Allergy Friendly Everything
All Enjoy Artisen Gelato products are free from gluten and 14 common food allergens – wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, casein, soy, egg, sesame, sulfites, lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish and crustaceans. In addition, most of our products are made in our very own allergy-friendly facility, built from the ground up to meet these high standards.
Preventing Milk Allergy and Sensitivity Reactions
Milk allergy is real. Dairy repeatedly ranks high in prevalence on the Top 8 food allergen list in the U.S. and Top 11 in Canada. The severity of milk allergy ranges from life-threatening (anaphylaxis) to relatively mild (hives), and researchers have discovered other pathways in which milk can cause an immune response. FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) and EoE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) are two types of allergic conditions (commonly linked to dairy) that affect the gastrointestinal tract specifically and can have a delayed reaction, making them difficult to diagnose. Note that milk allergy can appear at any time in life. Though “traditional” dairy allergy has a higher prevalence in infants and young children, EoE is being diagnosed in an increasing number of adults.
I could go on and on in this category. For starters, lactose intolerance spurs a myriad of digestive symptoms in millions of people, including stomach pain, cramps, bloating, flatulence (yes, gas), diarrhea, and nausea. It has been estimated that 70% of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance, which is perfectly normal. After weaning, humans no longer “need” the ability to digest their mother’s milk, so they naturally begin losing lactase, the enzyme that helps to digest lactose in dairy milk. Lactase persistence, or the ability to digest lactose as we age, actually appears to be a relatively new phenomenon in our evolution. Dairy has also been labeled as a key trigger in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and various other digestive conditions, from the EoE and FPIES mentioned above to chronic constipation.
Reducing Exposure to Added Antibiotics and Hormones
Antibiotics are given in mass quantities to dairy cows to help prevent infection, but great concern has been raised over the consumption of these antibiotics through the milk supply and antibiotic resistance. Also, back on the topic of cancers, there are two primary sources of hormones in our milk supply: BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone), a natural occurring hormone in cows that stimulates the production IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), and a synthetic version, rBGH, used in conventional dairy farming to help stimulate milk production, which further increases the levels of IGF-1. The consumption of cow’s milk has been shown to increase the serum level of IGF-1 in humans by 10%. Consequently, higher levels of IGF-1 in humans have been linked to a significant increase in the risk of prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancers. Fortunately, Artisen Gelato do not contain added antibiotics or hormones since they are plant-based!
Why avoid soy?
Soy can cause a problem for a variety of reasons. Soy allergies are the best known and get the most attention because they can be life threatening and are better defined and diagnosed. But there can be other immune-based food reactions, such as eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroenteropathy and food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, which affects infants and young children.
And some people have an intolerance to soy. Soy intolerance or sensitivity is murkier territory. Symptoms include digestive upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), skin reactions (eczema, hives, rashes, etc.), respiratory reactions (congestion, itching, etc.) and nervous system reactions (headaches, migraines, etc.). While these reactions are uncomfortable, unlike true allergic reactions, they do not involve the immune system and are not life-threatening.
The symptoms of soy intolerance are similar to other conditions and overlap with some of the symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you develop any of them. Although people don’t usually develop soy allergies as adults, anyone who experiences problems with breathing, throat swelling, etc., should be tested for food allergies by a physician.
Soy is one of the top food allergies in children, with allergies overall affecting 5 percent of children under the age of 5. Soy allergies are more common in young children and are typically outgrown. It often seems like people with celiac disease are more likely to have food allergies, too, but according to Guandalini, this is not the case. “Since celiac disease is not rare (1 to 2 percent of the population) and food allergies are also very common and on the rise, the two conditions often simply co-exist,” he says.
Soy allergies are diagnosed with a combination of blood tests, skin tests and observed food reactions. As with any food allergy, anyone with a soy allergy must carry an epinephrine (EPI) pen at all times, because even small amounts of soy can be immediately life threatening. Some people with a soy allergy may be able to safely eat products with highly refined soy oil and soy lecithin. However, that decision must be made with the guidance of a health care team.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, as if it were a poison. It affects as many as one in 141 people, although most have not been diagnosed. When someone with celiac consumes gluten, the immune system reacts by destroying the part of the small intestine that absorbs vital nutrients. This malabsorption can lead to serious illness.
The list of symptoms related to celiac covers the entire body, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, abdominal pain, constant fatigue or weakness, headaches, depression that does not respond to medication, bone pain and anemia. For children, symptoms include failure to thrive, short stature, distended abdomen, dental enamel defects and unusual behavior changes. The nervous system can also be affected by the disease, but many patients with neurological symptoms—and their doctors—don’t make the connection.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is a condition that causes a person to react after ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Symptoms vary widely and can include gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, fatigue and depression. The same symptoms are associated with celiac disease, so it’s important to get the correct diagnosis.
According to the experts, gluten sensitivity should only be diagnosed after first ruling out wheat allergies, celiac disease and gluten ataxia, using blood and other tests that can pinpoint those recognized disorders. Second, diagnosis should include testing for AGA antibodies in the blood, though these are not always present. Third, there should be improvement in symptoms on a gluten-free diet.
Though researchers are looking for biomarkers that would definitively diagnose gluten intolerance, they have not yet come up with a specific test. Still, gluten intolerance has been recognized as a real condition, after many years of being ignored by the medical community. In fact, gluten sensitivity has its own category in a list of gluten-related disorders recently created by a group of international celiac disease experts.
Scientists from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment have also found that gluten sensitivity is a bona fide condition, distinct from celiac disease, with its own intestinal response to gluten. Although gluten-sensitive patients have the diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms suffered by those with celiac disease, they do not have the intestinal inflammation, flattening of the absorbing villi or long-term damage to small intestine that characterizes untreated celiac disease.
Allergen Free – What Does That Mean?
The term “allergen free” is often spoken in the food allergy community. You might have heard the term “allergy safe” as well. What exactly does either term mean and how can one know an item is truly allergen free or allergy safe?
It’s hard to say who first came up with these terms. It could have been allergy sufferers trying to communicate their dietary needs or perhaps food manufacturers hoping to cash in on the next food trend. Regardless, it’s important to define these terms as a community for the safety of all those involved.
One can never be sure something is truly allergen free unless it has been tested for specific allergens, for instance peanut protein. In food manufacturing there is the potential of cross contamination of raw ingredients, manufacturing lines and even employees. With the rise in food allergies, you will see many brands with a “peanut free” or “allergy friendly” label. Currently there is no US law regarding what that means and who can put that label on their food item.
One company’s peanut free might mean there are no peanuts in the ingredient list but there are peanuts in other products in the facility. Another company’s idea of peanut free might mean no peanuts whatsoever within the facility. Still another idea might be peanut protein testing and the use of a label based on those results regardless of whether or not there are peanut products within the facility. Add to this the numerous warning labels on foods such as “may contain peanuts” or “manufactured in a facility where peanuts are present” and the issue becomes even more confusing.
It’s not only food manufacturers who use these terms. Peanut free or peanut friendly baseball has become quite popular among peanut allergic sports fans. However, it’s important to remember that in life there are never guarantees. Until there is a firm and universal definition of what “allergen free” or “allergen safe” means, it is still best to proceed with caution. Don’t make assumptions based on product labeling. Do your own company research and find out how the food is made and whether or not they do allergen protein testing on their products. Also keep in mind that we might all try, but it’s impossible to guarantee a truly allergen free table, section at a ball game or other accommodation. It’s crucial to take responsibility for and manage your own allergies and to teach your food allergic children to do the same.