Book Review – Mayo Clinic Going Gluten Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions. Joseph Murray MD 2016

If you have been recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease (CD), and are totally new to the world of gluten-free, this book is worth picking up. It goes in depth about the steps taken to achieve a diagnosis of CD, cope and adjust to the resulting dietary change, and return to health and vitality. Dr. Murray also spends several chapters explaining the gluten-related condition “spectrum” and touches on all of the wheat and gluten based disorders known to date. These include: CD, Wheat Allergy, Non-Celiac Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity (NCGS/NCWS), Wheat-Dependent Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis, and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. This book is the perfect beginners guide to gluten-free living and understanding CD.

Overall Book Rating: 8.5/10

Credibility wise, you can rest assured. Dr. Murray is one of the most credentialed gluten-disorder/CD experts in the world. He is a Gastroenterologist based out of Rochester, Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic. His most prominent research focused on the prevalence of CD in the United States, this was in collaboration with Alessio Fasano (Gluten Freedom) and Peter Green (Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic), two more of the world’s gluten experts! I’ve reviewed their gluten related books as well. He has many publications on the epidemiology, diagnostics, and definitions of CD and gluten related disorders.

Recently, he has been leading a clinical trial on Latiglutenase to continue investigating its potential as a CD treatment. Latiglutenase is a dual-enzyme with rapid gluten degrading properties. It’s a combination of a Barley Endoprotease and a bacterial Endopeptidase. Murray is a champion of CD and gluten-related disorder awareness and diagnosis. His book empowers those with CD to take charge of their health and lives!

The Good

  • In depth explanation of what Celiac Disease is.
  • Lays out the steps to diagnosis and how to interpret your test results if they are confusing or you want a second opinion because you are skeptical of the diagnosis.
  • Lists potential future treatments for CD: Nano-Vaccine (TAK-062), Larazotide (Fasano’s Zonulin Inhibitor), and designer digestive enzymes (Latiglutenase, TAK-101).
  • Dispels the many myths surrounding gluten-related disorders. For example: More CD patients are overweight than underweight!
  • Highlights the health consequences of undiagnosed active CD. Average age of diagnosis ~45 years!
  • Book has high quality, informative infographics, figures and images.
  • Details the epidemiology and risk factors of CD.
  • Talks about the importance of IgA deficiency testing to rule out false negative results.
  • Differentiates between regular Gliadin Antibody testing and Deamidated Gliadin testing.
  • Hypothesizes reasons behind the increase in gluten-related disorders in the 21st century. 4X Increase!
  • Tells you which symptoms to watch out for that may be a sign to get tested for CD.
  • Mentions that asymptomatic CD may be 7X more common than symptomatic! Wow.
  • Explains the different presentations of CD (classic, atypical, potential, non-classic, and sub-clinical).
  • Emphasizes how genetic testing may be the quickest and easiest way rule out celiac disease (HLA-DQ2/8 Negative).
  • Highlights nutrients to focus on when adopting a gluten-free diet and those that are commonly deficient in CD.
  • Dedicates multiple chapters to non-celiac glute disorders.
  • Glossary of gluten-free grains and flours.
  • How to read labels to check for gluten, and explains gluten-free labeling laws in the US.
  • Touches on the theorys for what triggers CD and gluten-related disorders.
  • Last few chapters are pretty much just the how-to of living gluten free. E.g. navigating restauraunts, coping with emotional distress from the diet’s restrictive nature, recipes, and advice on raising children with CD.

The Bad

  • Too restrictive on oats being part of a gluten-free diet. They are fine you just need to make sure they are gluten-free oats. Regular oats do have significant levels of wheat, barley, and rye contamination.
  • Fails to mention Aspergillus niger Prolyl Endopeptidase (AN-PEP). This is one of the most researched over the counter gluten degrading enzyme currently available. I think it can be useful for when dining out to prevent cross contamination and even just to quell anxiety around it!
  • At least 10 pages with just a full color image of stock photos, Unneeded.
  • Cannot easily vet the studies mentioned in the book’s due to lack of references and citations.
  • Needs to explain that the FODMAP diet is an elimination diet, not a long term hyper restrictive diet. FODMAPs are a trademark of MONASH University.
  • Antiquated saturated fat / cholesterol mantra. Recommend vegetable oil but gives to mention to omega-3s. Only eating lean fish won’t be enough.
  • A bit over restrictive saying to avoid deli/lunch meats, corn chips, french fries, salad dressings, and potato chips. These can all be safe on a gluten-free diet, just read the label and make sure it’s separate fryers etc.
  • Says “if it contains wheat it contains gluten”. This is mostly right, but you can eat wheat starch, it’s gluten free. See Digiorno’s gluten free pizza