Celiac News this Week: Hydrolyzing, Labelling, and Breastfeeding!

There have been some interesting Celiac-related stories that hit the news this week. There are three in particular that I found interesting and wanted to share with you.

I don’t know about you, but I often find product labels frustrating and confusing. In Canada, various organizations (including the Canadian Celiac Association) have been working with Health Canada for nearly three years to make labelling clearer and safer for those with allergies and intolerances. Apparently the beer industry is suddenly protesting, putting the whole effort into jeopardy. Now, all Celiacs know that traditional beer is a no-no, but there are plenty of other products that could use better labelling. Read the Canadian Celiac Association press release here. (Health Canada has not yet released a statement.) Keep on top of this one, folks – and contact your MP if necessary!

The next item, which I found most promising, found that hydrolyzed wheat flour contains no gluten. (Read it here in Science Daily.) I find this really interesting as hydrolyzed wheat protein is on the Canadian Celiac Association’s list of things to avoid, and I have heard that hydrolyzed vegetable anything can contain gluten if the source is from wheat, barley, or rye (or not specified). This could be promising news for new foods!

Finally, a controversial British study has suggested that exclusively breastfeeding (meaning providing no other nutritional sources) babies for the first six months could increase a child’s risk of allergies and intolerances, including Celiac disease. This is contrary to the advice provided by the World Health Organization but is in line with advice given by the Canadian Celiac Association six years ago. The study is supported by the findings of Sweden’s Prevent Celiac project. I think that the decision of what to feed your child is very personal, but I also think that it’s good to have lots of information, and for researchers to re-examine old conclusions. That looks like exactly what’s going to happen in this case.

On a side note, I’ve got a busy week ahead, but keep your eyes out for a review of Halifax’s Stories restaurant!

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