Illustration of bacteria in the digestive system

Gut Bacteria and Celiac Disease

I’ve been doing a little research lately on how intestinal flora affects digestive health. This can be especially important for people with celiac disease, who already have damage to the digestive system. Studies suggest increasing the beneficial gut bacteria through the use of gluten-free probiotics and prebiotics can help reduce the inflammation caused by celiac disease.

Intestinal flora, the beneficial bacteria on the lining of your intestine and colon, play a major role in the digestion of food. Probiotics perform a significant role in re-establishing the intestinal flora and maintaining good overall health. Prebiotics are found in certain foods, are not easily digested and enhance the growth of the good bacteria in your colon. The gluten-free diet typically lacks an abundance of prebiotics. A patient with celiac disease has a deficiency of good bacteria, so probiotics and prebiotics should be an important part of treatment.

Intestinal flora fights against the inflammation developed in celiac disease, according to the “American Journal of Gastroenterology.” Therefore, restoring that flora should be a prime concern during treatment and rehabilitation.

“The…digestive system is one of the most important immune system organs in the body,” explains Dr. Ilsueung Cho assistant professor of medicine and associate program director of the division of gastroenterology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “If the natural balance of bacteria in the gut is disrupted, it might trigger an inflammatory cascade of immune system reactions in the body, which can result in symptoms like the painful swelling of the joints in rheumatoid arthritis.”

From CBS News – “Bacteria in the gut may hold key to many diseases”


“Dietary changes that include probiotics and/or prebiotics may help alleviate the severity of celiac disease for some patients. According to a research study appearing in the May 2010 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, differing intestinal bacteria in celiac patients could influence inflammation to varying degrees. This suggests that manipulating the intestinal microbiota with dietary strategies such as probiotics and prebiotics, could improve the quality of life for celiac patients, as well as patients with associated diseases such as type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders.”

Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology


There are a lot of benefits of using probiotics if you have celiac disease. Probiotics not only provide nourishment to the intestinal flora, they also furnish vitamin K and biotin, which are essential for good health. Probiotics reduce the absorption of heavy metals and give protection against toxins produced by harmful bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can help prevent bad bacteria from sticking to the walls of your intestines. They improve the absorption of essential nutrients, which is severely impaired due to celiac disease.

Together, probiotics and prebiotics restore the normal movement of the gut that gets distorted in celiac patients. If you take antibiotics, make sure to replace the probiotics with a supplement or in your diet. Be kind to your good bugs!


Milo graphic

Milo says….

I ate a bug today. I CHASED it around the yard, then I CAUGHT it, then I ATE it! … then I got sick in the house and Maizy made me go back outside … It must have been a BAD BUG!



2 thoughts on “Gut Bacteria and Celiac Disease

  1. This is really interesting. Bacteria are responsible (in a good way) for more than we realise. Even some geologists think the role of bacteria deep down in the rock is really important and not much happens without them.

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