Renew or Join the CCA Online

cca renew membership

By Melissa Secord, Executive Director

cca renew membershipCCA National is pleased to announce that both new and returning members can join or renew online.

What is different you may ask? In the past, when people clicked the online payment their information was downloaded and manually entered by CCA staff. Now when members or new folks complete the online application, it will be directly linked to their own accounts.

Members will now be able to see their data with CCA. They can update email and address changes. This investment will allow the small team at CCA National to focus more on providing value-added assistance and to manage our members more proactively. Eventually, we will host an online member portal where members will be able to access Member Only content and discussion forums.

Members who are due for renewal were sent an email today to prompt them to renew. They were given step by step instructions on how to renew online. Members without an email will be sent a hard copy notice in the mail. In the coming month, we will proactively follow up with those members who have lapsed since the start of the year.

Link to our page on the website: https://cca.imiscloud.com/CCA_Mbr/Home/MbrCCA/Benefits.aspx?hkey=a613a736-3fa3-43dd-bbfc-0cb4dbab094c

Eating Disorder Risk Higher For Celiacs

eating-disordersYoung women afflicted with celiac disease, a chronic intestinal inflammation caused by gluten, are at greater risk of eating disorders, such as anorexia, according to a Swedish study published in the journal Pediatrics.

This disease affects 1% of the population and destroys the small intestine, causing deficiencies and malnutrition. According to this Swedish study of approximately 107,000 women, celiac disease also multiplies the risk of anorexia. 18,000 of these, who have celiac disease, were diagnosed by biopsy between 1969 and 2008, at a median age of 28 years.

This anorexia risk is even more elevated prior to the diagnosis of celiac disease, according to the study. Prior to the age of 19 years, a diagnosis of anorexia was 4.5 times more likely among celiacs compared to those without the disease.

Avoiding this insoluble protein, found in wheat, barley, oats and rye – the grains most often used for bread, pastries and pasta, as well as many prepared dishes – is for now the only recommended treatment.

Consequently, this food restriction can, in certain cases, become excessively strict, out of fear of the symptoms reappearing (such as chronic diarrhoea, weight loss, vomiting, fatigue, circulation problems, neurological issues, etc.) and this approach can lead to anorexia, according to the study.

According to the French Society for the Gluten Intolerant, one European in 100 will develop celiac disease. However, only 10 – 20% of these are diagnosed in France. Blood tests allow for the detection of the antibodies characteristic of
gluten intolerance.

To view the study: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/03/30/peds.2016-4367

General Mills Drops Cheerios Gluten-Free Claim

Canadian Celiac Association News Release

gluten-free-cheeriosOctober 20, 2017 (Mississauga, ON) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has made an announcement that the words “gluten-free” will be removed from all Cheerios package sold in Canada by January 1, 2018.

The Canadian Celiac Association first objected to the claim in August 2016 and strongly recommended that people with celiac disease not consume the cereal, even though the box was labelled “gluten free”.

The announcement came in a letter addressed to a Canadian consumer who was one of many customer complaints to be filed against the products.

“We are delighted to hear that the regulators have determined that the claim must be removed from the packages”, said Melissa Secord, Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association.  “Based on the advice of the members of our Professional Advisory Board, the experts of the Gluten-Free Certification Program, and other professionals working in the field, we believe that there is not adequate evidence to support the claim. When added to many reports from consumers with celiac disease reacting to eating the cereal, we believe this is the safe recommendation for Canadians.”

The CCA will follow up closely with the CFIA and Health Canada to continue to monitor this decision along with other products sold in Canada to ensure access to safe foods for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.

The CCA is currently working on a grant from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada to examine the scope of gluten contamination in oats grown in Canada, and to determine where the contamination occurs as the oats a processed (field, harvest, transport, processing). The project is scheduled to be completed in March 2018.

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. In the case of wheat, gliadin has been isolated as the toxic fraction. It is the gluten in the flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods.

Video: French Restaurant Keeps Waiting Guests Entertained

A 90-second video from a small country restaurant in France, which keeps its customers entertained while they are waiting for the main course.

The French restaurant “Le Petit Chef (Little Chef)” came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their order by using an overhead projector on the ceiling. The animation is on the table and your plate.

There is a small chef who appears on your plate. Watch what he does!

Strategies for Strengthening the Immune System

By Alana Battiston, RD, CYT

The role of the immune system is to determine what is a friend and what is a foe in order to keep you healthy. When we are exposed to a “foe”, it begins to fight the “invader” by producing warriors (cytokines, cytotoxins, and antibodies). Sometimes we may have an immune system that is out of balance, resulting in overactivation of the immune system
when it’s not supposed to, the inability to fight off certain invaders, or both. This imbalance manifests through inflammation in the form of swelling, heat, and pain.

70% of our immune system is located in the digestive system, specifically located in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). If GALT & MALT are structurally strong, the body will be able to fight off invaders and endure various stressors. If they are weakened, bacteria, food particles, and other unwanted molecules get into our blood and cause problems.

The immune system is comprised of multiple parts, two of which we will discuss here. The innate immune system is the 1st line of defense which responds quickly (in minutes or hours) to invaders that can make you sick. The adaptive immune system is the 2nd line of defense which is slower and undergoes a more vigilant inspection of the invader. It is
involved in allergic responses and food and environmental sensitivities.

The immune system works dynamically to regulate our state of health. Our immune function is optimal when we feel healthy, full of energy, and don’t have many infections. If we fatigue easily, have recurrent colds and infections, this is a strong indication that our immune system needs some help. In addition to avoiding things that suppress the immune system (infections, surgery, stress, many drugs, sugar, alcohol, chemicals, pesticides, and lack of sleep, exercise, and rest), the following strategies can be implemented to strengthen the immune system:

1. Eat the rainbow: Focus on whole foods, herbs, and spices. Polyphenols are anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that give the rainbow of colours to plant foods. Foods with the highest polyphenols are berries, dark fruits, red wine, cocoa powder, onions, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beans, parsley, tomatoes.

2. Rest & relaxation: Having a daily practice of restorative yoga, meditation, qi gong, or tai chi has been shown to lower stress levels and increase lymph circulation (helps clear foreign cells and things we don’t want in our system)

3. Exercise: Moderate exercise has been shown to strengthen innate immunity as well as increase circulation of nutrients, blood, and energy throughout the body.

4. Probiotics: Add fermented foods to your diet everyday to build a healthy gut flora. This includes raw, unpasteurized cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, gluten-free miso, pickles (in brine, not vinegar), apple cider vinegar.

5. Supplements: Nothing can replace the richness of a nutritious whole foods diet. However, the following supplements have been shown to support the immune system: Vitamins A, C, D, & E, zinc, & selenium.

Consult your dietitian/nutritionist for an individualized immune system strengthening protocol. You can find Alana at: www.alanabattiston.com

CCA Advisory Committee Submits Beer Labeling Recommendations

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently conducting a review of beer standards. Below is the full submission of the CCA Professional Advisory Committee seeking to have beer labelling brought into alignment with other food products.

If you are not a member of the CCA, please consider a membership and donation so that important advocacy efforts like this can be effective. No doubt the brewery industry has deep pockets to fund its continued opposition to beer labelling changes.

Director, Consumer Protection and Market Fairness Division
Food Import Export and Consumer Protection Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road, Tower 2
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9

 

August 10, 2017

The Canadian Celiac Association appreciates the opportunity to respond to the recent notice of intent to amend the Food and Drug Regulations to update the beer compositional standards. The following outlines our concerns and recommendations:

Allergen, gluten and sulfite labelling
The 1220 — Enhanced Labelling for Food Allergens and Gluten Sources and Added Sulphites Regulations that was passed in 2011 and came into effect in 2012 required priority allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites to be declared in the list of ingredients or “Contains” statement on the label of prepackaged foods and beverages. During the consultation phase, the Canadian Celiac Association, along with many other medical, dietetic and patient advocacy organizations, strongly supported Schedule 1220. However, the Canadian Celiac Association and other groups strongly objected that standardized beer would be exempted from these regulations. Unfortunately, standardized beer did receive the labelling exemption which is a major health and safety concern for those with celiac disease or food allergies as they are unable to discern from the label if the product contains any gluten, major allergens or added sulphites.

This new 2017 consultation on beer compositional standards provides the opportunity to resolve the safety issues for individuals with celiac disease and food allergies.

Recommendation #1

The Canadian Celiac Association strongly recommends that the names of all gluten sources, priority allergens and added sulphites, when used in standardized beers, be declared on each individual container of beer as well as the outside packaging of these products.

Definition of Beer
Individuals with celiac disease must follow a strict, life-long gluten free diet which places significant limitations on food and beverage options. Given the popularity of various types of beer, ale and lager, many individuals with celiac disease are looking for an alternative to gluten-containing beer. The product that they are/will be looking for is one labelled ‘gluten-free beer’.

For beverages fermented from gluten-free grains/other ingredients, the proposed amendments would not permit the use of the term ‘gluten-free beer’ but rather “gluten-free beverage.” This would be very confusing for gluten-free consumers as the term ‘beverage’ could include many different non-beer alternatives such as wine, distilled alcohols, liqueurs, ciders and non- alcoholic beverages (e.g., juice,
milk, smoothies, etc.).

Recommendation #2

To avoid misleading consumers, the Canadian Celiac Association recommends the use of the term ‘gluten- free beer’ for beer-type beverages that utilize gluten-free grains and ingredients such as sorghum, millet, rice, etc. However, there are currently some beers made with malted barley and a special clarifying agent that are labelled “gluten free”. The manufacturers claim these beers are rendered gluten free. Unfortunately, this agent impacts the R5 Competitive ELISA’s ability to accurately detect gluten, thus, a negative test result does not mean the product is indeed safe for individuals with celiac disease. (see references, page 3). It is not known whether these agents can completely remove all toxic fragments from glutencontaining beers and as such, labelling of these products as ‘gluten-free beer’ should not be permitted.

Recommendation #3

Beers made with malted barley and a special clarifying agent should not be lablelled “gluten-free beer” because the clarifying agent interferes with the accuracy of the R5 Competive ELISA that detects gluten contamination.

Thank you for careful consideration of our three recommendations.

Respectfully submitted,

The Professional Advisory Committee, Canadian Celiac Association
Dr. Don Duerksen(Chair), Dr. Premsyl Bercik, Dr. Decker Butzner, Shelley Case, RD, Adrianna Smallwood, RD, Joyce Schnetzler, RD, Dr. Justine Turner, Dr. Elena Verdú, Dr. Jennifer Zelin.

 

References
Tanner GJ, Colgrave ML, Blundell MJ, Goswami HP, Howitt CA. Measuring hordein (gluten) in beer–a comparison of ELISA and mass spectrometry. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56452. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056452. Epub 2013 Feb28.

Allred LK, Lesko K, McKiernan D, Kupper C, Guandalini S. The Celiac Patient Antibody Response to Conventional and Gluten-Removed Beer. J AOAC Int. 2017 Mar 1;100(2):485-491. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.16-0184. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Colgrave ML, Goswami H, Blundell M, Howitt CA, Tanner GJ. Using mass spectrometry to detect hydrolysed gluten in beer that is responsible for false negatives by ELISA. J Chromatogr A. 2014 Nov 28;1370:105-14. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2014.10.033. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

Donate your unused Aeroplan Miles to the CCA

Aeroplan

AeroplanThe Canadian Celiac Association has joined the Aeroplan charity program.

Help the CCA go the extra mile for celiac disease by donating your unused Aeroplan Miles. The CCA is hoping to raise 25,000 miles in one year to help off-set volunteer travel and assist with program supplies and materials.

Aeroplan will top up your miles by 10% with every donation, every time.

Click to visit the CCA-Aeroplan donation page today.

Gluten-Free Cheerios Still Getting Complaints

Cheerios is back in the news with an update article from Buzzfeed. According to the article, Celiacs are still being glutened from gluten-free Cheerios that have become cross-contaminated in the manufacturing process.

Gluten-free Cheerios is controversial as it is labelled “gluten-free” but also has a “may contain wheat” statement. The CCA made the unusual move of issuing a special statement to warn Celiac’s not to consume it.

Kelowna Celiac regularly posts Celiac related updates to our Facebook page. The article has received a high number of views and comments. read more below.

Posted by Kelowna Celiac on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Gluten-Free Myths Busted

Source: Newsletter of the CCA Ottawa Chapter

People with celiac are always thin

gluten-free weight lossThis is a serious myth that I know even medical practitioners believe. According to Melinda Dennis, a Registered Dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre at Harvard, 40% of people diagnosed with celiac are overweight at their time of diagnosis. 4-5% are underweight.

 

I will lose weight on the gluten-free diet

Again, wrong. Overall, according to Melinda Dennis, most patients tend to gain weight when their gut heals and they can absorb nutrients again. Better absorption of food + same caloric intake = weight gain.

 

All of my cosmetics, lotions, hair products must be gluten free because the skin absorbs gluten

No. Dr. John Zone, who is a dermatologist, says the skin has stratum corneum which is like a “Saran Wrap” or a protective barrier to keep gluten from permeating into the body. The same holds true for hair follicles which have a protective barrier. However, a break in the skin will allow absorption.

Gluten-Free Moroccan Travel

Tajine

By Gabrielle Loyer, gluten-free traveler and CCA member

Morocco mapMorocco is an Arab country situated in the north-west corner of Africa, south of Europe. It is 15 kilometres from Spain, on the Mediterranean. Morocco is a major destination for tourism and Mediterranean travel. An estimated 9 million tourists visited the Kingdom of Morocco in 2010. Morocco offers a complete destination for any traveller seeking the sun, the sea, mountains and/or the desert. In Morocco, you see stark contrasts; you can pass by the Sahara with its extreme heat, or head up to the snowy Atlas Mountains with its frigid temperatures. With many cultures within one country, both the population and cuisine are diversified. Moreover, Moroccan cuisine is considered by many as one of the best in the world, with its Mediterranean flavour characterised by a variety of dishes originating in Arab and Berber traditions, complemented by numerous spices. Their food has characteristics similar to other cuisines in the Maghreb region, but while conserving its unique cultural identity.

Moroccan cuisine offers a number of gluten-free choices. Their tajines (stew), based on a variety of meats, such as beef, chicken and lamb, are probably the best choice. Tajine is the traditional plate “par excellence” of Morocco. It is a simple dish, so the success really depends on the cooking method: it must be done slowly so the meats, fish, veggies and spices mingle their scents together. You may be surprised by the sweet and salty tajines, which feature the taste of spices, almonds, and prunes. Served with vegetables, olives and the famous Moroccan eggplant salad (Zaalouk), tajine makes for a fine meal. Don’t forget that a Moroccan dining experience cannot be considered complete without a coffee or a delicious sweet tea, scented with fresh mint.

TajineSome Moroccans speak English, but the majority speak French, and certain Arab words can be useful: wheat (khramèh), barley (zarra), bread (khrobz), milk (halib) and allergic (azèzia). While Moroccans tend not to be aware of celiac disease, they are very respectful and followed our wishes with care in order to avoid cross-contamination. That said, wheat is quite common in Moroccan dishes. For breakfast, the majority of options contain gluten. There’s gheffa, a sort of wheat cake. Harcha is also prepared with wheat. Baghrirs are Moroccan crêpes that locals have with honey, butter or fresh cheese. Bread does go with all meals, but you can just leave it on the table. Moroccan pastries are varied and refined, but unfortunately, they are made with a wheat flour base. In certain spots, though, you can find nut macaroons that are gluten free. To finish off your meal, you’ll always have the chance to sample a nice seasonal fruit, such as melon, grapes, figs, or oranges. And the Moroccan snacks cannot be beat – dried fruit, dates, almonds, pistachios, grapes, apricots and figs. Olive oil and olives play a major role in Moroccan cuisine, and it’s that which gives it the Mediterranean flavour.

It’s possible to find products labelled gluten-free in the special diet section of certain commercial supermarkets, such as Marjane and Acima. The products are there, but there is not much choice – a few chocolate or ginger cookies and rice cakes. At these stores, you can also find some refrigerated gluten-free products like compotes that are labelled GF. Further, the SANTIVERI boutiques (www.santiverimaroc.com) offer a large choice of fresh, gluten-free bread, cookies, pasta and sauces.

The Cuisine Kingdom of Morocco is, therefore, a dream spot for those who love Mediterranean cuisine, with some Arab and Berber. It’s a trip to a world of flavourful and diverse gastronomy, and it will leave you eager to try Moroccan cuisine yourself when you return home.

Besaha – Bon appétit!