New Celiac and Autism Research

Every year I get my fundraising letter from Dr Fasano at the Celiac Center at UMass. What I love about the letter is that he highlights some of the studies that they are doing at this time. They are doing some really cool stuff! (what I hate is that it comes on paper in the mail, so I had to paraphrase and type all of this stuff into the computer rather than give you a link to click on) Once again; I am predicting that many of the big breakthroughs on celiac and autism will come from Dr Fasano and the gang at UMASS Center for Celiac Research and Treatment.

-Collecting Diapers for Celiac Research for their  Celiac, Genomic, Environmental, Microbiome and Metabolomic Study. Basically, they are collecting stool, blood and other tissue samples from infants and mothers from the US, Italy and Spain. They have more than half of the 500 babies already enrolled. The goal is to understand why some people who are genetically at-risk will go on to develop celiac disease; while others who are at risk don’t develop it. By studying many factors along with the microbial colonies in the gut, they hope to ultimately prevent celiac disease before it begins. Well, if I was a baby and had a diaper, I would enroll myself in this study.

-Building an Intestine in the Lab where they are using intestinal tissue from volunteers to grow intestinal “organoids”. They use the 3D mini organoids to study the effects of different drugs and pre/probiotics on the human intestine. I am glad to see this study happening because I remember Dr Fasano saying on one of his visits to the cafe that his fear is that pre and probiotics may be overused and we might become immune to them like what is happening with antibiotics.

-Connecting the Mind and the Gut: the “enteric nervous system” is like our “little brain: in our guts and it’s communication with our “big brain” can have enormous effects on our mood and health.  I remember Dr Fasano saying “the gut is not like Las Vegas; what happens in the gut does not stay in the gut”.  Parents of kids with Autism have been saying this for about 20 years!  I am so glad to see this area being really researched. Recent results (Dr MR Fiorentino’s lab) showed an altered blood-brain barrier and impaired intestinal barrier could very well play a role in neuroinflammation in those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. They hope to make significant contributions to discovering a mechanism that could be used for prevention. (The belief used to be that the body and brain have different immune systems and are separate and therefore don’t communicate; but researchers at UVA discovered the link via the lymph nodes. I blogged about this 2 years ago)

-Celiac Education and Outreach: Celiac Symposium last April and outreach and donations for food for hurricane victims.

The Center for Celiac Research and Treatment is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients with celiac disease, while learning the cause of the disease and finding a cure.  However, due to reductions in the NIH  (National Institute of Health) Budget they are reliant more than ever before on donations!  

This is one cause that I scrape up some money to support each year.  donate here

Learn More Here

 

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What I Am Thankful For

Each year as Thanksgiving comes around, I notice that many of us tend to get caught up in logistics. The logistics of where to go, who to invite, what to serve, what to bring and how to get there?  Big planning goes into Thanksgiving. I know; I often get caught up in that part, and don’t really think about what the day is meant for.

As I was making a second batch of stuffing (more stuffing than I have ever had to make for all of you) I pondered Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for?

I am thankful for:

-Our customers who love our stuffing and share it with their loved ones.

-Our Bakery Manager, Melanie, who is into her 11th hour of baking as I am doing stuffing and is so passionate about what she does.

-All of our staff, especially the bakery staff this time of year; Melanie, Jess, Tionni and Alana, you all are incredible!

-The Bank for giving me the loan to open the Cafe, Deli & Bakery (only 22 more months to pay).

-Dave, for giving up his career and supporting my dream. For covering for me as I went through four surgeries this year.

-My Health (it’s not the greatest, but it could have turned out much worse than it did this year)

-For our customers who support us and refer us to others, you all truly have given such meaning and purpose to all of our lives here at One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli & Bakery.

-For our family and friends. For my mom, whose nudge sent me down the path of this food business and also for the loan that kept the company going back in the early days.  For Dave’s family who comes in just about every Friday to eat and support what we do and spend time with us. For my daughter in law; Kristin, for bringing my grandson to the cafe to see me; so I can get to know him! For both of our families and friends for understanding why we miss birthdays, graduations, funerals, weddings, baptisms, communions, etc.

-For fantastic doctors, nurses and researchers who are spending their time trying to find answers for those with Celiac Disease, Food Allergies and Autism.

-For God. He truly has to exist. I am very thankful for my Celiac and Food Allergies. Because I learned, over time, that my God-given talent for cooking along with my Celiac and Food Allergies are blessings. They are what brought me down this path and were the actual catalyst for me opening up this business; which brought me to my purpose in life. Also, there is definitely someone up there making it possible for us to make ends meet every month when it is time to pay the bills.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you all can find the time to contemplate what you are thankful for.  Whenever someone says that they don’t know what to do with their life; I say: “Have you ever thought about how you can use your god-given gifts to help yourself and others?”

thanksgiving use your blessings