The FDA has clarified their rules for defining what constitutes the term ‘gluten-free’. The rule was publicized on August 2, 2013, and it is set to ensure that the label ‘gluten-free’ is one of integrity.
The regulation states that in order to be truly gluten-free, the product must contain no more than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. This rule encompasses all foods that are regulated by the FDA, including dietary supplements.
Foods with the gluten-free labeling, which do not fall within the new definition (no more than 20 ppm) by August 5, 2014, shall be deemed misbranded and manufactures will be subject to relevant enforcement action.
This is a great shift in the movement towards transparency within the food trade and many, including those who are gluten intolerant and those diagnosed with celiac disease, have welcomed the new ruling and those diagnosed.
There has been plenty of hype around the gluten topic in the counter food culture at the moment, and it is important to have a clear understanding of what is happening within your body systems if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
What is gluten?
Simply, gluten is the protein in wheat that makes dough elastic. It is the primary allergic factor in wheat. Exposure to gluten in sensitive cases can lead to an immune reaction where the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is reduced because of a loss of villi, the tiny protrusions in the small intestines.
There is no official cure for Gluten intolerance and it is best managed through diet choices. Ayurveda is an ancient Eastern science and continues to provide insight for many people seeking a broader perspective on what it means to be whole and healthy.
An Ayurveda understanding of gluten intolerance can offer an alternative viewpoint to what exactly gluten intolerance is and how to move seamlessly forward, to embrace full health.
In the Ayurveda view, gluten intolerance is a form of an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease manifests in the failure to achieve full digestion of foods and their nutrients. To achieve this perfect digestion, several functions of our body need to be coordinated. The endocrine, lymphatic, muscular and digestive systems all need to work in coherent rhythms to maintain diligent digestion of our food.
“Undigested food” is the literal translation of the Sanskrit word Ama. Previously seen by western scientists as a mere metaphor, inadequately digested food is being recognized as a root cause of autoimmune responses.
Moving forward, how does this information enable us to move forward?
The autoimmune response is just a response, not the cause, and it is helpful to see it as a physiological response to an underlying cause.
As we adjust our diets to suit our intolerance, we may notice a reduction in the symptoms however the cause is still present. The next step is to recognize and eliminate the toxins that have gathered in the digestive tract and the remainder of the body. Removing gluten does well to ease certain symptoms; it does not however, fully allow the body to eliminate waste products to enable space for healing.
To address the cause we can ask within the Ayurveda library of teachings.
Agni is known in English as digestive power. By balancing Agni, we smoother out our digestive process. By stimulating effective movement within the digestive system, we stimulate a reduction of Ama throughout the body.
Balancing the body and digestion begins with each individual. Ayurveda principles embrace the unique aspects of each human being yet still allows typecast for an individual to fall within. These typecast are necessary in the understanding, diagnoses and treatment of diseases.
Finding a Ayurvedic healthcare specialist who has trained in the pure essence of the teaching (not just trained in marketing tactics) can be a step in the direction of being free from a gluten intolerance.
For more information on Ayurveda and/or gluten intolerance please see here
Written by: Jessica Rosslee