Are your products all certified gluten-free?
All Jo-Sef products are CSA certified which means they meet the strictest criteria for absence of gluten in product ingredients, processing and packaging. The CSA Recognition Seal denotes the most risk-free choice for all people eliminating gluten from the diet. CSA requires that we address all ingredient, production and training elements, and products are tested using the most sensitive ELISA test presently available in the United States. The R-Biopharm RIDASCREEN® Gliadin test has a lower limit of quantification of 5 parts per million. Products must test below the level of quantification of this test to qualify for the CSA Recognition Seal.

I’m one of those unlucky people who are lactose intolerant in addition to being glucose intolerant. Are your products lactose free?
Lactose intolerance is actually quite common in people with celiac disease, and often improves once the small intestine has completely healed on a gluten-free diet.

In addition to being gluten free, all Jo-Sef products are lactose free.

I’ve noticed your products are Kosher. Under which Kosher supervision are your products manufactured?
Jo-Sef products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. The OU is the world’s most recognized and most trusted koshersymbol. Any product bearing the  symbol must meet the high, exacting kosher standards of the Orthodox Union.

What exactly is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from ingesting gluten. Normally, your small intestine is lined with tiny, hair-like projections called villi. Resembling the deep pile of a plush carpet on a microscopic scale (villi is literally “shaggy hair” in Latin!), the intestinal villi absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients from the food you eat. Celiac disease causes continuous damage to the villi. Without villi, the intestinal lining becomes less like a plush carpet and more like a tile floor, and your body is unable to absorb nutrients necessary for health and growth. Instead, necessary nutrients such as fat, proteins, vitamins and minerals are eliminated with your stool.

Is celiac disease hereditary?
Yes. If someone in your immediate family has it, chances are 5 to 15 percent that you may have the disease as well.

My child has been diagnosed with celiac disease. How should I handle the situation?
As a parent, your attitude towards tackling this lifelong condition will directly determine how your child perceives and relates to it. Adopt a positive attitude and your child will take it in stride as well. Children are highly resilient and will adapt quickly to a gluten-free diet. With so many commercial products to choose from today, food choices and menu selection has become a lot more extensive than you might have expected. With positive healing results and your continual reassurance and support in maintaining this diet, your child will have the tools needed to accept and face the dietary challenges head on.

Are gluten intolerance and celiac disease the same?
Not necessarily. Gluten intolerance is a broad term which includes celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy. Celiac disease is generally recognized as the most severe form of gluten intolerance. However, a person suffering from gluten intolerance doesn’t necessarily have full-blown celiac disease. All celiac patients suffer from villous atrophy, but villous atrophy is only one possible result of gluten intolerance.

Gluten intolerance can potentially cause a large number health problems. In the absence of villous atrophy, gliadin antibodies indicate gluten intolerance.

Although some assume that gluten intolerance is less serious than celiac disease, non-celiac gluten intolerance can sometimes be as severe as celiac disease, and there is no evidence that celiac disease is the end stage of gluten intolerance.

I have recently been diagnosed, but tests show that I have been suffering from celiac disease for many years. Is it possible that I have suffered irreparable damage?
Fortunately, the villi in your small intestine will begin regenerating as soon as you stop consuming gluten. Some people see improvement in a matter of days. Complete healing and regrowth of the villi may take several months in younger people and as long as two to three years in older people. Stick to a gluten-free diet and you will get better!

Is there a connection between celiac disease and fertility?
A 2000 study in Italy found that “celiac disease may impair the reproductive life of affected women, eliciting delayed puberty, infertility, amenorrhea and precocious menopause. Clinical and epidemiological studies show that female patients with celiac disease are at higher risk of spontaneous abortions, low birth weight of the newborn and reduced duration of lactation.” The authors suggest a gluten-free diet as the only method of prevention and treatment.

Should celiac patients avoid oats?
A small subset of celiacs have avenin-reactive mucosal T-cells, causing them to be sensitive to oats in addition to gluten. Most celiac patients can safely tolerate oats, yet many studies found celiac patients having adverse reactions to oats. The problem is often one of cross contamination. A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that no commercial brand of oats were reliably gluten-free. Patients who want to incorporate a modest amount of oats in their diet should seek out certified gluten-free oats to avoid contamination issues.

How can I be sure that the food I buy is totally gluten-free?
Make sure both raw and processed food products are manufactured in a gluten-free facility. With awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity at an all-time high, there is an entire industry devoted to creating gluten-free foods. Check the package for reliable certification to be sure that besides being gluten-free, the product doesn’t contain gluten via cross-contamination.