Taking Nutritional Supplements for Celiac Disease

For people with celiac disease, especially those recently diagnosed, eating gluten-free food and taking the right supplements is paramount. This article talks about the cutting edge nutritional research behind Nucleotide Nutrition’s food supplement IntestAid IB and how it is able to support a healthy small intestine.

Digestion and celiac disease


Our absorption of food and nutrients occurs mostly in the small intestine; it is here that we have thousands of tiny protrusions that line the small intestines called villi, which play a vital role increasing the surface area available in the gut for maximum absorption. However, in celiacs, these villi are destroyed and the intestinal wall damaged causing serious implications.


An allergic reaction to gluten, celiac disease (or gluten sensitivity) is a severe immune response which leads to inflammation of the small intestines and injury to the intestinal lining. Diarrhoea, abdominal bloating, vomiting and weight loss may be experienced from this reaction to gluten, and the consequential inability to properly digest food. As the villi are destroyed, the surface area is reduced and the intestinal lining is made smooth. Without the villi, absorption of dietary nutrients is made inefficient, leading to malnutrition. Many celiac sufferers are deficient in essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin D and K, calcium, magnesium and folic acid. If untreated, malnourishment and insufficient vitamins and minerals in the diet can cause osteoporosis (weakening of the bones and reduction of bone density).



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Are our modern-day diets depriving us?

Two leading health magazines published a review by health expert Dr Robert Verkerk. His observations of recent clinical research and food studies pertaining to a class of micro-nutrients, nucleotides, led him and other scientific experts to believe that western populations may well now find themselves to be deficient of nucleotides, due to modern-day diets and lifestyles.


Commonly known as simply ‘vitamins and minerals’, micronutrients are required in our diets, each in small quantities, for our bodies to function properly and carry out vital processes such as brain function and red blood cell synthesis. One particular category of micronutrients is becoming of increasing interest to researchers, considered now as ‘conditionally essential’; but may be regarded even more vital than this in the short future given its surplus of properties and activities ranging from its role in DNA repair, gut mucosal repair and immune function. This category, which is being seen less in our modern diets regardless of its incredible nutritional benefits, is of course nucleotides.


Where do nucleotides come from naturally?

Our bodies themselves can produce new nucleotides and ‘salvage spare parts’ when cell regeneration is required and even when they are in high demand. However nucleotides are also supplied to the body via our diets. When new cell synthesis is highest (this can be a requirement, for example, at times of rapid growth, stress, infection or injury) the body is unable to produce enough nucleotides self-sufficiently. Our food should provide us with the right ‘fuel’ our bodies need to respond to these times of pressure. Unfortunately foods high in nucleotides have somewhat been expelled from our modern diets over time; the highest sources of nucleotides can be found in offal and organ meats as shown in the diagram below (figure 1).



Figure 1; total nucleotide content of a range of meat and vegetarian protein sources. Analysis by Chemoforma/ProBio.


The food we do eat – protein such as chicken breast and other animal muscle – contains nucleotides, but not nearly as much as our ancestral diet of meat offal. The replacement of these important protein and nucleotide sources with our well-known fast-food and junk-food choices means we are depriving our bodies of the nutrients we really need to deal with our modern fast-paced lives. The vegetables that provide a source of nucleotides and other micronutrients are making less of an appearance on our plates too, which is bad news for our health.


The appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes through eating more of the right foods such as those in figure 1 can not only assist in improving your bowel health, immunity and prevent oxidative stress; but will also serve to thwart cardiovascular diseases (CVD) – coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and aortic disease – which are the biggest killers in the western world.


Although eating a varied and healthy diet consisting of a rainbow of vegetables, fruit, and lean meats may be an uncomplicated improvement for many to achieve; it may be difficult for people with certain allergies or diet restrictions to allow them a holistically healthy and balanced diet when it comes to dairy products, breads and wholesome carbohydrates. Lactose intolerance, gluten and wheat allergies affect many people, however by following a good and nutritious diet according to your food tolerances and taking a supplement such as IntestAid IB, will contribute to meeting the necessary demands of your body.



NHD Magazine, ‘Nucleotides: Speculation on Lifestyle-induced essentiality’
Aug/Sept 2011


CAM Magazine, ‘Lifestyle-induces essentiality: science takes another look at nucleotides’
Sept 2011