Posts Tagged ‘Probiotics and celiac disease’

WIN-It-Wednesday: Jamieson Direct Probiotics Gift Pack… Plus a FREE Teleseminar!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

With the New Year here  it seems that everyone is chatting about better health and overall wellness. But besides getting regular exercise, and watching every single gluten-free morsel we eat, is there anything else we can do?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn as much as I can about increasing my overall wellness. I actually carry a notebook and have been making note of things to research, things to discover more about, that will increase my overall health.  One of the things I jotted down last week was “probiotics”. What are they? How do they help celiacs? What is the best way to get them – by food, or by supplements? And (the one that I have trouble understanding) if probiotics are bacteria how could that possibly be a good thing?!

That is why I was thrilled when Jamieson Direct, a manufacturer of quality natural healthy products for over 50 years,  and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness or the NFCA  (I love this organization!) contacted BeFreeForMe to let us know they were having a teleseminar  regarding probiotics and their role in gastrointestinal health… including the gluten-free diet, IBS, celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

This is a live seminar (which means I can ask all my questions!) and it will be hosted by Dr. Daniel Leffler, a world-renowned gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert, who is also the Director of Clinical Research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School (many of us may know him from his speaking engagements at national celiac conferences or from the book he authored, Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free) and Shelley Case, a registered dietitian who is a leading international expert on gluten-free nutrition and celiac disease, the author of  The Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, and member of the Medical Advisory Boards of the Celiac Disease Foundation and Gluten Intolerance Group in the United States and the Professional Advisory Board of the Canadian Celiac Association (many of us know her from her Ask Shelley Case columns on

The seminar will take place on Wednesday, February 1 , 2012 from  8pm – 9:30pm ET. It is free to attend, but the spaces are limited, so make sure that you sign-up soon.

Ten lucky participants of the teleseminar will be randomly selected to win a gift pack containing Dr. Leffer’s book, Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free), Shelley Case’s book, The Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, and a 2-Month supply to Jamieson Probiotics.

But… the members are a lucky, lucky, lucky crowd. We have a sneak peak to win the gift packs on this WIN-It-Wednesday blog!

Here is the scoop…

One (1) winner will be randomly selected to win a gift pack that is mentioned above from the replies / entries received on this blog post before Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the replies / entries received between Wednesday, January 18 and Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know your commitment to stay “well” this new year  (Me? #1. – I will never skip a breakfast in 2012 and; #2. – I will try to keep things “simple” to keep the stress levels down !)

Good luck, Be well, See you at the teleseminar on February 1st  … and as always.
Be Free!

ASK BeFreeForMe: What are Probiotics? Are they helpful for people with Celiac Disease?

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Question: I’ve heard a lot lately about probiotics? What are they? Are they helpful for people with celiac disease?

When this question was asked by a BeFreeForMe member I decided to turn to one of my most reliable sources, Dr. Daniel Leffler, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. During our conversations I was thrilled to learn that Dr. Leffler has recently launched his co-authored book, Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free (AGA Press, May 2010), which is available now at or your local bookstore. Check it out and get your copy now.

Do you have a question for Dr. Leffler? Do you have a question for Shelley Case? Is so, email me at Your question may be selected for our next column.

Be Free!

Kathleen Reale
Founder –


What exactly are probiotics?

The intestine is filled with countless microorganisms, mostly bacteria, but also yeasts and viruses among others.  Generally there are few bacteria in the top of the intestinal tract (stomach and beginning of the small intestine) and huge numbers in the colon. 

Probiotics, commonly referred to as “good bacteria,” are living microbial food ingredients that, when ingested in adequate amounts, are beneficial to health. Even though the science behind them is relatively new, their use goes back to ancient times when, in many areas of the Roman Empire, people used products fermented by bacteria with the assumption they would be beneficial to health.

Scientists had long considered probiotics to be a popular remedy devoid of any real effect. But in the last 15 years, they have been the focus of a great deal of laboratory and clinical research.  As a result, we now have identified a number of microorganisms that can improve health in a variety of ways.  We are just beginning to learn about the ways our body interacts with the microorganisms that live within us.  Although our understanding of this exciting area is primitive, it is clear that there is are many complicated relationships between intestinal microbes and health


What are the benefits of probiotics?

There are many suggested benefits of probiotics but only a few are supported by scientific data at this time.  While the following section focuses on an area we are most certain of, it is important to recognize that this is a young science.  Little is known about the types of probiotics that are best for specific problems.  On the other hand, with the exception of individuals who have significantly impaired immune systems, probiotics appear to be very safe.  For this reason, there is little reason, in consultation with your health care provider, not to consider a trial of at least one or two types of probiotics for a symptom or issue.

I have celiac disease, can probiotics help me?

One of the most important functions of the intestine is to prevent ingested toxins and antigens from getting into the blood. This barrier function is largely the job of the ‘tight junctions’ which connect adjacent cells in the intestinal lining. With injury to the intestine, as in untreated celiac disease, tight junctions do not function as well causing what is known commonly as ‘leaky gut’.  Probiotics may be beneficial by improving tight junctions and reducing inflammation.  There is also some laboratory evidence that certain types of probiotics can make gluten less toxic. 

It is important to note that probiotics cannot replace the gluten free diet or even allows one to be less strict with the gluten free diet; however they can be very helpful for individuals who are still having symptoms despite a strict gluten free diet.


What are some quick and easy ways to get probiotics into my diet?

There are many types and preparations of probiotics on the market. They can come in pills, powders, yogurts, snack bars and, drinks and candies.  This is important because not all preparations contain useful or even living microorganisms.   It is impossible to give a comprehensive listing of the probiotics available, although the nonprofit organizations USprobiotics, ( and The American Gastroenterological Association ( provide helpful information on probiotics.

Adapted from:  Guandalini S, Felipez L.  ‘Probiotics in Celiac Disease’ from: Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free by Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, and Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, published by AGA Press May 2010. Available at or your local bookstore.

This column is sponsored by Attune Foods (, a sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Attune makes gluten free chocolate probiotics bars that are a portable, easy way to get probiotics into your diet daily!

Be Free For Me Blog is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).