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    50% of Type 1 Diabetics Show Adverse Immune Response to Wheat


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 09/25/2009 - Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa have uncovered what looks to be an important clue regarding the causes of type 1 diabetes.


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    A research team led by Dr. Fraser Scott recently screened 42 patients with type 1 diabetes and found that nearly half showed an abnormal immune response to wheat proteins.

    Dr. Scott is a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. The research team includes Dr. Majid Mojibian, Dr. Habiba Chakir, Dr. David E. Lefebvre, Jennifer A. Crookshank, Brigitte Sonier and Dr. Erin Keely. 

    In most people, the immune system functions normally, identifying and attacking dangerous foreign visitors, like viruses and bacteria, without harming healthy body tissue or other benign molecules, including food molecules in the digestive tract.

    The breakdown of this process contributes to the development of various autoimmune diseases and allergies. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system wrongly targets the cells of the pancreas, the organ responsible for regulation of blood sugar.

    Globally, diabetes afflicts nearly 250 million people. Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the disease, makes up about 10 percent, or about 25 million, of that worldwide total. There is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes, and sufferers require daily insulin injections can help control blood sugar levels.

    Dr. Scott’s results offer the first suggestions that T cells in the immune systems of type 1 diabetics are also more likely to have adverse immune reactions to wheat. His results also suggest that such over-reaction is tied to genes associated with type 1 diabetes.

    According to Dr. Scott, the research suggests that "people with certain genes may be more likely to develop an over-reaction to wheat and possibly other foods in the gut and this may tip the balance with the immune system and make the body more likely to develop other immune problems, such as type 1 diabetes.”

    Dr. Scott adds that the immune system has to find "the perfect balance to defend the bodyagainst foreign invaders without hurting itself or over-reacting to theenvironment and this can be particularly challenging in the gut, wherethere is an abundance of food and bacteria.”

    In side comments that accompany the paper, diabetes expert Dr. Mikael Knip of Finland suggest that the team's results "add to the accumulating concept that the gut is an active player in the diabetes disease process.”

    Earlier animal models studies by Dr. Scott have shown that a wheat-free diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, but he notes that more research is needed to confirm the association and to assess possible effects of diet changes in humans.

    More research is also needed to examine possible connections to celiac disease, an autoimmune disease associated with adverse immune reactions to wheat proteins that has significant associations with diabetes.

    This research project was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

    Source:
    Diabetes - August 2009

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Scott Adams
    Mdki M, Hupponen T; Holm K, Hallstrom O, _Gut_ 1995; Feb 3692) pgs. 239-42
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    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 02/25/2005 - Today a team of scientists at Alba Therapeutics Corporation and the University of Maryland School of Medicine report a direct link between zonulin-mediated increased intestinal permeability and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in the BB/wor Rat Model of Diabetes. Even more remarkable, the investigators were able to successfully prevent the onset of the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells and the onset of T1D in these animals by using the specific zonulin blocker AT-1001. Daily, oral administration of the drug beginning before the onset of auto-immunity in the diabetic prone rats cut the incidence of the disease by 2/3, and completely blocked the development of autoimmune antibodies in the treatment responders.
    Published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), these results constitute the first successful result in preventing the autoimmune process characteristic of T1D by blocking the zonulin-mediated abnormal intestinal permeability. These results go well beyond the development of a prevention strategy for T1D, says Dr. Alessio Fasano, lead author of the paper and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Physiology and The University of Maryland School of Medicine. They open a new field of investigation in which the interplay between host and environment at the mucosal level may help us understanding the molecular basis of many diseases.
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/16/2009 - People with certain genetic markers may be more likely to develop adverse gut-reactions, which may help trigger the development of other immune problems, such as Type 1 diabetes, according to Dr. Fraser Scott, a member of the research team and a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
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    Previous research has shown a gluten-free diet to reduce rates of diabetes in animal models. However, that does not mean that parents who want to keep their children from developing diabetes should adopt a gluten-free diet, says Scott. The genetic risk for diabetes is very complex, he adds.
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    In theory, there are myriad ways in which people may come to develop diabetes, and, says Scott, each may have developed by a separate route.
    Source:
    Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


    Jefferson Adams
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    Source:

    Acta Diabetol. DOI 10.1007/s00592-011-0301-1

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    Jefferson Adams
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    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol