BACKGROUND & AIMS: Magnesium deficiency has been reported in coeliac disease (CD) with clinical symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate magnesium status in CD without malabsorption symptoms in patients aged 5-18 years. In the study participated 41 coeliac patients on a gluten-free diet (GFD) for a mean 11 years with IgAEmA (-) and normal villi, 28 patients with untreated subclinical (atypical) CD with IgAEmA (+) and villous atrophy, and 8 healthy subjects as a control group.

METHOD: Magnesium status was examined by an intravenous Mg loading test, determination of serum and erythrocyte Mg concentrations, and urinary excretion. Steatorrhea was assessed by fecal fat excretion. Magnesium, calcium, protein, and fat intake were evaluated by a food frequency questionnaire.

RESULTS: The frequency of magnesium deficiency as assessed by the magnesium loading test was: 19.6% in treated, 21.4% in untreated CD patients, and 25% in control group, similar in both sexes, sporadic in small towns (3.8%), frequent in large cities and rural villages (23.5% vs. 32.3%). Fat excretion was within normal limits. The following results were found, respectively: decreased serum magnesium concentration, 7.3% vs. 3.6% vs. 0%, decreased erythrocyte Mg concentration, 14.6% vs. 25% vs. 12.5%; decreased intake of magnesium, 29% vs. 32% vs. 0%.

CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of magnesium deficiency was similar in pediatric patients who were treated for CD or in patients with subclinical CD, and in control group; magnesium deficiency in patients participating in our study depended on an imbalanced diet.

Rujner J, Socha J, Syczewska M, Wojtasik A, Kunachowicz H, Stolarczyk A
Clin Nutr 2004 Oct;23(5):1074-9
PMID: 15380898