Antioxidant supplements for celiac sufferers?
Subject: Antioxidants (Health aspects)
Celiac disease (Care and treatment)
Lipid peroxidation (Health aspects)
Author: Hunter, Kim
Pub Date: 12/22/2009
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 21 Source Issue: 4
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 215249532
Full Text: Stojiljkovic V et al 2009. Antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in small intestinal mucosa of children with celiac disease. Clin Biochem 42:13-14;1431-7.

The authors of this study wanted to explore the generally known and widely accepted knowledge that gluten peptides activate the immune system that is responsible for the pathogenesis and progression of celiac disease. In the last decade the results of several investigations have shown that gluten corrupts the pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance in intestinal mucosa, probably by an overproduction of free radicals. Nevertheless the data concerning antioxidant status of celiac patients is scarce. The researchers therefore set about studying the role of oxidative stress and antioxidant status in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.

This was done by measuring the activities of antioxidant enzymes and the levels of glutathione and lipid hydroperoxides in the samples of small intestinal biopsies from 39 children with different forms of celiac disease and in 19 celiac free children.

The intestinal biopsies showed that the activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, were increased in children with both active and silent celiac disease while the activities of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase and the glutathione content were significantly reduced. The level of lipid hydroperoxides was significantly elevated in these groups.

As the activity of glutathione peroxidase, a main scavenger of hydrogen peroxide in gastrointestinal tissue, was significantly decreased in the active and silent group, the misbalance between hydrogen peroxide production and scavenging causes a pro-oxidant shift. This results in increased lipid peroxidation and higher lipid peroxide concentration. In the studied patients lipid peroxide concentration was 80 to 100 per cent higher than in the control group.

The authors concluded that oxidative stress is an important factor in the pathogenesis of celiac disease and that the antioxidant capacity of celiac patients is significantly reduced mostly by a depletion of glutathione.

These observations, along with knowledge that glutathione could be regenerated by other antioxidants, led the researchers to note that consumption of an antioxidant rich diet and appropriate dietary supplements may complement the normal gluten free diet.

Kim Hunter MNHAA
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