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B Vitamins may help celiac disease management

March 23, 2009

Daily supplements of B vitamins may improve the overall health of people with celiac disease by reducing levels of an amino acid linked to heart disease, according to a Dutch study.

The study found that people taking daily supplements of vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (folate), and vitamin B12 had significantly lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine (1). Increased blood levels of homocysteine are thought to probably increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It has been suggested that by lowering the levels of homocysteine in the blood with B-vitamins, people could cut the risk of CVD.

People with celiac disease, intolerance to gluten in wheat, were shown to have an increased risk of having high levels of homocysteine. Because celiac disease is a typical example of a ‘malabsorption syndrome’ (inability to absorb various nutrients), sufferers are at increased risk of diverse deficiency states, including folate and vitamin B12, which may be compensated for by B vitamin-containing supplements, said the Dutch researchers.

References

  1. Hadithi M. et al. Effect of B vitamin supplementation on plasma homocysteine levels in celiac disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2009; 15(8):955–960.