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Most Probiotic Supplements Contain Gluten

Celiac.com 06/08/2015 - Many people with celiac disease take probiotic supplements to aid with digestion and improve gut health.

Photo: CC--Ryan SnyderHowever, a new study reveals that many popular probiotics actually contain traces of gluten, which is worrying for people who may have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Researchers at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center used a detection technique called liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze 22 popular, high-selling probiotics and measure gluten content. The team found that more than half of them (55%) contained gluten, including products labeled "gluten-free," according to research presented on May 16 at Digestive and Disease Week in Washington DC.

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For reasons doubtless including liability, the team did not list the names of the brands or products they tested. It is safe to assume that these would include major, easily accessible brands.

These revelations may be unsurprising, given recent reports about gluten contamination in dietary supplements.

So, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and take probiotic supplements, be sure to double-check your products; they may contain traces of gluten.


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15 Responses:

 
Rick
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 7:17:13 AM PST
What I find confusing with a lot of these supplements is how some will just say "Wheat Free" rather than "Gluten Free" while others will say "Gluten Free" only to have "Made in a facility that also produces wheat products" on the other side of the label.

 
Laura
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 10:51:38 AM PST
Not sure how you are supposed to "double check your probiotics for traces of gluten", if they are already labeled gluten free.

 
JeanneA
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 1:59:39 PM PST
This whole thing has made me so angry. Can you imagine a report saying that many brands of an important supplement for cancer patients contains something dangerous---a toxin, a carcinogen---but not naming the brands. I just can't believe that the brands aren't made public. So unfair. I tried to immediately stop taking the 2 probiotics I take regularly, but immediately had problems so went back on them. There's no way of knowing if they're doing silent damage.

 
Rima
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 4:59:42 PM PST
Interesting article. I for one cannot take probiotics. Ever time I take a probiotic I inadvertently become sick with all the 'usual' gluten symptoms. I've tried three different brands and all caused a problem. I then consulted my doctor, she prescribed another brand that they use in hospitals (quite costly) sure enough, sick again. So, no more probiotics for me. This is an absolute disgrace.

 
Sam
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 8:33:48 PM PST
This article is misleading. Only 22 probiotics were tested. 55% of those 22 contained gluten. This does NOT mean that "MOST" probiotics contain gluten.

 
Stan
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 9:13:19 PM PST
How do we "double-check your products" when the story said some the ones with gluten were labeled "gluten-free" ?

 
Nancy Maurer
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said this on
01 Jul 2015 5:33:53 AM PST
I agree. It would be nice if there was a list of the products that contain trace amounts of gluten

 
gloria
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 9:46:35 PM PST
Interesting article. However it says to double check the labels and yet the article states that although they say gluten free studies show some of them contain gluten. So what good does it do to check the labels. One can't believe what they read or what?

 
James
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said this on
15 Jun 2015 10:47:56 PM PST
So if they said gluten free on the label, but tested positive for gluten how am I suppose to "Double-Check" ? If I can't trust the label I don't know how I can find out.

 
Ruby
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said this on
16 Jun 2015 7:56:46 AM PST
Why no mention of either ConsumerLab.com or the 1994 Dietary Health and Supplementation Act, a supplement industry law passed after a Republican takeover of Congress. The 1994 DHSA basically banned the FDA from testing supplements as a routine matter. No private agency has the scope and power to test all dietary supplements. There are groups like the GMP, but these are paid for by industry.

As for the supplements company's desire for a good reputation as a means to keep them honest, how are we to know without widespread, nonprofit testing? Maybe you could tell something if you only took one single supplement every day. But you would only know if the supplement damaged your body. Read the Wikipedia article on Tryptophan to learn about Eosinophlia Myalgia Syndrome, and outbreak that permanently damaged to muscles of at least 1600 people and caused the deaths of others. It was caused by contamination produced in tryptophan supplements by use of a genetically engineered bacteria.

 
Ann
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said this on
16 Jun 2015 8:55:27 PM PST
The "national" brands are confusing. I take Probulin, developed by a pair of gastroenterologists in Kansas. One of the GI docs wrote the book, "Probiotics for Dummies." Considering this all comes from a couple of docs in Kansas, it probably won't make it to any list of probiotics that are truly GF. Too bad.

 
Cookiey
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said this on
19 Jun 2015 5:40:40 AM PST
Now what, how about you giving us a list of what brands we can take!!!!!

 
Miki
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said this on
13 Jul 2015 7:27:31 PM PST
I take probiotic 10-20 through vita cost.they are gluten free
Vita cost is pretty inexpensive! Hope this helps

 
sheila
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said this on
26 Oct 2015 9:25:36 PM PST
yes I agree with everyone, having celiac makes one more cautious but if one cannot believe the labeling perhaps one has to contact either the manufacturer or lobby the government FDA in the States and in Canada CFIA.

 
Ken James
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said this on
12 Dec 2017 2:37:52 PM PST
For people with celiac this is a major issue. But, how many prescribed medications are also dangerous for those afflicted with this disease. We do not live in a perfect world. The food you eat could be contaminated even though it says gluten-free. There are many things we don't know.




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