SOURCE: Kirkman Group, Inc.

Kirkman Group, Inc.

June 23, 2015 17:34 ET

New Study Finds Gluten in Some Manufacturers' "Gluten-Free" Supplements

RENO, NV--(Marketwired - June 23, 2015) - Researchers at the Celiac Disease Center of Columbia University (Celiac Disease Center) discovered a trace amount of gluten in some brands of probiotics that claimed to be gluten free. Of the 22 brands tested, 55% were found to contain gluten.

The Director of the Celiac Disease Center, Doctor Peter Green, said there is no definite conclusion whether that trace amount will have an affect on those with celiac disease, but "those patients (with celiac disease who took the probiotics) had more symptoms than people who weren't taking these supplements."

Doctor Ingrid Pultz, developer of a forthcoming celiac disease therapeutic treatment, notes that "over 60% of (celiac) patients who are on a gluten free diet still experience symptoms thought to be due to accidental gluten ingestion."

This could include a number of factors such as environment, or inadvertent ingestion, but it does not necessarily rule out the possibility that a probiotic claiming to be "gluten free" which still contains gluten might contribute to the aggravation of symptoms of those who have celiac disease.

The International Probiotics Association (IPA), an international forum on probiotic technology and developments, issued a statement in response to the Celiac Disease Center claim that the problem was due to the manufacturing process and not an issue of contamination. "A product could contain gluten as a result of the standardizing agents that are used. If a customer wants a different level of CFUs, say, 10 million instead of 20 million, you would in effect cut that with an excipient. It's not like there are only bugs in the capsule," IPA Executive Director George Paraskevakos said.

Some critics, however, point out that this has not been established and the issue could be anything from less-than-pure ingredients to lack of thorough cleaning at production facilities. It is not known with certainty whether trace amounts of gluten can trigger a reaction in those who are sensitive to gluten, especially those with celiac disease.

Kirkman® is a Nevada based nutraceutical company that offers a special testing protocol that far surpasses any other purity testing protocol in the nutraceutical industry. Kirkman® tests for gluten at detection levels of 5 parts per million (ppm) while the FDA standard to call a product gluten-free is less than 20 ppm. In addition, Kirkman® tests for more than 950 environmental contaminants in every raw ingredient it uses in the nutraceuticals it makes.

"Equipment won't test for less than 5 ppm, so trace amounts in ppms less than that are difficult to detect," Kulani Mahikoa, executive vice president for Kirkman® said. "All of the supplements Kirkman® manufactures are gluten free in the lowest traceable amounts," she added.

About Kirkman®

Kirkman® is the leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements for individuals with special sensitivities and dietary requirements. Founded in 1949, Kirkman® is also the oldest nutritional supplement company serving the special needs community. This experience has allowed Kirkman® to pioneer effective products in many areas of nutritional supplementation for individuals with special health needs. Kirkman® distinguishes itself from other nutraceutical companies with its Ultra Tested® protocol for purity testing, which calls for testing every raw ingredient in every product it manufactures for more than 950 environmental contaminants.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kulani Mahikoa
    Executive Vice President
    Kirkman Group, Inc.
    Telephone: 503-694-1600
    www.kirkmangroup.com