Video: Putting Gluten Contamination Levels into Context

Video: Putting Gluten Contamination Levels into Context

Please also see the post about this topic at

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Comments (16)

  • r debuse Reply

    Sound volume inadequate…those of us with hearing deficiencies cannot easily follow.

    November 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Please try turning the volume up on your computer. I had the same issue until I figured out how to do this. Hope it helps!

      November 17, 2016 at 7:07 pm
    • Asuna Reply

      There is also closed captioning on this video. Click on the CC button at the bottom of the video.

      November 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm
  • r debuse Reply

    Sorry, found that level went down when I restarted video…..sound is OK

    November 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      I do speak rather softly and have to work on speaking louder.

      November 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm
  • Jen Preston Reply

    That was really helpful and good information to keep in mind when looking at the results.


    November 18, 2016 at 1:19 am
  • Karen Gauthier Reply

    Thank you for doing this video. I understand any amount of gluten, even microscopic amounts, will trigger an immune response in a Celiac. So a product containing less than 20 ppm, but still containing gluten, including one pill from that bag, will still trigger my immune system.
    How is it helpful to know it is a tiny amount comparitavely, if any amount is dangerous?

    My question is, Is it ok for a Celiac to eat gluten if it is less than 20 ppm for some reason I don’t understand?

    Thank you!

    November 18, 2016 at 4:22 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Karen,
      The purpose of this video was to put part per million levels into context and to hopefully explain that the amount of product must be considered when determining the amount of gluten consumed. This video is not meant to suggest that it is ever okay to intentionally consume gluten. Gluten intake should be kept at the lowest possible level. Let me try to explain a bit more…Very little research has been done on the daily threshold level of gluten tolerable to most individuals with celiac disease. The FDA standard for labeling a food gluten-free is less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This translates to less than 0.57 milligrams of gluten per 28 grams (1 ounce) of product. Part of the thinking that went into the 20 ppm threshold level included the amount of gluten a food with this level of gluten contains and the total amount of grain foods (breakfast cereal, pasta, bread, etc) eaten by an individual each day. This is obviously not a perfect system and gluten contamination is found in more foods than just grains. Fortunately we are finding the gluten level of most products to contain far below 20 ppm of gluten (and most often below 5 ppm of gluten). One of the better studies available on the threshold level of tolerance for gluten is discussed at the link posted above the video. An excerpt is included here: “In 2007 Catassi and colleagues assessed the effects of consuming capsules containing 0, 10, and 50 milligrams of gluten on the intestinal morphology of persons with celiac disease who reportedly were compliant with a gluten-free diet (Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:160-166). During the study participants maintained a strict gluten-free diet and were only allowed to consume specially marked gluten-free cereal foods containing less than 20 parts per million gluten. Gluten intake from the diet was estimated to be less than 5 milligrams. Researchers found a significant decrease in the villous height to crypt depth ratio in the group taking the 50 milligram capsule. No significant change was found in the vh/cd ratio in the group taking the 10 milligram capsule.” Hopefully this information helps some. Again, my personal opinion is that the 20 ppm threshold level is too high and should be lower if only to provide peace of mind to folks with gluten related disorders. But it is the case that a gluten test result from Gluten Free Watchdog should be interpreted carefully.

      November 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm
  • Mary R. Reply

    This brings me to wonder if I have been over scrupulous in selecting brands of spices that, as you say in the video, I am likely only consuming in extremely small quantities. Is it reasonable to assume that spices and spice mixes from well known manufacturers who say they adhere to GMP practices and which don’t contain gluten ingredients are safe for someone with celiac? To be specific, I have always wondered about McCormick products. A well known gluten free blogger and cookbook author once promoted some of their products as safe, although not labeled gluten free. I have been using Penzeys almost exclusively since diagnosed, but they are more expensive and harder to get.

    November 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm
  • Ems Reply

    Thanks for this. I am left thinking about drugs one must take every day. Pharmaceutical companies favourite response is we do not add gluten however we can not guarantee our excipients etc do not contain gluten . That was Pfizer recently. If one took a pill every day for a year that contained 20pp then wouldn’t that cause damage to a person. I now understand that a one time dose here and there would be okay but what about daily.

    April 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      The short answer is that it depends on the dosage. If a product contains 20 ppm gluten, then one ounce of that product has to be ingested to provide 0.5 mg of gluten. All daily gluten adds up and gluten from medications should NOT be discounted. We just have to figure out the risk associated with gluten in medications. To do that we need to be able to test. And the FDA must base their labeling decisions on accurate data (which in my opinion has not been done).

      April 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm
      • Ems Reply

        Thank you for your response. I find it appalling that pharma can’t tell you whether your medicine is safe or not .

        April 26, 2017 at 2:19 pm
  • Kevin Biesbrock Reply

    H’m. My comment didn’t appear to make it last I posted it.

    I am curious: how long does it take the body to get rid of gluten? Let’s say I eat 10mg of gluten at lunch. How long before I could eat another 10mg of gluten without it affecting my body?

    This isn’t a question to see what I can get away with. I’m merely curious is there is a known science to the process/length of time of our bodies (and I’m sure it varies per person).

    April 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

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