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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    BEING POOR AND DIRTY MAY HELP PROTECT AGAINST CELIAC DISEASE


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 04/07/2008 - No, this is not some kind of April Fool’s joke.When I read this report, I just about fell off my chair. New research indicates thatbeing poor and living in squalor might actually provide some benefitagainst the development of celiac disease.


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    A team of medicalresearchers recently set out to examine gene-environmental interactionsin the pathogenesis of celiac disease. The research team was made up ofA. Kondrashova, K. Mustalahti, K. Kaukinen, H. Viskari, V. Volodicheva,A. M. Haapala, J. Ilonen, M. Knip, M. Mäki, H. Hyöty, T. E. Group.Finland and nearby Russian Karelia have populations that eat about thesame amounts of the same grains and grain products. The two populationsalso have a high degree of shared genetic ancestry. The only majordifference between the populations of the two areas lies in theirsocioeconomic conditions.

    The region of Russian Karelia ismuch poorer than the neighboring areas in nearby Finland. Thesanitation levels in Russian Karelia are also distinctly inferior thanthey are in Finland. The researchers compared the prevalence of celiacdisease and predisposing human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles inpopulations from Russian Karelia and Finland. The team performedscreening for tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) and HLA-DQalleles on 1988 school-age children from Karelia and 3654 children fromFinland. Children with transglutaminase antibodies were encouraged tohave a duodenal biopsy.

    Interestingly, the patients fromRussian Karelia showed tTG antibodies far less often than their Finnishcounterparts (0.6% compared to 1.4%, P = 0.005). The patients fromRussian Karelia also showed Immunoglobulin class G (IgG) antigliadinantibodies far less frequently than their Finnish patients (10.2%compared to 28.3%, P<0.0001).

    The researchers confirmed adiagnosis of celiac disease by duodenal biopsy in four of the eighttransglutaminase antibody-positive Karelian children, for an occurrencerate of 1 in 496 versus 1 in 107 Finnish children.

    In bothgroups, the same HLA-DQ alleles were associated with celiac disease andthe presence of transglutaminase antibodies. The patients from RussianKarelia showed a much lower prevalence of transglutaminase antibodiesand celiac disease than the Finnish children. 

    The poorconditions and inferior hygienic conditions in Russian Karelia mightprovide some kind of protection against the development of celiacdisease. The value of studies like this aren’t to make us wax nostalgicfor poverty, or to encourage people to fend off celiac disease bybecoming poor and living in squalid conditions. The value of a studylike this lies in the idea that there may be more to the development ofceliac disease than simple biological factors. That environmentalconditions might play a key role in both the frequency ofceliac-related antibodies, and in the development of the disease itselfis quite intriguing and clearly warrants further and more comprehensivestudy.

    Ann Med. 2008;40(3):223-31.


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    Guest krista

    Posted

    If being 'poor and dirty' protected against celiac I certainly would have never developed it. Perhaps the poor in Russia have had to live without the bread and the other artificially glutened food ingredients that are rampant here in the US. But being poor in the US means you live off bread and cheap foods many of which should be gluten free but have had the substance added to it.

    This research study leaves a lot of unanswered questions. The idea that here in the US you are less likely to have celiac if you are 'poor and dirty' is so ridiculous it isn't even funny.

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    This is not surprising. In nature, defective genetics are quickly removed from a population. Affluence allows defective genes like celiac to be compensated for, allowing the carriers to pass their defective genes on in the affluent population.

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    Guest Steve Malinowski

    Posted

    There was a study that showed that the exposure to sunlight of the child early on was the Problem. Lack of Sunlight may be bad. If the poorer children got out more

    then investigate the Sun's rays too. Oregon and Washington states large populations are having very low sun because of cloud cover. And I believe they

    are high on the Celiac occurrences too. Also, the Coastal cities of Ireland probably have cloud cover. I also heard that the Jews that went into hiding had little sunlight and were under stress... check it out. Thanks.

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    Guest S Barwick

    Posted

    Krista is right. This is very interesting research but the 'poor and dirty' idea is a guess. The researchers need to look hard at the typical diets of the two groups before they leap into their sanitation - so to speak. When my ancestors were poor and dirty - farm laborers in the north of England in the early 19th C and before - they would have eaten mainly oat cakes, vegetables and a bit of meat. The celiac gene would barely have been tickled awake.

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    Obviously, being poor cannot directly affect the chance of getting celiac, but it is almost equally obvious that being dirty could directly affect the chance of getting celiac. It all has to do with developing immunities. Of course, it could also be that some dirty poor people die from immune problems and the ones who are left (natural selection) to be surveyed are the ones who were born with certain immunities.

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    Guest Taylor

    Posted

    I am really curious to know what foods comprise the main parts of the diet for each group. I agree with Krista; typically some of the cheapest foods contain wheat, like bread and pasta. In many places rice or potatoes would come first, but I would be curious to know the result of that same test in the US. Here our cheapest foods are basically all wheat-based, or at least, that's what people think to buy first; a loaf of bread, a box of macaroni and cheese, a dollar-menu big Mac, the list continues. My hypothesis for that same study done here in the US would be for it come out opposite from the Russian study.

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    Guest Andrea

    Posted

    The assumption that poverty and dirt is the 'causal' factor seems a little premature. Perhaps the poor people in Russia spend more time outdoors? Given the slew of recent medical research connecting cholecalciferol (vitamin D) deficiency and higher rates of autoimmune diseases (among other things), MAYBE time in the sunshine is the real difference behind the rates of celiac in these two populations. In any case, 'poverty' implies a lot of lifestyle differences besides 'dirt.'

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    Guest Jaymae

    Posted

    If Celiac comes from being too clean then what's genetic predisposition got to do with it? My whole family (Mother, her siblings) are equally clean, and they don't seem have Celiac, but I do. How could one of us be too clean?

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    Guest Jennifer

    Posted

    I agree with the others that more investigation into the diet and lifestyle differences between the countries is warranted. But I find it a fascinating study and hypothesis. There is a similar 'hygiene hypothesis' in the development of allergies that has been studied a lot more and is really gaining steam.

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    I have a hard time buying the thought of being in poverty will help protect you from developing celiac disease. Kristia is right, here in the U.S. the food that gets donated to food banks and issued by the government is high in gluten. Since this is a gene-related disease, has any one ever thought about inter family marriages as a possible factor, for the richer people to have a higher level of celiac? Back over hundreds of years, there were a lot of rich families marring each other. Just a thought.

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    Guest Angel

    Posted

    I agree with Krista, too. I'm 1/2 Finnish and can tell you that I grew up with a fine Finnish baker for a grandmother - and she was 'allergic' to wheat (and had alopecia and arthritis). I also grew up poor and dirty. Wish I could say I grew up in an Asian community ...

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    Guest Dawn Kunath

    Posted

    The results could also be interpreted that those having celiac disease are less likely to thrive & reproduce when born into squalor, compared to celiacs born into better conditions who have more resources and become able to reproduce.

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    Guest frosty

    Posted

    The poor have a high infant mortality rate. What about the spontaneous abortions? The doctors here are not even giving blood tests when women miscarry. It helps prove the antibody and biopsy testing is limited. There is a test I found on the net that is non- invasive. Does anyone have the chance to see if it can help? Also, how about all of those who are 'asymptomatic.' Many docs try to evade with this fact. I am surprised.

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    Guest Pearse

    Posted

    Do the Russian Karelians eat more buckwheat, millet and rice than their richer Finnish cousins? Development of coeliac disease depends on exposure to gluten, so a diet low in gluten is less likely to stimulate the response. The Saharawi population in Africa had little historical exposure to gluten. When it was introduced to their diet, they developed incredible rates of coeliac disease. Here's a quote:

     

    --- It has been hypothesized that the abrupt change of feeding habits in this population played a primary role in increasing the risk of celiac disease (18). In the traditional diet, the main foods consisted of camel milk and meat, moderate amounts of cereals (wheat, barley and millet), legumes (lentils) and dates. Young children were exclusively fed with breast milk during the first years of life. After the european colonization, bread made of wheat became the staple food of this population. Moreover, duration of the breast feeding felt dramatically down, and it is not uncommon nowadays to see Saharawi children that are weaned during the first three months of life.

     

    The strong genetic predisposition and the 'sudden load' of dietary gluten, in a population that was not used to high intakes of this protein, seem therefore to be the factors responsible for the celiac disease 'endemy' in the Saharawis.---

     

    That's from the Italian Coeliac Society's website.

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    Perhaps, along with the poor conditions in Russia also reflects on more bacteria (probiotic link) to be included in the intestines of this group of people. Isn't the probiotic link and some relief from the symptoms of Celiac Disease already being tested at this time? I do agree that the probiotic I am on does relieve some of my symptoms. I would like to try the actual one that was described in one of the other articles.

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    Arch Dis Child 2006;91:39-43.
    Celiac.com 12/08/2005 – Researchers in the United Kingdom conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 studies published between 1966 and 2004 that evaluated the association between breast-feeding and celiac disease. Their review covered more than 4,000 children and found that breast-feeding may offer protection against the development of celiac disease, especially if it is prolonged and covers the period when gluten is introduced. It was unclear, however, whether breast-feeding merely delays the onset of symptoms, or actually offers permanent protection against the disease, and more long-term prospective cohort studies will be necessary to make such a determination.

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    Jefferson Adams
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    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
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