Monday, May 20
May is National Celiac Awareness Month!
50 Shades of Gluten (Intolerance)
By: Chris Kresser, Huffington Post
Celiac disease (CD) was initially described in the first century A.D. by a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia. But neither Aretaeus nor anyone else knew that CD is caused by an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein in wheat. That didn't become clear until 1950 -- several centuries later -- when Dr. Willem Dicke, a Dutch pediatrician, conclusively proved that gluten was the culprit. Dicke's discovery saved millions of children and adults from the perils of untreated celiac disease, including malnutrition, stunted growth, cancer, severe neurological and psychiatric illness and even death.
Since then, the mainstream view of gluten intolerance has been relatively black or white: Either you have celiac disease, in which case even a small amount of gluten will send you running to the bathroom in three seconds flat, or you don't, and you can chug down beer and bagels without fear. This "all-or-nothing" view has led to some doctors telling patients that suspect they're sensitive to gluten but test negative for CD that they're simply imagining an affliction that doesn't exist.
It turns out those doctors are wrong.
The Many Shades of Gluten Intolerance
In order to explain why, I have to give you a quick lesson in the biochemistry of wheat and wheat digestion.
Wheat contains several different classes of proteins. Gliadins and glutenins are the two main components of the gluten fraction of the wheat seed. (They're essential for giving bread the ability to rise properly during baking.) Within the gliadin class, there are four different epitopes (i.e. types): alpha-, beta-, gamma- and omega-gliadin. Wheat also contains agglutinins (proteins that bind to sugar) and prodynorphins (proteins involved with cellular communication). Once wheat is consumed, enzymes in the digestive tract called tissue transglutaminases (tTG) help to break down the wheat compound. In this process, additional proteins are formed, including deamidated gliadin and gliadorphins (aka gluteomorphins).
Here's the crucial thing to understand: Celiac disease is characterized by an immune response to a specific epitope of gliadin (alpha-gliadin) and a specific type of transglutaminase (tTG-2). But we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat and gluten -- including other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, WGA and deamidated gliadin -- as well as other types of transglutaminase, including type 3 (primarily found in the skin) and type 6(primarily found in the brain).
This is a huge problem because conventional lab testing for CD and of gluten intolerance only screens for antibodies to alpha-gliadin and transglutaminase-2. If you're reacting to any other fractions of the wheat protein (e.g., beta-gliadin, gamma-gliadin or omega-gliadin), or any other types of transglutaminase (e.g., type 3 or type 6), you'll test negative for CD and gluten intolerance no matter how severely you're reacting to wheat.
Read more of this article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kresser/gluten-intolerance_b_2964812.html
Lemon Butter Bars
From Land O' Lakes
1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all crust ingredients in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Pour filling over hot, partially baked crust. Continue baking 18-20 minutes or until filling is set.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool. Cut into bars.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.
*This recipe was developed using alternative flours and other products labeled as "gluten-free". To date, the FDA and USDA have not defined the term "gluten-free." Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, the ingredients in our Process Cheese (example: American Process Cheese) and our natural dairy products (examples: natural cheese and butter) do not contain gluten.