Supplements for Celiacs

upplements for CeliacsThe diagnosis celiac disease very often means a lack of minerals, vitamins and trace elements, caused by the damages in the small intestines. The deficiencies can be very different from person to person so please: before you take any supplement please consult your doctor etc and get yourself tested if your blood actually shows any deficiencies!

Right after the diagnosis it is rather common to experience a reduced level of iron, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. After going strictly gluten free many of these deficiencies are being filled up again, sometimes they stay longer. It is important to address these deficiencies, as they can lead to further health problems. For example a low level of vitamin D and calcium might cause a low bone mineral density which might result in osteoporosis.

If you buy supplements, please make sure they are gluten free and always consult your doctor before taking them.

L-Glutamine

The first supplement I want to introduce to you might be a surprise – especially if you are in the weight lifting scene you might even have heard about it! It is called glutamine, an amino acid that can help to heal a leaky gut cause by Celiac Disease. The fitness industry sells it for preserving and even building muscle tissue, although this has never been proven in lab results whereas the healing properties for the gut has a scientific basis (for example: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PII0140-6736(93)90939-E/abstract)

It is crucial to heal a leaky gut and to heal the small intestines as only a proper working system can digest the minerals, vitamins and trace elements, that your body needs. That’s why you have to address this first before starting to buy expensive supplements, because your body couldn’t absorb and use them anyway while the gut is still damaged.

L-glutamine is both available in food as well as a supplement. In food it is both present in animal protein as well as in plant-based protein sources. Here are the foods with the most L-glutamine:

  • Bone Broth (home made!)
  • Grass-fed Beef
  • Spirulina
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Wild Caught Fish (Cod, Tuna and Salmon)
  • Venison
  • Turkey

Try to include at least three servings of these everyday! If you can’t then it is best to turn to a supplement, the best dosage here is between 2-5g twice a day. There are many L-glutamine supplements available Amazon!.
It dissolves quickly in water and has a neutral taste.

Gelatin

Bone broth as an excellent source of L-glutamine. But bone broth has even more advantages, as it contains another substance that has amazing benefits: gelatin! If you are a vegetarian or vegan then you might want to check for alternatives, but I strongly believe that there is no real substitute for it.

Gelatin is known for improving the lining of the gut and strengthening the digestion, as it enhances the gastric acid secretion and restores the mucosal lining in the stomach. It also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements. This helps to heal a leaky and celiac gut.

Besides all these benefits gelatin will also protect your joints, helps building up the skin and even supports a better sleep.

If you are not fan of bone broth then you can always supplement gelatin. If you do, please make sure it is not the cheap stuff from the supermarket, but a high quality one.

Fish Oil

Have you seen fish oil capsules in health stores and wondered what they are good for? Actually they have a ton of benefits for health issues like:

  • heart disease
  • depression
  • high cholesterol
  • arthritis
  • eczema
  • cancer
  • weakened immunity
  • autoimmune disease

Fish oil contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, only to be found in fish. As our modern diet tends to lack of these important fatty acids and our intake of Omega 6 is to high in comparison to Omega 3 you might benefit greatly of supplementing with fish oil.

The best benefits for people with celiac disease is of course the anti-inflammation properties of fish oil as well as the improvement of leaky gut – both important issues to be addressed.

Usually the dose should be 1000 mg per day – based on scientific research. But please choose wisely as fish oil can oxidize quickly and can go rancid. Also keep them in a cool place as they are heat sensitive. Choose a supplement that contains anti-oxidants, i.e. astaxanthin or even essential oils.

Chris Kesser, one of the main Paleo supporters recommends this Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil. I haven’t tried it, but I trust his knowledge: http://www.corganic.com/evclo/

Vitamin D, Magnesium and Calcium

A vitamin D deficiency is something most of us suffer from, not only we celiacs, but nearly everyone in the industrial nations. Most of us aren’t exposed to the sun long enough and even if we wear highly efficient sunscreen. That’s why everyone really should get their vitamin D levels tested. And please, get tested before you take any supplements!

So why is vitamin D so essential? It is a critical nutrient for bone health and the overall immune system strength. Many celiacs suffer from osteoporosis, a bone disease where the bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, even from sneezing or minor bumps.

Deficiency in vitamin D also very often leads to calcium deficiency, because your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium found in the food. Calcium is equally important for bone health. But – if you supplement vitamin D and calcium then you should also take magnesium as well as vitamin K2, as they all work together.

If you buy supplements, please make sure they are gluten free and always consult your doctor before taking them.

It is also advisable to include foods in your diet that are extremely nutrition dense.

Iron

Iron deficiency is very common in people with undiagnosed or newly diagnosed celiac disease, and especially women (with or without celiac) suffer from it. The deficiency can cause anemia, which is when iron levels are low for a long period of time without relief, which makes red blood cell production ineffective. This disorder causes chronic fatigue and weakness for anyone suffering from it.

But even a not so dramatic iron can wreak havoc on your overall health, leaving you feeling lethargic and tired without an apparent explanation.
If you think you’re low on iron, have your doctor run a simple blood test to find out if you’re anemic. You don’t want to take too much iron – just enough to get your levels back to a normal, healthy state, as too much iron can cause damage to your body, too!

And sorry for repeating myself, but please: If you buy supplements, please make sure they are gluten free and always consult your doctor before taking them.

Conclusion

Of course there are many more and it is important to get your blood levels checked for any deficiencies you might have developed due to the damage in your small intestines.

  • Here are some general tips you should follow when you are buying supplements.
  • Always make sure they are gluten free, and if in doubt contact the company.
  • Please don’t overdose minerals and vitamins as this can be harmful, too!
  • Avoid supplements that are mega or high doses.
  • Avoid supplements full of unwanted additives like shellac, gums, talk, silicon. The more natural the better!