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Health Topics Hub

Hidden Sources Of Gluten

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 28, 2011 6:00:00 AM

For those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease, eliminating gluten from the diet sounds easy enough. However, upon learning the many hidden sources of gluten, it becomes clear that it takes some work and investigating to truly live a gluten-free life. For the highly gluten sensitive, even the smallest amount of gluten (about an 1/8 of a teaspoon) can trigger an autoimmune reaction that can last up to six months!

One of the most important lessons to learn when starting a gluten-free diet is that there are many hidden sources of gluten. There are many ingredients that may be derived from gluten containing sources. If you do not know what to look for you may miss some gluten containing foods and trigger a response by your body. For a gluten sensitive person it is important to eliminate ALL possible sources of gluten in order to improve the health and to restore the gut.

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Topics: gluten sensitivity

Gluten Intolerance Versus Celiac Disease

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 21, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Much has been learned in recent years about the dangers of gluten for those with Celiac Disease. But more importantly scientists have been able to distinguish between the more commonly known Celiac Disease, and the now understand issue of Gluten Intolerance (in the absence of Celiac Disease).

Celiac Disease (CD) is one possible complication of being gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive. Celiac Disease is characterized by enteropathy (damage) to the intestinal villi. These are the small hairlike projections of the intestinal tract that help us to absorb nutrients from our foods. Those who develop CD appear to show genetic risk factor as well. The DQ2 and DQ8 gene have both been identified as being a high risk factor for developing CD. Those who carry either of these genes are at much greater risk of developing CD. It is believed that about 1 out of 133 people in the US have Celiac Disease.

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Topics: gluten sensitivity, immune health

Restoring Digestive Health, Part 2

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 17, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Yesterday we started a two part series on Restoring Digestive Health (READ PART 1). I explained that the functional medicine approach to restoring digestive health is called the 4 R's of Digestive Health. Here are the final 2 R's.

4 R’s of Restoring Diegestive Health, Part 2


Refers to the reintroduction of "friendly" or desirable gastrointestinal bacteria through the use of probiotics. Probiotic supplements contain high concentrations of beneficial bacteria. Not all probiotics are the same. The encapsulated bacteria must be able to survive the trip through the highly acidic stomach in order to be viable when it is time to implant in the intestinal lining. 

  • These guys are really important! You want a good strong probiotic supplement with a wide variety of strains. 
  • This is where the probiotic (fermented) foods also come in that I mentioned above. Eat plenty of fermented vegetables, kombucha tea, coconut kefir, yogurt and plain kefir.


Refers to nutrients which need to be provided for cellular repair and functioning of the gastrointestinal mucosal cells. In a normal, healthy intestine, the friendly bacteria produce molecules which directly nourish the cells lining the intestinal wall. With the loss of the beneficial bacteria, the cells lining the intestine literally starve to death. Small gaps between cells, normally sized perfectly to allow the transport of the proper sized molecules in and out of the intestine, then enlarge so that larger molecules, such as undigested food particles and pathogens, can infiltrate the body. This leads to allergies, fatigue, IBS, and other chronic conditions. In order to return your intestine to its healthful, well-functioning status, specific nutrients are required. 

  • L-glutamine is an amino acid that actually helps rebuild the lining of your intestinal tract. It comes as a powder that you should have first thing in the morning and at night before bed.
  • Fructo-oligosacharides (FOS) are actually types of fiber that your body does not digest, but they are considered food for the good bacteria. This is what’s called a PREBIOTIC. Sometimes they come in a formula with the probiotics, but are usually taken separately. They help the good bacteria stick to your gut. Some people have a bad reaction due to some bad bacteria that feeds on FOS, so if bloating persists after 1-2 weeks of taking product, you may need to quit. 
  • Jerusalem artichoke, jicama and chicory are good inulin sources. Inulin is a prebiotic food. 
  • Ginger is naturally healing to the gut and can be used in food or in tea form. Drink it liberally. 

I recommend following this plan for at least four weeks, but six weeks is better. If you were experiencing digestive distress prior to this program, you should see some significant improvement in your digestion by now. Those with severe allergies, or possible gluten related conditions may need the program longer.

The Primo Gut Repair Program follows the 4 R's principles. To learn more about this program just click on the button below! 

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Topics: gluten sensitivity, herbs & botanicals, digestive health

Restoring Digestive Health, Part 1

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 16, 2011 3:32:00 PM

It seems like everyone is concerned today with what is healthy to eat and what supplements to take. The problem is most of us have bad digestion and are polluted with toxins and/or pathogens. We would all do well to start off any nutrition program with a good cleanse and repair step to that plan.

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Topics: gluten sensitivity, herbs & botanicals, digestive health

The Eat Like A Caveman Diet

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 8, 2011 6:00:00 AM

The Paleo Diet, often called the "caveman's diet," is an approach to eating that is growing increasingly popular. The premise of this plan is to only eat foods that would have been available to ancient man before agriculture. The foods recommended are ones that can be hunted or gathered. But foods that need to be cultivated and harvested are strictly prohibited.

The (modern day) Paleo Diet then consists mainly of grass fed, wild caught meats, game and fish (vegans cringe here). Eggs are permitted as are all vegetables and fruits. However, starchier and sweeter types are avoided or saved for athletic training. Healthy animal fats, coconut oil, seeds and nuts complete the meal.

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Topics: whole foods, gluten sensitivity, weight management, diet direction

What Are The Autoimmune Diseases?

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 6, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Autoimmune Diseases are becoming more and more prevalent in our world. It is estimated that somewhere between 14 - 25 million people in the United States are affected by an autoimmune condition (that's about 8% of the population).  And that number is rising.

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Topics: gluten sensitivity, immune health

Gluten Cross Contamination Of Grains And Seeds

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on May 20, 2011 6:04:00 AM

As if going gluten free wasn't hard enough, a study published in June of 2010 suggests that even foods and grains that are thought to be gluten free can be contaminated by gluten. This is worrisome to those of us who have a serious gluten sensitivity issue or Celiac Disease. Gluten is everywhere!

The study found that out of 22 sample of inherrantly gluten-free grains tested, only 9 were not contaminated with gluten.  The rest had at least 8 parts per million (8ppm) and went as high as more than 2,000ppm.  These are foods that do not have gluten in their molecular makeup.

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Topics: whole foods, gluten sensitivity

What Does It Mean To Be Gluten Free?

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on May 11, 2011 6:00:00 AM

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month.  You may be hearing talk about Celiac Disease or gluten as you move along your way this month.  I often cringe when I hear people talking about going gluten free and how great they feel.  Celebrities talk about this new diet and how it's caused them to lose weight.  Chelsea Clinton had a gluten free wedding cake on her special day.  Everywhere you turn now you can find gluten free options to commonly glutenous foods.  So why do I cringe?  I cringe because I don't believe people really understand what it means to be gluten free for someone with Celiac Disease.

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Topics: whole foods, gluten sensitivity

What Is A Leaky Gut?

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 6, 2011 6:00:00 AM

A new buzzword in the health world you may have heard is "leaky gut." Sounds crude and descriptive, but actually it's right to the point. A leaky gut, or Leaky Gut Syndrome, is a condition when the lining of the digestive tract becomes compromised and larger food particles than normal can pass through to the blood stream.

I enjoyed learning in my nutrition classes that food passing through your digestive tract is actually outside of your body, not inside. Sounds funny, but it's true! Food you eat goes through your digestive tract but it is not actually IN your body. It's a long tunnel that passes through your body.

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Topics: gluten sensitivity, herbs & botanicals

Is the Gluten Free Diet Just a Fad?

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Mar 16, 2011 6:00:00 AM

I think it's funny that when I buy a new car I start to notice everyone else that has that same car. I often wonder why so many people are now driving my car. Of course, it's more probable that I'm now more aware of this car than I was before. It's amazing how the mind works.

Ever since I was told I had Celiac Disease I feel like that's all I ever hear now. I immediately notice what foods are labeled gluten-free and I feel like everyone I meet has the same condition. Some of this awareness is comparable to my notice of those driving my Toyota Matrix in my neighborhood. But I also know that gluten and Celiac Disease have become very popular subject matter, especially the gluten-free diet.

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Topics: whole foods, gluten sensitivity