Answers From a Gluten Doctor – Part 8: Supplements
Now that Dr. Vikki has cleared up the subject of nutritional deficiencies of a gluten free diet I thought the next logical question was on the subject of supplementation i.e. vitamins and nutritional supplements.
Are there any nutritional supplements you would recommend specifically for the gluten intolerant?
Those who are gluten sensitive tend to have certain deficiencies. Vitamins A, D and K are often deficient, as are the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. We also often find vitamin B12 to be deficient.
With that in mind it’s good to supplement those. Vitamin B12 and D are easy vitamin statuses to get from blood tests and both are extremely important for good health. Take the time to get them measured and supplement appropriately. I prefer a liquid form of both and remember D3 is much better absorbed than D2.
If you are a menstruating woman and are iron deficient you may need to take iron daily for a couple of months and after that only taking it when you’re menstruating should be sufficient. Do monitor it however because being iron deficient is very exhausting and truly not difficult to fix.
If you are no longer menstruating or are a man, monitor your iron levels closely as being deficient is not good, but an excess is unhealthy as well.
Since mineral levels are often compromised a good mineral/bone formula is important for everyone and most especially for women who are more prone to osteoporosis. If you’re over 40 a bone density test would be a good idea. It is believed that much bone loss attributed to osteoporosis and osteopenia can be reversed when caught early enough so take your minerals daily near the end of your day for best absorption.
Probiotics are very crucial for gut health so I do recommend that my gluten sensitive patients supplement with a good human strain of a combination of healthful bacteria. It might be something you take for life, but well worth it considering everything we know about their benefits.
Sometimes there is a need for pancreatic enzymes and hydrochloric acid to enhance digestion and absorption following the damage created from gluten sensitivity. Good food is critical but if your body can’t digest and absorb it it’s all for naught. We have lab tests that give us this information typically, but trying some enzymes to see how you feel with them is fine as well.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
For more fantastic information from Dr. Vikki and a gluten free healthy diet, visit her blog, And if you haven’t yet read the previous posts on this blog from Dr. Vikki, now is the time to get all caught up!