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Risk of Low Bone Mineral Density and Low Body Mass Index in Patients with Non-Celiac Wheat-Sensitivity

Celiac.com 12/15/2014 - Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), aka `wheat sensitivity’ (NCWS), is currently included in the spectrum of gluten-related disorders. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--SklmstaMany people with celiac disease suffer from low bone mass density, but there has been no good data on low bone mass density in people with NCWS.

A team of researchers recently set out to determine rates of low bone mass density in NCWS patients and to search for correlations with other clinical characteristics. The researchers included Antonio Carroccio, Maurizio Soresi, Alberto D'Alcamo, Carmelo Sciumè, Giuseppe Iacono, Girolamo Geraci, Ignazio Brusca, Aurelio Seidita, Floriana Adragna, Miriam Carta and Pasquale Mansueto.

For their prospective observation study, the team assessed 75 NCWS patients (63 women; median age 36 years) with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms, along with control groups of 65 patients with IBS and 50 with celiac disease. The team recruited patients from two Internal Medicine Departments. The diagnoses of NCWS were established using an elimination diet and double-blind placebo controlled wheat challenge.

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The team determined bone mass density in all subjects using Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA), in addition to assessing all subjects for duodenal histology, HLA DQ typing, body mass index, and daily calcium intake. The double-blind placebo controlled wheat challenge revealed that 30 of the 75 NCWS patients suffered sensitivity to multiple foods. Osteopenia and osteoporosis frequency increased from IBS to NCWS and to celiac disease (P <0.0001).

Thirty-five of the patients with NCWS (46.6%) showed osteopenia or osteoporosis. Low bone mass density was related to low body mass index and multiple food sensitivity. Levels of daily dietary calcium intake were significantly lower in NCWS patients than in control subjects with IBS.

The study showed that patients with NCWS suffered from higher rates of bone mass loss; which correlated with low body mass index, and was more frequent in NCWS patients who showed sensitivity to multiple foods.

The team also found that patients with NCWS generally had a low daily intake of dietary calcium.

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