Celiac disease presents a range of nutritional concerns for affected individuals. With celiac disease, eating gluten, a protein naturally found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye and some oats1, triggers an autoimmune reaction that leads to inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine. As result of this damage, abnormal digestion and decreased nutrient absorption can occur
The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Long-term compliance with a gluten-free diet can improve a variety of outcomes related to bone density, iron deficiency anemia, villous atrophy, gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, and quality of life. However, managing celiac disease is not just about eliminating gluten from the diet. Those affected by celiac disease need to take extra care to ensure that they get all the
vitamins and nutrients they need—particularly iron, calcium, fiber and B-vitamins. A vitamin and mineral supplement can help provide extra assurance that nutrition needs are being met.
Iron Supplementation for Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron is an essential mineral necessary for many important metabolic functions in the body. It is part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Lack of iron can lead to anemia, which can cause severe weakness and fatigue. For individuals with iron deficiency anemia and celiac disease, the consumption of a daily gluten-free multivitamin with iron may be recommended.
Calcium and Vitamin D for Bone Health
Calcium is an essential mineral for bone growth and is often malabsorbed in individuals with celiac disease. Poor calcium absorption can result in abnormal bone growth, a higher risk of broken bones, and painful bones and joints. Clinical trials and cross-sectional studies have reported reduced bone mineral content and bone mineral density in untreated adults with celiac disease. Gluten-free foods rich in calcium and vitamin D are encouraged.
The Challenge of Meeting Whole Grain Needs
Getting enough whole grain is an important aspect of a healthy diet. While the availability and range of gluten-free foods are increasing, finding whole grain gluten-free products can seem challenging. Science continues to support the health benefits of whole grain. Including enough whole grain foods as part of a healthy diet may help protect heart health, manage weight, and reduce risk for certain types of cancer and diabetes. Individuals with celiac disease can easily add gluten-free whole grains, such as brown rice, popcorn, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and gluten-free whole grain products to help them get the three servings recommended daily.
Cheerios™ are Gluten-Free
We believe that Cheerios should be enjoyed by everyone. By simply removing stray wheat, rye and barley grains from the Cheerios’ oat supply, Cheerios will still have the same great taste, but will be gluten-free². Cereals like Cheerios provide key nutrients that individuals with Celiac Disease need to pay particular attention to consuming including iron, calcium, thiamin, Vitamin A, folic acid and niacin.
1According to ADA Evidence Based Analysis Library and NEJM, 2004; 351: 2021-2022, studies suggest that pure oats that are not cross-contaminated with wheat, barley or rye consumed in moderation can be tolerated by most people with celiac disease. Check with your health care provider to find out if this is right for you.
2Look for gluten-free on packaging. Note that Protein, Chocolate, Fruity, Dulce, Banana Nut, Multi-Grain Cheerios Dark Chocolate, Multi-Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, and Honey Nut Medley Crunch Cheerios are NOT gluten free.