Two topics we discuss on this blog that are interrelated are gut health and gluten intolerance. Many individuals trying to improve their health are seeking to eliminate gluten and supplement with a potent probiotic in an attempt to eliminate gut inflammation and improve digestion. However, a recent study uncovered results that might have individuals upset about their chosen method of probiotic consumption.
A topic discussed at Digestive Disease Week 2015 in Washington D.C. and now starting to make headlines, an investigative report found that out of 22 popular probiotic supplements, 12 contained gluten of which 4 (18%) contained gluten in amounts far higher than the standards given by the FDA to qualify as a “gluten-free” product.
It turns out gluten is commonly used in small amounts yogurts as a thickening agent.
While consuming gluten at such low-levels will generally not initiate any symptoms, even in those with severe celiac disease, these results bring up a single, important question:
“Why is there any gluten in these products?” – Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, study co-author and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Celiac Disease Center.
The incidence of gluten in products labeled gluten-free severely damages the reputation of the FDA label and places pressure on regulatory bodies to use increasing vigilance. As more and more food / supplement products are becoming exposed by 3rd party researchers, it is also forcing the consumer to perform their own research. To stay on the safe side, check ingredient lists, and stick to plain, real Greek yogurt, and avoid Greek ‘style’ yogurts or any other overly processed yogurts.