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The Role of Probiotics in Treating Celiac Disease

May is Celiac Awareness Month. Many people are plagued with gluten sensitivity and allergic reactions. The consumption of gluten in those with celiac disease causes what they define as an autoimmune response — the body attacking itself. In this case, the immune system attacks the small intestine and inhibits nutrient absorption.


In recent years, researchers have found evidence that probiotics may not only help treat celiac but may also reverse progression of the disease. Using a mouse model with the probiotic strain Saccharomyces boulardii KK1, it was noted that the progression of celiac disease began to reverse. Past research has indicated that probiotics may help heal and decrease inflammation in the intestines.

Fermented Foods

Our bodies contain about 100 trillion bacteria — more than 10 times the number of cells in our body. Ideally, 85 percent of the bacteria in our gut should be beneficial, or “good,” bacteria. If you like fermented foods (sauerkraut, cucumbers, natto, squash), they are an excellent way to incorporate beneficial bacteria into your diet. Although yogurt is said to provide probiotics, very few are actually in it. Pasteurized versions of fermented foods have had almost all of their naturally occurring probiotics destroyed. Additionally, there are the added sugars and artificial colors that worsen an already-inflamed condition.

Avoid Grains and Sugars

Although probiotics can bring intestinal healing, they cannot replace good food choices. In other words, we can’t “eat as we please” and take a probiotic or two to repair the damage. Celiac disease is an inflammatory condition, and probiotics are anti-inflammatory. Grains and sugars will feed the pathogenic, or “bad,” bacteria. This defeats the effects of the good bacteria in probiotics.

Probiotic Benefits

(1) Control of yeast overgrowth (Candida Albicans).

(2) Reduce and/or prevent inflammatory responses and allergic reactions.

(3) Prevent and help treat antibiotic-related diarrhea.

(4) Help eliminate pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria such as Clostridium difficile or Helicobacter pylori.

(5) Help normalize intestinal contractions and stool consistency.

(6) Aid in lowering cholesterol levels.

Not all probiotics are created equal. It’s important to do your research. The highest number of CFU’s (colony forming units) is not automatically the winner. Click here to read more about probiotics and supporting literature.

“But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour, a poisonous venom in their stomach.” (Job 20:14 / NLT)

Have you ever tried probiotics? If you’ve already included them in your daily regimen, which of your symptoms have been improved or eliminated?

About Denise Ferrell

Denise is a Registered Nurse, married, and has lived in Alabama all of her life. She has been a Christian for more than 40 years and has studied Prophecy for over 25 years. She writes devotionals for Faithwriters (www.faithwriters.com). She also writes for TGGmag ('Tween Girls and God online magazine for girls age 9-12). She desires to share Christ with others through her writing and is looking forward to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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