Supplement Many Probiotics May Contain Gluten.....


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Maybe this is a good reason for going with home-made kefir! You'd think probiotics would make people with celiac disease better - but they don't - they tend to make them worse. That's apparently because many probiotics contain gluten...

It didn't matter if the probiotics were cheap or expansive. Even some probiotics advertised as gluten free contained gluten

Last year, doctors at Columbia University found that people with celiac disease frequently use probiotic supplements, but that those who take these products tend to experience more symptoms of the disease than those who do not.

Now these experts say they may know why: More than half of the top-selling probiotic supplements they analyzed contained gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that is harmful to people with celiac disease. The authors of the study found gluten in probiotic supplements that carried “gluten-free” claims on their labels, and they discovered that the most expensive supplements were just as likely to contain gluten as the cheapest products.

The results suggest that people with celiac disease, or those avoiding gluten for any reason, should be cautious about taking probiotic supplements, said Dr. Peter H. R. Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and the author of the new study, which was presented at a recent medical conference in Washington, called Digestive Disease Week 2015. He said that many people in this category do not realize that dietary supplements can be contaminated with gluten, and that it was baffling to him that gluten would turn up in these products at all.

“The question is: Why are companies putting wheat or barley or rye in probiotic supplements?” Dr. Green said. “People use these natural products in an attempt to be healthy. Yet it’s a very poorly regulated industry. Can anyone trust a gluten-free label?”

The new findings are a symptom of what experts say is a larger problem in the $33-billion-a-year supplement industry. Several large studies and law enforcement investigations in the last two years have suggested that supplements often do not contain what their labels claim. The industry is loosely regulated, and the Food and Drug Administration has said that two thirds of companies do not comply with a basic set of good manufacturing practices.

To figure this out, he and Dr. Green purchased 22 of the bestselling probiotic supplements from and several national retail chains. Then they subjected the products to a type of laboratory test known as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The researchers found that 12 of the supplements – or roughly 55 percent – contained detectable levels of gluten. Eight of these 12 products carried gluten-free claims on their labels.

Get Our Free ME/CFS and FM Blog!

New Threads

Forum Tips

Support Our Work



Shopping on For HR

Latest Resources