Watch those "healthy" Probiotics

Study: 12 of the Top 22 Probiotics Contain Gluten Mon, 05/18/15 - 15:46 While many people with celiac disease use probiotics as a digestive aid for their symptoms, researchers found that 12 (55%) of the 22 top-selling probiotics contained traces of gluten—the protein that triggers celiac disease symptoms. Previous research has suggested that individuals with celiac disease who use probiotics often show more symptoms than those not taking the supplements. For this reason researchers examined 22 of the most popular probiotic brands on the market, hunting for possible gluten contamination. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ RELATED CONTENT Atypical Celiac Disease: Could You Be Missing This Common Problem? Study: Celiac Disease Linked to Increased Neuropathy Risk ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To test each sample, 30 mg of the probiotic was digested with trypsin, chymotrypsin, and pepsin, then researchers quantitated maker peptides representing barley, wheat, and rye through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The study showed that 12 (55%) of the probiotics labeled gluten-free were contaminated with the protein. The investigators noted that some of the samples had traces of more than 20 parts per million of gluten, which exceeded the FDA standard for gluten-free labeling on food. “Why is there any gluten in these products? Why should the consumer pay any attention to gluten-free labeling on such products? And given the great consumer interest in probiotics, will regulatory bodies take action to protect the public?” asked Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS, co-author of the study and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Celiac Disease Center. While these findings are cause for concern, Lebwohl stresses that it is still unclear whether the gluten found in these products could harm individuals with celiac disease. “We know that most patients with celiac disease only develop intestinal damage when consuming more than 10 milligrams of gluten daily, and it is unlikely that contaminated probiotics can lead to that amount unless patients are ingesting mega-doses,” explained. The complete study was presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2015 meeting in Washington, DC. -Michelle Canales Butcher Reference: Columbia University Medical Center. New study finds that many probiotics are contaminated with traces of gluten. May 15, 2015. [press release] Accessed May 18, 2015.