Testing Probiotics for Gluten Contamination

Testing Probiotics for Gluten Contamination

Gluten Free Watchdog has received requests to test probiotics due to the recent study by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University that was presented at Digestive Disease Week.  We can test a few products as part of our regular weekly testing OR we can undertake a more comprehensive study. As of May 27th, 31 different probiotics have been requested for testing by members of the GFWD community. If we proceed with comprehensive testing we will need to secure around $13,000. Why? Each product should be tested in duplicate using both the sandwich and competitive R5 ELISAs and a spiked recovery must be run on each sample.

Unfortunately, we do not have money available in the Gluten Free Watchdog coffers to fund this amount of “extra” testing. If you can help sponsor this probiotic testing project please send me an email (info@glutenfreewatchdog.org) that includes the amount you can pledge. As is the case with the arsenic testing project, all sponsors (no matter the size of the pledge) will be listed on each product test report.

Test results will be made available only to subscribers of Gluten Free Watchdog. Many more people want access to the testing data on this site than subscribe. Please encourage your friends, colleagues, and fellow bloggers (especially those who ask you to share test results with them) to help support the cause by subscribing to this testing service. More subscribers means more money in the bank which means we will be able to fund special projects without reaching out for sponsors. For those of you who may be wondering, I do not take a salary for running Gluten Free Watchdog.

Thanks so very much to those of you who have already made pledges.

Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC is a community driven testing service. It is our job to be skeptical, to question, and to test. Because we do not accept any sponsorship money from manufacturers we are a true independent voice and source of testing data for the gluten-free consumer.


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Comments (4)

  • Sarah Trammell

    I wonder if the number of PPMs of gluten in probiotics even matters. I wonder if the greater question is how the probiotic cultures are created. How many probiotic manufacturers use barley or rye to grow their probiotic strains so the resulting products will be allergen-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian/vegan? I’m guessing they’re putting the gluten-free label on there as well because their products test under 20 PPM. One brand whose manufacturer states that it tests under 5 PPM I had to quit after about a week and a half because I started developing gluten exposure symptoms. I’m also questioning one that is certified gluten-free and where the manufacturer said that they don’t use gluten grains to grow their probiotic cultures. I started it on Saturday and believe I’ve started to feel like I’ve been getting gluten from somewhere. I’m going to stop it for a while to see if I feel better. If it turns out that this probiotic is causing problems, then I don’t believe I could ever trust another probiotic supplement. I really wish manufacturers would inform potential customers of possible trace gluten from probiotic strains grown on gluten sources like they do with strains grown on allergens like dairy and soy. Of course, on the flip side, if they want to say that there are no gluten-derived strains in the product, they need to make absolutely sure that’s true by verifying what they get from suppliers and other testing/checking as needed. I know they’re not obligated to do so by law, but it would certainly be helpful.

    September 23, 2015 at 3:27 am
  • Jenna Reply

    Testing food for gluten is necessary for gluten free products.

    April 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Yes, indeed. But not require under the FDA gluten-free labeling rule.

      April 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm
  • Carole Reply

    I gave my daughter who has celiac disease a probiotic labeled gluten-free for four months. She had her routine Celiac panels done and her levels had raised when there was no change in her gluten-free diet. I stopped the probiotic because I feel it must have been the cause

    August 25, 2017 at 8:13 pm

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