Nutrient Deficiencies, Supplementation and Smart Dietary Choices

Way back (a few months ago), we two sisters signed up for a guest article with the great new company GFree Connect. GFree Connect has these wonderful boxes of gluten free samples that you can order or subscribe to for a minimal fee, and all these excellent gluten free samples get shipped to your house. It is such a great way to try new gluten free products without the massive monetary investment. For a review of the company, check out our blogpost here.

Well, a week or so ago, I got my second box of samples in the mail. I was so pleased to see all the new samples and great companies represented in the box. But the best part for me, was seeing a copy of our article right there in the folder for all of their lovely subscribers to read. Now that the cat is out of the bag, we thought we’d share the article here as well! Either read on below, or check out the article here.

Nutrient Deficiencies, Supplementation and Smart Dietary Choices

In a nutshell, there are a few reasons why people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease (CD) have an increased risk of nutrient deficiency, especially when they are undiagnosed or after diagnosis while their gut is still healing. In CD, our bodies’ reaction to gluten creates an inflammatory response that slowly degrades the lining of the small intestine. This leads to problems with both digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as to increased permeability in the intestinal lining. Nutrient deficiencies then result from the malabsorption of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. With increased permeability, molecules that were never meant to make it into our bloodstream easily cross over and cause increased immune stress and lead to additional delayed food allergies.

This malabsorption in the small intestine leads to these common nutrient deficiencies seen in CD:

    • ·         Essential fatty acids
    • ·         Calcium
    • ·         Iron
    • ·         B vitamins
    • ·         Folic Acid
    • ·         Magnesium
    • ·         Fiber
    • ·         Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K)

You will notice that the best dietary sources of these nutrients come not from grains such as wheat or GF alternatives, but from vegetables, fruits, meats and fish, nuts, seeds and legumes. For instance, the best sources of calcium include dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, sprouts, almonds, raw milk and navy beans; while vitamin D is best gained from sunshine and fatty fishes such as salmon.

As most people do not obtain optimal nutrition through diet alone, supplementation can also be an important tool to promote healing and wellness. It may also help to speed recovery by providing the nutrients necessary for growth and tissue repair. All individuals with gluten intolerance should have their nutrient status reviewed and work with a holistic nutritionist to determine which nutrients they need to supplement and how to adopt a healthy, nutritious GF diet.

The most common supplements that are recommended for CD include a high-potency multi-vitamin, probiotics, and high-quality fish oils as essential fatty acids are one of the top nutrient deficiencies seen with intestinal malabsorption. Additionally, brush-border enzymes and betaine/HCl are often suggested due to prevalence of low stomach-acid issues. It is important to note that the FDA’s recommended daily intake for nutrients is meant for healthy individuals, and that those with intestinal disorders or other disease may need higher amounts to ensure health.

Once our guts have been healed through the elimination of gluten and other food allergens, by focusing on a diet of whole, unprocessed foods and with educated supplementation, we can overcome many of these nutritional deficiencies and be on our way to optimal health and vitality.

Note: This article is a quick synopsis of a lot of information. We will try to get some more detailed information up soon about each of the many topics covered here. If you would like more information right away, please contact us!

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