Recovering From Gluten Induced Damage Requires The Right Nutrition…
Years of gluten exposure can damage the gastrointestinal tract and hinder the body’s ability to properly digest, absorb, and assimilate nutrients into your cells where they work to support energy, hormone balance, and many other important functions. Until now, it has been a challenge just finding gluten free vitamins…
Supplementation is Critical For Those With Gluten Induced Gut Damage
Why are vitamins and minerals so important for gluten intolerant people? They are the tools your body uses to function. Think of nutrients as the building blocks to all of your tissues. Without them, your body can’t heal, repair, or maintain itself. 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.(1) 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.(2-5) Many with gluten sensitivity have persistent health issues like heart burn, depression, IBS, low hormones, etc and take natural supplements and medications for their symptoms. Now add to this that almost 1/4 of all supplements and even prescription medications contain hidden gluten and we have a major medical disaster.(6) So how does one find a high quality gluten free vitamin and nutrient supplement? Let’s first look at why you would want to take one in the first place.
How Common Are Nutritional Deficiencies in those With Gluten Sensitivity?
Extremely… Let’s take a look at what a recent research study published in the medical journal, Nutrients(7), found:
- 87.5% of patients diagnosed had at least 1 vitamin or mineral deficiency
- 53.8% were deficient in at least 2 nutrients
- 67% were deficient in the mineral zinc
- 46% were deficient in iron storage
- 20% were deficient in folate (vitamin B9)
- 32% were anemic
- 19% were deficient in vitamin B12
- 14.5% were deficient in vitamin B6
- 7.5% were deficient in vitamin A
- 4.5% were deficient in vitamin D
The scary part about this – not all nutrients were even tested. For example, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B8, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, selenium, chromium, iodine, vitamin K, vitamin E, and essential omega fats were not evaluated. The reality is, these nutrients are vital to fight inflammation, repair damaged tissue, regulate immune function, produce thyroid hormones, produce digestive enzymes, replicate new cells, regulate the adrenal glands, produce energy, help with fat metabolism, and much, much more. How do you heal? How do you maintain health when these essential nutrients are deficient?
The reality is this – many with gluten sensitivity take medications for other health problems. Unfortunately, the doctors don’t always talk about this problem with patients. The problem is so big that books have been written to address the topic(8,9). Consider the following quote from a paper published in the medical journal, Pediatric Clinics of North America (10):
Good clinical care extends beyond mere diagnosis and treatment of disease to appreciation that nutrient deficiencies can be the price of effective drug therapy. The major risk factors for developing drug-induced nutrient deficiencies are lack of awareness by the prescribing physician and long duration of drug therapy.
The average adult over age 35 is on 3 or more medications. Some of the most common ones include drugs for pain, heartburn, depression, thyroid disease, antibiotics, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The consequence of these medications can contribute to the loss of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B1, and folate. The sad irony here is that doctors give the drugs to “treat” disease, but by “treating” patients this way, nutritional loss ensues. Many of the symptoms being medicated are the same symptoms caused by the nutritional loss. For example – high blood pressure drugs cause magnesium loss, and magnesium loss causes high blood pressure. How do you escape this vicious cycle?
The answer is – KNOWLEDGE. Making sure your doctor tests for vitamin and mineral deficiencies is an essential first step. Nutritional supplementation while on these medications is also a priority, but beware…
Gluten Free Vitamins Hard to Come By – Almost 25% of Supplements Contain Gluten
Don’t flush your money and 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. Almost 24% of the products tested had enough gluten in them to create inflammatory damage. Gluten free vitamins can be hard to come by. Here is a quote directly from the study:
“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).”
Why is Gluten Cross Contamination In Supplements 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. Check your “gluten free” vitamin for the following list of commonly used terms that may be grain based fillers:
- Wheat germ
- food glaze
- food starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Textured plant protein
- Artificial flavors and colors
- natural flavors
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.
What is The Solution to Malnutrition Issues in Those With Gluten Sensitivity?
Introducing Ultra Nutrients. This new formulation was designed to offer superior nutritional support for those with gluten sensitivity. Unlike most brands, this Ultra high-quality, hypoallergenic, multivitamin/mineral blend includes activated vitamins and minerals including:
- Folate as a blend of 5-MTHF vs. standard formulas containing inactivated folic acid
- Vitamin B-12 as activated methylcobalamin vs. standard formulas containing cyanocobalamin
- Vitamin B-2 as activated riboflavin 5′ phosphate vs. standard formulas containing regular riboflavin
- Vitamin B-1 as Thiamin Mononitrate vs. standard thiamin hydrochloride
- Vitamin A as a complex mixture of beta carotene and retinyl palmitate vs. beta carotene only
- Vitamin E as mixed natural tocopherols vs. standard synthetic alpha tocopherol only
- Patented Albion® TRAACS® chelated mineral complexes for enhanced absorption.
- An antioxidant blend that supports phase I liver detoxification.
- The comprehensive nutrient profile in Ultra Nutrient supports core wellness for those seeking to re-balance their nutrient status after years of gluten induced damage and malnutrition.
What Ultra Nutrients – Gluten Free Does Not Contain:
This advanced nutritional formula is free of the toxic gluten proteins found in wheat, barley rye, oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and millet. It is also free of yeast, soy, dairy, fish (including shellfish), peanuts, tree nuts, egg, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.
- How many capsules come in each bottle? 120 vegetarian gel capsules.
- What is the recommended dose for this product? 2 capsules twice daily for adults.
- Is this product safe for pregnant women? Yes. However; you should talk with your doctor or nutritionist to ensure you are getting enough zinc, folate, iron, and essential fatty acids to aid in the support of a healthy pregnancy.
- Is this product safe for children? Yes. Children 5 years and up can take Ultra Nutrients. The recommended dose is two capsules per day with food.
Other Important Supplements Recommended for Supporting the Healing Process
- Gluten Shield – A comprehensive digestive formula that contains gluten degrading enzymes
- Biotic Defense – A potent blend of healthy bacteria to promote proper gut flora balance.
- UltraImmune IgG – A supplement containing immune factors to help restore immune function and balance
- Methylcobalamin – Vitamin B-12 in the form of methylcobalamin (95% of patients with gluten sensitivity are deficient in B-12)
- GI Restore – A bowel regulator (this is recommended for those with chronic constipation issues.)
- C. Hallert, C. Grant, S. Grehne, et al. Evidence of poor vitamin status in coeliac patients on a gluten-free diet for 10 years. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2002; 16: 1333–1339.
- Gonçalves C, Oliveira ME, Palha AM, Ferrão A, Morais A, Lopes AI. Autoimmune gastritis presenting as iron deficiency anemia in childhood. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Nov 14;20(42):15780-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i42.15780.
- Bizzaro G1, Shoenfeld Y. Vitamin D and autoimmune thyroid diseases: facts and unresolved questions. Immunol Res. 2014 Nov 19.
- McKeon A, Lennon VA, Pittock SJ, et al. The neurologic significance of celiac disease biomarkers. Neurology. 2014 Nov 11;83(20):1789-96.
- Ji Z, Fan Z, Zhang Y, Yu R, Yang H, Zhou C, Luo J, Ke ZJ. Thiamine deficiency promotes T cell infiltration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: the involvement of CCL2. J Immunol. 2014 Sep 1;193(5):2157-67.
- Oancea S, Wagner A, Cîrstea E, Sima M. Gluten screening of several dietary supplements by immunochromatographic assay. Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2011 Oct-Dec;70(4):174-7.
- Wierdsma NJ, van Bokhorst-de van der Schueren MA, Berkenpas M, et al. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are highly prevalent in newly diagnosed celiac disease patients. Nutrients. 2013 Sep 30;5(10):3975-92. doi: 10.3390/nu5103975.
- Pelton R, LaValle J, Hawkins EB, Krinsky DL. The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. Lexi-Comp, Inc.
- Pelton R, LaValleJ. The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs. 2000. Denver, CO Morton Publishing Company.
- Felípez L, Sentongo TA. Drug-induced nutrient deficiencies. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Oct;56(5):1211-24.