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Published: 05-18-2023

Nutritional therapy in celiac disease: a review of the gluten-free diet as a modulator of cardiovascular risk factors

HC-FMUSP - Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
HC-FMUSP - Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
HC-FMUSP - Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
HC-FMUSP - Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Hospital Geral Roberto Santos, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Celiac Disease Gluten-free diet Cardiovascular risk factors Metabolic disorders


Introduction: Celiac Disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated enteropathy precipitated by dietary exposure to gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. The CD has been reported as a rare disease, with an estimated prevalence of 0.3 to 2% worldwide. Objective: This study aimed to review the literature on the role of a gluten-free diet in cardiovascular risk factors in patients with celiac disease, specifically related to lipid profile, body mass index, and diabetes mellitus. Methods: This is a non-systematic literature review study, carried out from July to October 2017. Relevant publications available in the PubMed and BIREME databases were identified. The literature review included randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, casecontrol studies, and cross-sectional analyses.  Results and Conclusion: CD it is a disease of special interest due to its association with other autoimmune disorders, intestinal malabsorption, with specific comorbidities, and because its main control mechanism is dietary therapy: the Gluten-Free Diet. Bearing in mind the increase in the worldwide prevalence of celiac disease and its relationship with cardiovascular risk, which may be attributable both to the pathophysiological role of the disease and to the therapeutic plan (dietary), scientific investment in this sphere of public health becomes more than necessary. The influence of gluten-free diet on the cardiovascular risk parameters studied in this review is still not entirely clear. Some studies have suggested that gluten-free diet may have a beneficial effect on the lipid profile of celiac patients, while others have shown that the diet probably does not change or induce atherosclerosis by raising the lipid profile of these patients. In addition, by altering caloric and glycemic intake, the reviewed studies demonstrated a greater tendency towards hyperglycemia and the development of insulin resistance in celiac patients on gluten-free diet. As well as there was a trend towards an increase in body mass index after the introduction of gluten-free diet. However, some authors report that based on these available data, it is not possible to state whether there is a better or worse cardiovascular risk profile after the introduction of gluten-free diet, and therefore, continuity with clinical studies is necessary.


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How to Cite

Filardi, K. F. X. C., Machado, R. G., Mazepa, M. M., Jayme, V. R., & Flores, M. T. (2023). Nutritional therapy in celiac disease: a review of the gluten-free diet as a modulator of cardiovascular risk factors. International Journal of Nutrology, 16(2).