Tags: Digestive Problems | probiotics | celiac disease

Do Probiotics Work for People With Celiac Disease?

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 01:47 PM

Probiotics are widely regarded as beneficial for digestive health and may offer benefits for patients with celiac disease.

Celiac disease is characterized by a sensitivity to gluten, a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. The first and most important step in treating this disease is to eliminate all gluten from the diet, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known osteopathic physician explained on his website.

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Changing the type of microbes in the gut by taking probiotics can improve the symptoms of celiac disease, Dr. Mercola noted, summarizing a study that found intestinal flora, or types of bacteria in patients with celiac disease, can significantly affect inflammation. Additionally, probiotics have anti-inflammatory properties. When taken by celiac patients who have successfully eliminated all grains from their diets, probiotics offer another means for improving health and treating symptoms.

However helpful probiotics may be in general, celiac patients need to be especially cautious about the probiotics they choose, particularly if they buy supplements. These products are regulated by the government as supplements, not biological products, the Celiac Disease Foundation noted. Supplements aren't required to be validated as gluten-free prior to marketing, which can cause problems for people with celiac disease.

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Doctors at Columbia University investigated why many people with celiac disease who take probiotics reported having more symptoms of the disease, The New York Times reported. Their findings were alarming: more than half of all top-selling probiotic supplements contain gluten, including some that claimed to be gluten-free on the product label. Some of the products the researchers tested contained only trace amounts of gluten, well below the level the FDA requires for a gluten-free claim. However, a patient taking several doses of the probiotics daily could easily reach a level that could cause problems.

Supplements aren’t necessary for consuming probiotics. In fact, Dr. Mercola said the best and safest way for everyone, including those with celiac disease, to incorporate probiotics into their diets is through traditional, lacto-fermented foods like natto (Japanese fermented soybeans). He also recommends kefir as long as it is made from grass-fed, raw or unpasteurized milk.

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Probiotics are widely regarded as beneficial for digestive health and may offer benefits for patients with celiac disease.
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Friday, 13 May 2016 01:47 PM
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