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  • Jefferson Adams

    Vitamin A and D Deficiency Common in Kids with Newly Diagnosed Celiac Disease

    Jefferson Adams
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A new study shows that children with newly diagnosed celiac disease showed significantly reduced levels of vitamin D and A, among other vitamin issues. 

    Image: CC--Matthew Hurst
    Caption: Image: CC--Matthew Hurst

    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.

    The researchers evaluated the symptoms of celiac patients in a newly diagnosed pediatric group and evaluated their fat soluble vitamin levels and intestinal biopsies, and then compared their vitamin levels with those of a healthy control group.

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    The research team included Yavuz Tokgöz, Semiha Terlemez and Aslıhan Karul. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Biochemistry at Adnan Menderes University Medical Faculty in Aydın, Turkey.

    The team evaluated 27 female, 25 male celiac patients, and an evenly divided group of 50 healthy control subjects. Patients averaged 9 years, and weighed 16.2 kg. The most common symptom in celiac patients was growth retardation, which was seen in 61.5%, with  abdominal pain next at 51.9%, and diarrhea, seen in 11.5%. Histological examination showed nearly half of the patients at grade Marsh 3B. 

    Vitamin A and vitamin D levels for celiac patients were significantly lower than the control group. Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies were significantly more common compared to healthy subjects. Nearly all of the celiac patients showed vitamin D insufficiency, while nearly 62% showed vitamin D deficiency. Nearly 33% of celiac patients showed vitamin A deficiency. 

    The team saw no deficiencies in vitamin E or vitamin K1 among celiac patients. In the healthy control group, vitamin D deficiency was seen in 2 (4%) patients, vitamin D insufficiency was determined in 9 (18%) patients. The team found normal levels of all other vitamins in the healthy group.

    Children with newly diagnosed celiac disease showed significantly reduced levels of vitamin D and A. The team recommends screening of vitamin A and D levels during diagnosis of these patients.



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    I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and corn intolerance in 1993, when I was 57 years old.  It first showed up as Dermatitis Herpitiformis.  I've been on a gluten-free diet and have avoided corn products since.

    Back when I was 14, (that would have been in 1950), I developed an outrageous case of psoriasis.  In those days, it was treated with X-ray and various creams and soaps.  My dermatologist was very wise, however.  He discovered I was vitamin A deficient and prescribed 25,000 I. U. of Vitamin A daily, until the psoriasis cleared.  After that, I was to take the Vitamin A, 25,000 I.U. for three months and then stop.  At the first sign psoriasis was returning, I was to resume the Vitamin A, 25,000 I.U. for three months, and continue the routine forever.  The reason for the stop and start treatment was that Vitamin A can be quite toxic if too much is taken.


    In the 1980's Beta Carotine became readily available, and I switched to Beta Carotine, 25,000 IU, because the body eliminates the Beta Carotine it doesn't need, and so it is not toxic.


    In the last couple of years, I have developed a touch of psoriasis, for which I use a small amount of prescribed ointment.  The psoriasis hasn't expanded, and I continue the Beta Carotine.


    In looking back over the years, I suspect I was Gluten Intolerant from early childhood, but not to an extreme degree.  I have passed on my intolerance to my two sons and my two grandchildren.  Interesting.  And my brothers have it too.


    I mention all this because it may be useful information to add to the body of knowledge we as fellow Gluten Intolerant people, are gathering.


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    I'm very curious about this information. 

      I was told at an early age that we needed to be in the sun for at least ten minutes a day to get the necessary amount of vitamin d.

      So what's going on with celiac and vitamin d? Are our bodies not making the vitamin because of the celiac? Are we not getting enough sun and seeing an increase in symptoms, or greater intensity of symptoms? 

      My symptoms did not get really bad until i was dx'd with lupus and had a sun allergy. I was staying out of the sun completely. 

      I wonder how many others have quit sun bathing, or use intense sun screens. How many of us take supplements to counteract the lack of sun exposure?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF 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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