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Can a gluten-free diet help protect your bones?

At risk for hip fracture?
At risk for hip fracture?Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Yesterday’s news said that people with Celiac disease and those with long-term small intestinal damage were at a higher risk for bone breaks. Now however, in a new study the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the script gets flipped for those smart enough to stick to a strict no-wheat diet and actually allow their intestines to heal properly.

In the study, people who had more persistent tissue damage over time absolutely had a higher rate of hip fractures and so it is imperative to stick to a strict no-wheat diet giving your body a chance to heal correctly.

It’s not new knowledge that people with Celiac disease have a higher risk for broken bones, but what wasn’t clear apparently was if that risk remained high after they long remained on a gluten-free diet.

In the study they analyzed intestinal tissue samples from seventy-one hundred people in Sweden who had been diagnosed with Celiac disease between 1969 and 2008. After a five year check-up with new biopsies they found forty-three percent were found to have persistent tissue damage.

There is debate about whether or not these follow-ups are beneficial, but some doctors and researchers argue that is important especially for predicting issues those people may develop down the road.

Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, of Karolinska University Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, also weighed in.

"We believe that giving the mucous membrane -- the moist tissue lining the small intestine -- a chance to heal can lower the risk of complications, including bone fractures, in celiac patients," Ludvigsson said in the news release.