I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked hard to get my kid with celiac disease to eat not just gluten-free, but also healthy– but is it enough?  New research out of Canada says — maybe not.

A small study out of the University of Alberta found children who were already diagnosed with celiac disease tended to also have a low bone density. According to the news release it is likely because of “poor intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals.”

Vitamins K and D are the particular culprits.  “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,” said Diana Mager, professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science at the U of A, and one of the researchers on the project.  Less than 50 percent of the recommended amount of Vitamin K in particular.  Vitamin D was considered “low”.

One thing to point out that I haven’t seen regarding this study, is any sort of acknowledgment about whether the children studied here followed a strict gluten-free diet.  If not, in my view, the malabsorption of these vitamins would be likely — would it not?

So how do you fix the deficiencies and resulting bone density trouble??  Besides raising these levels with supplements or targeted food choices high in vitamin K like broccoli, kale, and vitamin D (found in milk, and some fish), Mager reminded people that exercise like walking and running is a great way to gain bone strength. Plus getting out in the sun will give you vitamin D.

I say it’s still summer so get your kids out, get some rays and get some exercise!  What a great — gluten-free — way to take back our bone strength and get some much-needed vitamins!

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