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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    High Infant Gluten Intake Raises Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Childhood

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Every 10 grams of extra gluten eaten at age 18 months is associated with a 46% increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.


    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--juhansonin

    Celiac.com 09/30/2019 - We know from recent studies that high gluten intake in infancy can raise risk for celiac disease, and we know that the amount of gluten eaten by infants at 18 months heavily influences their risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life.

    An earlier study conducted in Denmark suggested that a high maternal gluten consumption during pregnancy increased the risk of type 1 diabetes in the child.  

    Until now, researchers have not looked at levels of gluten intake by both the mother during pregnancy and the child in early life, and how that influences risk of developing type 1 diabetes in childhood. 

    Now, a new study shows that every 10 grams of extra gluten eaten at age 18 months is associated with a 46% increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

    The researchers recently conducted a Norwegian population-based nationwide study of 86,306 people to examine the association between the mother's intake of gluten during pregnancy, child's gluten intake at age 18 months, and the risk of type 1 diabetes in the child.

    The research team included Dr Nicolai Lund-Blix, and colleagues at Oslo University Hospital, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway. Their research was presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Barcelona, Spain from September 16-20.

    The outcome was clinical type 1 diabetes cases in the nationwide childhood diabetes registry. The team calculated increased risk using statistical modeling for maternal gluten intake during pregnancy and child's gluten intake at 18 months. 

    The authors estimated grams per day of gluten intake based on a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at week 22 of pregnancy, and from a questionnaire completed by the guardian when the child was 18 months old.

    Researchers are not calling upon expectant mothers to reduce gluten content in the infant diet at this point in time.

    According to the authors, "This study suggests that the child's gluten intake at 18 months of age, and not the maternal intake during pregnancy, could increase the risk of type 1 diabetes in the child."

    Read more at: Diabetes Times
    and at Celiac.com: High Childhood Gluten Intake Increases Risk of Celiac Disease and Celiac Autoimmunity


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    Interesting and very sad.  It is impossible to "unwind a wound clock". Perhaps scientists and physicians should have studied the effects of gluten on the human body prior to the mutagenesis of wheat?

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    On 10/9/2019 at 8:33 AM, Guest Laura said:

    Interesting and very sad.  It is impossible to "unwind a wound clock". Perhaps scientists and physicians should have studied the effects of gluten on the human body prior to the mutagenesis of wheat?

    Not really sure what you are trying to say here---I also found this article interesting---but "very sad"--why?---the scientists which you seem  to be criticizing have found a possible factor that increases the risk of a disease---a factor that can then be controlled to potentially decrease the risk---hardly sad--and what is the "mutagenesis" of wheat and whatever you think that is---what does it have to do with this article!!??  If I have misinterpreted your post I apologize, and I hope you are not among the much too many people on this site who are too quick to criticize articles which they clearly misinterpret

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    On 10/8/2019 at 7:23 PM, Guest Harmin said:

    Im not an expert or anything but im pretty sure type 1 diabetes is something prenatal

    type 2?

    I am not an expert either but if by if by prenatal you mean genetic then yes T1D is genetic, but as is the case with celiac disease, just because one may have the specific genes does not mean they will absolutely develop the disease--certain environmental factors--like the amount of gluten ingested during infancy-can modify that risk--and that factor is one that can be controlled.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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