53% of Probiotics Labelled ‘Gluten-Free’ Contain Gluten

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Dr David Johnson, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia attended the Digestive Disease Week in Washington, DC, and reports on Celiac Disease & Probiotics:

“A group from Columbia University looked at the widespread contamination of probiotics with gluten. How many of your patients take probiotics? Mine come in all the time and tell me that they do. How many of you recommend probiotics? Be careful what you recommend, because this was a very interesting study.

Dr Green and his colleagues at Columbia looked at the gluten component using liquid chromatography. They looked at a composite of 22 probiotics, and a little more than two thirds of these were listed as gluten-free. When they actually studied them, however, they found that 55% contained gluten and two of them contained an incredibly high amount of gluten—amounts that they would view as a very alarming amount.

Of the 15 probiotics that were labeled gluten-free, eight (53%) tested positive for gluten, including two that contained gluten levels more than 20 parts per million—suggesting that gluten is in a lot of these probiotics, even when they say it isn’t. A variety of gluten-containing products were in some of these probiotics. Two of them actually tested positive for barley and rye.

This may be something to question your patients about when they may not be responding to treatment. Certainly, be cautious when you recommend probiotics across the board, especially within the population with celiac disease.”

Read (or even listen to) Dr.  Johnson’s report at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/845679?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=230908HJ#vp_1