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COELIAC-SAFE Avoiding gluten is not easy, as this form of protein occurs in many foods. Apart from the obvious sources such as bread, pasta and cereals, gluten can lurk in food starch, preservatives, soy sauce and stabilisers made with wheat. Gluten can even be found where you wouldn’t expect it, for instance in medicines, vitamins and even in lip balms.

Living coeliac-safe takes a high level of care when you’re cooking at home, but when it comes to dining out t ere are p ent of a s t at uten can find its way into a meal due to cross-contamination. This causes uncertainty for coeliac diners, and also risks for restaurants. “To help give coeliac sufferers the assurance that they can dine out it confidence, oe iac e ea and insti ated t e inin Out programme. This assures diners that the restaurant have been training and passed an audit to ensure the gluten-free food they serve is safe,” says Dana. “To be sure, diners should look out for restaurants who display the inin ut pro ramme o o it a crossed fork and ear of eat

Ironically, avoiding gluten seems to exacerbate the problems when coeliacs do ingest gluten. To provide protection against the effects of accidental gluten exposure, medical scientists are developing a promising new vaccine called Nexvax2. Clinical trials are currently underway in New Zealand and abroad. “We’re watching this research with great interest,” says Dana, “as it could make a dramatic difference in the lives of thousands of people who suffer from coeliac disease.”

COELIAC NZ CONFERENCE The annual Coeliac New Zealand conference takes place in Wellington on Saturday 15 June, during Coeliac Awareness Week (10-16 June). Amongst a number of national and internationally renowned experts on gastroenterology, Professor Bob Anderson will provide an update on the clinical trials for the coeliac disease vaccine, Nexvax2.

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