Celiac.com 10/05/2020 - There is currently no medical strategy for preventing celiac disease before it starts. Could the amount and time of gluten introduction in infant diets influence celiac disease rates? A new study indicates that early consumption of high-dose gluten should be considered as a strategy to prevent celiac disease
There's been a good deal of research about the best time for introducing gluten in infant diets, but there are still a number questions about exactly when to introduce it, how much is best, and what the benefits might be. A team of researchers recently set out to see if the introduction of gluten is associated with a lower rates of celiac disease in children at three years of age.
The researchers studied 1,303 children and compared average amounts of gluten consumed by those who were divided into an early gluten introduction group who were fed gluten at 4 months, to that of a standard gluten introduction group that did not receive gluten until at least age 6 months.
They found that the early introduction group ate about 2.66 grams per week between 4 and 6 months of age, while the standard introduction group did not receive gluten until at least age 6 months, and ate about a half a gram of gluten per week.
The team found that about 1.5% of children in the standard introduction group were diagnosed celiac disease, compared with none in the early gluten introduction group.
Infants who began to eat gluten four months of age had lower rates of celiac disease later on. These results indicate that exposing infants to early high-dose gluten consumption could be a good way to prevent future celiac disease.
Until now, there's been no medical strategy for preventing celiac disease before it starts. The discovery that feeding infants a few grams of gluten per week starting at age four months could prevent celiac disease is very exciting news.
Stay tuned for more on this and related stories.
Read more at JAMA Pediatrics