Gluten Intolerance May Be Related To Osteoporosis

Updated: August 23, 2019

Osteoporosis and Gluten Sensitivity

Did you ever think that there would be a connection between the gluten intolerance (in either forms of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease) and osteoporosis? Well studies suggest there is and a positive correlation at that. Currently the conventional treatment basket for osteopenia (early stage/milder osteoporosis) and osteoporosis contains a calcium rich diet along with

living a healthy lifestyle including in it exercises, Vitamin D and some medications. Yet, if the root cause of the condition was not ascertained, the patients would continue to record bone loss.

However now with early detection of osteopenia combined with a complete assessment of gluten intolerance and differential diagnosis, it is possible to put a stop to further deterioration of bone condition. In a fair percentage of these cases where treatment for gluten intolerance is given to the osteoporotic patients, lost bone density could be partially restored. (1)

In the U.S alone, a staggering 44 million men and women aged 50 and older are estimated to suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass.

The success of osteoporosis treatment depends upon quick detection and pinning the root cause of the bone condition. The root cause could be genetic or could include gluten sensitivity, celiac disease etc. The bones as a result may become weak, porous or brittle resulting in frequent and sometimes debilitating fractures. This gradual shift from healthy bones to osteoporosis is triggered by internal inflammation. As per, Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and author of the book Gluten Intolerance: What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You, “Gluten intolerance inflames the gut which then leads to a body-wide inflammation and, consequently, bone loss.”(3) As per him if a person is diagnosed with gluten intolerance, it is critical to restore good health and return to body’s equilibrium state and that it would go a long way in preventing osteoporosis, even helping reverse the condition to some extent.

Endocrine Web, a leading online resource for endocrine disorders, published the result of research conducted by the Lancaster University School of Health and Medicine stating that such individuals as were not otherwise at risk of developing osteoporosis, once having celiac disease put them at more than four times the risk of developing progressive bone loss. (4)


1. Gluten Intolerance Treatment May Help Prevent and Reverse Osteoporosis, Health NOW Medical Center, August 2011.

2. K. Monson, PharmD, Osteoporosis Statistics,, February 2011.
3. New England Journal of Medicine.
4. Celiac Disease Quadruples Risk Of Osteoporosis, Endocrine Web, June 2011.

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  1. Robert Thompson, M.D.

    September 12, 2011 , 6:43 pm

    Healing is possible in these patients without drugs. The gastrointestinal lining is compromised in these patients creating an absorption problem. It is no suprise that they are at increased risk for nutritional deficiency problems as well as inflamation issues. Treatment must include trace minerals given gingerly and more frequently to insure adequate daily mineral intake as well as specific supplements to promote healing and decreased inflamation. Dairy and glutins have no significant benefit in the human diet. Glutins make the blood sticky and contribute to inflamation. Dairy is highly allergenic, immunogenic, and carcinogenic (denatured casein protein, et. al.) Scientific American, 2008.

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Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,