Paediatric Patients with Coeliac Disease on a Gluten-Free Diet: Nutritional Adequacy and Macro- and Micronutrient Imbalances

  • Alison Sue
  • Kate Dehlsen
  • Chee Y. OoiEmail author
Pediatric Gastroenterology (S Orenstein, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Gastroenterology


Purpose of Review

A strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is the cornerstone for management of coeliac disease. Elimination of gluten from the diet may be associated with nutritional imbalance; however, the completeness of this diet in energy and macro- and micronutrients in children is not well described. Understanding the nutritional adequacy of the gluten-free diet in children during this critical period of growth and development when dietary intake is strongly influential is important.

Recent Findings

Children, regardless of whether they have eliminated gluten from their diet, have a tendency to consume excess fat and insufficient fibre, iron, vitamin D and calcium, compared to recommendations. In the context of a gluten-free diet, these imbalances may be worsened or have more significant consequences. Paediatric studies have demonstrated that intakes of folate, magnesium, zinc and selenium may decrease on a gluten-free diet.


Nutritional inadequacies may be risks of a gluten-free diet in a paediatric population. The potential implications of these inadequacies, both short and long term, remain unclear and warrant further investigation and clarification.


Coeliac disease Gluten-free diet Children Nutrition Macronutrient Micronutrient 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Paediatrics, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, MedicineUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and DieteticsSydney Children’s HospitalRandwickAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Paediatric GastroenterologySydney Children’s HospitalRandwickAustralia

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