In February, 2015  the New York Attorney General’s office came out with the statement that <span “font-family:helvetica;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-fareast-language:en-us”=””>four out of five herbal supplements carried by 4 major retailers <span “font-family:helvetica;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-fareast-language:en-us”=””>did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.   Instead they contained rice, houseplants and asparagus! This was based on a New York Times investigation.

What’s next, probiotics containing gluten? 

Last year Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center doctors noticed that the Celiac disease patients who took probiotics did worse than those who didn’t take them.  That’s odd.  Aren’t probiotics supposed to help gastrointestinal health, they thought? 

Now they think they know why. More than half of the over the counter probiotics analyzed contained gluten! 

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, which causes Celiac disease in some people and causes multiple diverse symptoms in many others with intolerance to gluten.  Symptoms as diverse as migraines, arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hives, alopecia areata, atopic eczema, and aphthous ulcers (mouth sores) are reported to be associated with gluten ingestion in susceptible people. 

In an analysis 22 supplements purchased and tested by the researchers, 12 contained gluten and seven of the products carried gluten-free labels! 

If you start feeling worse after taking an OTC probiotic, consider that it may contain gluten and find a better source of probiotic. 

Many Probiotics Taken for Celiac Disease Contain Gluten, NYT, May 19, 2015