Research appearing in Revista Espanola de Enfermedades (2016 Feb;108(2):84-8) looked at the effect a gluten-free diet had on women with celiac disease and osteoporosis. Subjects were given bone densitometries at the start of the study and after five years. The 41 subjects (mean age 46.1 years) were placed on a gluten-free diet. Calcium and vitamin D were prescribed to those patients who did not reach the minimal daily requirement through diet.

The prevalence of osteopenia at the start of the study was 56.1% and that of osteoporosis 29.2%. The second densitometry found 58.9% of the women with osteopenia and 28.2% with osteoporosis. The gluten-free diet did improved bone mass, especially in the spine (comparison of T score with p = 0.03 and of bone mass in g/cm2 with p = 0.02). It did not significantly reduce the number of osteopenic and osteoporotic women. The researchers concluded, “Bone health is notably impaired at baseline in CD patients, especially in those with a diagnostic delay. A gluten-free diet modestly improved bone mass density with low impact fractures occurring in one third of patients during the follow up period.”