Many believe that probiotics have positive health properties, but according to a new study, more than half of the probiotics that are popular on the market right now contain traces of gluten, which they shouldn’t.
Gluten is a special protein found in cereals like barley, wheat and rye. This protein is dangerous if ingested by patients who suffer from celiac disease, so they need to avoid it from their daily diet, otherwise they risk symptoms like pain, bowel conditions and even increase the risk of developing cancer, experts warn.
A team of scientists from the Columbia University Medical Centre tested 22 best-selling probiotics and found that 12 of these products (more than 15%) contained traces of gluten.
People usually take probiotics in order to help promote their gut health.
Samantha Nazareth, an expert in gastroenterology at Columbia University Medical Centre and one of the researchers involved in the study, explained that a lot of patients who suffer from celiac disease take probiotics and dietary supplements in order to alleviate their condition.
Probiotics are the most popular of these supplements, commented professor Nazareth.
According to the researchers, previous studies have pointed out the fact that patients who suffer from celiac disease and take dietary supplements experienced symptoms compared to those who didn’t use them.
So that’s why the scientists decided to do a research and find out what this is all about.
The researchers conducted a study in which they tested some of the most popular probiotics on the market to see if they were contaminated by gluten.
The researchers found that most of the popular probiotics contained less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which means that the Food and Drug Administration would consider them gluten-free.
However, four brands of probiotics (more than 18% of the total) had a larger quantity of gluten to be considered gluten-free.
Despite this, more than half of the 22 tested probiotics had the label “gluten-free” on them and did not mention anything about containing any traces of gluten.
Two of these probiotics that did not meet the Food and Drug Administration standards had “gluten-free” on their label.
Peter Green, one of the lead authors of the study, said the study suggests that people shouldn’t trust labels that claim the product is gluten-free, especially when it’s about probiotics.
These probiotics that contain gluten when they shouldn’t are a potential health hazard for patients who suffer from celiac disease, Green added.
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