Gluten free Probiotic products designed for better digestion may contain gluten, says study

While the debate on how far the claims on gluten intolerance is relevant is flaring up across the country, those who are actually diagnosed for celiac disease may be keen to pay attention to this new study. The Study has found that many of the popular probiotic products designed to help improve digestion may contain gluten. This is not good news for those who are looking to improve health because they suffer from allergies.


According to the CUMC or Columbia University Medical Center, Celiac Disease Center gastroenterologist Samantha Nazareth, many patients with this disease use dietary supplements and probiotics in particular are popular.

The lead author of the study adds that it was reported previously that celiac patients using dietary supplements tend to exhibit more symptoms compared to those who did not use the supplements and hence the researchers decided to test probiotics for contamination from gluten.

Further, Benjamin Lebwohl, the assistant professor of epidemiology and medicine at the CUMC commented that we do now that most patients afflicted with the celiac disease develop only intestinal damage while consuming gluten in excess of 10 milligrams a day and it was unlikely that contamination in probiotics can contribute to excessive ingestion of gluten. Although the amount of gluten ingested may be small and the risk itself small, it is weird that gluten traces were found in a product that has no room for gluten as an ingredient.

Lebwohl further inquired why there should be any gluten at all in these products. Why customers should pay attention to the gluten free labelling on these products? And considering the heightened consumer interest that probiotics have received, the regulatory bodies should take action in the interest of protecting the public.

In conclusion, the “gluten-free” labels unfortunately does not constitute that the content is 100% free from gluten.  A probiotic product can only less than 20ppm gluten content though at least 4 brands contained significantly more gluten than the prescribed limit.