Increased mercury levels in patients with celiac disease following a gluten-free regimen

Luca Elli, Valentina Rossi, Dario Conte, Anna Ronchi, Carolina Tomba, Manuela Passoni, Maria Teresa Bardella, Leda Roncoroni, Gianpaolo Guzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim. Although mercury is involved in several immunological diseases, nothing is known about its implication in celiac disease. Our aim was to evaluate blood and urinary levels of mercury in celiac patients. Methods. We prospectively enrolled 30 celiac patients (20 treated with normal duodenal mucosa and 10 untreated with duodenal atrophy) and 20 healthy controls from the same geographic area. Blood and urinary mercury concentrations were measured by means of flow injection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Enrolled patients underwent dental chart for amalgam fillings and completed a food-frequency questionnaire to evaluate diet and fish intake. Results. Mercury blood/urinary levels were 2.4 ± 2.3 / 1.0 ± 1.4, 10.2 ± 6.7 / 2.2 ± 3.0 and 3.7 ± 2.7 / 1.3 ± 1.2 in untreated CD, treated CD, and healthy controls, respectively. Resulting mercury levels were significantly higher in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. No differences were found regarding fish intake and number of amalgam fillings. No demographic or clinical data were significantly associated with mercury levels in biologic samples. Conclusion. Data demonstrate a fourfold increase of mercury blood levels in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. Further studies are needed to clarify its role in celiac mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number953042
JournalGastroenterology Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Feb 23 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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