Children with celiac disease may be prone to poor bone health
Celiac disease is an inherited digestive condition, which is triggered by the consumption of the protein gluten, according to the Mayo Clinic. Children with this disease may need to include certain vitamins in their diets in order to prevent weak bones and osteoporosis.
Researchers from the University of Alberta (U of A) recently conducted a study of 43 children and teens who have been diagnosed with celiac disease. The results show that these children tended to have low bone density, which is likely due to poor intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
This means that youths under the age of 18 could benefit from adding bone-boosting nutrients to their diets, said Diana Mager, a professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science at the U of A, and one of the researchers on the project.
"Children with celiac disease are at risk for poor bone health, but by adding vitamins K and D to their diets, it can help reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis," Mager said.
The study revealed that these children were getting less than 50 percent of their recommended dietary intake of vitamin K, and that they also suffered from low levels of vitamin D - which can be raised through increased exposure to sunlight and by eating fortified food products, such as dairy.
Children with this condition may also benefit from increased outdoor physical activity, in order to build bone strength and stimulate vitamin D synthesis.