Untreated Celiac Disease Impacts Intestinal Bacteria

To borrow the title of an old post on Wired’s website, Gut Bacteria Affect Almost Everything You Do (for more, also check out this graphic of your personal biome). Accordingly a new study out of the Universidad de León deserves some notice.

The study, to be published in Biochimie, examined the fecal bacteria of 32 people: 10 with untreated celiac disease and 11 each with treated celiac disease (read: on a gluten-free diet) and with no celiac disease. According to the abstract, the intention was to, “evaluate the differences in the intestinal microbiota between adults with CD and healthy individuals.”

The study found that by and large, the dominant microbial communities of the treated celiac population and the healthy population matched. However, differences were noted in the levels of acetic, propionic and butyric acids, as well as short chain fatty acids. There were also different levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, both between treated and untreated celiacs and sometimes between treated celiacs and “healthy” individuals.

As celiac.com’s write up of the study notes,

“We can take from this study that gluten-free diets help to lower both the presence and diversity of bacteria associated with celiac disease. A gluten-free diet does not ‘fix’ the presence of short-chain fatty acids in the intestines though, even though it is not entirely clear what these acids signal as to the health of the individual.”

There are many reasons why probiotics are considered healthy, for people with celiac disease and not. And, given that the intestines of a person with celiac disease (especially if new to theGF diet) are potentially compromised, it might be a good idea to increase your intake of foods containing probiotics (yogurt, kefir, kim chi, sauerkraut, miso, etc) or possibly a probiotic supplement.

Do you actively choose foods containing probiotics? If so, do you notice a difference in your health?

One thought on “Untreated Celiac Disease Impacts Intestinal Bacteria”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2010-2015 Triumph Dining