New article about the sad death of a child in Alberta who was treated by a naturopath and died of meningitis.
What are Naturopaths?
Are their decisions based on proven facts?
Are their treatments based mainly on natural folklore?
New article about the sad death of a child in Alberta who was treated by a naturopath and died of meningitis.
What are Naturopaths?
Are their decisions based on proven facts?
Are their treatments based mainly on natural folklore?
Maurice Strong has died at the age of 86. Multi-faceted does not begin to describe his life. More than any other individual, he was responsible for promoting the climate agenda with which negotiators are struggling this week at the UN meeting in Paris.
Strong also played a major role in Canadian affairs. When he celebrated his 85th birthday in Toronto last year, he was surrounded by Canada’s left liberal elite — from former prime minister Paul Martin to former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband John Ralston Saul.
Martin had been an employee and protégé of Strong. Ralston Saul had been chief aide to Strong when Strong was the first chairman, president and CEO of state oil company Petro-Canada, just one of many executive positions in a remarkable career.
Clarkson claimed that Strong had “invented the environment.” While that may have been somewhat exaggerated, he did play a critical role in promoting political responses to environmental concerns. As a lifelong socialist, he saw the potential of the environmental movement to fight capitalism and introduce a system of “global governance” that would co-ordinate all human activity.
Before the last great failed attempt to come up with a global climate agreement, at Copenhagen in 2009, which took place at a time of economic turmoil, Strong said: “The climate change issue and the economic issue come from the same roots. And that is the gross inequity and the inadequacy of our economic model. We now know that we have to change that model. We cannot do all of this in one stroke. But we have to design a process that would produce agreement at a much more radical level.”
“We must,” he had suggested earlier, “devise a new approach to co-operative management of the entire system of issues… We are all gods now.” (Oh really? Yes, the builders of the Titanic had the same attitude.)
Strong was reputed to be a Buddhist, but when Pope Francis issued his climate encyclical earlier this year, he praised Strong’s Earth Charter, a manifesto of green revolution co-signed by Mikhail Gorbachev, as a document that “asked us to leave behind a period of self-destruction and make a new start.”
Maurice Strong’s own start was extremely modest. He was born in poverty during the Depression in Oak Lake, Manitoba, and escaped home as soon as he could. Pursuing a picaresque early career, he bounced from cabin boy to junior fur trader to United Nations functionary to oil analyst.
He started his own oil company and wound up running Montreal-based Power Corp. at an extraordinarily young age. While he would continue to dabble in business throughout his life, his first love, and prime objective, was acquiring power in pursuit of a “better world.”
From Power Corp. he moved to Ottawa and set up in the Canada International Development Agency, CIDA. His amazing networking abilities led him to be asked to organize the first great UN conference on the global environment, at Stockholm in 1972. A glowing profile in the New Yorker described him as “Captain of Spaceship Earth.”
After Stockholm he because the first head of the United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, one of the parents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, the body set up to examine man-made climate change.
He was a key member of the Brundtland Commission, which promoted the notion of sustainable development, whose fundamental rationale was that (relatively) free markets were unsustainable.
In 1992, on the 20th anniversary of Stockholm, he ran the giant UN conference in Rio de Janeiro on the environment and development, which was attended by more world leaders than any previous event. Out of Rio emerged the Kyoto Protocol, to which Paris is still seeking a successor agreement.
One reason Strong was adulated within the UN system was his skill in conceiving agendas, initiatives, studies, meetings and new institutions
Strong had extraordinary influence in the business community, where he set up the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. He was also a significant promoter of the World Economic Forum, whose annual conference at Davos became an unprecedented example of elite networking.
He was at one time chief adviser both to UN Secretary General Secretary General Kofi Annan and to World Bank head Jim Wolfensohn, another of his proteges. Annan put him in charge of UN reform, where Strong cleverly turned what was meant to be a belt-tightening exercise into a program for expansion. He ran relief programs in Africa, and negotiated with North Korea.
One reason Strong was adulated within the UN system was his skill in conceiving agendas, initiatives, studies, meetings and new institutions.
Paris, for example, is the twenty-first “Conference of the Parties” (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCC, but it is just one of a much broader series of seemingly-endless international get-togethers.
While spinning off do-good schemes at an astonishing rate, Strong continued to be involved in both public and private business. Apart from Petrocan, he ran the giant utility Ontario Hydro for a period. His private business affairs, like his public ones, were marked by constant controversy.
It was one such adventure, in 2005, when he became implicated in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal, that finally dented his international reputation. He claimed that he was unaware that an investment in one of his companies had been laundered from the regime of Saddam Hussein, but a subsequent inquiry suggested that if he didn’t know, he should have.’
In the wake of the scandal he moved to Beijing, (who but an extreme socialist would want to?) where he had long had connections. For a man with severe asthma problems, it seemed a strange choice, but Strong found China’s political atmosphere amenable.
One of the most remarkable things about Strong was how unremarkable he was in person. Somebody once said that you wouldn’t pick him out of a crowd of two.
He took scarcely-concealed delight in explaining his often Machiavellian political manoeuvrings
Nevertheless, he was an avuncular and likeable figure, even to those who disagreed strongly with his world view, as I did. I interviewed him numerous times over a 20-year period, and found that he took scarcely-concealed delight in explaining his often Machiavellian political manoeuvrings.
Meanwhile his perennially sunny demeanour contrasted starkly with his grim vision, not just of the present, but of the projected state of the world. (Like Rachel Carson, Paul R Erlich (Author: “The Population Bomb”. Paul and Rachel and all the other naysayers were wrong. The present alarmists are in the process of being proven wrong right now, every month when the overall temperature of the world, again does NOT RISE, they are proven to be purveyors of fantasy)
In his 2000 autobiography, Where on Earth Are We Going?, Strong projected that, in 2031, “the human tragedy” would be “on a scale hitherto unimagined.” He wrote that the brightest prospect lay in forecasts that two-thirds of the world’s already diminished population might be wiped out.
Strong’s green agenda now blankets the globe, from the UN through national governments to municipalities
He described this as “a glimmer of hope for the future of our species and its potential for regeneration,” thus betraying a distinctly ambivalent attitude towards the humanity he claimed to be so desperate to save.
Strong’s green agenda now blankets the globe, from the UN through national governments to municipalities.
Paradoxically, Strong freely admitted that governments were incompetent, cumbersome and resistant to change. He also acknowledged that the UN was marked by “petty politics and small-mindedness.” And yet such people were somehow to manage “the entire system of issues.”
The answer for Strong was always more power. “The single greatest weakness of the existing international legal regime,” he wrote, “is the almost total lack of capacity for enforcement.”
Resistance to such enforcement is likely to continue.
Strong’s passing was mourned on the weekend by key figures of the movement he did so much to create.
Current UNEP chief Achim Steiner declared “Strong will forever be remembered for placing the environment on the international agenda and at the heart of development.”
Christiana Figueres, head of the UNFCC, who will be running the Paris conference, tweeted “we thank Maurice Strong for his visionary impetus to our understanding of sustainability. We will miss you.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, already in Paris for this week’s climate meetings, declared that “Mr. Strong was an internationally recognized environmentalist and philanthropist who used his remarkable business acumen, organizational skills, and humanity to make the world a better place.” (He may have but it was not because of the green madness that he seemed to love.)
Some might argue with that glowing assessment, but there is no doubting Strong’s extraordinary influence, including with Trudeau’s father, Pierre.
Despite his myriad contradictions, Strong had an astonishing network among rulers, corporations, the “international community,” and capitalist foundations. But perhaps the most important strategic element in his promotion of the environmental agenda was his sponsorship of radical environmental non-governmental organizations, ENGOs, whose government funding and entry into international meetings he facilitated.
Whether they appreciate it or not, the environmental groups that played a key role in demonizing the oil sands and killing the Keystone XL pipeline, and who continue to stand in the way of other Canadian pipelines, are Maurice’s children. They will be present in large numbers in Paris in the next two weeks.
We should mourn the man, but continue to question his vision, which remains very much alive.
(Editor: Maurice may have been a nice guy, which is always a great way to promote a dangerous agenda. So one might say that Maurice was Strongly Wrong about the Environment)
Third in a series
As the Paris climate summit approaches activists are gearing up for the final push through November and into December, although the movement suffered a bit of a downer over the weekend.
Hurricane Patricia, building as a major hurricane of unprecedented proportions, fizzled as a climate mega-disaster into a mere tropical storm, leaving behind no opportunities for media and negotiators to use it as a pre-Paris PR bonanza.
As news of Patricia reached Europe at a climate change negotiating session in Bonn on Friday, the head of the Mexico delegation, Roberto Dondisch, said Patricia was evidence the frog was already in the boiling water. A reporter for Climate House quoted Dondish saying “I don’t think I need to say more about the urgency to get this deal done.”
When the total death toll is near zero, the climate angle is also near zero. But the climate machine kept rolling. Reports from the negotiation front are garbled and inconsistent, but a major session held in Bonn ended last Friday without any clear proposals for the final Paris sessions. In all, 196 nations will try to come up with a plan to reduce carbon emissions over coming decades so as to keep the world from slipping into what the UN predicts will be climate catastrophe.
A so-called draft text of an agreement, now up to 55 pages, is an unreadable mash of clauses, options and parentheses. They are fighting over carbon targets, temperature targets and – above all — cash transfer targets, in recognition of the fact that the major objective of climate change policy makers has always been to orchestrate a massive transfer of wealth from rich nations to poor nations.
On Monday, Catholic bishops from “every continent on earth” (in the words of the official announcement) appealed to nations meeting in Paris to adopt a “legally binding” agreement to “strongly limit” temperature increases. To control the weather, forget prayers and get on with the business of “complete de-carbonization by mid-century.” Major new funding transfers will be necessary to develop new models of economic development “to put an end to the fossil fuel era.” The bishops, along with Pope Francis, are apparently unaware that fossil fuels are the source of most of the energy that has helped generate the world’s current level of economic development.
And now comes Canada, suddenly transformed from climate embarrassment under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to environmental Boy Scout under a new Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. One of his first Boy Scout moves is to invite Green Party Leader Elizabeth May to join him and provincial leaders at the Paris meeting. How long can that last?
The Trudeau game plan in Paris and at home is roughly equivalent to a moon shot. Canada aims to land on the surface, but has no idea how to get there or even where the moon is.
The Liberal election platform called for a price on carbon (set by the provinces) under national emissions targets to be determined by reference to the global objective of holding the world temperate increases at the Papal-instructed level of 2 degrees Celsius. Within 90 days of the Paris summit’s mid-December end, a provincial First Ministers meeting will be held “to work together on a framework to combat climate change.”
At the same time, the Trudeau Liberals promised to work with the United States and Mexico to develop an “ambitious North American clean energy and environment agreement.” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in recent media interviews, also supported negotiation of a major North American climate deal.
This Boy Scout flight to the moon is now gathering media attention. Reporters are busy describing how the provinces can be brought on side and how the various regions — despite different economic, carbon and energy-consuming structures — can be herded into a cohesive fight to help rid the world of fossil fuels.
Trudeau and the provinces will go to Paris, pretending the world can be rid of fossil fuels
Some say the provinces are already mostly onside. British Columbia has a carbon tax in place and Quebec has a cap-and-trade emissions regime that Ontario is set to join. The fact the B.C. carbon tax nor Quebec’s emissions trading system has had no impact on carbon emissions in those provinces is conveniently ignored. [Yes, conveniently ignored because when you belong to the fundamentalist evangelical global warming religion, you MUST never let the facts get in the way of massive socialist money transfer schemes.] Both schemes are essentially demonstration projects that so far demonstrate that at current price levels nothing is accomplished by these carbon-price regimes.
B.C. fossil fuel consumption for transportation has not declined since its six-cent carbon tax was first imposed in 2008. Under Quebec’s cap-and-trade system, which gives a free ride to big industries, providers of gasoline and other fuels must purchase emissions permits on a carbon market. At current prices (about $16 a tonne) the price of gasoline in Quebec is hypothetically higher by three cents a litre. But since the price of gasoline has fallen dramatically, nobody notices the carbon price increase.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty over whether higher gasoline prices brought on by carbon pricing will actually promote a reduction in gasoline use. Much evidence suggests consumers will keep on driving as prices and/or taxes increase—unless, of course, the burden is raised to some astronomically destructive level.
How will it be possible for carbon pricing schemes, in a small country like Canada, to achieve the ultimate UN climate objective, a fossil-fuel free country in a fossil-fuel free world within North America? It’s not possible, but Canada and the world will be spending the next few weeks and all of the next decade pretending it can be done.
The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway. (How did they know? Did the seals tell them? 🙂
I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922. As reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 88 years ago!
MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen slammed this week’s amendment introduced by Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders that would make it the official position of the Senate that man-made global warming is real and a threat.
Lindzen said Sanders’s amendment to a bill that approves the Keystone XL pipeline an “attempt to hijack science for political purposes.”
“Climate change is of course real; change being the normal state of affairs in climate,” Lindzen told Climate Depot. “Climate change has caused catastrophic problems on occasion throughout the earth’s history. While man may have contributed somewhat to climate change in recent years, his contribution to the above is highly questionable, and continues to be debated.”
“In the case of Bernie Sanders, a socialist, he is undoubtedly dreaming about nationalizing the energy industry,” Lindzen said. “For the U.S. Senate to accept guidance from Sanders’ bizarre dreams is ludicrous.”
Sanders introduced a bill that would recognize man-made global warming as part of the legislative battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. Only nine Democrats have sided with Republicans in supporting the pipeline’s approval while the rest have done all they can to slow down progress on the bill.
Sanders’s amendment is meant to throw a wrench in the process and target Republicans that liberals have labeled “climate deniers.” Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, however will allow the chamber to vote on the Sanders amendment and other Democratic amendments.
“Nobody is blocking any amendments except the senator from California, who is making us burn 30 hours to begin to have this bill up and open for amendments,” McConnell said, referring to California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
McConnell was eager to strike a deal with Democrats to end delays on putting the entire Keystone bill to a vote. A deal was struck shortly after McConnell’s comments, The Hill newspaper reports.
“We are not anxious to block anybody’s amendment, we are wide open. The Senate is out of practice here,” McConnell said.
If it were approved, Sanders’s bill says it’s “the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that— (1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world.”
Going gluten-free is all the rage these days. It’s the diet of choice for Hollywood starlets and health nuts alike; supermarket aisles are packed full of products touting their lack of the stretchy protein. But for a lot of people, the gluten-free lifestyle may do more harm than good.
Gluten is a sticky, stretchable protein found in grains like wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Formed during the kneading process, gluten chains create a matrix that trap carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the fermenting yeast. This gives bread its chewiness, pizza dough its stretchiness, and acts as a thickening agent in dozens of products from salad dressing to soy sauce. Even beer contains a fair amount.
Gluten is a relatively new addition to the human diet. For a large portion of our species’ evolution, humans subsisted primarily on animal protein supplemented with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It wasn’t until the start of the Neolithic era—around 9500 BC—and the transition to agriculture that we began consuming carbohydrates and gluten in the form of grains. In evolutionary terms, we might as well have started yesterday. Just as our teeth are still built for tearing through meat and plants rather than processed flour, our digestive system has not yet fully adapted to adequately handle complex carbohydrates (the same goes for bovine lactose—milk) and lacks the ability to fully break down gluten molecules into its component amino acids.
For most people, this is no big deal. Even though the body doesn’t fully process the gluten or lactose, no harm comes of it and we’re no worse for wear. However for the one in seven Americans that suffers from a sensitivity to gluten, consuming it can lead to severe intestinal distress.
And even that discomfort is a walk in the park compared to what happens when someone who suffers from celiac disease—full blown gluten intolerance—eats the stuff. For them, any amount of the protein will trigger a massive autoimmune response within the gut as the body’s defenses attack gliadin, a glycoprotein found in gluten. Unfortunately, this response also damages the villi of the small intestine (villi are the tiny structures that absorb nutrients from digesting food) which, if left untreated, can result in symptoms ranging from diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), intestinal ulcers, intestinal cancer, and a host of nutrient deficiencies.
Once regarded as an rare digestive malady afflicting maybe 1 in 10,000 people worldwide, celiac disease is now considered one of the most common genetic disorders in the western world by the Center for Celiac Disease Research at the University of Maryland. According to a 2003 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine celiac disease affects an estimated 1 in 133 people in America alone. Being a hereditary disorder, celiac disease runs in the family. Your chances of being diagnosed with it jump from 1 in 133 to 1 in 39 if a cousin, aunt, or uncle has it; 1 in 22 if a member of your immediate family does. Interestingly, celiac disease is far less common for Americans of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent—just 1 in 236. What’s more, this disease has shown a marked propensity to occur in combination with lactose intolerance, as well as with type 1 diabetes.
Where there is a disease, there is a marketing opportunity. As celiac disease has gained notoriety, an increasing number of people have begun self-diagnosing as gluten sensitive, and consequently have adopted gluten-free lifestyles. It’s also been touted as a new-age cure-all for a number of maladies including migraines and fibromyalgia, though there is little scientific data to support such claims. Going gluten-free, unless recommended by a physician, is a bad call according to Carol M. Shilson, executive director of the Center for Celiac Disease Research.
“There’s no scientific evidence that it’s better for you if you don’t have celiac disease,” Shilson told the Journal Sentinel. In fact, given the difficulty our bodies have digesting gluten as it is, “it’s very hard to go back to a regular diet” after any prolonged lapse in its consumption. Heck, just eliminating gluten in the first place is a challenge given its ubiquitous use as a thickening agent. Consequently, much of the weight-loss benefit brought on by giving up gluten is due to the severely restrictive diet one must follow.
As Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago told Women’s Health, “there’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight.”
In fact, doing so can have the opposite effect. As Shelley Case, R.D., author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and a medical advisory board member for the Celiac Disease Foundation, explained to Women’s Health, without gluten to hold baked goods together, food manufacturers will often use fats and sugar instead.
That means, Case continued, going gluten-free can potentially increase your risk of developing a micro-nutrient deficiency, especially if you rely on hyper-processed and fat/sugar-packed, packaged foods rather than the nutritionally stable and vitamin-packed fresh fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free grains (like quinoa) you should be eating anyway.
While there is no reliable means of testing for a gluten sensitivity, a simple blood test can determine whether or not someone suffers from celiac disease by identifying specific anti-gluten antibodies.
“Because it is a lifelong genetic disease that can be passed on, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis,” Shilson said. “And you have to be eating a regular diet (with gluten) or all the diagnostic tests will be rendered invalid.” And even if the results come back positive, an intestinal biopsy may be first necessary to confirm it. So before you start stocking up on quinoa, make sure to talk to your doctor. And unless your body has a genuine sensitivity, think about limiting your glutens instead of replacing them with stuff that’s even worse.
The Dangers of Going Gluten-Free
Cathy Gulli in MacLeans points out the danger of using the internet as a source of information about gluten and gluten-free. Even the author of Wheat Belly is a bit worried.
The Facts and Dangers about Going Gluten-Free
There are some who have celiac disease where this is necessary and a few who only have a “sensitivity” to gluten in products. But the gluten-free craze can cause a lot of problems for those who who have bought into the internet craze instead of being tested to see if a gluten-free diet is really necessary.
From the Wikipedia
A gluten-free diet (GF diet) is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye and triticale. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease. Being gluten intolerant can often mean a person may also be wheat intolerant as well as suffer from the related inflammatory skin condition dermatitis herpetiformis, There are a smaller minority of people who suffer from wheat intolerance alone and are tolerant to gluten.
“Despite the health claims for gluten-free eating, there is no published experimental evidence to support such claims for the general population.” A significant demand has developed for gluten-free food in the United States whether it is needed or not.
A gluten-free diet might also exclude oats. Medical practitioners are divided on whether oats are acceptable to celiac disease sufferers or whether they become cross-contaminated in milling facilities by other grains. Oats may also be contaminated when grown in rotation with wheat when wheat seeds from the previous harvest sprout up the next season in the oat field and are harvested along with the oats.
The exact level at which gluten is harmless for people with celiac disease is uncertain. A 2008 systematic review tentatively concluded that consumption of less than 10 mg of gluten per day for celiac disease patients is unlikely to cause histological abnormalities, although it noted that few reliable studies had been conducted.
Gluten-free food is normally seen as a diet for celiac disease, but people with a gluten allergy (an unrelated disease) should also avoid wheat and related grains.
Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are corn, potatoes, rice, and tapioca (derived from cassava). Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten-free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, quinoa, sorghum (jowar), taro, teff, chia seed, almond meal flour, coconut flour, pea flour, cornstarch and yam. Sometimes various types of bean, soybean, and nut flours are used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber.
Almond flour has a low glycemic index. In spite of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. Pure buckwheat is considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet, however, many commercial buckwheat products are mixtures of wheat and buckwheat flours, and thus, not gluten-free. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, also is gluten-free (this is not the same as Graham flour made from wheat).
A gluten-free diet allows for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and many dairy products. The diet allows rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, pure buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, Montina, and nut flours and the diet prohibits the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye, and related components, including triticale, durum, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, malt, malt flavouring, or malt vinegar.
In the United States, the FDA considers foods containing less than or equal to 20 ppm to be gluten-free, but there is no regulation or law in the U.S. for labeling foods as ‘gluten-free’. The finding of a current study indicates that some inherently gluten-free grains, seed, and flours not labeled gluten-free are contaminated with gluten. The consumption of these products can lead to inadvertent gluten intake. The use of highly sensitive assays is mandatory to certify gluten-free food products. The European Union, World Health Organization, and Codex Alimentarius require reliable measurement of the wheat prolamins, gliadins rather than all-wheat proteins.
There still is no general agreement on the analytical method used to measure gluten in ingredients and food products. The official limits described in the Codex Draft are 20 ppm for foodstuffs that are considered naturally gluten-free and 200 ppm for foodstuffs rendered gluten-free. The ELISA method was designed to detect w-gliadins, but it suffered from the setback that it lacked sensitivity for barley prolamins.
A growing body of evidence suggests that a majority of people with celiac disease and following a gluten-free diet can safely consume pure oats in moderate amounts.
Special care is necessary when checking product ingredient lists since gluten comes in many forms: vegetable proteins and starch, modified food starch (when derived from wheat instead of maize), malt flavoring, unless specifically labeled as corn malt. Many ingredients contain wheat or barley derivatives. Maltodextrin is gluten-free, however, since it is highly modified, no matter what the source.
The suitability of oats in the gluten-free diet is still somewhat controversial. Some research suggests that oats in themselves are gluten-free, but that they are virtually always contaminated by other grains during distribution or processing. Recent research, however, indicated that a protein naturally found in oats (avenin) possessed peptide sequences closely resembling wheat gluten and caused mucosal inflammation in significant numbers of celiac disease sufferers. Some examination results show that even oats that are not contaminated with wheat particles are nonetheless dangerous, while not very harmful to the majority. Such oats are generally considered risky for children with celiac disease to eat, but two studies show that they are completely safe for adults with celiac disease to eat.
People who merely are “gluten-sensitive” may be able to eat oats without adverse effect, even over a period of five years. Given this conflicting information, excluding oats appears to be the only risk-free practice for celiac disease sufferers of all ages, however, medically approved guidelines exist for those with celiac disease who do wish to introduce oats into their diet.
Unless manufactured in a dedicated facility and under gluten-free practices, all cereal grains, including oats, may be cross-contaminated with gluten. Grains become contaminated with gluten by sharing the same farm, truck, mill, or bagging facility as wheat and other gluten-containing grains.
Several celiac disease groups report that according to the American Dietetic Association‘s “Manual of Clinical Dietetics”, many types of alcoholic beverages are considered gluten-free, provided no colourings or other additives have been added as these ingredients may contain gluten. Although most forms of whiskey are distilled from a mash that includes grains that contain gluten, distillation removes any proteins present in the mash, including gluten. Although up to 49% of the mash for Bourbon and up to 20% of the mash for corn whiskey may be made up of wheat, or rye, all-corn Bourbons and corn whiskeys do exist, and are generally labeled as such. Spirits made without any grain such as brandy, wine, mead, cider, sherry, port, rum, tequila, and vermouth generally do not contain gluten. While some vineyards use a flour paste to caulk the oak barrels in which wine is aged, tests have shown that no detectable amounts of gluten are present in the wine from those barrels. A small number of vineyards have also used gluten as a clarifying agent, though it is not the standard process; some studies have shown small amounts of gluten to remain in the wine after clarification. Therefore, some people with Celiac or strong gluten sensitivity may wish to exercise caution. Liqueurs and pre-mixed drinks should be examined carefully for gluten-derived ingredients.
Almost all beers are brewed with malted barley or wheat and will contain gluten. Sorghum and buckwheat-based gluten-free beers are available, but remain a niche market. Some low-gluten beers are also available, however, there is disagreement over the use of gluten products in brewed beverages: Some brewers argue that in certain beers the proteins from such grains as barley or wheat are converted into amino acids during the clarification step of the brewing process and are therefore gluten-free, although there is evidence that this protein degradation is only partial. The Swedish government agency Livsmedelsverket carried out a study of the gluten content in a wide range of beers in 2005 and found that the majority of the beers tested contained less than 200 ppm gluten, with several brands containing less than 20 ppm. However, they also found that many beers have extremely high levels of gluten so, if unsure, coeliacs are advised to avoid beer.
Bread, which is a staple in most diets, typically is made from grains such as wheat that contain gluten. Wheat gluten contributes to the elasticity of dough and is thus an important component of bread. Gluten-free bread is made with ground flours from a variety of materials such as almonds, rice (rice bread), sorghum (sorghum bread), corn (cornbread), or legumes such as beans (bean bread), but since these flours lack gluten it can be difficult for them to retain their shape as they rise and they may be less “fluffy”. Additives such as xanthum gum, guar gum, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), corn starch, or eggs are used to compensate for the lack of gluten.
Standards for “gluten-free” labelling have been set up by the “Codex Alimentarius“; however, these regulations fluctuate from one Country to the next. If from within Canada; check with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for all regulatory procedures for labels and allowed amount of gluten.”.
The legal definition of the phrase “gluten-free” varies from country to country. Current research suggests that for persons with celiac disease the maximum safe level of gluten in a finished product is probably less than 0.02% (200 parts per million) and possibly as little as 0.002% (20 parts per million).
Australian standards reserve the “gluten-free” label for foods with less than 5 parts per million of gluten. In the processing of gluten-containing grains, gluten is removed (shown in the processing flow below)
Wheat Flour (80,000ppm) > Wheat Starch (200ppm) > Dextrin > Maltodextrin > Glucose Syrup (<5ppm) > Dextrose > Caramel Color
Since ordinary wheat flour contains approximately 12% gluten, even a tiny amount of wheat flour can cross-contaminate a gluten-free product, therefore, considerable care must be taken to prevent cross-contamination in both commercial and home food preparation.
A gluten-free diet rules out all ordinary breads, pastas, and many convenience foods; it also excludes gravies, custards, soups, and sauces thickened with wheat, rye, barley, or other gluten-containing flour. Many countries do not require labeling of gluten containing products, but in several countries (especially Australia and the European Union) new product labeling standards are enforcing the labeling of gluten-containing ingredients. Various gluten-free bakery and pasta products are available from specialty retailers.
Many so-called gluten-free products, such as chicken bouillon, corn cereal, and caramel ice cream topping, have been found to have been contaminated with gluten. For example, in an investigation reported by the Chicago Tribune on November 21, 2008, Wellshire Farms chicken nuggets labeled “gluten-free” were purchased from a Whole Foods Market and samples were sent to a food allergy laboratory at the University of Nebraska. Results of the testing indicated gluten was present in levels exceeding 2,000 ppm. After the article was published, the products continued to be sold. After receiving customer inquiries, however, more than a month later, the Whole Foods Market removed the product from their shelves. Wellshire Farms has since replaced the batter used in their chicken nuggets.
In the United Kingdom, only cereals currently need to be labeled regarding gluten, while other products are voluntary. For example, most British sausages contain Butcher’s Rusk, a grain-derived food additive. Furthermore, while UK companies selling food prepared on their own premises are given guidance by the Food Standards Agency, they are not required to meet any labeling requirements.
Lastly, some non-foodstuffs such as medications and vitamin supplements, especially those in tablet form, may contain gluten as an excipient or binding agent. People with gluten intolerances may therefore require specialist compounding of their medication.
The current international Codex Alimentarius standard allows for 20 parts per million of gluten in so-called “gluten-free” foods. Such a standard also reflects “the lowest level that can be consistently detected in foods.”
Regulation of the label gluten-free varies. In the United States, the FDA issued regulations in 2013 limiting the use of “gluten-free” labels for food products to those with less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
Gluten-free fad diets have become popular. This may be because celiac disease was underdiagnosed and also that people are “unnecessarily turning to the diets as a food fad”. There also appears to be an increased incidence of celiac disease, with one study which looked for antibodies from 1950s American blood samples finding that celiac disease is about four times as common as it was. Many are adopting gluten-free diets to treat celiac disease-like symptoms in the absence of a positive test for celiac disease.
A 2011 panel of celiac experts concluded that there is a condition related to gluten other than celiac disease and named it “non-celiac gluten sensitivity“. However, for those without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the diet is unnecessary. There are a wide variety of names which have been used in medical literature for gluten-related disorders which are different from celiac disease. Some of them are confusing and ambiguous. “Non-celiac gluten sensitivity” is the recommended umbrella term for conditions where symptoms different from celiac disease result from ingestion of gluten.
Despite some advocacy, evidence of the diet’s efficacy as an autism treatment is poor. Despite vigorous marketing, a variety of studies, including a study by the University of Rochester, found that the popular autism diet does not demonstrate behavioral improvement and fails to show any genuine benefit to children diagnosed with autism who do not also have a known digestive condition which benefits from a gluten-free diet.
Many gluten-free products are not fortified or enriched by such nutrients as folate, iron, and fiber as traditional breads and cereals have been during the last century. Additionally, because gluten-free products are not always available, many Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy (GSE) patients do not consume the recommended number of grain servings per day. People who change their standard gluten-free diet to implement gluten-free oats at breakfast, high fiber brown rice bread at lunch, and quinoa as a side at dinner have been found to have significant increases in protein (20.6 g versus 11 g), iron (18.4 mg versus 1.4 mg), calcium (182 mg versus 0 mg), and fiber (12.7 g versus 5 g). The B vitamin group did not have significant increases, but were still found to have improved values of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. These dietary changes can greatly reduce a GSE patient’s risk for anemia (especially Iron Deficiency Anemia) and low blood calcium levels or poor bone health.
Oats can increase intakes of vitamin B1, magnesium, and zinc in celiac disease patients in remission.
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