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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 198025, 9 pages
Review Article

Bone Mineralization in Celiac Disease

Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia”, University Campus of Germaneto, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

Received 6 January 2012; Revised 12 March 2012; Accepted 3 April 2012

Academic Editor: Govind K. Makharia

Copyright © 2012 Tiziana Larussa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Evidence indicates a well-established relationship between low bone mineral density (BMD) and celiac disease (CD), but data on the pathogenesis of bone derangement in this setting are still inconclusive. In patients with symptomatic CD, low BMD appears to be directly related to the intestinal malabsorption. Adherence to a strict gluten-free diet (GFD) will reverse the histological changes in the intestine and also the biochemical evidence of calcium malabsorption, resulting in rapid increase of BMD. Nevertheless, GFD improves BMD but does not normalize it in all patients, even after the recovery of intestinal mucosa. Other mechanisms of bone injury than calcium and vitamin D malabsorption are thought to be involved, such as proinflammatory cytokines, parathyroid function abnormalities, and misbalanced bone remodeling factors, most of all represented by the receptor activator of nuclear factor B/receptor activator of nuclear factor B-ligand/osteoprotegerin system. By means of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), it is now rapid and easy to obtain semiquantitative values of BMD. However, the question is still open about who and when submit to DXA evaluation in CD, in order to estimate risk of fractures. Furthermore, additional information on the role of nutritional supplements and alternative therapies is needed.