A clinical study and an FDA report look to more informed dietary decisions as a pathway to better health.

First, deep vein thrombosis

The results from a huge prospective study over 12 years in almost 15,000 middle-aged adults looked at the effect of dietary choices on the risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins).

Researchers from the University of Minnesota concluded that a diet including more plant food and fish and less red and processed meat is associated with a lower incidence of blood clots.

Second, celiac disease

People with celiac disease can get relief and live normally by abstaining from gluten-containing foods. Now, the FDA is proposing to reduce the incidence of mislabeled and misbranded products by regulating the term “gluten-free.”

According to the FDA, a product must not contain any species of wheat (including durum, kamut, spelt), barley or rye, any crossbred hybrids of such grains or derivations those grains, such as flour, that have not had the gluten removed. In order to be gluten-free, products must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.

This also applies to oats, which are themselves gluten-free, but are often rotated with wheat crops in farming resulting in potential cross-contamination.

“Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthier for the people without gluten intolerance because wheat tends to have more fiber and nutrients,” says Beth Hillson, president of the American Celiac Disease Alliance. “But for those with gluten- or wheat-intolerance, … this label will be incredibly beneficial.”

2/12/07 19:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.