Do You Know If You Have Celiac Disease?

Going gluten freeDid you know that even though celiac disease affects only one in 133 people in North America, 83 percent of those people go undiagnosed?

For those who might be affected, celiac awareness can be the first step to feeling better as it can take an average length of four years for a person exhibiting symptoms to be diagnosed. The only known treatment for celiac symptoms is a strict diet free of gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

Symptoms of celiac disease often go unnoticed because they are commonly regarded as symptoms of a completely different illness. For example, a common symptom that affects 89 percent of people with celiac disease is difficulty concentrating, or “brain fog,” and forgetfulness.

The most effective method of screening for celiac is with a blood test. Though some may find these tests invasive, they are critically important. If left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease could lead to serious damage to the small intestine, leading to problems with digestion and the inability to absorb nutrients from food. Continual symptoms may also lead to the development of neurological problems, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. Since the introduction of the blood test, diagnosis rates have increased substantially through early detection.

An Old Disease

While it’s true that the diagnosis of celiac disease has been on the rise, along with its only known treatment of a gluten-free diet, it is no modern-day ailment.

Scientists suggest that celiac disease may have first occurred as early as 10,000 years ago during the agricultural revolution and the introduction of grains, dairy, and eggs to the diet.

An early physician by the name of Aretaeus first described celiac disease in his patients over 8,000 years ago. He named the disease “koiliakos” derived from the Greek word for “abdomen.” In 1856, a Scottish doctor named Francis Adams translated these observations from Greek to English, giving the disease a modern-day moniker: celiac.

While the disease had an official name, people with celiac still had no idea how to heal or treat the condition and were unaware of the cause.

In 1888, English doctor Samuel Gee presented clinical accounts of children and adults with celiac disease in the United Kingdom, finally bringing this disease to the attention of the medical community. In this presentation, he made the first link between celiac and diet, famously concluding that “if the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet.”

It was not until 1952 that Dutch pediatrician William Karel Dicke made the connection between the ingestion of grain proteins and the immune response—celiac disease (2, 3).

The Gift of ‘Gluten-Free’

Fast forward to 2004 when the U.S. passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act and it became law to list foods containing gluten on all food labels. After the law passed, sales of gluten-free foods increased substantially.

In fact, Mintel now reports that the gluten-free market grew over 60 percent in only the last two years. In 2014, Mintel reported that the number of households regularly purchasing gluten-free products hit 11 percent, a big jump from the 5 percent reported in 2010.

“Gluten-free” products have now become all the rage, even among consumers who don’t have celiac disease. Up to 1.4 million people in the U.S. who don’t have symptoms of celiac disease now follow a gluten-free diet, according to some estimates (1).

It is easy to see how a gluten-free lifestyle could be the trick to managing weight. Excluding all those breads, pastas, cakes, and crackers from a person’s diet can be a simple way to cut back on oversized portions and excessive calories.

In addition, people without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who report that they feel better when avoiding gluten may actually be experiencing a positive impact because they are avoiding another dietary trigger, such as hard-to-digest sugars that include fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPS). Alternatively, people who stop filling their plate with jumbo portions of grain-based foods like bread or pasta may feel better because they have room to add more fruits and vegetables, instead. Whatever the reason, it’s not uncommon for people to feel better after eliminating gluten from their diets.

But is completely cutting out all grains really the best option? For some, it’s a medical necessity. The only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong, strictly gluten-free diet. For others who are simply looking to improve the way they eat, there may be other choices that can have a big impact on overall nutrition without the challenges of dietary restriction. A lot depends on how much gluten is in your overall diet. Consider that when enjoyed as 100 percent whole grain, wheat is rich in fiber and provides a number of important vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, when wheat appears as highly refined pastry flour in a glazed doughnut or cupcake, it provides little more than empty calories.

While celiac disease affects a relatively small proportion of people, most individuals with celiac disease remain undiagnosed, despite recent advances in testing. One reason for the low rate of diagnosis may be that the symptoms of celiac disease can be easy to mistake for other diseases. Untreated celiac disease poses serious long-term health risks. It’s worthwhile to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor to find out if screening for celiac disease is appropriate for you. Because the demand for gluten-free foods has been growing steadily over the past several years, more options and better quality products are available for people following a gluten-free diet.


  1. Rubio-Tapia A, Ludvigsson JF, Brantner TL, Murray JA, Everhart JE. The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012;107(10):1538–1544.
  2. Losowsky MS. A history of coeliac disease. Dig Dis. 2008;26(2):112-20. doi: 10.1159/000116768. Epub 2008 Apr 21.
  3. Dowd B, Walker-Smith J. Samuel Gee, Aretaeus, and the coeliac affection. Br Med J. 1974 Apr 6; 2(5909): 45–47. PMCID: PMC1610148.

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Why You Need Whey Protein to Stay Stronger As You Age

iStock_000064660449_640x400If you’ve reached your 50s or 60s, your body’s needs for dietary protein may have taken an unexpected turn upward. If you want the same muscle-building response that a mere 10-20 grams of protein could produce in your youth, then new research suggests you’re better off getting 30 or more grams in each meal.

In addition, whey protein can help maximize your anabolic response from daily intake of protein while also helping you with weight management.

Beyond 30 Grams Per Meal

In a recent study, University of Mississippi investigators found that older adults who ate multiple meals over the course of the day with protein in the range of 30 and 45 grams had the greatest association with lean muscle mass and strength (1).

The researchers analyzed diet, leg strength, and body composition in more than 1,000 adults ages 50-85 years old. They found that eating frequent meals with at least one to two meals of the larger protein dose was associated with higher strength and lean body mass. “…a threshold of 30-45 grams of dietary protein per meal seems to produce the greatest association with lean body mass and strength,” they wrote.

“Consuming dietary protein at more than one meal may be of importance for individuals seeking to optimize muscle mass and strength, but may be a particularly important strategy among individuals vulnerable to muscle mass loss including older adults,” the researchers concluded.

Distribute Whey Over the Course of the Day

Not only is the amount important, but also how you distribute your intake over the day. While evenly distributing protein is best, the United States Department of Agriculture reports that the majority of people in the U.S. eat most of their daily protein at the last meal of the day.

But in another recent study, researchers found that evenly distributing protein throughout the day (30 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner) stimulated muscle building to a greater degree than a “skewed” intake (10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch, and 65 grams at dinner) (2).

The same effect was noted in obese adults on a weight-loss diet consuming whey protein (3). Evenly distributing 75 grams of whey protein (three, 25-gram shakes) throughout the day was better for retaining muscle in comparison to a skewed intake of 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch, and 50 grams at dinner.

Getting Past the RDA

In each of these studies, protein consumption exceeded the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. As a result, a number of researchers have proposed that the RDA is simply not adequate for older adults for sufficiently assisting muscle maintenance and growth (4-6).

The RDA for protein also gives no guidance on how much to consume at each meal. But it’s important information for older adults who are seeking to maximally stimulate muscle building at each meal to help preserve muscle mass over time (6, 8).

In middle-aged and older adults, a higher protein intake per meal in the range of 30-40 grams of protein appears to be necessary to maximize muscle protein synthesis (9-11). These intakes could assist older adults who are more prone to age-related muscle loss (also known as sarcopenia) and overweight individuals seeking to lose weight on an energy-restricted diet while still maintaining muscle.

When Protein Is Too High

How high is too high for protein in a single meal? Several studies have demonstrated that there is a rise in the rate of muscle protein synthesis up to a certain point (9, 12). Beyond this optimal protein dose (about 30-40 grams), muscle protein synthesis cannot be stimulated further, despite larger protein amounts, and is either converted to usable energy or fat (13, 14).

You might do best by sticking to the following rules as you age, as suggested by the recent nutrition studies on protein:

  • Be sure to keep your protein intake to about 1.2-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
  • Consume 30-45 grams of high-quality protein at each meal, over multiple meals per day in order to evenly space protein servings.
  • Use whey protein consistently as a nutritional supplement in the form of a whey-based meal replacement shake or supplement.



  1. Loenneke JP, Loprinzi PD, Murphy CH & Phillips SM. Per meal dose and frequency of protein consumption is associated with lean mass and muscle performance. Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr 7.
  2. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, Casperson SL, Arentson-Lantz E, Sheffield-Moore M, Layman DK & Paddon-Jones D. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr. 2014 Jun; 144(6):876-80.
  3. Murphy CH, Churchward-Venne TA, Mitchell CJ, Kolar NM, Kassis A, Karagounis LG, Burke LM, Hawley JA & Phillips SM. Hypoenergetic diet-induced reductions in myofibrillar protein synthesis are restored with resistance training and balanced daily protein ingestion in older men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May 1; 308(9):E734-43.
  4. Bauer J, Biolo G, Cederholm T, Cesari M, Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Morley JE, Phillips S, Sieber C, Stehle P, Teta D, Visvanathan R, Volpi E & Boirie Y. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013 Aug; 14(8):542-59.
  5. Deutz NE, Bauer JM, Barazzoni R, Biolo G, Boirie Y, Bosy-Westphal A, Cederholm T, Cruz-Jentoft A, Krznariç Z, Nair KS, Singer P, Teta D, Tipton K & Calder PC. Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group. Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec; 33(6):929-36.
  6. Volpi E, Campbell WW, Dwyer JT, Johnson MA, Jensen GL, Morley JE & Wolfe RR. Is the optimal level of protein intake for older adults greater than the recommended dietary allowance? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Jun; 68(6):677-81.
  7. Rafii M, Chapman K, Owens J, Elango R, Campbell WW, Ball RO, Pencharz PB & Courtney-Martin G. Dietary protein requirement of female adults >65 years determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation technique is higher than current recommendations. J Nutr. 2015 Jan; 145(1):18-24.
  8. Paddon-Jones D & Leidy H. Dietary protein and muscle in older persons. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Jan; 17(1):5-11.
  9. Yang Y, Breen L, Burd NA, Hector AJ, Churchward-Venne TA, Josse AR, Tarnopolsky MA & Phillips SM. Resistance exercise enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis with graded intakes of whey protein in older men. Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 28; 108(10):1780-8.
  10. Pennings B, Groen B, de Lange A, Gijsen AP, Zorenc AH, Senden JM & van Loon LJ. Amino acid absorption and subsequent muscle protein accretion following graded intakes of whey protein in elderly men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr 15; 302(8):E992-9.
  11. Robinson MJ, Burd NA, Breen L, Rerecich T, Yang Y, Hector AJ, Baker SK & Phillips SM. Dose-dependent responses of myofibrillar protein synthesis with beef ingestion are enhanced with resistance exercise in middle-aged men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Feb;38(2):120-5.
  12. Cuthbertson D, Smith K, Babraj J, Leese G, Waddell T, Atherton P, Wackerhage H, Taylor PM & Rennie MJ. Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle. FASEB J. 2005 Mar; 19(3):422-4.
  13. Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, Tang JE, Glover EI, Wilkinson SB, Prior T, Tarnopolsky MA & Phillips SM. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan; 89(1):161-8.
  14. Atherton PJ, Etheridge T, Watt PW, Wilkinson D, Selby A, Rankin D, Smith K & Rennie MJ. Muscle full effect after oral protein: time-dependent concordance and discordance between human muscle protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov; 92(5):1080-8.



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Everything You Want to Know About New Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes (Video)

The new Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake flavors are finally here! The latest extension of the IsaLean Shake line is made from only plant-based ingredients and offers an excellent source of plant-based protein to help fuel your day, help you lose weight, and maintain lean muscle.

These are ideal meal replacements for those committed to a non-dairy, vegetarian, or vegan dietary lifestyle. New Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Chai flavors now join Berry Harvest as excellent choices to add variety to your diet, both in taste and nutrition.

Here are some of the answers to your most frequently asked questions about the new Dairy Free IsaLean Shakes:

Why did Isagenix create Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes?

Isagenix offers a variety of whey-based meal replacement and snack options geared toward creating a healthier lifestyle. These dairy protein-based meal and snack alternatives, however, do not work for part of the population—individuals who choose to live a vegetarian lifestyle or those with dairy allergies and sensitivities. The Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake is a meal replacement option that blends high-quality, plant-based proteins to suit different dietary preferences or those who need to avoid dairy. Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake is now available in Vanilla Chai, Dutch Chocolate, and Berry Harvest—three great flavor options for anyone using an Isagenix system.

Can Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes be used on Shake Days as part of the 30-Day Cleansing and Fat Burning System?

Yes. Isagenix has created these dairy-free versions that can be used with the popular 30-Day Cleansing and Fat Burning System.

Is the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake a suitable option to help meet athletes’ protein needs for adequate muscle building and repair?

Yes, all Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake flavors are suitable for athletes. In designing these shakes, special attention was paid to the amino acid profile and making it as close as possible to the profile of whey protein, which is known for its muscle-supportive properties. When coupled with any strength training regimen, the shakes help support muscle maintenance.

How do Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes compare to the other whey-based IsaLean Shakes for supporting weight loss and weight management?

Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes compare well with other flavors of our dairy protein-based IsaLean Shakes. They offer balanced high-quality protein, good fats, and energy-boosting carbohydrates to support weight loss and increase lean body mass. The Berry Harvest flavor offers 22 grams of protein while new flavors Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Chai offer 24 grams of protein.

Why doesn’t the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake have the vitamin/mineral profile like the other whey-based IsaLean Shakes?

While Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes don’t contain a vitamin/mineral blend, they each feature either a fruit-and-vegetable or sprout blend to provide nutrients in a way that accommodates those looking for a “whole-foods” approach to their meal replacement. When used as part of an Isagenix System, Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes can be taken alongside Ageless Essentials Daily Pack to help ensure optimal vitamin and mineral intake.

What are the sources of fat in the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake?

The fats in Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake are derived from a blend of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and provide the main source of fat in Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes. Flax seed also contributes omega-3 fatty acids. Rounding out the fat sources are medium chain triglycerides derived from coconut oil that are easily absorbed for quick energy and have been found to support weight management.

Is the new Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake low-glycemic?

Providing only 7-8 grams of sugar from natural sources, along with protein, fat, and fiber, Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes have a low-glycemic profile.

Are all Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake flavors soy and gluten free?

Yes, all are soy and gluten-free.

Should anyone in particular avoid the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes?

Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes are formulated to suit almost all lifestyles. However, as we recommend with all of our products, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medication, we encourage you to consult with your physician before using the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake. Discontinue use if adverse reaction occurs.

What is the minimum age a child needs to be to consume Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes?

Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake is designed for adults. However, children 4 years of age and older can enjoy half a serving daily in combination with a healthy diet.

What are the shelf life and storage needs of the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake?

Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes have a shelf life of two years and should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Are there any wheat, nut, or soy products used in the manufacturing process of the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake or is it manufactured in a facility that makes other products with these ingredients?

While there are no wheat, nut, or soy products used in the manufacturing process of Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake, it’s made in a facility that makes other products with these ingredients.

Where can I find the full ingredient lists of each of the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shakes?

You can find full ingredient lists on the Dairy-Free IsaLean Shake product catalog page at


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Does Salt Affect How Much We Eat?

iStock_000066228129_640x400People like the taste of junk food. When looking at the basic composition of foods like macaroni and cheese, pizza, French fries, and fried chicken, they are generally fatty, starchy, and almost always salty. Fat and carbohydrate intake offer us energy, yet salt is energy-free.

Interestingly, a person’s salt appetite is one of the few instinctive food cravings that doesn’t relate directly to acquiring calories. In addition, salt is one of the few essential minerals we can taste at the concentrations normally found in food.

To investigate the effects of both fat and salt on food intake, and the effects of fat-taste sensitivity on fullness responses to fat with salt, scientists randomized 48 adult volunteers to four groups and fed them a standardized breakfast, followed by an experimental lunch of elbow macaroni and sauce.

The sauce was manipulated to either be: low fat/low salt; low fat/high salt, high fat/low salt; high fat/high salt. The groups then ate other versions of the sauce on subsequent days in a crossover design. During each lunchtime session, the subjects ate as much as they wanted of the experimental lunch while the scientists recorded their calorie intake.

Not surprisingly, the subjects who ate the high-fat pasta consumed 60 percent more calories. Subjects who ate more salt also increased their calorie intake by a smaller, yet still significant 11 percent in both groups that either ate sauces that were low or high in fat.

This simple study demonstrates that salt in food does, in fact, lead people to increase their calorie intake. The results suggest that even non-caloric reward factors can indirectly increase a person’s calorie intake when added to foods.

While salt is an essential nutrient that must be obtained daily, the new research suggests that a too-high amount can lead to overeating portions leading to overweight and obesity. It’s yet another reason to avoid overly salty food for reasons unrelated to sodium’s link to higher blood pressure—it’s not going to help in achieving weight-loss goals.

When cooking, salt as a main seasoning can be avoided through use of herbs and wide selections of spices and even use of different vegetables. For example, use of various root vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, and ginger not only add flavor, but also add nutrient value.


Bolhuis DP, Costanzo A, Newman LP & Keast RS. Salt Promotes Passive Overconsumption of Dietary Fat in Humans. J Nutr. 2016 Mar 2. pii: jn226365. [Epub ahead of print]

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