Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Knowing means simplifying

28.07.2008
Gluten-free diet alone is enough to cure the bones of pediatric patients with celiac disease

Individuals affected by celiac disease (gluten intolerance) often present an altered calcium (Ca2+) metabolism that can cause osteopenia, a bone mass decrease due to the impaired adsorption of this mineral, which can lead to osteoporosis (in 35-85% of the cases).

This phenomenon is particularly frequent among late-diagnosed celiac patients, as in the case of adult people, but can be present in children too. With the aim of recognizing calcium metabolism alterations and impaired bone mineralization, laboratory and radiology exams, such as dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), are often performed. These exams – that provide information on the health status of the bones before the onset of a specific therapy (namely the gluten-free diet) and help to monitor the progression of the bone disease once the diet is started - are nowadays indicated in children too. But are they really necessary in the celiac child?

The answer is no. A research carried out by the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Trieste at the Maternal and Child Health IRCCS Burlo Garofolo (an institute highly specialized in child health) and recently published by the Journal of Pediatrics gave the answer. This study, supervised by Alessandro Ventura, Director of the Pediatric Clinic, confirmed that, when diagnosed, an important percentage of celiac children exhibit an altered bone metabolism as well as deficency in bone mineralization.

At the same time, the study proved that if the celiac child strictly follows the gluten-free diet, all the metabolic and mineralization alterations of the bone normalize within 6-12 months. Such indications, suggest the researchers, might be particularly helpful to pediatricians and might avoid the prescription of unnecessary exams, allowing them to focus on the diet alone.

58 pediatric celiac patients (among which some asymptomatic, but diagnosed being celiac by a separate screening) and 60 healthy children were selected by the medical staff of the Burlo Garofolo to monitor over time their bone situation. Among the investigated metabolic parameters were calcium, phosphorous, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and other markers of bone activity. “Until recently – explains dr. Grazia di Leo from the Department of Gastroenterology of the Pediatric Clinic of the Burlo Garofolo – it was not clear enough whether bone metabolism impairment of the celiac individual was present during childhood, nor it was clear if the length of the exposure to gluten had a role in solving the problem.

Therefore, we decided to check over time (6-12 months of gluten free diet) all celiac children involved in the study, that were found to have an impaired bone metabolism and mineralization, by evaluating the markers of bone health. At the end of the first 6 months of observation, we demonstrated that the gluten-free diet itself is enough to rescue a normal bone condition.

Impaired bone mineralization in celiac individuals recognizes two main causes: first, the difficulty to adsorb nutrients that involves and compromises the adsorption of Vitamin D and calcium. Second, the presence of a chronic inflammatory condition, both local and systemic, that aggravates the general clinical picture. It is widely known that among adults gluten-free diet alone is not sufficient make the bone damage regress. However, in children, as the study demonstrates, a strict gluten-free diet itself might be enough to solve the bone problem in a relatively short time.

“The study carried out at our institute – underlines Alessandro Ventura, the Director the Pediatric Clinic – is the first systematic study on calcium metabolism in children. We learned a very important lesson from it: it is true that celiac disease damages the bone, but monitoring the evolution of bone damage by specific exams is not necessary in pediatric patients. It is far more useful to focus on a strict observance of the gluten-free diet. As far as this issue, the pediatricians’ role is critical. In doing this, apart from a saving of 120 € per child (the cost of the exams), we introduce a form of preventive intervention, as well as “environmental ecology” by avoiding the exposure of growing organisms to, mild as they might be, radiations, such as the ones used in DEXA”.

Cristina Serra | alfa
Further information:
http://www.burlo.trieste.it
http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(08)00186-8/abstract

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Discovery shows promise for treating Huntington's Disease
05.08.2020 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Carbon monoxide improves endurance performance
05.08.2020 | Universität Bayreuth

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>