Diabetes-Related Gluten-Induced Nutritional Deficiencies
We know that nutrient deficiencies are common in newly diagnosed celiac patients. And in fact, research suggests that deficiencies and imbalances can exist even after a gluten free diet is implemented, and even if symptoms are not present.
There are a number of these gluten-induced nutritional deficiencies that impact blood sugar or that may contribute to diabetic complications:
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is common in those with celiac disease and research has shown that high dose vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity and decreases risk of progression toward diabetes in patients with pre-diabetes and hypovitaminosis D.
- Chromium: Chromium deficiency is common in celiac disease patients and research has suggested that supplementation to animals that were rendered insulin resistant improves resistance and markers of glucose metabolism. The research concludes that the beneficial effects of chromium may justify its use as an adjunct therapy in the management of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.
- Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is common in those with celiac disease and research has shown that oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance and improves the glycemic control indicators among type 2 diabetes patients.
- Zinc: Zinc deficiency is common in those with celiac disease and research has shown that several key glycemic indicators are significantly reduced by zinc supplementation, suggesting that zinc supplementation may have clinical potential as an adjunct therapy for preventing or managing diabetes.
- B Vitamins: Deficiency of several B vitamins is common in those with celiac disease as well as type 2 diabetes and research has shown that supplementation has shown improvement of the metabolic control in diabetic patients. In addition, it is important to note that the absorption of folic acid and vitamin B12 is decreased by the prolonged use of metformin, which is the first choice drug in uncomplicated diabetes cases.
- Multi-Vitamin/Mineral: We know that a number of nutrient deficiencies are common in those with celiac disease. While targeted supplementation is helpful, so is broad supplementation with a multivitamin. In fact, research showed that a multivitamin and mineral supplement reduced the incidence of participant-reported infection and related absenteeism in a sample of participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a high prevalence of subclinical micronutrient deficiency. Incredibly, 93% of participants who did not receive a supplement reported an infection compared with 17% of those receiving supplements.