Study Examines Gluten Content of Some Probiotics

A new study presented at Digestive Disease Week, a medical conference in Washington, DC, has found that some probiotic supplements contain gluten, though most commonly in trace amounts. Researchers behind the study looked at 22 probiotic products purchased from and several different retail chains. They discovered that twelve of the products contained detectable levels of gluten, including eight that had “gluten-free” claims on the bottle. This might be concerning, especially for people with celiac disease who take probiotics as support for their gluten allergy. However, it is unclear, and the study did not investigate, whether the trace amounts would actually result in clinical side-effects in people with celiac disease. Further, under federal regulations the FDA allows companies to claim that a product is gluten-free if it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Only four products examined by the researchers—two with “gluten-free” label claims and two without—had levels of gluten that exceeded the FDA requirements for a “gluten-free” claim. In addition, the researchers didn't release the names of the probiotics they tested, so it is (as of now) impossible to determine whether or not the probiotics were manufactured by reputable companies. Nevertheless, if someone is concerned about gluten, they should talk to their healthcare practitioner about selecting supplements from quality brands that follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

Source: New York Times

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