How much gluten is safe for a person with Celiac Disease?

January 7, 2012

How much gluten is safe for a person with Celiac Disease? In general, several researchers have suggested that a daily intake of up to 10mg of gluten could be safe. However, in 2007 the FDA allowed manufacturers to label a food “gluten –free” if it contained less than 20 Parts per Million (20 ppm.) According to the suggestions received by researchers, less than 20ppm of gluten could be safer for a person with celiac disease. 20ppm of gluten is equivalent to 20 milligrams (7 thousands of an ounce).

According to Tricia Thompson, a great gluten-free Dietitian, in one of her writings, states that a one-ounce slice of regular white bread contains approximately “3,515 milligrams of gluten.” This is equal to 3,515 ppm (3,515 parts per million of gluten.)

In an important article published by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine it gives an example about how much gluten is 10mg. It describes that gluten-free pasta is 55 grams (2 oz.) per half cup serving; therefore you can eat 9 servings before reaching 10 mg of gluten.

The topic of how much gluten is safe for a person with celiac disease has always been very controversial. The amount of supportable gluten intake among people with celiac disease varies. A petition from The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requested the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set general standards for “gluten-free” labeling on products. This request was sent to the FDA because the originally did not include rye and barley among the list of allergens.

In 2007, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed companies that manufacture food items to allow labeling a food “gluten-free” only if it DOES NOT CONTAIN any of the following “quoted literally:”

  • “An ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains.”
  • “An ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten.”
  • “An ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten.”
  • “20 ppm or more gluten. “

Up until now, the FDA is still working hard in protecting the consumer. Just recently, until October 2, 2011, the FDA was welcoming any comments related its “No-more- than-20ppm-of-gluten proposal” on their “gluten-free” labeling program. After the FDA reviews all its submitted comments, it will issue a ruling defining “gluten-free” for labeling not only foods but any other dietary supplements.

If you would like to read the detailed information on the 2007 FDA PROPOSED RULE, click here to view the document.

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