Friday, June 27, 2014

Selenium deficiency is higher in individuals with celiac disease

Many diverse health complications can stem from the autoimmune disorder celiac disease (CD). Research conducted in the past few years indicates that selenium deficiency is one of them. Selenium is a trace mineral found in many foods. According to the the National Institutes of Health, “selenium, which is nutritionally essential for humans, is a constituent of more than two dozen selenoproteins that play critical roles in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.” Clearly, this essential nutrient is critical, as a deficiency can result in serious health consequences.

An article published on titled “Understanding and Treating Selenium Deficiency in Celiac Disease,” states that although deficiency of selium in the general population is rare, it is more frequent in individuals with CD. Malabsorption of selenium and other nutrients results from the intestinal damage of the small intestine caused by the body’s inability to digest gluten. 

According to the article, whole blood, plasma, and white blood cells of individuals with a biopsy-confirmed CD on a gluten-free diet still had “significantly lower concentrations of selenium” than the control group. Another study mentioned in the article investigated “the selenium in children with celiac disease having type 3 duodenal lesions.” The study found that selenium levels are also lower in children with celiac disease.

Mild to moderate depletion of selenium causes exhaustion and low energy. Other symptoms include:
· Weakness, pain or tenderness in muscles
· Hypertension
· Cardiomyopathy
· Thyroid disorders
· Lowered resistance to infections
· Elevated liver enzymes
· Predisposition to cancer

The recommended dietary allowance of Selenium is 70 μg (micrograms) for adult males and 55 μg for adult females. For most, getting the right amount of selenium is effortless. It appears from these studies however, that individuals with CD may need to be more mindful and aware. Dietary supplements can correct a deficiency. Selenium toxicity, however, can occur easily if too much is consumed. To learn more about selenium go to this webpage hosted by the University of Maryland Medical Center. 

Brazilian Nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. Unfortunately, Kay’s Naturals is not. We do however, strive to make the healthiest gluten-free snacks and cereals on the market. Shop online to take a look at our protein packed snacks and cereals. We have perfected the art and science of deliciousness, health, energy, and convenience.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The value of stabilized blood sugar

On November 13th 2013, the online Gluten Free Summit took place. It was a gathering of health professionals, researchers and doctors to freely share their knowledge with the public about often misunderstood and pertinent topics. For a complete list of the talks given at the Summit visit their website. Mark Haman, MD., gave a forthcoming interview for the Summit that covered a number of topics. Dr Haman has written four books, was nominated to the President’s Advisory group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health, and has crafted health legislation. That is just a handful of the many notable works and research that have made him a national leader in functional medicine. A topic of particular interest discussed was the consequences of fluctuating blood sugar levels. Kay’s Naturals believes that understanding the effects of blood sugar and its stabilization is critical for health and wellness for a number of reasons that will be discussed in this article. 

According to Dr. Hyman, bloods sugar levels that are unstable have numerous health consequences. Diabetes occurs when blood sugar is too high and hypoglycemia is when blood sugar is too low. Both have the capacity to be life threatening. Most individuals lie within these two extremes but are still affected by imbalances of blood sugar levels. This imbalance can cause the rise of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, depression and even cancer. It is because of these risks that having stabilized blood sugar levels is so important. 

Blood sugar imbalances is causing a crisis in ‘diabesity’, a pre-diabetic condition. Half of Americans have diabesity. Ninety percent of individuals with diabesity are unaware they have it because most doctors do not know how to diagnose or treat it, even though it is curable. It is apparent that the imbalance of blood sugar levels is causing a crisis in our nation's health. This endemic is causing an economic crisis as well. One out of every three Medicare dollars is spent on type 2 diabetes, and “probably 1 out of every 2 [dollars] is spent on pre- diabetes.” Dr. Hyman argues that there are two things driving this endemic: sugar and wheat flour. On average every American consumes 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of wheat flour each year. Combined that means that every man, woman, and child eats a pound of sugar and wheat flour- everyday. 

An explanation for the giant influx of wheat flour and sugar consumption is the belief that low-fat diets lead to weight loss. Foods like pasta and bread were favored because they are low in fat. Recent research has shown that the exact opposite is true. Dr. Hyman said that, “Fat makes you thin. And sugar makes you fat.” In todays food market, flour is one of the greatest sources of sugar because of way it’s processed. For example, two slices of whole wheat bread today will raise blood sugar levels more than two tablespoons of table sugar. It is widely believed the whole grains are healthy, but often they are not and can have a high glycemic load. If we are to lower the percentage of individuals afflicted with diabetes and diabesity, as well as dementia, cancer, stokes, etc., we must as a nation become better educated about what foods are causing blood level imbalances and avoid them.

This research should cause us to pause and reflect on our eating habits and what we consider to be healthy. Kay’s Naturals is a proud supplier of natural foods that do not cause an imbalance of blood sugar levels. We provide convenient snacks and cereals that have historically caused spikes in blood sugar. Through meticulous study we are able to provide savory and sweet protein-rich and gluten-free snacks and cereals that keep the body fueled for hours without altering ones blood sugar levels or utilizing artificial sweeteners. Sounds to good to be true? See for yourself. Visit us at

Friday, June 13, 2014

The connection of autoimmune disorders and celiac disease

What are autoimmune diseases? Do you wonder if you or a loved one may have an autoimmune disease? It is a possibility. 1 in 12 women and 1 in 20 men will develop an autoimmune disease within their lifetime (according to WebMD). The National Institutes of Health estimates that five to eight percent of Americans have an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disease is caused by an autoimmune response that negatively affects the body, with virtually any organ of the body potentially afflicted. There are at least 80 diseases that arise due to an autoimmune response, with new diseases being discovered frequently. Diagnosis is difficult because many symptoms overlap, or the disease may be asymptomatic. Further problematic is that often the diseases are uncommon and mysterious. Autoimmune disorders are expensive to treat because they generally last a lifetime as there are no definitive cures to date (John Hopkins Medical Institutions). It is for these reasons and more that Kay’s Naturals is dedicating a number of our bi-monthly articles to explore autoimmunities. It is our hope that in doing so, we can help open up a dialogue about autoimmune diseases and increase public awareness. It is through understanding that we can overcome these increasingly prevalent disorders. This article will discuss celiac disease and its connection to other autoimmune diseases.
Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by gluten, a wheat and grain protein that makes food’s like bread doughy. CD develops most frequently in individuals who are genetically susceptible and have an environmentally triggering experience. CD creates an autoimmune response that destroys the villi of the small intestine when gluten is ingested. According to the article ‘Celiac Disease-Associated Autoimmune Endocrinopathies,’ published in American Society for Microbiology, “the incidence of CD in various autoimmune disorders is increased 10- to 30-fold in comparison to the general population, although in many cases CD is clinically asymptomatic or silent.” CD is a potentially life threatening disease and its diagnosis and connection to autoimmune disorders is important for a variety of reasons. The authors of the article believe that, “CD may predispose an individual to other autoimmune disorders such as type I diabetes, autoimmune thyroid, and other endocrine diseases and that gluten may be a possible trigger.” There are a number of autoimmune diseases linked to CD, and the connection between them may be genetic. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse lists them as:
      Type I diabetes
      Autoimmune thyroid disease
      Autoimmune liver disease
      Rheumatoid arthritis
      Addison's disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged
      Sjögren's syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed

A greater understanding on behalf of the public and experts is needed to prevent unnecessary bodily harm and pain for individuals with CD. If you have CD, it may be wise to be tested for these autoimmune diseases as well. Be proactive about your health! Spread awareness by educating yourself, your family and friends, and even your doctor. Eating well is also a natural first step to healthy living. Kay’s Naturals is gluten-free and very low in sugar; making it a tasty, convenient and affordable food option for individuals with diabetes and CD! Take a look at Kay’s protein-rich products by following this link.

Could there be a cure for diabetes?

Diabetes is a major concern for many Americans. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “24 million Americans have diabetes. Of these people living with diabetes, about 18 million have been diagnosed, and about 6 million do not know they have it.” Diabetes alters the way the body uses blood sugar, also known as glucose. Healthy glucose levels are critical because it is a main energy source for the brain, muscle and tissue cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. In type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing “islet” cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the immune system. “Islet” cells are vital because they regulate blood glucose levels.

Around the world, thousands are researching the causes, prevention, and medication of diabetes. The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) is currently conducting research to find a cure. In the eyes of DRI, a cure would mean: “The ability to restore natural insulin production and normalize blood sugar levels without imposing other risks.” According to their website they already have a therapy that “works.” The DRI and their collaborators have found that transplanting insulin-producing “islet” cells from donor organs, they are able to “restore natural insulin production in patients” of their clinical trials. These patients have normalized blood sugar levels, are insulin free, and do not experience hypoglycemic episodes. According to DRI, some patients in the trial have been without insulin for more than a decade.
DRI is continuing to research a biological cure for diabetes by creating BioHub. A Biohub is a bioengineered organ that acts like a native pancreas. The BioHub will contain thousands of insulin-producing cells that will be able to determine blood sugar levels to release the correct amount of insulin need at exactly the right time. Three major hurdles still stand in there way: getting enough insulin-producing cells for transplant, finding an optimal place within the body to place the BioHub, and having it be accepted by the body. The DRI is addressing “these challenges by drawing on recent developments in bioengineering, immunology, and decades of transplantation expertise.”

Finding a cure would be amazing for the millions who suffer from diabetes, and their loved ones. It is arguable if BioHub would be a true cure, but this research is leading to new discoveries and treatments. In the meantime, diet is an essential way to ensure blood sugar levels are regulated and healthy. Kay’s Naturals is an excellent choice, because it does not affect blood sugar levels- even our Cinnamon Pretzels. To see all of the healthy, protien-rich, gluten-free, low-sugar, and scrumptious snacks we have, go to