful in relieving arthritic pain, but the drugs commonly prescribed for arthritis deplete folic acid. The cells of the intestinal lining have a special need for folic acid because of their high rate of replication; sulfasalazine, a drug commonly prescribed for colitis, can cause a deficiency of folic acid, ultimately delaying healing.

It is likely that thousands of premature deaths of heart disease and stroke could be prevented through adequate supplementation with folic acid. Some multivitamins and B-complex vitamins include only 100 mcg of folic acid; 400 mcg is a better level, and there is much to be said for using even more than that. It is a tragedy that this very inexpensive and non-toxic vitamin is not more widely used-especially by those who need it the most, including millions of users of anti-inflammatory drugs and oral contraceptives.

If you are on any medication and would like to know what nutrients are depleted, there are charts on the internet. I would not rely only on these charts or the one I have a link to here:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Dr. B

Saturday, December 8, 2012

100% Gluten Free Bakery in Ottawa, Canada: Joy of Gluten Free

Last April, I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Phipps at the "Living Well with Gluten Sensitivity Workshop" hosted by Dr. Gerry Heyman, where I was the keynote speaker. I had some of her samples of grain free products and they were excellent.

Susan opened up her shop called The Joy of Gluten Free, February 18th 2012, in Ottawa.The bakery is 100% dedicated to gluten-free which means no cross-contamination. She caters to other food sensitivities too.
The Joy of Gluten Free Bakery and Gourmet Food Shop is located at 250 Greenbank Road, Ottawa. 
She can be reached  at or on Facebook or at 613-907-1252.

With Christmas and the holidays fast approaching, it's time to prepare or buy your favourite baked goods.

To your health.
Dr. B Powell

Monday, November 12, 2012

Create a safe kitchen in a non gluten-free home to avoid getting sick

You may be experiencing some symptoms of gluten exposure when you have taken every precaution to buy gluten free foods, and preparing them correctly. The kitchen may be contaminated if you live with a person that is not gluten free too.It is important to avoid gluten exposure at all costs so educate the people you live with by sharing this post with them.

Here are some suggestions for avoiding gluten contamination when you have no choice to convert the kitchen totally gluten free.

Rule number one: contain gluten in the kitchen!
Rule number two: have duplicate kitchen utensils that are impossible to clean of gluten!
Rule number three: Label, label, and label!
Rule number four: have duplicate items of shared food, like condiments such as mayonnaise and peanut butter!

Read Sarka-Jonae Miller's practical article from Natural News for more tips on how to be safe in the kitchen.

Contain gluten in the kitchen

Most people who share kitchens with family or roommates are not going to be able to convince others to go gluten-free too. Since banning gluten from the kitchen is not feasible in these situations, the next best thing is to contain gluten foods as much as possible.

Step one is to declare certain areas of the kitchen as gluten territory and a gluten-free area. Gluten-free fans should stake out their own cupboard and, if possible, counter space. Items with gluten should be in their own area. It is also helpful to put grains containing gluten in their own airtight container. Since many people order gluten-free foods in bulk from websites, find extra storage space for these foods in an area other than the kitchen.

A separate area in a freezer or refrigerator for gluten-free foods is also helpful. An extra freezer, ice box or small fridge in another room, garage or basement is the perfect place to put gluten-free foods, especially homemade items.

Post it notes or a label maker are helpful in labeling gluten-free foods so no mistakes are made.

Avoid cross-contamination from shared items
Shared kitchen items lead to contamination. A toaster, for example, is too risky to use for both gluten foods and gluten-free items. Getting two toasters and labeling one gluten-free is the only way to ensure that crumbs do not get onto gluten-free toast or waffles.

Another item to duplicate is a colander. Pasta with gluten when drained in a colander can leave traces of gluten. Use separate colanders.

The stove is another place where traces of gluten can get onto gluten-free items. Since buying two stoves is not possible in most circumstances, people should place aluminum foil on any area of the stove that gluten-free food is placed on.

Separate cooking utensils is also a must for protecting gluten-free dieters from cross-contamination. Separate bowls, pans, knives, stirrers, and measuring cups are just some of the items that could have traces of gluten. Porous items such as wooden cutting boards and spoons are most likely to absorb gluten.

Avoid cross-contamination from shared foods
Some foods are gluten traps, condiments particularly. Mayonnaise, butter, jelly, jams, and nut butters collect crumbs when knives or spoons are doubled dipped. It is safest to get two of these items, one for the person who eats gluten-free and one for gluten eaters. Squeeze bottles are also safer. Ketchup and mustard usually come in squeeze bottles.

Protect against cross-contamination on surfaces
For a safe kitchen, people need to keep surfaces such as counter tops and shelves free of gluten. Frequently cleaning helps. Before preparing gluten-free dishes, people should wipe off counters and other areas each time to eliminate the possibility of crumbs or small amounts of gluten items getting into the gluten-free dishes.

Another concern is that wheat flour could get onto surfaces. Every time someone uses wheat flour, it gets into the air and onto most everything, including separate cooking utensils left out. Ideally, wheat flour should not be used in a home with gluten-free residents because it is not possible to fully prevent wheat flour from settling all over the kitchen.

Following these tips for a safe kitchen can help keep people healthy.

Sources for this article include:

Learn more:

To your health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, November 5, 2012

Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison," Dr. Davis says

Many of you have heard of a recent book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist.
In it he describes how the modern "wheat" has proteins (toxic gliadin epitomes not present in wheat from before 1960's) that are more toxic by far than the rarely commercially grown wheat like Red Fife. He is not arguing that gliadin is new, but that modern wheat has unprecedented amounts of gliadin in it and that is new. And the extra amount of gliadin does have never-seen-before gliadin variations, which have been shown to be very toxic. "The perfect, chronic poison" as Dr. Davis would say.

Researchers from the Netherlands have even proposed that wheat breeding in the 60's may have contributed to increased prevalence of celiac disease. Read from Theor Appl Genet. 2010 Jul 28:

Other researcher are look at ways to reduce the antigenic (reactive) properties of the offending proteins in the alpha gliadin portions. And to develop strategies
"to modify gluten genes in wheat so that it becomes safe for celiac disease patients. It also provides the information to design and introduce safe gluten genes in other cereals, which would exhibit improved quality while remaining safe for consumption by celiac disease patients."

This follows from the question, how can commercial wheat be made so that it is safer?
It hasn't been done yet and it is not likely to be done any time soon. Watch the video below as part of the CBS segment and see how Dr. Davis answers that question.

Once you become sensitive to wheat and gliadin, you are sensitive even to the grains with less gliadin, even Red Fife or spelt, so they can't be ingested without consequences.

In September of this year, CBS interviewed Dr. Davis and here is an excerpt: Go to the link to see the video of the interview in its whole.

(CBS News) Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Latest Statistics: The Incidence of Celiac Disease Increased Five-Fold From 1999 to 2008

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is common, dangerous and most people are not diagnosed. A true gluten free diet has been shown to help, so it is important to get testing. 
If in doubt, or have trouble getting a reliable test, go gluten free.

A recent study again shows there is a massive increase in the incidence of celiac disease (CD) in recent years, even when diagnosed the usual way. Diagnosis depends heavily on the clinical suspicion of the attending doctor. What that means is that if the doctor doesn't think celiac disease may be part of the problem then no tests will be made.

Bingley reporting in BMJ in  2004, found an incidence of 1 in 100, and for every one diagnosed, 13 were not diagnosed. Less than half had typical gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea. 

With that in mind, the authors in American Journal of Gastroenterology do show the incidence of  CD increased five-fold from 1.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 6.5 per 100,000 in 2008, with the highest rates of increase among those over 34 years of age.

They also showed an association with the diagnosis of infectious gastroenteritis within 3 years of the diagnosis of CD. They admit more study needs to be done on this observation as it does bring to mind many questions such as: were the symptoms that lead to the diagnosis of infectious gastroenteritis (IGE) properly diagnosed, was there an infective organism that leads to the triggering of CD, were there other predisposing conditions that give the same symptoms and could they lead to triggering of CD?

They conclude: Incidence of CD diagnosis in the US military is increasing, particularly among those in the fourth and fifth decades of life and appears higher than other population-based estimates. An association between antecedent IGE and risk of CD was noted, but the potential for exposure misclassification cannot be ruled out and further study is needed to link pathogen-specific exposure to incident CD anti-gluten antibody development or symptom onset.

Read more here: Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Aug;107(8):1248-55

The best gluten free diet and one that is truly gluten free is a specific carbohydrate diet called "Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet" or GAPS diet. Many, many people don't heal unless they go on a GAPS diet. So why not do it from the start. You can buy the book at Amazon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Doctors Don't Know About Drugs: Part 2, Evidence Based Medicine

Gluten sensitivity and drug reactions go together.
As doctors how can we safely prescribe medications to all our patients? We can read the scientific studies that are published regarding the pharmaceutical. This is called "evidence based" medicine. 

 Please view the following YouTube video by Doctor Ben Goldacre. He has a clear and articulate explanation of the core problem of "evidence-based"medicine: 

13 minutes long but worth it! 
Click on "evidence based medicine" if the video doesn't start.

What Doctors don't know About Drugs: Part 1, The Psychiatry and Gluten Sensitivity Disconnect

Dr. David Healy, a psychiatrist has some very powerful points in his address to the American Psychiatric Association meeting October 4, 2012. The main one is how physicians are not apprised of all the adverse effects (including death) and side effects of the medication promoted to them, for the purpose of prescribing them to their patients. Or even the true effectiveness of medications. Part of the reason is because of some doctors' close relationships to the pharmaceutical industry.  I hope the Mental health community starts to  realize it has to lower it's reliance on drugs for those very reasons, and increase it's awareness of the up to date neuroscience information which point to non-drug therapies such as orthomolecular medicine and very effective NADA practices. 

Gluten Sensitive persons have high rates of methylation problems, more than 50%, which leads to many health issues but especially drug reactions.(In my own chart review, 76% of my patients have at least one abnormal methylation gene, out of two genes studied, and there are a total of 11 methylation genes). 

And gluten sensitive persons, especially when they are ingesting gluten, have high rates of depression, schizophrenia (17% increased risk), and other mood disorders. When they seek help, they may be treated with medications without an effort to eliminate the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity (see my previous blog entry on how gluten causes neuropathology), methylation issues and the nutritional deficiencies that go along with it, like low cholesterol, iron,vitamin A,D,E,and K,or zinc.When the gluten is eliminated, the methylation issues cleared with B vitamins and zinc, infections cleared, nutritional deficiencies corrected and other metabolic alterations corrected, mental health can be regained. Drugs may have a role while the person is restoring their health, but much caution is required. Monitoring for suicide ideation, a side effect of many drugs, by asking directly, is part of my routine. 

Read part of Dr. Healy's address to psychiatrists:

“I’m going to argue that we need you to be biased. We want you to be biased by treatments that work,” Healy told his colleagues. “I don’t mind if you’re my doctor and you've given talks for industry. My concern is not that you've been paid by industry, but that you've been fooled by industry. The key conflict is whether people are hiding data from you.”
Healy went on to discuss how drug companies have repeatedly concealed important information about the risks of their medications, whether by hiring ghostwriters to spin the results of scientific studies and then getting renowned experts to put their names on the published papers; by employing tricks in clinical trials like using inadequate doses of comparison medications to make the company’s own drug look better; or by simply keeping unfavorable data out of the public domain.
Healy himself has also been targeted directly by drug companies who haven’t been happy with his critiques. In fact, he’s widely believed to have lost an academic job offer at the University of Toronto as a result of one such critical lecture. At the session on Thursday, one slide in his presentation contained information he sought via a Freedom of Information Act request detailing drug maker Eli Lilly’s strategy for shutting Healy down. To counter his public insistence that drug companies reveal hidden drug data, Lilly proposed doing things like planting confederates in the audience of his presentations to ask questions that support industry’s view.
Healy also described how in his own attempts to publish formerly hidden data — which all now reside in the public domain — he encountered legal issues with journals, which ultimately resulted in rejection of publication. The clinical trial data in question in this case showed a greater risk of suicidal acts associated with antidepressants than had previously been revealed.
Healy also referenced hidden data from trials of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. “None of them mentioned [that the drug could cause] diabetes or [had] the highest suicide rate in clinical trial history,” he said. Although drug companies are now required by medical journals to register all of their clinical trials with the National Institutes of Health if they wish to publish them — including those that never end up being published — this is not a legal requirement. They can still hide relevant data from the FDA by not disclosing trials that they never attempt to submit to a journal.
Read more:

This situation of hidden relevant data  concerning medications for all indications is similar in Canada.

Two points I'd like to make:
1. Gluten sensitivity and psychiatric problems go together. Many persons have undiagnosed celiac and gluten sensitive problems, a 400% increase incidence since 1948, and the may be as many as 13 undiagnosed for everyone diagnosed. Maybe 40% of the population is affected in some way. And they have severe health issues including mental health issues. Testing for celiac is imperative
2.Gluten sensitivity and drug reactions go together. It needs to be understood that the role of medication is as part of a complex of remedies with: diet, supplements, mindfulness, psychotherapy, acupuncture and others. This will avoid serious side effects. With the use of medication, look at the risk/benefit profile and look for all the metabolic abnormalities in the individual.To repeat, this would include, but is not limited to: Homocysteine for  methylation issues and the nutritional deficiencies that go along with gluten sensitivity, like low cholesterol, iron,vitamin A,D,E,and K,or zinc. I also look for pyrroluria, a genetic condition that leads to functional zinc and B6 deficiency.

To your health and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers.
Dr. Barbara

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Canadian Press: Flu Vaccine INCREASES Risk of Serious Pandemic Flu Illness

The Canadian press recently broke the story that new research confirms initial findings that the flu vaccine appeared to actually increase people's risk of getting sick with H1N1, and cause more serious bouts of illness to boot.

Why is it important to talk about vaccines when you are gluten sensitive? Gluten sensitivity is an abnormal connective tissue autoimmune disease. Our immune system is part of the connective tissue system and is affected in many ways by celiac/gluten sensitivity.

For one vaccines don’t always act as they should. See my blog " Hepatitis vaccination failure high" at;postID=6636177136247959376 .

For another, T cells and other white blood cells are sometimes produced in low numbers and can be in-effective. T cells are affected by vaccines.

For those of us who are gluten sensitive, we need to worry about triggering an autoimmune disease since the rate of autoimmune disease is 12 times the normal population. And vaccines are known to trigger the onset of an autoimmune disease.

Read more about the confirmation by scientist from Canada that the seasonal flu shot does appear to increase the seriousness of a future flu illness.

And Dr. Mercola expands on the issue and discusses how vaccines affect the body. 
Lots to think about.

To your Health

Dr. B

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carrageenan is a likely Human Carcinogen – Avoid

As a person with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease and you find your bowel is not healing as it should, or you’ve just been told you have another bowel disease like Crohn’s or colon cancer, even with a GAPS diet and avoiding the other foods you may be allergic too. The cause of your problems may be a common food additive called Carrageenan. 

Carrageenan is so toxic and inflaming to the human digestive system that this food additive is formally classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) as a potential human carcinogen.
If you drink dairy substitutes like soy milk, hemp milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, you may be exposed to it, even if they say they are organic.

The Healthy Home economist writes a very informative piece on the subject:

Based on these assumptions, consumers would likely be surprised and even shocked to learn that a likely human carcinogen that triggers massive gastrointestinal inflammation and symptoms in many people continues to be allowed by the National Organics Standards Board (NOSB) for inclusion on the list of ingredients permitted in certified organic food – food bearing the USDA Organic label!

This dangerous ingredient, carrageenan, which most consumers are unaware is lurking in so many of their beloved organic products, seems harmless enough at first glance. Derived from seaweed, carrageenan is a highly processed food additive that has no nutritional function whatsoever.

What it does do is act as a fat replacer or stabilizer in certain types of dairy products, dairy substitutes like soy milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, and other processed foods.

As you can see, buying lowfat is not a good idea and not just for the fact that you are losing the valuable whole fats that satiates and steadies the blood sugar. By opting for low-fat or alternative dairy products, consumers are choosing instead to consume a toxic additive that is a likely carcinogen!

Even Dr. Andrew Weil has been telling people to avoid carrageenan since 2002. Carrageenan is so toxic and inflaming to the human digestive system that this food additive is formally classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) as a potential human carcinogen. Scientists first discovered that carrageenan causes gut inflammation as far back as the 1960′s. Inflammation is a very serious condition as it is a primary symptom in IBS, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer as well as dozens of other diseases.

Read more at The Healthy Home

And go here to Sarah’s other link to learn to easily make healthy non-dairy beverages at home that are carrageenan free.

To Your health
Dr. Barbara

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dairy-free Probiotic for Pennies a Day! Water Kefir

I've been enjoying a cool and refreshing drink this summer, called water kefir and sometimes called Ginger Beer. There's not alcohol in it, but there are some powerful probiotics.

Here is what Mike Adams from Natural News says about Water Kefir and its health benefits:
Probiotics are living microorganisms that have been found to provide many health benefits. Benefits include boosting immunity, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing colon cancer, preventing irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, and reducing inflammation. Although yogurt is usually the first probiotic food to come to mind, water kefir is an excellent, dairy-free way to get in more probiotics without much expense. In fact, water kefir is one of the top ten dairy-free probiotics available today.

Kefir water is made using special water kefir grains through a simple fermentation process. The resulting liquid is slightly fizzy, similar to soda pop. Many people are able to finally break free from the soda habit by replacing it with water kefir and getting the added benefits of probiotics!

Learn more:

There are a lot of comparisons between yogurt and kefir. Kefir, however, is considered the probiotic powerhouse for several reasons. Yogurt provides several strains of beneficial bacteria that benefit the gut. Kefir has a much wider variety of beneficial bacteria that have a more potent effect on the GI system and mucous membranes of the body.

I hope you enjoy making your own water kefir, it’s really easy to do.

WATER KEFIR (Ginger Beer)

Add these ingredients to a spotlessly clean 2L jar. 
Alter to suit volume of grains given:

3 cups filtered water or well water (tap water will kill the grains)
¼ cup water kefir grains
¼ cup maple syrup or raw sugar (I have used Palm sugar (organic) 2 lg. tbsp.)
A knob of fresh ginger sliced
½ slice of lemon
1 dried fig (to introduce beneficial bacteria)

If and when you wish to increase the quantity of grains add these as well:

½ teaspoon baking soda and 1 cm square of egg shell boiled and rushed (or 1 tsp/ molasses)

Seal jar airtight and let stand for 2 days at room temperature. Stir contents after 24 hours and again a few times when possible thereafter. Strain liquid water-kefir and store in airtight sealable bottles. Best enjoyed chilled after 1-2 days refrigeration. This increases carbonation to give a nice refreshing fizzy ginger root-beer.

Try storing the sealed bottle at room temperature for one day before refrigeration. This should increase fizz and reduce sugar content faster than fridge storage.
Sometimes the grains rapidly increase in quantity. Initially it might take more than 2 days for the water kefir to be ready, but in no time you’ll have plenty of grains and be giving ginger beer and water kefir grains to your friends and family.

How to keep the kefir alive while away
All you need to do is sit the kefir grains in a container with some of the kefir liquid and store in the fridge. This is called “putting them to sleep”. After that it may take a couple of batches for its fermenting power to get back to normal, but that is all. They won’t die, just lose a little fermenting power, but can be nurtured back again.

Thanks to Roxanne at Dr. Robert Kidd's office for supplying a starter kit of granules for me. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to Subscribe to Dr. Powell’s Blog through Email Notifications

I would like to make it more convenient for you to see any new entries in a timely way.

If you would like to automatically receive my next blog entry, I suggest you subscribe to my blog by email.

You can subscribe by these two easy steps:
2. Type in your email where it says ‘Follow by Email’ (on the right of the page).

You should receive a new blog entry in your email automatically.

I hope you choose this method to take charge of your health and get informed about pertinent, up-to-date information regarding gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

Yours in health,

Dr. Barbara Powell

Monday, August 20, 2012

Trying to Lose Weight- Try This Blog Whole30

Here is a very interesting blog which is also GAPS. It encourages healthy eating and it’s called Whole30.
A thirty day plan!!

I like it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

No coffee! Help! I Need a Morning Pick Me Up!

caffeine crystal

I love the taste of a good cup of coffee. And when I don't get to drink it or if I smell it, I crave coffee.
But I am resigned to the fact that I can't drink coffee without suffering some serious effect : inflammation, rebound exhaustion, stimulation of the gluten cross reactivity and possibly making new autoimmune diseases or at least making any existing autoimmune disorder worse.
A recent report showed cross reactivity of coffee and gluten in those persons who are sensitive to gluten (people with celiac or non- celiac gluten sensitivity). I recommend trying to eliminate coffee and coffee products if one has any symptoms or signs of inflammation, no matter how small.
And then there is the problem of caffeine....This is a picture of caffeine. Caffeine is made by plants to protect themselves from predators. Hmmmm? It's a natural pesticide.  Find out more at A Visual View of Caffeine.

What is one to do without coffee? Here are some pointers from The Healthy Home Economist:

Help! I Need a Morning Pick Me UP!

What if you really need a morning or afternoon pick me up and are truly concerned about the effect of coffee or tea on your adrenal and overall hormone health?
You can go the decaf route, but decaf coffee and tea still have caffeine in them and so will not eliminate the stress on the adrenals completely.
16oz of Starbucks Decaf, for example, contains about 25 mg of caffeine which is about the same amount as 8 oz of regular green tea.
Even decaf black tea has up to 12 mg of caffeine per 8 oz.
One option for a completely caffeine free morning brew is Dandy Blend, made of dandelion root.   I know plenty of folks who just love Dandy Blend and swear it tastes just like coffee, but if you choose to give it a try – go slow and build up gradually.   I’ve had some people report that the detoxifying effect of the dandelion can result in a close relationship with the bathroom until your digestive tract adjusts!

Another option is to make a coffee substitute yourself: The following recipe is suggested by Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation who recommends it as a good pick me up:

Coffee Substitute
1 Tbl Molasses
1 Tbl Coconut oil
Place ingredients in a mug and pour in boiling water and stir. Let coook until still hot but drinkable and enjoy!

I have survived not drinking coffee, and I have even thrived. I have some wonderful, stimulating non-caffeinated teas like Rooibos, cherry and raspberry tea.
 And water Kefir!!!
Enjoy exploring the world of teas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“The 7 Day Back Pain Cure”.

Many healthcare practitioners recognize that food sensitivities, but especially gluten sensitivity trigger inflammation and inflammation can sometimes present as pain.  The connection is clear. And so many healthcare practitioners recommend eliminating wheat from the diet with great results.
Today I was asked if a person could cure celiac/gluten sensitivity with a gluten-free diet. Maybe once, but I don’t think it is possible in our environment. The problem is that once the body makes anti-bodies to gliadin, or one’s own tissues, the body doesn’t forget. It’s always ready and watching for a “triggering protein poly peptide”. Candida is very common trigger but so is coffee which can cross react. And, as noted below, 5% of modern wheat polypeptides are completely unique and not like any ancient wheat, and they are responsible for triggering reactions. And the body doesn’t forget, probably from multiple reasons such as toxic overload, chemical exposure, Electromagnetic field exposure, chronic infections, and nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin A deficiencies. One would have a reaction from eating wheat even if you can get a hold of heritage wheat flour (not the hybrid wheat strains).
If you have pain, try a Gut and Psychology syndrome diet with the supplements listed in the book and see if you don’t feel better. And add a supplement called GLA at 600 mg a day .
The following is a quote from Isabel De Los Rios at Beyond Diet, who recommends the book “The 7 Day Back Pain Cure”.
A lot of what I’ve learned about tackling inflammation and pain I learned from Jesse Cannone’s free book, "The 7 Day Back Pain Cure." Particularly, be sure to read Chapter 8: The Diet: How Dietary Imbalances Cause Pain.

"If I had to choose just 1 thing to do right now to help reduce your inflammation it would be to greatly reduce your wheat and gluten intake." Eliminating wheat from your diet can have an astounding impact on how you look and feel.

Wheat wasn’t always so harmful like it is today. In the past, we had many different strains of wheat, but in modern times, in order to increase production, agricultural scientists created two hybrid strains. Right now more than 99% of the wheat grown worldwide comes from those two hybrid crops. Genetically modified foods in any form can have an extremely negative impact on our health and weight.  Dr. William Davis, a Wisconsin based cardiologist, points out that the hybrid wheat strain shows only 95% of the same proteins as its parent wheat strains: the other 5% are completely unique. This unique 5% of proteins is responsible for so many people’s wheat sensitivities.  It’s becoming a huge epidemic and 
most everyone is allergic or sensitive to wheat in some form. Is that a scary thought or what?

In tomorrow’s newsletter, I will be addressing the easiest ways to eliminate wheat from your eating plan and the easy and delicious substitutions you have to choose from. Until then, make sure to get your free copy of 
"The 7 Day Back Pain Cure." It is a wonderful book to have on your bookshelf and I use it almost every week as one of my favorite reference books.
Your personal copy of "The 7 Day Back Pain Cure"

Isabel De Los Rios
Certified Nutritionist
Certified Exercise Specialist

Friday, June 1, 2012


There has been a lot of press lately about Domino's Gluten free pizza. According to the company's statement, Domino's found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino's
can not guarantee that each hand crafted pizza is gluten free.

The Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, lead by Dr. Fasano MD, has issued a paper on this subject on May 11, 2012. Read below or click here. 


Friday, May 11, 2012
On May 7th, Domino’s Pizza began selling a new product the company describes as: “Domino’s pizza made with a gluten-free crust.” The launch of this new product into the U.S. market has generated some confusion, particularly in the celiac disease community, about the safety of this product for people with gluten-related disorders. According to the company’s statement, Domino’s found that while the crust is certified as gluten-free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten. The Center for Celiac Research has been asked its position on the matter, and hopes to alleviate some confusion with this statement.

While the development of safe gluten-free products and safe dining establishments is always a welcome advance, we do not have the confidence that this product meets the safety standards we recommend for our patients. The introduction of cross contamination from a large chain like Domino’s represents a threat to our patients affected by gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis (a skin condition), wheat allergy and gluten ataxia. As an international celiac research center with expertise in gluten-related disorders, we believe that individuals who have been diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder should NOT consume this product.
In many restaurant and dining establishments with a high risk of cross-contamination, it simply becomes too risky for patients with gluten-related disorders to remain gluten-free. Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with utensils, surfaces or foods that contain gluten. It’s a very real concern for many of our patients, including some who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

Additionally, we are still waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to resolve the issue of safe threshold levels of gluten to be used in food labeling. Based on this threshold definition, we will be able to classify products as either safe or not safe, and, therefore, not suitable for consumption by people affected by gluten-related disorders. Based on Domino's statement, we can assume that their pizza is not safe and, therefore, should not be consumed by patients affected by gluten-related disorders. For more information please visit our

Alessio Fasano, M.D.
Center for Celiac Research
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why Was My Biopsy Negative, When I Know Gluten Makes Me Sick? AGA Guidelines Increases Celiac Diagnosis By Two!

Diagnosing celiac disease can be very difficult. One of the difficulties lies in the significant failure rate of small bowel biopsy ( the gold standard for diagnosing celiac disease). To improve this accuracy, of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute recommended in 2006 that at least 4 specimens be taken for examination. A recent study by Benjamin Lebwohl at the Columbia University Celiac Disease Center concludes that most physicians are not following the guidelines, but they should be.

Why? Because his team was able to show, by doing four or more specimens doubles the diagnosis of celiac disease. Hmmmmmm!

If you are going for a small bowel biopsy, ask if your doctor takes four specimens or more routinely. If you have had a biopsy, and a negative diagnosis maybe you should get a copy of your pathology report and see how many specimens were taken.

Here Diana Gitig Ph.D reports:
Dr. Lebwohl and colleagues collated the specimens sent to Caris Life Sciences, a specialized GI pathology laboratory that receives samples from endoscopy centers in forty-three states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They looked at 132, 352 patients who had endoscopies for various indications between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009. From these endoscopies, only 35% followed the recommendation of submitting at least four specimens. There was a slight increase once the guidelines were proposed, in 2006; but by the end of 2009 adherence to the guidelines was still a low 37%. Interestingly, the number of specimens submitted could be directly correlated with the probability of a positive diagnosis of celiac disease.

Adherence varied by indication, with the highest rates (43.9%) among patients undergoing endoscopies for diarrhea and the lowest rates (30.0%) among those having endoscopies because of heartburn. Among patients having endoscopies for malabsorption or suspected celiac disease adherence was only 38.5%. Adherence to the guidelines also decreased with the age of the patient. The researchers did not have access to socioeconomic or racial data regarding the patients, so could not determine if that factored into adhering to the guidelines.

The proportion of patients diagnosed with celiac doubled when at least four biopsy specimens were submitted. This increase varied by indication; it was most apparent in those undergoing endoscopy because of malabsorption and suspected celiac disease, but was present for the other indications as well. This study validates those recommendations; hopefully the slight increase in adherence since they have been proposed will continue to grow.

Read Diana Gitig Ph.D.'s report at 06/15/2011

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mucous Producing Cells Provide Intestinal Immunity

Goblet cells that line the intestine and secrete mucous are emerging as part of a tag team to protect us from harmful bacteria, viruses and large undigested food particles that can trigger food allergies. And they allow for vitamins and other nutrients to pass to the circulatory system.

A recent report from a research team at Washington University School of medicine in St. Louis shows that goblet cells work with dendritic cells.

Dr. Miller says the results are important because they help scientists understand that intestinal immune responses may depend as much on the ability of goblet cells to transport antigens to dendritic cells as much as on what the dendritic cells then do with those antigens. 

Vitamin A and D are important in maintaining healthy mucosal lining, and it is imperative to have ones vitamin A and D blood levels done to make sure the blood level is above 120 (Canadian) and 48 (USA) . You can only tell if you have absorbed the vitamin D that you have taken (or the effects of sun tanning) with a blood level. There are many ways that the absorption of vitamin D and A can go wrong.

The more we know about the workings of our intestinal system the more we can understand how to stop abnormal reactions to normal, not disease producing proteins that may be found in the bowel, like gluten or casein. 

Jefferson Adams writes more about this in Goblet Cells Emerge asUnexpected Player in Intestinal Immunity 05/16/2012 - Goblet cells that line the intestine and secrete mucous are emerging as a possible target for treating inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies. With every meal, immune cells in the intestine stand guard against harmful bacteria but permit vitamins and nutrients to pass. The small intestine is protected from harmful pathogens by a layer of mucus secreted from goblet cells.

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified the cells that protect the intestine against food antigens, or proteins so that the immune system does not begin an attack…… …….. and observed antigens as they were passed by goblet cells to dendritic cells.

Dendritic cells play a key role in the immune system. But until now, scientists thought that intestinal goblet cells were only responsible for secreting mucus.

Miller and Newberry also studied healthy human intestinal tissue from patients undergoing weight-loss surgery. Those results showed that goblet cells perform the same function in people as in mice. This indicates that the cells may be solid drug targets for treating inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal problems.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

There’s casein in my red wine! Who knew?

Since the majority of persons that are celiac or gluten sensitive is allergic to the milk protein casein, I have to report that those people may react to red wine. It appears that casein is used as a binding agent in RED wine, but not white wine.  This is called fining the wine. And kosher wines may use albumen from egg whites, for the fining process but never casein. Nor do Vegan wines.

Here is an interesting article about the wine clarification process done by many but not all wineries. It comes from WiseGEEK.

What does wine have to do with animal tissues and bladders? A lot. As we know, wine is made mostly of grapes, yeast, and sulfites. Different environmental factors such as plants and soil, as well as the weather, can affect the outcome of the wine. That's what makes each winery unique. However, there is one common attribute in the wine industry - the finished product is always cloudy. Because many people object to cloudy wine, along with the sediment that is left floating in it, wineries send their wines through a clarification process called fining.
Fining eliminates the cloudy appearance of wine by removing the sediments. The fining agent, after being stirred into the barrel of wine, acts like a magnet by picking up the sediment in the wine and carrying it to the bottom of the wine barrel. After the wine is clarified, it is separated from the sediment during a process called racking, which leaves the residue behind. Fining can take on a whole new meaning if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. Many of the fining agents used are animal products. These animal products include albumen, casein, gelatin, and isinglass.
Albumen, which is produced from egg whites, is the most common fining agent. Egg whites are typically used in fining red wines. Wines fined with egg whites are acceptable to vegetarians but not vegans. Casein is a milk protein. Casein is also more commonly used in red wines. For someone with a severe milk allergy, it is wise to inquire if the wine they are drinking was fined with casein.
Gelatin is an animal protein from the skin and connective tissue of pigs and cows. Gelatin may be used in the fining process of either red or white wines. Isinglass (also called fish glue) is made from the bladder of the sturgeon fish. Like the other agents, this works like a magnet, attracting the impurities and carrying them to the bottom of the barrel or tank, producing a clean wine. Isinglass is found in many German white wines.

And from,
How to avoid casein and other fining agents? First of all, don’t discriminate. Cloudiness of the wine is not a reflection of quality, but rather of lack of fining. Vegan friendly vinyards allow their wines to settle naturally instead of fining with animal products. Keep in mind, organic does not mean “vegan or vegetarian friendly.” Many “organic” vinyards do fine their wines with animal proteins. If a wine is labeled vegetarian, it should not contain casein, vegan will contain no animal products. So look for these labels.
Where to find vegetarian friendly and vegan wines? Look for the labels at your grocer, or try doing a search on And the good news is that casein free wine is not always more expensive. According to Barnivore: Charles Shaw (a.k.a. Two Buck Chuck) is not fined with casein or eggs, Bolla wines are vegan using no animal products and even Yellow Tail’s red wines are vegan. But going to the grocery without a proper list of vegan wines would simple make matters complicated, so I’ve used the resources on Barnivore to create a list of vegan friendly wines that’s perfect for taking to the wine store or a restaurant.

Too much information, as some say. 
Just remember, if you’re allergic to casein, source out your next bottle of wine to be one that doesn’t have casein in it, and save yourself some grief. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

When you are gluten sensitive, you may be zinc deficient!

Zinc deficiency can lead to depression and other mental conditions. Zinc deficiency is really important to correct  because of the importance of zinc to our metabolism. It is the commonest mineral use in all our enzymes. Because of malabsorption and higher requirements from some genetic expression especially from poor methylation, people with gluten sensitivity almost always have zinc deficiency. It’s hard to diagnose from blood tests: If serum zinc is low then there is deficiency. If it is normal, it could represent zinc bound to globulins and that’s not available to use, and the person could have functional deficiency.
But a Homocysteine level above 8 is indicative of low B12, B6, B2, or zinc, or a combination of all. 
A new study by an Indian professor Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, has revealed that zinc may perform a protective function preventing major damage for those with type 2 diabetes. Read more a   t 

Here is a brief description of zinc by the .

Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for immune function, wound healing, normal taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
·         Zinc is a co-factor in DNA and protein synthesis and cell division. It is believed to be important in wound healing.
·         The UK recommended ranges are 5.5-9.5 mg/day for males and 4.0-7.0 mg/day for females.
·         Zinc is not stored in the body but the body contains 2 to 3 g of zinc (Zn), found mainly in bones, teeth, hair, skin, liver, muscle, leucocytes and testes.
·         One third of the zinc found in plasma is attached loosely to albumin and about two thirds is firmly bound to globulins.
·         Meat, liver, cereal products, peas, beans, eggs, and seafood (especially oysters) are good sources of zinc.
·         Absorption of zinc salts from food is approximately 20-40%. Absorption of zinc is higher from fish and meat but lower from wholegrain bread and cereals (phytate content impairs absorption).
·         Zinc is mainly excreted from body in faeces.
Although a confirmed diagnosis of zinc deficiency is rare, relative zinc deficiency caused by poor diet, malabsorption, or following burns or other trauma is probably common.

Risk factors
·         Excessive loss of zinc can occur in trauma, burns and other protein-losing conditions, e.g. protein-losing enteropathy.
·         Liver disease.
·         Inadequate diet or malabsorption.
·         Prolonged parenteral nutrition (total parenteral nutrition usually includes trace amounts of zinc).
Presentation of zinc deficiency
Mild deficiency may cause no obvious symptoms, whereas severe deficiency may cause most or even all of the following features:
·         Anorexia, lethargydiarrhoea
·         Growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, hypogonadism and hypospermia
·         Alopeciadermatitisparonychia
·         Mental retardation, impaired nerve conduction and nerve damage
·         Hepatomegaly
·         Immune disorders and susceptibility to infections
·         Iron deficiency anaemia
·         Macular degeneration, night blindness
·         Impaired taste and smell
·         Impaired wound healing
Maternal zinc deficiency may cause anencephaly in the fetus.

Any supplements of zinc should be balance with copper in a 8-10:1-2 ratio as zinc competes with copper for absorption and taking zinc without copper may lead to copper deficiency. If one has celiac or gluten sensitivity, one might already be copper deficient too,so don't take any chances and take zinc with copper.