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    Jefferson Adams

    Vitamins Crucial to Preventing Bone Disease in Celiacs


    Celiac.com 09/08/2010 - Children with celiac disease face high risks for bone disease without supplemental vitamins, according to a recent study by scientists at the Canada's University of Alberta. The study shows that without certain crucial vitamins, children with celiac disease face a greater risk for weak bones and osteoporosis.

    For the study, the research team evaluated 43 children and teens from three to 18 years of age with clinically proven celiac disease. They found that the children commonly showed low bone density, most likely from poor intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals.

    According to the results, the children with celiac disease got less than half of their recommended daily intake of Vitamin K. They also showed low Vitamin D levels, which can be normalized by eating fortified dairy products by regular sun exposure.

    That means kids with celiac disease need more of bone-promoting vitamins such as K and D as part of their regular nutrition, says Diana Mager who is professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science, and co-leader the research team together with Justine Turner, pediatric gastroenterologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the U of A.

    "Children with celiac disease are at risk for poor bone health, but by adding vitamins K and D to their diets, it can help reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis," Mager said. 

    Mager also recommends that children with celiac disease get outside as part of their regular play activity to build bone strength and boost Vitamin D levels.

    "Enjoying activities such as walking and running outdoors when there is more sunshine is a great way to contribute to healthy bones," Mager said.

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    A very interesting study. Parents should note that children with dark skin will need to spend longer in sunlight than white children to make Vitamin D in their skin. And probably they should not shower immediately after sun exposure. It is hard to get enough from diet, but oily fish is a good source. Know any children who like oily fish? I don't. Get D levels checked by testing. Supplements may well be needed. The Vitamin D council website links to vast strings of research on D.

    There is also research showing that melatonin levels need to be normal to achieve bone density. Makes sense - good sleep builds good bones. So sleep problems should be watched for, though this research doesn't go into that.

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    A very interesting study. Parents should note that children with dark skin will need to spend longer in sunlight than white children to make Vitamin D in their skin. And probably they should not shower immediately after sun exposure. It is hard to get enough from diet, but oily fish is a good source. Know any children who like oily fish? I don't. Get D levels checked by testing. Supplements may well be needed. The Vitamin D council website links to vast strings of research on D.

    There is also research showing that melatonin levels need to be normal to achieve bone density. Makes sense - good sleep builds good bones. So sleep problems should be watched for, though this research doesn't go into that.

    Have been giving my grandson (age 11) 4 Omega 3 capsules a day. Doc has prescribed Vit D but not suggested Vit K is deficient. Additional bonus with Omega 3 is that he no longer has "fuzzy logic" and can now think clearly and is romping ahead at school! He likes how he feels and remembers to take it without reminder! If kids are younger and can't take capsules, you can pierce one or more and put in drink or soft food.

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    I am 71 and was diagnosed with celiac disease 14 years ago. A bone density finding of Osteopenia has had me on supplements of calcium as well as Fosamax for over 7 years. I stopped taking Fosamax a year ago, but have just been advised from a CT Scan for scoring calcium in the arteries that I have extensive calcium build up in three of four major coronary arteries. How do you balance such supplements with avoiding calcium build up?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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