Nonceliac wheat sensitivity: A new clinical entity

About 20 years ago I completed an internship in a small company specializing in the formulation of gluten-free bakery products for patients with celiac disease. At the time, celiac disease was pretty much unknown from the general population. Few people were affected, and few products existed to replace the staples of general diets that the affected individuals needed to avoid to remain symptom-free, such as bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, and all products containing (or made from) wheat, rye and barley.

Today, it is hard to escape discussions of intolerance to gluten. What happened? Did the frequency of the celiac disease suddenly skyrocket? Apart from an increased awareness of celiac disease per se, clinicians are starting to recognize the existence of another type of food intolerance triggered by wheat, namely nonceliac wheat sensitivity. Continue reading

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Probiotics can help fight allergies

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies ...

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies such as pollen allergy are related to the antibody known as IgE. Like other antibodies, each IgE antibody is specific; one acts against oak pollen, another against ragweed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allergies, such as asthma, food allergies and eczema are a plague of our modern society, affecting between 20 and 30 percent of the population in western countries. The prevalence of those allergies has significantly increased in the past few decades, raising questions about the causes of such epidemics.

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Being born in the US raises the risk of allergy

recent study published in JAMA Pedriatr. shows that children born outside the US have a lower prevalence of allergic disease that increases after residing in the US for ten years.

Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH; Eric L. Simpson, MD, MCR; Helen G. Durkin, PhD; Rauno Joks, MD, Prevalence of Allergic Disease in Foreign-Born American Children, JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(6):554-560. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1319.

The study reports that “children born outside the United States have significantly lower prevalence of allergic disorders, including asthma, eczema, hay fever, and food allergies. However, the odds of developing allergic disease significantly increased after residing in the United States for one decade or longer.” Continue reading