Are your supplements gluten-free?

Many people who are recovering from celiac disease not only go a gluten-free diet, but often also take supplements to aid their healing and recovery. However, taking the wrong supplement may do more harm than good. If you’re taking supplements of any kind (vitamins, minerals, fish oil, other antioxidants etc), be aware it may be a hidden source of gluten. No, I don’t mean vitamins themselves contain gluten — they don’t. But unless your supplement contains only the product advertised (i.e.: doesn’t come in a capsule, is 100% pure, etc), it’s likely that the emulsifiers, additives, or capsules in your supplement may not be gluten-free. These other ingredients used in the manufacturing of your supplements are often made from plant-based products and can contain gluten. So if your supplements are not specifically labeled gluten-free, you should not assume that they are.

For example, I’ve been taking Coenzyme Q10 myself I passed over a CoQ10 brand that didn’t say it was gluten-free. It might sound a little over-the-top avoiding products like that, but I’ve seen products that label their stuff only vaguely, for example, stating that the supplement contains ‘emulsifier’ but not listing what ingredients went in making that emulsifier. I also found out a little about CoQ10 side effects but because CoQ10 is a product that generally presents few problems, I wonder if it might be the additives that are causing these supposed side effects (just a guess). Anyway, the prices of CoQ10 with a gluten-free label and those without weren’t very different, so I would rather be safe than sorry. This probably applies for a lot of other products as well. And if I remember correctly fish oil is the same, some of them are labeled and others are not, but the prices are relatively similar.

So if you’re taking any supplements or vitamins, be sure to read the ingredient list carefully and check if any of them are gluten-containing products. Or even better, just ditch anything that isn’t labeled gluten-free.

Kefir and Celiac

Kefir is a fermented drink made with milk and probiotic cultures of yeast and bacteria known as kefir grains. The grains turn cow, sheep, or goat’s milk into the kefir drink in just 24 hours at room temperatures. The drink itself tastes tangy and is similar to yogurt except it’s a little more watery than yogurt.

So what has kefir got to do with celiac disease?

Everything! Kefir introduces billions of healthy bacteria and yeasts to our gut, healing it from the damage caused by celiac disease. Drinking kefir benefits the gut in many ways, and these benefits have actually been the subject of many studies in recent years.

What about lactose intolerance?

Studies have shown that kefir is generally well-received by people who are lactose-intolerant. A study by Lifeway showed that fewer symptoms were reported when lactose-intolerant participants consumed kefir compared to other dairy products. I’ve been drinking kefir for a few months now and I have no problems with it whereas the same milk before fermentation gives me stomach cramps (I use goat milk).

Where can I get kefir?

I’ve seen packaged bottles available at Walmart and other major stores. However, I personally feel that the best way to drink kefir is to make it yourself at home. This is less of a hassle than you might think. All you need is milk, kefir grains, and a bottle to sit everything in for 24 hours. Find out how to make kefir at home.

milk kefir