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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 953042, 6 pages
Research Article

Increased Mercury Levels in Patients with Celiac Disease following a Gluten-Free Regimen

1Center for the Prevention and Diagnosis of Celiac Disease, Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milan, Italy
2Italian Association for Metals and Biocompatibility Research (AIRMEB), Via Banfi 4, 20122 Milan, Italy
3Pavia Poison Control Center and National Toxicology Information Centre, Toxicology Unit, IRCCS Maugeri Foundation and University of Pavia, Via Salvatore Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy
4Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Festa del Perdono 7, 20122 Milan, Italy

Received 9 November 2014; Accepted 2 February 2015

Academic Editor: Paul Enck

Copyright © 2015 Luca Elli 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.


Background and Aim. Although mercury is involved in several immunological diseases, nothing is known about its implication in celiac disease. Our aim was to evaluate blood and urinary levels of mercury in celiac patients. Methods. We prospectively enrolled 30 celiac patients (20 treated with normal duodenal mucosa and 10 untreated with duodenal atrophy) and 20 healthy controls from the same geographic area. Blood and urinary mercury concentrations were measured by means of flow injection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Enrolled patients underwent dental chart for amalgam fillings and completed a food-frequency questionnaire to evaluate diet and fish intake. Results. Mercury blood/urinary levels were , and in untreated CD, treated CD, and healthy controls, respectively. Resulting mercury levels were significantly higher in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. No differences were found regarding fish intake and number of amalgam fillings. No demographic or clinical data were significantly associated with mercury levels in biologic samples. Conclusion. Data demonstrate a fourfold increase of mercury blood levels in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. Further studies are needed to clarify its role in celiac mechanism.