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More bucks, fewer bodies at

4th annual Celiac Walk

Congratulations Walk committee and members!  You raised nearly $10,000 (less expenses) at the Fourth Annual Walk for Celiac Disease.  These funds will benefit CD research at the University of Maryland in Baltimore as well as support SACS’s continuing local efforts in CD support, education and awareness.

   Almost 100 SACS members, friends and relatives participated in the April 23rd Walk at the U of A Mall. Although participant numbers were down from last year’s Walk, the financial contributions were greater.  Marilyn Ringer was again first place in pledges and donations with over $1,000  raised.  Tania Malven and her husband Leo Spesard were second with $540 and Lois Ann Franklin was in third place with $525 collected. Also in the top four was Elisa Fankhauser from Chandler, with $434. Her family spent the night in Tucson just for the Walk.  

   Other funds were raised by selling raffle tickets for donated prizes as well as holding a silent auction for donated goods and services.  The raffle brought in $343 while the silent auction raised  well over $1,000!

   The honorary chair for this year’s Walk was Mindy Stickney, owner and developer of Miracle Munchies, a Tucson-based company specializing in GF baking mixes.  Author Melissa Diane Smith was also present, selling copies of her latest book, Going Against the Grain as well as talking with members about nutrition and dietary issues.

   As last year, Colleen Beaman’s dance classes, the Pima County College Kelly Dancers and her dance class for mature women, the Saddle Brooke Silver Belles, entertained Walk participants. Norma Itule , a movement therapist at Canyon Ranch, led participants in a rousingly fun warm-up routine.  See photos on pages 5 and 6.


Food Fair, election slated for May 21


Make sure you don’t miss the Food Fair and election this May 21st, 9 a.m. to noon at the Rincon Room, Alamo Building on Tucson Medical Center’s campus North of East Grant Rd. at Beverly Ave., Tucson. (see map on the back of page 5)

   Food Fair goodies are donated by either manufacturers or retailers and prepared by SACS volunteers for our eating pleasure.  This is the one meeting of the year where members are not urged to bring a treat to share.  Non-


members, of course, are always welcome and there is no fee to attend.

   Do bring your checkbook and the inserted membership form, though, as it’s time to renew.  Members not paid up (or granted dues assistance) by September will not be on the 2005-06 Celiac Digest mailing list. Your resident immediate family receives membership by your dues, and one need not be a Celiac to be a member.  However, each paid-up member household receives only one copy of Celiac Digest in each mailing.  Since the fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30,  if you have joined since March 1 of this year, you do not need to renew.

   You’ll also need that checkbook for CD Walk T-shirts ($5), Walk water bottles ($2), logo pens (2/$1), and CD pins as well as the popular, green Celiac Awareness Bracelets($3).

   Besides the election and business meeting, all members will be asked to fill out an end-of-the-year evaluation which includes the Walk, general meetings, Roundtable, information available, resources, etc.  The board needs input and ideas of what the membership really wants and values as the number of participants and volunteers has declined for planned events even as our membership has grown.


Author Ron Hoggan speaks to SACS General Meeting

(by Laura Davies)

   Another packed audience greeted Canadian author, fellow celiac and celiac-patient advocate Ron Hoggan to discuss his book Dangerous Grains, co-authored with Dr. James Braly. Over 70 people attended the March 26, 2005 talk entitled “Controversies in Celiac Disease: Still More Questions than Answers.” 

   It was a fascinating talk from the Canadian perspective on celiac disease (CD) and related disorders.  Hoggan provided us an insight into the Canadian healthcare system, including the fact that in Canada the average celiac patient presents symptoms for 13 years before diagnosis. 

   Hoggan began his talk by discussing the controversy surrounding the diagnosis of celiac disease. Not all people who seem to have gluten sensitivity are testing positive for celiac disease, and Hoggan stated that according to Dr. Martin Kagnoff of the University of California, San Diego (Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Director of the Laboratory of Mucosal Biology) many people lack the enzymes to properly digest gluten.  Hoggan believes that blood tests for celiac disease are a great screening device, but may be missing some individuals at risk for CD. 

   Hoggan went on to discuss the system of ranking the degree of villous atrophy of the intestinal villi developed by Dr. Michael Marsh of the United Kingdom (UK).  This system was slow to be adopted in Canada he stated, but has been in use in the United States for years.  Hoggan said that there may be other reasons for villous atrophy, not just CD, for example cow’s milk or soy allergy, parasites, or several other disorders. 

   His own work includes research from all over the world, especially the UK. Hoggan is a teacher by profession, and has an especially deep interest in the neurological symptoms sometimes found in patients with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.  Many of the studies he cited in in his talk are mentioned in his book in more detail.  Autism, ADHD, osteoporosis, additional food allergies, lymphoma, and fibromyalgia are just a few of the topics he briefly discussed.    After his talk, Hoggan answered numerous questions that provided further avenues for discussion and investigation by audience members. For a great read, or to further your own research, Dangerous Grains is a valuable addition to your home library.  Thanks to Ron for his insights and perspective.

   Dangerous Grains is available at for $10.17 plus shipping (used books available, also).  Even more information is available from his website at . Articles he has written concerning the variability of the response to gluten - from Acne to Vascular Disease - are available for download.


Chapter 15 Notes

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is holding a conference in Chicago, June 17-19.  Our own ‘Celiac’ Dietician, Nancy Schuller, may be attending.  More information available at


There is a new GF market in the Phoenix area called Gluten Free for You.  All items in the store are, they claim, GF.  Check out their offerings at


Silly Yaks, an online listserv is available at USASillyYaks@yahoo It’s monitored and informative.


Mary Massarotti is SACS new librarian as the Tucson Public Library declined our donation of materials relating to the GF diet and celiac disease.  Mary will have the materials available for loan at general meetings and the Roundtable. 


According to McCormick Spices: “The complete range of McCormick Gourmet spices and herbs (in the glass bottle with green label) are gluten free. This range of products is also filled on a line where no other gluten containing products are processed.” Their mixed spices may contain gluten and are not processed on GF lines. Read the labels.


Campbell’s has a GF product list out for 2005.  It includes some Swanson’s Broths and Prego Pasta Sauce.  Chicken Broccoli Cheese and Savory Lentil are also GF soups. Ingredients can change without notice, so read the labels.


Food Find: Mrs. Leeper's ready to make pastas are now available in Fry's and Smith's. They are similar to hamburger helper mixes


CSA/USA: 877-272-4272, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central Time. Their URL is:


Change of address/phone number: Change of email: Notify us via the website or call 742-4813


Subscription discounts are available if at least 10 new readers sign up for Living Without magazine. Contact Mary Louise Catura  at 298-1038.


Dr.Fasano may test CD pill within a year

   Alba Therapeutics, a Baltimore-based biopharmaceutical company, has sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct clinical trials to test the use of AT-1001, an oral zonulin blocker, in patients with celiac disease.  While no exact dates were given, Dr. Fasano said, "If everything goes to plan, we could have a product ready by the end of 2006.”

  In the initial study, led by Alessio Fasano, M.D., professor of pediatrics, medicine and physiology and director of the University of Maryland Mucosal Biology Research Center, researchers used an animal model of diabetes (mice genetically predisposed to develop diabetes) and found a way to prevent the disease by changing the permeability of the intestinal wall with AT-1001.   Dr. Fasano calls the substance that regulates intestinal permeability ‘zonulin’.

   Zonulin regulates the permeability of the intestines by controlling the opening and closing of specialized structures that act like gates between cells. When the body produces too much zonulin, these gates get stuck open for too long and allow undigested foodstuff, toxins and other bacterial and viral particles access to the immune system.

   Dr. Fasano has theorized that the immune response mechanism responsible for the development of diabetes is similar to that causing celiac disease.  The drug has been successfully tested on diabetic mice, but not celiac mice as these rodents do not get celiac disease. 

  There is no guarantee that humans will have the same response as the mice, but celiacs can hope.


Health news to use


Tonsillitis or allergy?

   Had your tonsils taken out as a rite of passage before you entered junior high?  Maybe it was a food allergy that led to some unnecessary surgeries.

   In a study published on, 136 children ages three to seven years who had enlarged tonsils, in over 28% of the cases, food allergy was confirmed as the main cause of the complaint.  The doctors recommended that children not be exposed to known allergens to reduce the chance of inflamed tonsils.


Thymus gland  not useless?

   Norwood Abbey is commercializing a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) product designed to rejuvenate the thymus gland and boost the immune system through regulation of specific sex steroid hormones. They are hoping to explore treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Type 1 diabetes. 

   Certainly this effort could apply to treatment of autoimmune disorders related to celiac disease, and, perhaps, even celiac disease itself.


Lotus Garden to offer GF entrées  

   Lotus Garden owner Darryl Wong is in the process of developing a list of GF offerings for his menu.  In the meantime, he invites diners to call him privately before they come in (his cell # 907-2427) so that he can personally oversee the preparation of safe, fresh and delicious Asian dinners for them. This will be necessary until all his staff are fully trained.  Since about 80% of their food is made to order from primary ingredients, he said it is not that difficult to substitute ingredients.

  The Lotus Garden is located at 5975 E Speedway Blvd, and open 11:30 to 10 p.m.  Mr. Wong attended the Walk, and also, since he is a board member of the Arizona Restaurant Association, SACS is more than pleased to have him as an advocate for the group.

   The GF Dining Club is in summer hiatus and will resume outings in Sept/Nov.  Check the website for times and updates.  


 Restaurant cards

Traveling this summer?  Use the Internet to download and print restaurant cards for almost any country you may wish to visit.  These sites offer a great variety.  

Language Cards
Info-Card in different languages for the restaurant

Dietary Cards - offering a translation card tailor-made to your personal requirements. Choose up to eight allergy/intolerance foods

CD in different languages - translations for traveling


Baker at Large does Lasagna Casserole

By Mary Louise Catura


Sauce:  Brown one pound of ground beef (or turkey) in 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Add one clove of garlic mashed with a bit of salt. Add 1 tsp. of oregano and one of basil. (Use 1 Tbs. if spices are fresh) When the meat is nicely browned, add one 24oz jar of Classico (or any brand will do as long as it's GF) spaghetti sauce and let simmer while the pasta cooks.


Pasta:  cook 1/2 lb of Tinkyada pasta, (I use penne) just till al-dente.

You don't want it too soft as it will cook some more in the oven.


Filling:  thaw 2 packages of     frozen spinach but don't squeeze dry. (Again, fresh spinach makes a much tastier dish but more work as you must pre-cook the spinach) In a large bowl beat 3 eggs, 2 cloves of garlic mashed with 1 tsp of salt, 1 cup of freshly grated Asiago cheese and the thawed spinach. Mix well with a spoon.


Assembly: Layer the dish thus: 1/2 the SAUCE.....PASTA.....FILLING then rest of sauce  in a greased 9x13 pan. Top with another cup of grated cheese and cover with foil. Spray the underside of the foil with Pam so it doesn't stick to the cheese. At this point it may be refrigerated if you wish to prepare it in advance.


Bake, covered, at 325 F for 1 hour. Let sit a bit before serving.