Monday, December 24, 2012

Celiac and the untold possibilities

Not so long ago I when I was selling pasta and teaching healthy cooking at my store in Austin, I did receive a few requests and questions about Celiac. And also a lot of requests to make gluten free pasta.  It sure seems as though the gluten free rage has become huge and more and more people are wanting to remove gluten from their diets so they can live a healthy life.  I only wish that it was all true and that everyone that gave up gluten would live a better life.  Research is dispelling a lot of the mystery around Celiac and the Celiac Hype as I call it.  If you go to and read their information, you will see how the numbers of people that have Celiac have risen dramatically over the past thirty years.  From what was diagnosed to be 1 in over 500 to now being 1 in 133 people having Celiac.  That is quite a few.  But where are they getting those numbers, as every other website has differing numbers.  And it is true that the incidence of Celiac in those of Northern European descent may be that high, but in the general population, it is about 1 in 2,500.  (Scienceblog)  There seems to be a discrepancy in numbers here.  Part of it is the method of measurement.  The Celiac people use the blood test for Tissue transglutimase antibody to determine if a person has Celiac.  The truth is that presence of the ttg antibody does not in fact mean a person has Celiac.  The only positive way to determine if a person has it is to perform a tissue biopsy of the small intestine to see if there is damage.  Ttg intibody shows a person to have a propensity for Celiac, not the actual disease itself.  (Testing)   The Celiac people use the propensity for having a disease is a lot like saying I can get a woman pregnant, therefore all pregnant women have been impregnated by me.

The problems that are there for me are that research is showing that people with the propensity for Celiac are coming down with actual Celiac in greater numbers, and at later ages than originally thought.  Meaning that it is not a childhood onset disease, but one where human beings that have a genetic marker that forms a specific protein MAY develop an autoimmune disease that is heightened in the presence of gluten.  (Scienceblog)  So why is this happening?  And also, in a related thread of thought, why is it that so many people out there claim to have  symptoms of gluten intolerance?  Are they related, and in fact related to Celiac?  To me, I believe that the increase in the numbers of age related onset of actual Celiac, as well as the incidence of gluten intolerance are because of the human body's inability to process toxins and additives put into processed foods.  There has to be a trigger that causes people having the markers to suddenly begin to exhibit full blown Celiac.  Science rages on, and more research will be done to determine what it is that occurs and the actual processes involved.

When I was teaching at my store, some of the people that wanted the gluten free pasta, and also wanted to attend my gluten free bread baking classes, told me about their gluten intolerance problems.  I always ask, what did you eat that produced those specific symptoms?  The usual answers were always the same, bread.  Again, my questions are direct and an attempt to narrow down the problem, what kind of bread, what was on the bread, what else did you eat at the same time as the bread.  Most people tell me the same thing, I don't know, bread.  Sheesh.  Commercial bread has a whole host of toxins added to it, L-cysteine, chlorine, potassium bromate, sodium steryl lactalate, azodicarbonide, sodium metabisulfide, and worst of all, tons of hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup.  I truly in my heart, believe that more people have allergic reactions to these chemicals than ever have to gluten.  Coupled with what people eat within the bread itself, they consume a huge chemical storehouse of toxins.  By that I mean that the simple chicken sandwich from the fast food place is chock full of stuff that is frighteningly toxic.  Commercial chicken, coated with salmonella and the associated toxins from their waste that accumulate when improperly stored, the coatings on the chicken, the mayo, ketchup or sauces that contain huge amounts of HFCS, a veritable cornucopia of chemicals and additives, and lastly, lettuce that is processed and packaged then held in storage and shipped all over the country.  The numbers of produce items recalled by the FDA for salmonella or lysteria contamination is incredible.  (food recalls)  This FDA site is updated daily with food recalls.  So taking all that into account, it is not surprising that people get a tummy ache when they consume bread.  And then blame it all on gluten intolerance.

I don't want anyone to think that I am in anyway being disparaging to all of those people of Northern European descent that have actual Celiac disease.  And there are also a number of other people out there that have been shown to have Celiac and are of other heritages.  This is in fact a problem.  However, I feel that the Celiac Foundation is showing these huge numbers in order to garner ever more financing for research.  Not a bad thing actually, the Feds have shown themselves to be rather poor guardians of the revenue they collect.  But to continue to promote Celiac as the cause of so many unrelated symptoms of a degenerative food supply is wrong.  People everywhere are removing gluten from their diets and thinking that this will cure all that ails them without ever looking at their overall intake of the SAD as the cause of their problems.  SAD = Standard American Diet.  And as the SAD grows and spreads to countries all over the world the problems continue to grow, cancers, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, ADD, ADHD, mental health problems, and a whole host of other problems and diseases grow in proportion to the acceptance of the SAD.

Look at what you buy.  Look at what you eat.  Make healthy choices.  Living a long disease free life should be the right of every person, don't let big business take that away from you for their scrambling to make extra profit at the expense of your health.

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