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Research “Supports the Recommendation for a Daily Multivitamin” for People with Celiac Disease

By June 1, 2009

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At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, researchers studied 109 men and women with celiac disease to see whether the food they were eating was providing the Daily Recommended Intakes for various nutrients. Everyone in the study had biopsy-confirmed celiac disease and had been gluten-free for an average of 5 years.

Today, during the Digestive Disease Week medical conferences in Chicago, the researchers are scheduled to present the results of their study. If you’re familiar with the side-effects of the gluten-free diet, you won’t be surprised that when the celiac patients recorded everything they ate over a three-day period, it turned out that many were not getting enough nutrients in the food they were eating. Here’s a list of the nutrients that were analyzed and the percentages of participants who were not getting the Recommended Daily Intake:

  • Vitamin B12: 29.4%
  • Folate: 85.3%
  • Riboflavin: 24.8%
  • Thiamin: 58.7%
  • Niacin: 29.4%
  • Vitamin B6: 34.9%
  • Iron: 41.3%
  • Fiber: 74.3%
  • Calcium: 81.7%
  • Vitamin D: 92.7%

The researchers also asked participants to fill out questionnaires about their quality of life. The results showed that the participants with higher fiber intake had the best quality of life. (For hints about adding fiber to a gluten-free diet, see High-Fiber Gluten-Free Foods.)

“High percentages of those with celiac disease are not meeting Daily Recommended Intake goals for many nutrients," the researchers wrote in a summary for their presentation. "This finding is especially important given the high rate of osteoporosis and anemia in the celiac population.”

Also, they concluded, their study “supports the recommendation for a daily multivitamin” for people with celiac disease.

Read about other recent advances in celiac disease research.

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