People suffering from the immune disorder called celiac disease are apparently in danger of experiencing adverse reactions because there are probiotic on the market that still contain traces of gluten, the main trigger.
If such reactions happen too often inside the small intestine, its lining becomes gradually damaged, rendering nutrient absorption so much more difficult. Gluten is a protein usually found in rye, barley and wheat.
Patients with celiac disease know they should be avoiding food products made with these ingredients, and there are plenty of gluten-free diets that offer assistance.
There is a new study, however, which suggests there are other triggers that people who are gluten sensitive should refrain from.
According to the research conducted at the Celiac Disease Center at the Columbia University Medical Center (UCMC), certain supplements with probiotics are not completely free from gluten, putting celiac disease patients in harm’s way.
Professor of medicine Dr. Peter Green, head of the Celiac Disease Center, explained that from the total number of celiac patients who come at the center, approximately 25 percent of them take supplements or alternative medical products.
Among this group, the most frequently non-traditional tablets were probiotics; and according to medical records, those people experienced more symptoms of the disease when compared to patients who weren’t taking these supplements.
Dr. Green said his interest in conducting this study was prompted by the potential hazard this situations presents to the center’s patients and to patients of celiac disease in general. The team took samples from 22 branded probiotic products found in the market and analyzed them in the lab.
Surprisingly, there were roughly 55 percent – more than half of the total number of samples – which tested positive for gluten.
Co-author of the study Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, assistant professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, stated in a press release that concerned authorities should be aware of this situation and take action in order to protect the patients harmed by false labels of “gluten-free.”
In recent years, the public’s investment in consuming probiotics has peaked, and producers should pay more attention to the side-effects they could have on patients if they are not careful with the ingredients.
FDA standards specify a 20 parts per million limit, bur four of the brands tested in the lab severely surpassed the restriction. Probiotics are widely used as ingredients in dairy products and fermented foods, as the healthy bacteria found in them balances out the bad flora in our guts.
Image Source: Consumer’s Health Report