Sunday, March 22, 2009

Raleigh CSA Support Group 3-19-09 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 3-19-2009. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.
North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
March 19 2009 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room

The meeting was largely focused on the discussion given by guest speaker, Nancy Mentzel, a registered pharmacist. Her topic was Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. These items are considered food products which are not regulated. Only prescriptions are monitored by the FDA.

Nancy stated that most of these products are produced following good manufacturing practices (GMP) but NOT all over the counter supplements are, and some contain hidden gluten contents. In addition, some do not even provide the body with the quantity listed on the label.

Nancy noted the important fact that vitamins and minerals are not absorbed in isolation, as many need other vital nutrients to be used by the body. She gave these examples: Calcium is better absorbed with vitamin C and Lysine helps with Magnesium. Some vitamins are water soluble whereas others are only fat soluble. Nancy said that it is easier to absorb vitamins and minerals from food rather than supplements. But if the diet does not provide these nutrients, or there are absorption problems that many newly diagnosed celiacs face such as iron deficiency, these products can contribute to overall health.

Several questions addressed gluten absorption through the skin or via eye drops. This can be a problem for some especially sensitive celiacs (esp. with Dermatitis Herpetiformis).

Several members of the group recommended vitamin products they have used in the past. Both the Vitamin Shop and Country Life brand vitamins follow GMP and are certified G-F. Also, the web site is a good source.

Zach provided feedback from the Jules Shepard event which had a great cooking demo. He also gave an overview of the upcoming Whole Foods Gluten Free Fair scheduled for March 28 and his online petition regarding food allergen posters for food service workers in Raleigh restaurants.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2009.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris


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