Vitamins

Understanding and treating calcium deficiency in celiac disease


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. About 99% of this essential nutrient is contained in bones and teeth with the rest being in blood and other tissues. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, heart muscle function, blood pressure regulation, glycogen to glucose conversion, initiation of blood clotting, many hormone actions, many enzyme activities and making acetylcholine, an important chemical for nerve transmission. Calcium plays a part in the prevention of colon cancer.

Most importantly, calcium opposes phosphorus as a buffer to maintain the acid-alkaline balance of the blood and is critical for milk production in the nursing of infants.

Calcium absorption in the small intestine is complex and has specific requirements.  Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: “Copper Deficiency in Infants with Active Celiac Disease.”


Editor’s note: In this case report of infants with severe malabsorption from celiac disease, the treating physicians found copper deficiencies based on blood studies that showed severe low copper levels and white blood cell count.  Treatment required copper supplementation in addition to the gluten-free diet.  Normally, in the last few months of gestation, an infant  stores a large amount of copper in their liver.  This storage must last about 6 months because infants must derive their nourishment from copper-poor milk.  This case report shows dramatically the terrible effect of malabsorption coupled with a naturally occurring huge demand for copper that could not be satisfied through digestion. Read More »

Osteoporosis in Celiac Disease and How to Prevent It


osteoporosis celiac disease glutenOsteoporosis, or brittle bones, is a generalized bone disorder involving the slow loss of bone mass throughout the skeleton that results in diminished bone mineral density (BMD). Thinning, fragile bones maintain normal cell appearance but have a rapid turnover so that more bone is taken up and removed than is laid down. The result is bone weakness that predisposes people with osteoporosis to fractures.

Osteopenia refers to the progression of bone tissue loss in the range between normal to osteoporosis.

What are Bones?

Bones are dynamic structures made up of living connective tissue and certain minerals. Connective tissue provides the shape of bones and holds calcium phosphate mineral for hardness and Read More »

Niacin (Vitamin B3) deficiency in celiac disease


Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is required by all the cells of our body making it essential for vitality and life itself.

Niacin is essential for keeping our skin and digestive tract healthy, our brain and nervous system  functioning normally, certain key cell processes repaired, our adrenal glands producing steroid hormones at demand levels, sex glands producing the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and, most especially, for producing energy to keep our body alive.1

When absorbed from the small intestinal tract, niacin becomes part of a process including more than 200 enzymes involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids, that is, chemical reactions that maintain life.1 Niacin is stored by the liver.2

Niacin must be digested to release its absorbable forms, nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. These molecules are absorbed across the intestinal lining at low concentrations by sodium-dependent facilitated diffusion, meaning they need help to get into the bloodstream.1 Read More »

Understanding and Treating Selenium Deficiency in Celiac Disease


Selenium is a trace mineral required for good health. We should not be complacent about the small amount of this essential nutrient needed because not having enough of it has serious consequences.

Selenium is required for antioxidant protection, DNA repair, thyroid hormone activation, immune system enhancement, production of prostaglandins, muscle function and protection against cancer. Read More »

Three Probiotics You Need to Decrease Inflammation and Make Vitamins


Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in our intestines. When our level of bad bacteria overbalance the good bacteria, we get a condition called dysbiosis.

The following video describes three probiotics that decrease inflammation and make certain vitamins we need for energy metabolism, mood and a number of other functions!

Zinc Deficiency – How This One Deficiency Can Affect Every Part of the Body

zinc deficiencyOne nutrient deficiency can have a drastic effect on your health. We will illustrate by using zinc, but every nutrient is similar in that it is necessary for multiple body activities. What applies to zinc applies to all nutrients.

What is Zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism, being essential for activation of almost 200 enzymes that have vital roles in the body. When enzymes do not get activated, they cannot perform their necessary functions which, in turn, damages health. Zinc promotes healthy skin, hair, immunity, fertility, and growth.

What Does Zinc Do In The Body?

  1. Role in cell regulation;
  2. Required in immune function to fight off invading bacteria and viruses;
  3. Role in maintaining proper acid/base balance;
  4. Role in production of DNA and RNA (genetic material in all cells);
  5. Role in production of proteins;
  6. Required for lipid metabolism;
  7. Required for production of eicosanoids (signaling chemical);
  8. Essential for male and female fertility;
  9. Required in vitamin A metabolism (getting out of liver storage and transporting);
  10. Supports normal development during gestation, childhood and adolescence;
  11. Required for normal pregnancy and labor;
  12. Component of insulin (energy metabolism);
  13. Component of thymic hormones (immune function); and
  14. Component of gustin for sense of smell and taste (taste acuity).

 

What Can Go Wrong When Zinc is Deficient?

Here is a list : Read More »

Testing for Nutrient Deficiencies: My Results

christie bessinger gluten free works

There are a number of nutrient deficiencies associated with Celiac and other autoimmune disorders. These occur not only BEFORE diagnosis, due to flattened villi and malabsorption, but AFTER diagnosis as well.  It’s up to us to choose healthy, naturally gluten-free foods (like fruits, veggies, lean protein and brown rice) in order to feel the best we can. Even then, we may still have deficiencies.

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago. Although I have experienced dramatic improvements in my health, sleep quality, and energy level, I have still been dealing with some “weird” symptoms that I wasn’t sure were going to go away. These include eye floaters (which I’ve noticed for about 2 years now), shakiness and rapid pulse especially during the first half of the day, and carbohydrate intolerance. (Eating high carb meals have been giving me headaches). So…. I was VERY excited when I heard that Gluten Free Works was going to be offering NUTRITION TESTING. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

nutrition testing gluten free works

 

When I got my results back, I was AMAZED at how many nutrient deficiencies I still had after being Gluten-Free for this many years. I came up deficient in:

VITAMIN A (this explained the eye floaters)
CHROMIUM (I had never heard of chromium before now, but this explained my problem with carbs. I have since read that a deficiency in Chromium leads to DIABETES… so I’m glad I figured this out now, rather than later ;)
SELENIUM (had never heard of that one either) Read More »

Gluten-Free Round Up…Seasonal Pumpkin Recipes

Gluten Free Works Jennifer Harris

gluten-free-pumpkin-recipesFall is here and that means pumpkins are starting to appear on your neighbor’s door step and in grocery stores, which is the universal signal to start carving and cooking pumpkin. Why is it most of us tend to cook with pumpkin only around Halloween and Thanksgiving?  Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, fiber and it is low in calories, so we should find ways to work it into our diet throughout the year.

Pumpkin is very versatile to cook with, so it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.  This Examiner did a little research for gluten-free pumpkin recipes and was amazed at all of the drool-worthy recipes we found.  Listed below are just a fraction of the gluten-free pumpkin recipes available online.

What is your favorite way to cook with pumpkin?


Pumpkin – General Recipes

Can Medicine Make You Sicker? Common Drugs that Deplete Nutrients

medications that cause nutrient deficienciesWhether due to malabsorption from an undiagnosed syndrome like celiac disease, poor diet or defective activation of nutrients, many people are not receiving or utilizing the nutrients their bodies need to thrive.

The human body is tough. You can operate at sub-optimal levels for years or decades before a clinical symptom becomes apparent or is recognized as resulting from a deficiency.

Unfortunately, this recognition frequently comes only after symptoms have become so severe as to significantly impact your health.  Until that point, medications and surgeries are more likely to be used as treatments, neither of which correct the underlying cause of the deficiency.

In fact, many drugs exacerbate nutrient depletion.  So, while they may improve your symptoms in the short term, they can cause more harm than good in the long term.

Many prescription and non-prescription medications can deplete nutrients by any of these ways:

1. Preventing normal digestion and/or absorption, so nutrients cannot get into the body.

2. Interfering with nutrient transport and/or use in the body, so nutrients cannot Read More »

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