School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Trying To Stay Healthy Can Sometimes Make You Sick: Vitamins At Mass Market Retail And Warehouse Stores Often Contain Gluten

Poster Number

117

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

3-2016

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Celiac disease can cause nutritional deficiencies when there is exposure to gluten. Vitamin supplementation is often recommended to prevent malnutrition. However, it is important to evaluate all vitamins to determine if gluten is present. This study evaluated multivitamins available at mass market retail stores and a warehouse store to determine the frequency at which the vitamins contained gluten.

METHODS: A survey of multivitamins at two mass market retail stores and a national warehouse store was conducted. All available multivitamins were identified and the ingredients were reviewed. The vitamins were categorized as gluten-free or containing gluten. Vitamins were categorized as cautionary if they contained soy or were manufactured in a facility where there was potential for cross contamination with gluten-containing products. Vitamins without identified sources of gluten, but not labeled as gluten free, were placed in an uncertain category. A database was created using Microsoft Excel. Statistical analysis was performed using the Fisher Exact test, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS: The first mass market retail store had 57 different multivitamins available, 25 (43.9%) categorized as gluten free, 5 contained gluten, 11 were cautionary and 16 uncertain. The second mass market retail store had 55 different multivitamins available, 22 (40%) categorized as gluten free, 6 contained gluten, 12 were cautionary and 15 uncertain. There was no significant difference (p=0.7056) in the rate at which gluten free vitamins were available at the mass market retail stores. The national warehouse store had 20 different multivitamins available, 10 (50%) categorized as gluten free, 1 contained gluten and 9 were uncertain. There was no significant difference in the rate at which the national warehouse store had gluten free vitamins compared to the first mass market retail store (p=0.7947) or the second mass market retail store (p=0.5982). Notably most of the brand vitamins of the first mass market retail store (100%), the second mass market retail store (67%) and the national warehouse store (100%) were gluten free.

DISCUSSION: The majority of vitamins available at the two mass market retail stores and half of the vitamins available at national warehouse store contained gluten, had the potential to be cross-contaminated with gluten products or it was uncertain if they contained gluten. Careful review multivitamin ingredients is important. Contacting vitamin manufacturers may be necessary to determine if a vitamin is gluten free. Individuals with celiac disease should be aware that many vitamins can contain gluten and may result in complications.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

1

Comments

Presented at: GW Research Days 2016

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Trying To Stay Healthy Can Sometimes Make You Sick: Vitamins At Mass Market Retail And Warehouse Stores Often Contain Gluten

INTRODUCTION: Celiac disease can cause nutritional deficiencies when there is exposure to gluten. Vitamin supplementation is often recommended to prevent malnutrition. However, it is important to evaluate all vitamins to determine if gluten is present. This study evaluated multivitamins available at mass market retail stores and a warehouse store to determine the frequency at which the vitamins contained gluten.

METHODS: A survey of multivitamins at two mass market retail stores and a national warehouse store was conducted. All available multivitamins were identified and the ingredients were reviewed. The vitamins were categorized as gluten-free or containing gluten. Vitamins were categorized as cautionary if they contained soy or were manufactured in a facility where there was potential for cross contamination with gluten-containing products. Vitamins without identified sources of gluten, but not labeled as gluten free, were placed in an uncertain category. A database was created using Microsoft Excel. Statistical analysis was performed using the Fisher Exact test, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS: The first mass market retail store had 57 different multivitamins available, 25 (43.9%) categorized as gluten free, 5 contained gluten, 11 were cautionary and 16 uncertain. The second mass market retail store had 55 different multivitamins available, 22 (40%) categorized as gluten free, 6 contained gluten, 12 were cautionary and 15 uncertain. There was no significant difference (p=0.7056) in the rate at which gluten free vitamins were available at the mass market retail stores. The national warehouse store had 20 different multivitamins available, 10 (50%) categorized as gluten free, 1 contained gluten and 9 were uncertain. There was no significant difference in the rate at which the national warehouse store had gluten free vitamins compared to the first mass market retail store (p=0.7947) or the second mass market retail store (p=0.5982). Notably most of the brand vitamins of the first mass market retail store (100%), the second mass market retail store (67%) and the national warehouse store (100%) were gluten free.

DISCUSSION: The majority of vitamins available at the two mass market retail stores and half of the vitamins available at national warehouse store contained gluten, had the potential to be cross-contaminated with gluten products or it was uncertain if they contained gluten. Careful review multivitamin ingredients is important. Contacting vitamin manufacturers may be necessary to determine if a vitamin is gluten free. Individuals with celiac disease should be aware that many vitamins can contain gluten and may result in complications.