Children who are diagnosed with celiac disease may want to consider taking nutritional supplements to help prevent low bone density and osteoporosis, according to a new Canadian study.
Lead investigator Diana Mager and her colleagues from the University of Alberta examined 43 children who were recently diagnosed with the autoimmune disease. They discovered that the majority of the children had very low bone density, putting them at a high risk of suffering bone fractures and developing osteoporosis later in life.
After analyzing the patients’ dieting habits, the researchers found that, on average, the children received less than 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins D and K—two nutrients that are crucial for bone development. This may be due to the restrictive diet that celiac disease patients must follow.
Mager recommended that children with the condition carefully monitor their dietary intake of both vitamins as well as increase their level of outdoor physical activity to improve bone strength and naturally absorb vitamin D.
"Enjoying activities such as walking and running outdoors when there is more sunshine is a great way to contribute to healthy bones," she said.