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Gluten Intolerance May Be Related To Osteoporosis

Did you ever think that there would be a connection between the gluten intolerance (in either forms of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease) and osteoporosis? Well studies suggest there is and a positive correlation at that. Currently the conventional treatment basket for osteopenia (early stage/milder osteoporosis) and osteoporosis contains a calcium rich diet along with

living a healthy lifestyle including in it exercises, Vitamin D and some medications. Yet, if the root cause of the condition was not ascertained, the patients would continue to record bone loss.

However now with early detection of osteopenia combined with a complete assessment of gluten intolerance and differential diagnosis, it is possible to put a stop to further deterioration of bone condition. In a fair percentage of these cases where treatment for gluten intolerance is given to the osteoporotic patients, lost bone density could be partially restored. (1)

In the U.S alone, a staggering 44 million men and women aged 50 and older are estimated to suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass.

The success of osteoporosis treatment depends upon quick detection and pinning the root cause of the bone condition. The root cause could be genetic or could include gluten sensitivity, celiac disease etc. The bones as a result may become weak, porous or brittle resulting in frequent and sometimes debilitating fractures. This gradual shift from healthy bones to osteoporosis is triggered by internal inflammation. As per, Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and author of the book Gluten Intolerance: What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You, “Gluten intolerance inflames the gut which then leads to a body-wide inflammation and, consequently, bone loss.”(3) As per him if a person is diagnosed with gluten intolerance, it is critical to restore good health and return to body’s equilibrium state and that it would go a long way in preventing osteoporosis, even helping reverse the condition to some extent.

Endocrine Web, a leading online resource for endocrine disorders, published the result of research conducted by the Lancaster University School of Health and Medicine stating that such individuals as were not otherwise at risk of developing osteoporosis, once having celiac disease put them at more than four times the risk of developing progressive bone loss. (4)


1. Gluten Intolerance Treatment May Help Prevent and Reverse Osteoporosis, Health NOW Medical Center, August 2011.

2. K. Monson, PharmD, Osteoporosis Statistics,, February 2011.
3. New England Journal of Medicine.
4. Celiac Disease Quadruples Risk Of Osteoporosis, Endocrine Web, June 2011.

Author: Monica Straith, BS

Monica is the PR and Outreach Manager and Fitness Lead at AlgaeCal. She’s an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, and has a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played varsity soccer for four years. Monica pulls from her experience in athletics and health to contribute to AlgaeCal and has also been featured on myfitnesspal blog, Prevention, and Huffington Post.