ARCHIVED - Research Related to Celiac Disease

1. Dietary survey of 'hidden' gluten as part of a gluten-free diet

Health Canada is planning a research study which will generate data on the level of gluten contamination and the sources of undeclared gluten in a typical gluten-free diet. This study will be conducted in collaboration with partners such as the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and the Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque (FQMC). Data gathered from this study will be used for a number of purposes:

  • To assess the potential impact of setting a threshold level for gluten in gluten-free foods;
  • To investigate whether there is a need to update the current gluten-free regulations; and
  • To determine how effective different actions by Health Canada are likely to be in reducing exposure to gluten among Canadians with celiac disease who are following a gluten-free diet.

2. Living with a gluten-free diet

"Living with a gluten-free diet" is a collaborative study conducted by the Canadian Celiac Association, Health Canada and la Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque. This survey targets adults with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis following a gluten-free diet. It aims to determine:

  • The management strategies that these individuals use while following a gluten-free diet; and
  • The psychological impact that having to follow a life long gluten-free diet has on their daily life, including compliance and quality of life.

This pan-Canadian survey was developed by the Canadian Celiac Association and Health Canada, with the contribution of la Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque and is scheduled to take place in October 2008, during Canada's Celiac Awareness Month.

The information generated by this survey will be used to develop strategies and educational programs for more successful management of the lifelong dietary and life changes required for compliance with the gluten-free diet. It will help create a better awareness and understanding of the gluten-free diet, which is a challenge to many health care providers, policy makers and the food industry; thus, helping to improve both the health and quality of life of those with celiac disease. In addition, it will provide Health Canada with background data to support the review of the Canadian regulations on gluten-free labelling.

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