Rx Nutrition Resource Center
Rx Nutrition Resource Center
July 13, 2019
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Micronutrient deficiencies common in celiac disease

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Deficiencies in micronutrients like zinc, copper and vitamin B12 are common in patients with celiac disease, according to study results.

Despite these deficiencies, Adam C. Bledsoe, MD, a gastroenterology fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues found that fewer patients experience the common symptoms of celiac disease, like low weight and weight loss.

“It was somewhat surprising to see the frequency of micronutrient deficiencies in this group of newly diagnosed patients, given that they were presenting fewer symptoms of malabsorption,” Bledsoe said in a press release.

Researchers conducted a retrospective study of 30 adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease between 2000 and 2014. They collected micronutrient data for tissue transglutaminase IgA, zinc, 25-hydroxy vitamin D, ferritin, albumin, copper, vitamin B12, and serum folate and compared the absolute deficiencies with age and sex-matched controls from the National Health and Nutrition Survey.

The mean BMI for the patients with celiac disease was 25.9 kg/m², and 25.2% of patients experienced weight loss.

Researchers found that 59.4% of patients with celiac disease had a zinc deficiency compared with 33.2% of controls (P < .001). The group with celiac disease also had higher percentages of individuals with deficiencies of albumin (19.7% vs. 1.1%; P < .001), copper (6.4% vs. 2.1%; P = .003), vitamin B12 (5.3% vs. 1.8%; P = .004) and folate (3.6% vs. 0.3%; P = .002).

Bledsoe said future studies are needed to determine what these deficiencies will mean for patients with celiac disease, as well as the right treatment strategies to use moving forward.

“Our study suggests that the presentation of celiac disease has changed from the classic weight loss, anemia and diarrhea, with increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with nonclassical symptoms,” he said in the release. “Micronutrient deficiencies remain common in adults, however, and should be assessed.” by Alex Young

Disclosures: Bledsoe reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.