June 13, 2012

Vitamin Supplements Contaminated With Gluten


Hidden gluten in your multivitamins

Are You Flushing Your Money & Health Down The Toilet?

A recent study investigated over the counter vitamin and mineral supplements for the presence of gluten, and the results were alarming for those who are trying to follow a gluten free diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle through the use of multi-vitamins, probiotics, etc.

we investigated the presence of gluten in twenty one common dietary supplements from the national market using the immunochromatographic assay. This visual assay proved to be an efficient rapid tool for gluten screening as an alternative to the ELISA techniques. The results have shown the presence of gluten in 23.8% of the investigated samples (vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, probiotics supplements, lactoferrin, propolis supplements).

Source: Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2011 Oct-Dec;70(4):174-7.

Why is Gluten Cross Contamination Such a Problem?

Many supplement manufactures process multiple products in their facilities.  Often times, grain is used as a filler or additive.  Wheat germ is a common example of a gluten based ingredient being used in supplement processing.  This same problem can be seen in a number of prescription and over the counter medications.  Below is a list of commonly used terms that may be grain based fillers in vitamin supplement products:

  • Wheat germ
  • food glaze
  • food starch
  • maltodextrin
  • MSG
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Textured plant protein
  • Artificial flavors and colors
  • natural flavors
  • dextrin

Supplementation is Critical For Those With Gluten Induced Gut Damage

Multiple studies have shown the relationship between vitamin and mineral deficiencies and gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  It is well established that damage to the intestinal cells can lead to malabsorption and poor digestion.  One study showed that celiac patients following the gluten free diet still had vitamin and mineral deficiencies after 10 years of compliance.  Add to this the fact that the chronic autoimmune inflammatory damage taxes the nutritional status of the body and we are left with chronically ill patients who need supplementation as part of their recovery process.  Now add to this that almost 1/4 of all supplements contain hidden gluten and we have a major medical disaster.

Corn is a Very Commonly Added Component in Supplements

If you have stayed up to date with current literature and research regarding corn gluten, then you are aware of Gluten Free Society’s stance on this problem.  If you are not aware, go here now and catch up.  Corn based fillers are extremely common in supplement products.  As a matter of fact, most brands of vitamin C are derived from corn.  This is one of the many reasons why vitamin C formulations cause reactions in patients with gluten intolerance issues.  As corn is easily hidden and disguised in many ways, I have put together a list of terms you will want to be aware of to avoid this contaminant in your supplements.  If you are in need of probiotics and vitamin supplements without gluten, you can go here.

Important Supplements Recommended for a Speedy Healing Process

  1. A high quality multi-vitamin – Try Ultra Nutrients
  2. A comprehensive digestive formula that contains gluten degrading enzymes – Try Gluten Shield
  3. A strong probiotic – Try Biotic Defense
  4. A supplement containing immune factors to help restore immune function and balance – Try Ultra Immune IgG
  5. Vitamin B-12 in the form of methylcobalamin (95% of patients with gluten sensitivity are deficient in B-12) – try Methylcobalamin
  6. A bowel regulator (this is recommended for those with chronic constipation issues.)  I recommend GI Restore


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