10 Supplements People With Celiac Disease Should Consider
When you have Celiac disease, you are at risk for several nutrient deficiencies. Especially if you are newly diagnosed and still healing your gut from gluten damage (which can take upwards of 1-2 years). In this post I’ll discuss 10 supplements for Celiac disease that people with this diagnosis should consider.
DISCALIMER: This post only directly applies to my friends with celiac disease. While I try to be an all-inclusive gluten-free blog, sometimes things will only apply to my non-celiac gluten sensitive friends and sometimes (like in this case), my posts will only apply to my friends with celiac disease.
Why People with Celiac Disease Need Supplements
Celiac disease is a condition where when you eat the protein gluten (which is commonly found in many grains like wheat), your body attacks itself. Specifically, when you eat gluten, the villi in your small intestine are damaged.
The villi in your small intestine are responsible for helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and other minerals and nutrients. This means when there is damage, you are at risk for deficiency for the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A, D, E, K
- The B Vitamins
First, I want to make it clear I am a huge supporter of the Food First approach. This means, I believe if you can, it’s better to get your nutrients from food rather than take supplements. This is a huge reason why I love fermented foods and I post about them so much on my Instagram. However, when you have celiac disease, sometimes it’s not feasible to take this approach. This is where the following 10 Supplements for Celiac disease can help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here’s another friendly reminder to check-in with your healthcare professionals to see if and what supplements are best/safe for you.
Top 10 Supplements for Celiac Disease
Commonly people who are diagnosed with Celiac disease experience iron-deficiency anemia. Having Celiac disease and iron-deficiency anemia is actually very common. In fact, anemia is one of many potential indicators of celiac disease because of the damage done to the small intestine impairing the bodies ability to absorb iron. This is why iron supplementation can be beneficial.
If you know me, you know I am all about affordability and ordering things through Amazon (convenience is everything y’all) so I like to order my supplements from Amazon (this is not a sponsored post though I am using affiliate links throughout this post at no cost you).
Surprisingly, Amazon’s iron supplement is gluten-free and vegan! SCORE!
Iron Rich Food Sources
- Dark Leafy Greens (think kale, spinach, etc)
- Beans (lentils, black beans, etc.)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Red Meat, Shellfish, and Fish
PROTIP: Taking a vitamin C supplement or eating vitamin C rich foods along with your iron supplement or iron-rich foods can improve iron-absorption!
Celiac disease and osteoporosis: people with Celiac disease are at increased risk for osteoporosis because of their potential impaired ability to absorb calcium. The villi in the small intestine are responsible for absorbing calcium (among other nutrients) and if they are damaged, can cause calcium deficiency. This means even if you are eating enough calcium, your body might not be absorbing it, putting you at risk for this horrific bone disease.
Additionally, to absorb calcium, you need an adequate amount of Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin that people with Celiac disease are also at risk for deficiency in. Further putting you at risk for osteoporosis.
The good news? Calcium and Vitamin-D may help.
Calcium Rich Food Sources
- Chia Seeds
- Poppy Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sardines & Canned Salmon (bonus points if it’s with bones)
- Beans and Lentils
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Fortified foods (like orange juice, dairy alternatives)
Magnesium is another mineral absorbed in the small intestine leaving you at risk to be deficient in this nutrient too. This mineral plays an important role in our bodies such as blood sugar management, blood pressure regulation, maintenance of muscles and nerve function, and it can even help support the immune system.
The best absorbable form of magnesium supplement wise is Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Aspartate, or Magnesium Citrate.
Magnesium Rich Food Sources:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Black beans
- Quinoa, buckwheat, & brown rice
Pro-Tip: If you are worried about your magnesium levels, be cautious about how much caffeine you drink as it could deplete magnesium from your body.
An essential mineral involved in several important body processes, often people with Celiac disease can be deficient in this nutrient. Zinc is important for wound healing, appetite, growth, and immunity.
Supplement wise, Zinc Picolinate is probably the easiest form for your body to absorb. Though more expensive then other kinds of Zinc supplements, it’s all about quality when it comes to supplements.
Good Food Sources:
- Fish, Shellfish, Oysters
- Red Meat, Poultry
- Whole Grains
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
- Cooked Greens
- Fortified Cereals
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins that are absorbed in the small intestine. If you are newly diagnosed or still recovering, you could be at risk for being deficient in these vitamins.
Vitamin A – is good for vision, vital organ processes, immunity, and reproduction.
Vitamin D – already mentioned in the calcium discussion, it’s vital for bone health, immunity, and other vital health processes.
Vitamin E – is an antioxidant that helps fight off free radical damage. It can be good for the skin and nail.
Vitamin K – is important for blood clotting, bone health, and blood calcium levels.
These Fat Soluble Vitamins can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to supplementing these vitamins, a Multivitamin might be best. In fact, a multivitamin with all of the nutrients of concern when it comes to celiac disease is optimal.
I should also say, true deficiencies in these vitamins are not as common.
The B Vitamins
There are multiple B vitamins of concern when it comes to a healthy diet. They all have their important roll in cell and body processes. With that said, a B-Complex can be beneficial in ensuring you’re getting enough of these vitamins. Especially since a few of them, like folate (or folic acid), are often found in fortified grains that are eliminated from the gluten-free diet after diagnosis.
Supplements for Celiac Disease: Honorable Mentions
L-Glutamine can be found in eggs, beef, skim milk, tofu, white rice, corn, and other complete protein sources.
This essential amino acid is used for a variety of body processes, one of which is the building and repair of tissues. Not only that but it plays a role in digestive health, helping keep your gut happy and healthy.
This is not to be confused with glutamine peptides as these are typically derived from wheat and are the precursors to L-Glutamine.
If you don’t like fermented foods, taking a good probiotic supplement can be beneficial. Probiotics can help balance your good gut bacteria, aid in digestion, improve mood and so much more. However, there is a lot of science out there suggesting that the efficacy of different probiotics vary greatly. Finding a probiotic supplement that makes a difference for you might take some trial and error. Because this area is so varied, I won’t provide any suggested supplements.
Personally, I don’t take probiotic supplements. I enjoy a variety of homemade fermented foods (it’s very affordable) and this way I know I’m getting a variety of good live bacteria in my diet to help keep things balanced. (I often drink homemade fermented ginger soda, and I eat fermented pickled carrot sticks and pickled celery).
Activated charcoal is a binding agent that binds to toxins. This binding to toxins may, in turn, reduce gas and bloating. Many people (including myself) report feeling better after taking activated charcoal following gluten exposure. It’s suggested that it helps alleviate the problem. When taking activated charcoal it’s important to make sure you drink enough water to prevent constipation. You want things to move quickly out of your body not hunker down if you know what I mean.
Curcumin is found in both ginger and turmeric. It’s the plant chemical responsible for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory impacts of both roots.
I am giving Curcumin an honorable mention here because it can be powerful in helping someone with celiac disease recover from gluten exposure. Curcumin can be taken in supplemental form however a more powerful form is through food. Turmeric latte’s or ginger tea both could help with recovering from gluten exposure.
Gluten-Free Supplement Buying Tips:
- Make sure your supplements are gluten-free
- Natural doesn’t mean safe. Look for NSF, USP, or GMP certifications
- Watch out for additives/additional ingredients like gelatin, talc, silicon, gums, and other coatings
- ALWAYS talk to your health care providers before starting any new supplement.
As always, when sourcing your supplements make sure to do your own diligent research on whether or not they meet your own personal safety standards. The supplements linked in this post are mere suggestions but ingredients can change so make sure you are doing your own research ad consulting with your health-care team before making purchases.
This post (and any other post on this site) is NOT to take the place of medical advice from your health care team. Always consult your health care team before making changes to your diet and taking supplements.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.