Fascinating post on Gluten Free Society recently suggesting osteoporosis should be viewed as an autoimmune disease linked to gluten in some cases, according to recent studies.
A research report in the New England Journal of Medicine identifies antibodies against osteoprotegerin (a protein that prevents bone breakdown) in several patients with celiac disease. This protein is responsible for helping maintain bone density. When it is attacked by the body’s immune system, bone loss becomes accelerated leading to osteoporosis.
I have said before that anyone with bone loss should be tested for gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease mainly because of the malabsorption problem. Here now is a possibility it is auto-immune in some people and, since we know that gluten is a major link in many auto-immune diseases, this starts to make some sense, doesn’t it?
Here’s a diagram Dr Osborne has done showing the possible issues with gluten and osteoporosis. Note it isn’t always black and white – it could be malabosorption OR autoimmune in origin, but it could just as easily be both:
As you know, I have developed tests for pretty much every stage in that diagram so you can check to see your levels of inflammation, malabsorption, nutrient deficiency and even auto-immunity to several organs (although not bone yet; I’ll work on that now and add it if I can!). You can also do the extremely useful bone marker test which acts a much earlier warning signal for bone loss – when you still have time to reverse it! This is used extensively in Europe but not mainstream UK for some silly reason. I advise every woman over 40 especially to do it; a real no-brainer in my book.
Read the GFS post in full here.