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GlutenTox Home Gluten Test Kit is a Qualified Medical Expense

The ever-lovely Heidi over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom has graciously agreed to have me (Emily) as a guest-blogger. Mostly I’m going to chat about gluten detection and the science behind gluten test kits for home/industry — but not today.

Today’s post is all about Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Agreements, and Flex Spending Accounts (HSA, HRA, FSA). Did you know that GlutenTox Home is a Qualified Medical Expense for account-holders, provided they have a medically-diagnosed need for a gluten-free diet (eg, celiac disease)? Read on to learn more about these accounts and how they can help those of us on gluten-free diets.

As an added bonus, the post contains a schmancy discount code for free shipping on your GlutenTox Home test kits — but you’ll have to head over there to find the code!

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What does Lateral Flow Device mean when it comes to testing for gluten?

We talked a little bit about what ELISA tests are the other week.

Now, there are definitely G12 ELISA tests, which use the same “magic ingredient” as GlutenTox does: the G12 antibody. However, when you use GlutenTox to search for gluten in your foods, drinks, personal care products, countertops, etc…you are not using an ELISA test, but a Lateral Flow Device!

What does this mean? Well, it means that you can perform this test at home, or at the office, or anywhere really. And you don’t need any fancy equipment. It also means that you can’t find out the exact amount of gluten in a food; you can only find out whether it is above or below the test’s threshold. In other words, it’s qualitative not quantitative.

Some scenarios:
1. Let’s imagine that Aunt Susie didn’t realize that spelt is not gluten-free, and her cake actually has 1000 ppm gluten in it. Whether you set your GlutenTox Home test to look for 5ppm or 20ppm, it’s going to show up positive (Phew, you’re safe from a bad glutening!).

2. Now let’s imagine that Aunt Susie used good, certified-GF ingredients but her wooden mixing spoon wasn’t quite clean — so the cake actually has 14ppm gluten. Your GlutenTox test will show positive at 5ppm, or negative at 20ppm, so depending on your sensitivity, you might choose to eat a slice and you might not.

In either case, if you sent the cake to a lab to run a G12 ELISA, they could give you the specific amount of gluten in the cake.

So, how do Lateral Flow testswork? This slideshow uses a pregnancy test as the example, but the technology is essentially the same. There are a number of Lateral Flow tests on the market for home gluten detection, but for obvious reasons we’ll use GlutenTox as the example:

A pregnancy test, but testing for gluten uses the same ideas!

For a gluten test kit like GlutenTox, you first have to prepare your sample. Then the sample – liquid that contains tiny molecules of the cake, flour, soup, shampoo, whatever – gets dropped onto the plastic test stick.

It then flows laterally and picks up some new molecules the G12 antibody, plus some dye molecules and some other friends. The liquid keeps on moving down the strip, where it hits the Control and Test lines.

When the liquid hits the Control line, you see a blue line appear: this is the test’s way of telling you that it’s working. If you also see a pink line, it means that the G12 antibody got “stuck” on something in your sample. That, in turn, activates the dye, and it all gets stuck on the Test line. If the test is negative, the pink dye won’t get stuck and you won’t see a pink line.

What is that “something” that G12 antibody sticks to? It’s the 33mer peptide of the alpha-gliadin molecule. In other words, GlutenTox is looking for the most toxic peptide of the most toxic molecule in wheat, barley, rye and oat.

Pretty neat, no?

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GlutenTox Put to the Test

Hello all!  I am the new intern working with EmportLLC and BioMedal in Seville, Spain.  My name is Max and I am a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I am studying abroad for the semester.  I am very fortunate to be working with these two companies who are devoted to lending a helping hand to the world wide celiac community.   I have many friends who are celiacs back home, so I am very interested to be working with these two companies.

Gluten-free products are becoming increasingly popular these days and this is something that has caught my attention.  In Colorado, gluten free poducts are ample and in high demand. There are gluten-free pizzerias, various types of gluten-free beer and much more.  My favorite potato chips are made in Boulder, and they just so happen to be gluten-free(Boulder Canyon Natural Foods)!  It seems that companies are making changes towards the gluten-free movement which is a crucial step of gluten-free becoming the food industry norm.

During my first week at the office, I was able to go to the BioMedal laboratory and test GlutenTox Home.  It was interesting to see how the product worked and I was surprised at how easy the kit is to use.  We tested my lunch, which was a ham sandwich, and we also tested some gluten-free rice, which was our control of the experiment.  We tested for 20 ppm of gluten in the sandwich and 5 ppm of gluten in the rice.  After following the steps, we had our test results in a matter of minutes!  The bread of the sandwich tested positive and had over 20 ppm of gluten while the gluen-free rice reported negative and had less than 5 ppm of gluten! GlutenTox Home works great and it is such a simple process.  And for you science geeks out there(like myself), with the proper attitude, testing for gluten can actually be fun!

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What is the difference between ELISA and Lateral Flow testing?

There’s a lot of confusion out there about what ELISA testing is. Is it specific to gluten? Who can do it? How? How do I know if something has been ELISA tested?

The full answer is long and complicated, but there are a few important highlights:

  • ELISA stands for Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay.
  • ELISA tests can check for any antibody (or antigen, which is the thing that causes your body to produce antibodies). They can detect gluten in foods, or HIV in a person’s blood, for example.
  • ELISA tests can only be performed in a laboratory, because they require extensive scientific know-how and specific, expensive equipment.
  • ELISA tests are manufactured by many different laboratories around the world. The word simply refers to a technique, not a brand.
  • There are several moving parts to an ELISA test. The big two:

Click to check out a great illustration of Direct vs Indirect ELISA testing

  1. You can change the antibody/antigen inside the test (for example, an R5 ELISA uses the R5 antibody to detect gluten. A G12 ELISA uses the G12 antibody, the same antibody found in GlutenTox, to detect gluten).
  2. You can change the method of linking the antibody to the antigen: sandwich ELISA, competitive ELISA, direct ELISA, etc.

Next up: the difference between ELISA tests and Lateral Flow Devices in gluten detection.

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GlutenTox Home on Triumph Dining’s Blog

Any time we’re on the web, we like to share the news here. Check out this post about GlutenTox Home on Triumph Dining’s blog!

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News from Spain: GlutenTox Home to the Rescue!

GlutenTox Home to the rescue!

The Spanish celiac community was in a bit of a tough spot the other week: Mercadona, one of the country’s largest supermarket chains, had released a duo of gluten-free frozen pizzas. However, the Federation of Spanish Celiac Associations (FACE) didn’t want to include the pizzas on their list of safe foods.

Why not? Well, it depends on who you talk to, but one reason was the inclusion of a starch derived from wheat on the ingredient list — yes, that’s right, gluten-free wheat starch. Now, people with celiac disease from all over Spain were (safely) eating the gluten-free pizza, and Mercadona has a reputation for being extremely vigilant about their gluten-free labeling, but there were still concerns.

Happily, a journalist had heard of GlutenTox Home, got in touch with Biomedal, and ran some tests. The verdict? The pizza was gluten-free as labeled. Now if only they would open a Mercadona in the US!

For more information, check out the original post with GlutenTox test results, and FACE’s comments on the subject.

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