Celiac.com 10/28/2016 - Researchers still don't know why some people develop celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but a number of studies have focused on factors including breast-feeding, dietary habits, the timing of the introduction of gluten and geographical origin.
This is one of the findings from several extensive studies of children with an increased genetic risk of celiac disease conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. "Our findings indicate that the amount of gluten triggers the disease," says Aronsson. Her research team has also observed that the dietary habits among the children they studied vary from one country to another, and that "there are reasons to analyze the significance of this variation more closely," she added.
All the research in Aronsson's thesis is based on small children born with an increased genetic risk of celiac disease. Some of her most important conclusions are:
- Swedish children who reported consuming more than 5 grams of gluten per day up to the age of two years had twice the risk of developing celiac disease compared to children who consumed a smaller amount, while children with celiac disease reported eating more gluten druing that period.
- The risk of developing the autoimmunity which gives rise to celiac disease was highest in Sweden compared to Finland, Germany and USA, which were also studied.
- There was no apparent connection between the duration of the period of breast-feeding and the risk of developing celiac disease.
Further study could help explain why Swedish children develop celiac disease earlier than children in other countries.