Friday, 5 April 2013

Taking Nutritional Supplements for Celiac Disease

For people with celiac disease, especially those recently diagnosed, eating gluten-free food and taking the right supplements is paramount.  This article talks about the cutting edge nutritional research behind Nucleotide Nutrition’s food supplement IntestAid IB and how it is able to support a healthy small intestine.

Digestion and celiac disease

An allergic reaction to gluten, celiac disease (or gluten sensitivity) is a severe immune response which leads to inflammation of the small intestines and injury to the intestinal lining. Diarrhoea, abdominal bloating, vomiting and weight loss may be experienced from this reaction to gluten, and the consequential inability to properly digest food. As the villi are destroyed, the surface area is reduced and the intestinal lining is made smooth. Without the villi, absorption of dietary nutrients is made inefficient, leading to malnutrition. Many celiac sufferers are deficient in essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin D and K, calcium, magnesium and folic acid. If untreated, malnourishment and insufficient vitamins and minerals in the diet can cause osteoporosis (weakening of the bones and reduction of bone density).

Dietary supplements that may help

The rate of proliferation (increased generation) of cells found in the intestinal lining, known as the epithelial cells, are highest here than elsewhere in the body. That means that cells are constantly being created to replace damaged or lost cells. Just as you shed dead skin cells, your cells in the intestinal lining are replaced frequently – every three to five days to be precise. This turnover of cells is so high that the body requires a dietary intake of particular foods high in nucleotides to sufficiently meet this demand for a healthy gut. Since foods such as organ meat (liver, kidneys, heart) are rarely eaten in our modern diets, many people including those without digestive intolerances, do not  feed their bodies the amount of nucleotides they need. In fact these offal meats could be described as functional foods (or ‘food as medicine’); a natural way of ‘treating’ the body by eating a particular diet designed around an ailment or health issue (read Alliance for Natural Health’s article on functional food).

IntestAid IB is a supplement created specifically to provide an optimal support of the intestinal cell repair processes leading to optimal and normal digestion. It contains a purified nucleotide formula, Nutri-tide, a source of the five types of nucleotides required by the gut cells. For people with celiac disease, this could be a highly beneficial product to take as a dietary supplement; to assist the small intestine repair from inflammation damage, and promote villi growth. Though it is necessary for celiacs to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet, IntestAid IB can support the recovery process and normalisation of the gut during these significant dietary changes. Some professionals suggest that vitamin and mineral supplementation should not be attempted until three weeks after the implementation of the gluten-free diet, however nucleotides (neither a vitamin nor a mineral) such as those found in IntestAid IB, are incredibly valuable as the gut begins to restore to a healthy state. 

For more information on nucleotides and what they are, read our article ‘Are our modern-day diets depriving us?

Koeppel, P. Celiac Disease: Nutritional supplements for period following diagnosis. February 2013
ANH. UK television breaks new ground with ‘food as medicine’ concept. November 2011.