Here's a list of useful links you can resort to.
http://www.celiac.ca - Canadian Celiac Association
http://www.celiacpei.ca/ - Canadian Celiac Association PEI Chapter
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/celiac.halifax/ - Canadian Celiac Association Halifax Chapter
http://www.torontoceliac.org/ - Canadian Celiac Association Toronto Chapter
http://www.celiac.ottawa.on.ca/- Canadian Celiac Association Ottawa Chapter
http://www.victoriaceliac.org/ - Canadian Celiac Association Victoria Chapter
Naturopathic doctor’s view on “Wheat Belly” and food sensitivities
"In honor of May’s Celiac Awareness & Food Allergy Awareness month, please read Dr. Anhorn’s Times & Transcript article published on Saturday and posted on the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic's website (http://www.ndaccess.com/MonctonNaturopathic/Page_Detail.asp?PageID=22&CommentID=7). In the article he summaries Dr. William Davis' "Wheat Belly - the unhealthy grain" presentation, as well as the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic’s approach to food sensitivities and digestive healing.
What's So Special About this Picture?
- The products are all gluten free.
- The products are part of the new President's Choice gluten-free line.
- The products are certified by the CCA&'s Gluten-Free Certification Program.
- All of the above.
Happily, the answer is D. PC Gluten-Free muffins, cookies, cake loaves, two-bite brownies and white bread will be rolling out across the country in Loblaw banner stores across the country over next few weeks. The CCA is proud to welcome the President's Choice brand to the CCA/GFCP certification family.
Canada’s New Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP)
From the people who know how important it is to be able to trust the term “gluten-free”.
Information for Consumers
What is the Gluten-Free Certification Program?
The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) helps consumers identify mainstream products that are safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The program also helps companies manufacturer those products.
There are four steps for a company to be part of the system:
- Develop a gluten-free management system for the facility.
- Have an on-site audit by a specially trained auditor.
- Apply to the CCA for permission to use the GFCP symbol.
- Have an annual audit to confirm that they are complying with the requirements of the program.
What is a gluten-free management system?
A gluten-free management system is a set of policies and procedures used to reduce the risk of gluten contamination. In order to meet the GFCP requirements:
- There must be no intentional gluten protein in a product.
- An appropriate Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program must be in place. HACCP is a standard manufacturing program used in Canada to make sure food is safe. Certified facilities must address issues related to gluten in addition to meeting the usual food safety requirements.
- Products must meet Health Canada’s “gluten free” regulations and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s “truth in labelling” provisions.
- The management of the facility must make a written commitment to meet the terms and conditions of the GFCP.
Does this guarantee the products are safe?
There is no such thing as zero risk, but consumers can be confident that products carrying the GFCP logo have been made by manufacturers who have minimized the possibility of gluten contamination.
Who is running the program?
The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) developed the standard for GFCP and is the only body that can authorize a company to use the logo. The Allergen Control Group (ACG) administers the program on behalf of the association. ACG staff review the gluten-free management system and auditor reports and make a recommendations to the CCA about certification.
Is there more information available?
Visit glutenfreecertification.ca for more information.
There is no single world-wide definition for the term “gluten-free.” Some countries have specific gluten-free labelling regulations that identify which foods and ingredients are allowed and not allowed on a gluten-free diet.
Canada is in a transition period between the old labelling regulations and new regulations that take effect on August 4, 2012. By that date, labels for all food products sold in Canada will have to carry clear identification of the priority allergens, gluten, and added suphites at a level greater than 10 ppm.
In Canada, gluten means "any gluten protein or modified protein, including any protein fraction derived from the grains of the following cereals: barley, oats, rye, triticale, wheat, kamut or spelt". The definition also applies to the grains of hybridized strains of the cereals listed above.
The allergens that must be labelled in plain language in ingredient list or in a "Contains" list immediately below the ingredient list are:
- Tree Nuts(almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts)
- Sesame Seeds
- Seafood (Fish, Crustaceans and Shellfish)
There are a few exemptions from the requirements for labelling pre-packaged food:
- One-bite confectionary, such as a candy or a stick of chewing gum, sold individually
- Fresh fruit or vegetables packaged in a wrapper or confining band of less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in width.
- Standardized beer, which always contains barley and/or wheat.
When you are looking for gluten in a product, there are three places you need to look:
- The list of ingredients.
- The Contains statement.
- Any allergen precautionary statement present on the label.
According to Health Canada precautionary labelling should only be used when, despite all reasonable measures, the inadvertent presence of allergens in food is unavoidable. It must not be used when an allergen or allergen-containing ingredient is deliberately added to a food. Furthermore, the use of a precautionary statement where there is no real risk of an allergen being present in the food. In other words, you should view ingredients listed in a precautionary statements as if they were listed in the ingredient list.
For more information about ingredient labelling laws in Canada, check Health Canada’s Food Allergen Labelling pages.
A Focus On Celiac Disease
It is likely that common genes link some autoimmune disorders. It is well known that there is
a link between autoimmune thyroid disease and coeliac disease as they are both autoimmune
conditions. It is estimated that around 7% of people with coeliac disease also have autoim-
mune thyroid disease. It is unclear whether early diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease
has any effect on your chances of developing other autoimmune conditions.
What is your thyroid and what does it do?
Your thyroid gland is located in your neck. It produces a hormone called thyroxine which con-
trols how much energy your body uses.
Hypothyroidism: If your body does not produce enough thyroxine some of the body’s func-
tions start to slow down, this is known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, or underactive
thyroid, is diagnosed when you have lower than normal levels of specific thyroid hormones in
Hyperthyroidism: If your body produces more thyroxine than it needs this causes some of
the body’s functions to speed up. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, or an
over active thyroid, is diagnosed when you have higher than normal levels of specific thyroid
hormones in your blood.
What is autoimmune thyroid disease?
Autoimmune thyroid disease can include hyperthyroidism, such as Graves’ disease, and hypo-
thyroidism such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Because of the known link between coeliac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease it is rec-
ommended that you have a blood test to check your thyroid function as part of your yearly
How was this study carried out?
Between 2005 and 2007, 545 children and teenagers with coeliac disease had their thyroid
antibodies checked. These results were then compared to thyroid antibody test results ob-
tained from children and teenagers without coeliac disease.
What did this study find?
This recent Italian study found that thyroid autoimmunity is no more common in children and
teenagers with coeliac disease who are following a gluten-free diet than in those without
The study also found that thyroid antibodies seemed to disappear in a quarter of those with
coeliac disease who were following a gluten-free diet. However, more research is needed to
find out if following a gluten-free diet reduces the chance of developing autoimmune condi-
tions in people with coeliac disease.
If you have any concerns about thyroid disease contact your GP for individual advice and
Reference: Diamanti A et al (2011). Thyroid autoimmunity in children with coeliac disease: a prospec-
tive survey. Archives of Disease in C
Celiac Screening Tests Updated
Over many years, much has been made of the benefits and difficulties of blood
screening tests for celiac disease. There has been an urgent clinical need for better
tests that will have, in particular, fewer false negative results. While the tissue trans-glutaminase antibody test (tTG) and endomysial antibody test (EMA) are both very
sensitive and specific, they rely for their accuracy on the presence of Immunoglobulin
A (IgA) in the bloodstream.
Some 3–5% of celiacs have no IgA, in which case, their results are always negative.
Researchers have now developed new tests called anti-Deamidated Gliadin Peptide
(DGP) that have been found to be highly diagnostic in screening for celiac disease.
Either IgA DGP or IgG DGP antibodies can be measured. Still, because no one test
shows absolute sensitivity and specificity for CD, authorities recommend the use of
multiple serological marker tests. For all these tests to be useful for diagnosis, you
must not be on a gluten-free diet.
We are happy to see that these DGP tests are now available locally. A News Release
dated November 16, 2011, from Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories (which has
many locations in Ottawa) discussed changes to their celiac testing panels. They are
now offering the DGP tests, and have two celiac panels.
CELIAC PROFILE PANEL (TestCode: CELP) This panel consists of Total IgA,
Transglutaminase IgA, Deamidated Gliadin IgA and Deamidated Gliadin IgG. This
panel is useful for evaluating patients suspected of having Celiac Disease or gluten
CELIAC SCREENING PANEL (TestCode: CELS) The Celiac Screening panel con-sists of Total IgA, Transglutaminase IgA and Deamidated Gliadin IgG. The addition
of IgG DGP is useful in patients with IgA deficiency and in children younger than 2
years of age.
While the new DGP tests are very good, IgA tTG is still considered to be the most
useful screening tool in adults. The older IgA tTG or EMA tests
have the highest sensitivity (84–88%) and specificity (>90%), and a variation using
Immunoglobulin G (IgG tTG) can be useful in patients with selective IgA deficiency.
Unfortunately, in Ontario, one still has to pay for these tests (except Total IgA). At
Gamma-Dynacare, prices are tTG, $60; DGP, $45; EMA, $55.
Willow Wight Research and Education, Ottawa Chapter
When I first started eating gluten free, the list of gluten-
free flours was pretty short: rice, corn, tapioca, soy, po-
tato. Over time the list grew to include a variety of bean
flours and flours made from grains from around the world
including teff and amaranth and adzuki bean flour. Re-
cently I’ve tried flour made from grape skins and sweet
I didn’t really blink at any of them (well, maybe the grape
skin flour) but yesterday I saw flour that made me do a
double take: asparagus flour. Yes, flour made from that
tall thin green vegetable that you hated as a kid and may
have grown up to like.
It sent my thoughts racing – what would you make with asparagus flour? The bag was tiny –
just 100g – so I knew it wasn’t a flour that you would add by the cupful to a batch of cookies or
a pie crust. When I picked up the package I was surprised to discover that it was produced just
a few miles away from where I live, at Barrie's Asparagus Farm & Country Market in Cam-
bridge Ontario. They turn the asparagus flour into things like asparagus chips, wraps and
pasta and are about to introduce a new blend of sweet potato and asparagus flour.
I called Tim Barry at the farm and asked about the flour. His family business teamed up with
Jamestown Mills, a flour mill that only processes gluten-free ingredients to process the flour.
The asparagus is picked on the farm and placed in large plastic tubs. They manually chop it
up and send it off to the mill for dehydration and milling. Within 24 hours of harvest, the as-
paragus is dried and ready to mill into flour. This quick processing maintains as much of the
nutrient value as possible from the fresh asparagus. There is no opportunity for gluten con-
tamination. (For pictures, check the farm’s Facebook page.)
Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K and folate. It also contains vitamin B1,
B2, B3 and B6 along with phosphorous, potassium, manganese, copper and dietary fiber.
I asked Tim how a consumer might use the flour and he said his family keeps it in a salt
shaker to use to add flavour and nutrients to food, rather than as flour for baking. He adds it to
his oatmeal porridge in the morning because it adds nutrients that are not found in oatmeal. It
can also be added as a topping for vegetables, soups or stews. I asked him if it made every-
thing taste like asparagus and he laughed and told me that asparagus flour is actually quite
mild in flavour.
Tim is looking forward to getting the sweet potato and asparagus flour blend because the two
foods complement each other to create a nutritional powerhouse that can be used for baking.
I’ve put asparagus flour on my shopping list for my next trip and look forward to trying it.
Sue Newell Canadian Celiac Association
Asparagus flour from Barrie’s Asparagus Farm and Country Market is available
n a number of fresh food and health food stores in Ontario. They will ship di-
ectly to your home and are interested in expanding their distribution network
cross Canada. For more information, visit barriesasparagus.blogspot.com.