Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Are Highly Prevalent in Newly Diagnosed Celiac Disease Patients
Malabsorption, weight loss and vitamin/mineral-deficiencies characterize classical celiac disease (CD). This study aimed to assess the nutritional and vitamin/mineral status of current “early diagnosed” untreated adult CD-patients in the Netherlands. Newly diagnosed adult CD-patients were included (n = 80, 42.8 ± 15.1 years) and a comparable sample of 24 healthy Dutch subjects was added to compare vitamin concentrations. Nutritional status and serum concentrations of folic acid, vitamin A, B6, B12, and (25-hydroxy) D, zinc, haemoglobin (Hb) and ferritin were determined (before prescribing gluten free diet). Almost all CD-patients (87%) had at least one value below the lower limit of reference. Specifically, for vitamin A, 7.5% of patients showed deficient levels, for vitamin B6 14.5%, folic acid 20%, and vitamin B12 19%. Likewise, zinc deficiency was observed in 67% of the CD-patients, 46% had decreased iron storage, and 32% had anaemia. Overall, 17% were malnourished (>10% undesired weight loss), 22% of the women were underweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) < 18.5), and 29% of the patients were overweight (BMI > 25). Vitamin deficiencies were barely seen in healthy controls, with the exception of vitamin B12. Vitamin/mineral deficiencies were counter-intuitively not associated with a (higher) grade of histological intestinal damage or (impaired) nutritional status. In conclusion, vitamin/mineral deficiencies are still common in newly “early diagnosed” CD-patients, even though the prevalence of obesity at initial diagnosis is rising. Extensive nutritional assessments seem warranted to guide nutritional advices and follow-up in CD treatment.
Keywords: vitamins, minerals, celiac disease, deficiency, adult, Body Mass Index