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Supplements, mineral deficiencies and celiac disease

October 21, 2021

Question

What are dietary supplements you would recommend for a patient diagnosed with celiac disease? Would your recommendations for the patient with celiac disease differ from what you would recommend for a patient who has non-celiac gluten sensitivity?

Answer

For dietary supplements, I would advise meeting with your doctor to check for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies before taking a supplement. If you are deficient in any particular nutrient, you could meet with a registered dietitian to discuss increasing food sources of that particular nutrient and/or look into a supplement. Nutritional deficiencies may be more common in the early stages of diagnosis, and it may take some time to heal the lining of the small intestine before the body can absorb nutrients optimally. 

Nutritional recommendations would not vary between the person with celiac disease and someone with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Both scenarios involve going on the gluten-free diet long-term, creating similar nutritional deficiency risks.

While on the gluten-free diet there are particular nutrients you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of, including fiber, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K, and vitamin E. 

Gluten-free foods that will help meet these vitamin and mineral recommendations include beef, poultry, fish, certified gluten-free lentils, eggs, milk, yogurt, gluten-free whole grains, gluten-free fortified breakfast cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice, dried fruits, bananas, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of gluten-free whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean protein, and healthy fats should provide ample nutrition. 

If you want to take a supplement, make sure the supplement you choose has been verified for quality by a third party, because in the United States supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Third party verification groups include USP and NSF, and you’ll see their logo on the supplement bottle. 

 

Sincerely, 

Julie Kennedy, MPH, MEd, RDN, LDN 

Dietitian Julie Kennedy used to be a teacher, but when she and her daughter were diagnosed with celiac disease she switched her career path to focus on nutrition. Visit her at Julie Kennedy Nutrition.


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