Answered Questions from the Gluten Webinar! Andrejs Zablockis

by Robin Allen


What a great webinar and questions “The Scoop on Gluten Free: Research and Practice Tips” presented by Amy Jones, MS, RDN, LD.  We had so many questions we could not address them all in the webinar.  Amy has answered these questions in this blog.  If you missed the webinar, RDNs can still earn 1.0 CPEU by listening to the recording and completing the evaluation at

Questions from the Gluten webinar:

What is your recommendation of screening if a patient reports excessive bloating post meals that include bread items and no bloating when avoiding all bread items and eat fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and protein sources without any gluten in them?

I would recommend this patient be screened for celiac disease, especially before they get too far into the gluten-free diet.  If they are gluten-free for too long, they risk a false-negative screening blood test.  If celiac tests come back negative, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) certainly may be the correct diagnosis.  However, remember there is no definitive test for diagnosing NCGS.  The patient should keep a log of how they feel while eating gluten-free for a few weeks, and then re-challenge gluten back into the diet to see if their negative symptoms return. 

How long does it take for someone to be eating GF before the lab tests are affected?

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center recommends 12 weeks of daily gluten intake before testing.  If you’ve been gluten-free for only a few days, I would think it would be unlikely that you would see an effect on screening blood tests. 

Can you explain more why malt items cannot be in GF products even if ppm is under 20?  

This is certainly a major issue as we are seeing with manufacturers.  Several believe that they can still label a product gluten-free, even if it contains malt.   The FDA stated in a 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Webinar that malt and malt extract are ingredients derived from a gluten-containing grain (barley) and would not be considered ingredients treated to remove gluten.  Therefore, they would not be allowed to be in a food bearing the gluten-free claim.  Just like a manufacturer wouldn’t be able to allow a “little bit” of wheat or rye flour in a product (even if the final product contains <20ppm gluten).

Do you worry about a health halo effect with the gluten free label? 

I do, and it’s ironic that some gluten-free foods contain more fat, calories, and sodium than their gluten-containing counterparts!

Would buying the naturally gluten free grains from somewhere like Whole Foods guarantee them being safer from contamination than regular grocery stores? 

Not necessarily.  I would recommend buying naturally gluten-free grains specifically labeled “gluten-free” (based on research on gluten contamination of naturally gluten-free grains), regardless of which store they are purchased in.  For example, quinoa that is purchased at Whole Foods that is not labeled gluten-free may not be safe.  For more information on the gluten contamination of naturally gluten-free grains, check out the study here.

I have heard of imported pizza dough from Italy that is touted to be made from “gluten-free” wheat. Apparently, the dough is treated with beneficial bacteria which MAY digest some of the gluten… Have you heard of this? Would this product be allowed for sale without FDA approval in the US? 

I’m not familiar with that particular product, but there has been testing on some products like this, and they have turned out not to be safe.  Read more here: 

What kind of response would someone have if they ate gluten when eating out? Is there any way to treat it? Or they just have it suffer through the symptoms until it passes?

There are plenty of home remedies suggested out there (drinking more water, etc), but there isn’t any evidence that they are effective.  I don’t recommend the over-the-counter gluten-enzyme products (Gluten Cutter, etc.) They don’t provide any protection.

If you have more questions about gluten-free or comments MFLN Nutrition and Wellness team would love to hear from you.  You can leave your comments here or connect with on the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.


Additional Reference:

This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.



Role of Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Image by Mixed Berries

By Joanna Manero

What are bioactive compounds and what is their role in the prevention of Cardiovascular Disease?  This blog will only discuss anthocyanins but tune into Dr. Elvira de Mejia’s Free webinar, on March 15th at 10 am CDT to find out more about the health benefits of phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients and Cardiovascular Disease

To register:  

Anthocyanins are flavonoids found in a large variety of foods.  They are the most widely consumed flavonoid and are responsible for the beautiful red, purple, and blue coloring found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers.  Aside from coloring our plate, they provide a large array of health benefits such as protection against liver injuries, reduction of blood pressure, improvement of eyesight, suppression of proliferation of cancer cells, and cardiovascular disease prevention (Novotney 2012; Knczak and Zhang 2004).   Anthocyanins have been used as traditional or folk medicine around the world. Only recently have we begun to research these health benefit claims.

The role of anthocyanins in cardiovascular disease prevention is due to their protective oxidative stress properties. They are believed to act on different cells associated with the development of atherosclerosis. An Iowa Women’s Health Study of 34,489 postmenopausal women found that eating strawberries and blueberries just once per week was associated with a significant reduction in death from cardiovascular disease over a 14 year period (Mink et al., 2007).  Similarly, a study of 93,600 healthy women from the Nurses’ Health Study II revealed a 34% lower risk of myocardial infarctions (heart attack) in women who consumed three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week (Cassidy et al., 2013).  Additionally, anthocyanins have been shown to lower systolic blood pressure and arterial pressure, which can result in fewer cardiac events, such as a heart attack (Jennings et al., 2012).

Anthocyanin-rich foods include:

  • Asparagus (purple)
  • Blackberries
  • Black Rice
  • Blueberries
  • Concord Grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Eggplant
  • Pomegranates
  • Purple Corn
  • Raspberries
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Radishes
  • Sweet Cherries

There are still several aspects of anthocyanins that require more research.  Since anthocyanins are typically studied in fruit extracts, they are present in a combination of compounds and may not act independently.  In fact, when anthocyanins are studied in combination with other compounds, rather than in isolation, the effects tend to be greater.

Anthocyanin-containing foods are beautiful, delicious and nutritious.

What are your favorites anthocyanin containing foods?
Also, let us know what you would like to learn about anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds.


This was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.