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  • Jefferson Adams

    Researchers Hunt Potential Celiac Disease Risk Factors in Children

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Rates of celiac disease have climbed steeply in recent decades in some developed countries. However, there really isn't much in the current medical literature to clearly explain the increase.


    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--JeepersMedia

    Celiac.com 08/01/2019 - Rates of celiac disease have climbed steeply in recent decades in some developed countries. However, there really isn't much in the current medical literature to clearly explain the increase.

    Researchers Seth Scott Bittker and Kathleen Roberta Bell recently set out to determine whether nine variables are associated with the development of celiac disease in children. 



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    They are variously affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), Columbia University, New York, New York, US; and the Ontario College of Teachers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    The team looked at the following variables: "incidence of ear infection before 2 years old, courses of antibiotics before 2 years old, duration of breastfeeding, vitamin D drop exposure in infancy, vitamin D supplement exposure between 2–3 years old, age at gluten introduction into the diet, fat content of cow’s milk consumed between 2–3 years old, quantity of cow’s milk consumed between 2–3 years old, and type of water consumed at 2 years old."

    To gather their data, the team used an internet survey to quiz parents living in the US with at least one biological child between 3 and 12 years old. To recruit participants, the team used social media, websites, electronic newsletters, and advertisements. The team ended up with a total of 332 responses for children with celiac disease, and 241 responses from the non-celiac control group. 

    The team's data showed that skim liquid cow’s milk consumed between 2–3 years old, vitamin D drops used for longer than 3 months, early doses of antibiotics, and early ear infection are all associated with later development of celiac disease in children.

    This study found a connection between skim milk consumption, and vitamin D drop use for more than 3 months, and later development of celiac disease. It also found evidence to support earlier data that early life exposure to antibiotics and early life infection, especially ear infection, are also associated with the development of celiac disease in children.

    Read more in Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology 


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    My spidey-sense says to pay attention to this article... but also that they do not have some of those suppositions correct: there are other factors for which they are not accounting.  I cannot wait to hear about the followup study! 

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    Guest not enough participants in

    Posted

    My concern is that people will take this to heart, when in reality it’s simply the start. We need a lot more participants to be able to actually link some of these things.

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    I have observed a common disease association: infants & young children born with milk protein intolerance are frequently also diagnosed with IBS and or celiac disease. 

    I'm not surprised about the skim milk problem.  The lower the 'fat' content in dairy, the greater the severity of intolerance present itself.

    I have milk protein intolerance and cannot consume a drop of skim or regular milk.  Yet, I can add heavy cream to sauces or biscuits without a reaction.  Buttermilk was not bad either until the enlightened minds at the dairy plants decided it would be healthier to mix it with low fat (1.5%) milk.  Now the buttermilk is untenable as it has been polluted with a high milk protein additive.

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    I fit this profile somewhat...had ear infections from the time I was born until about age 20, and as you can imagine was on antibiotics almost constantly. Started having celiac disease symptoms in my 20s, was not diagnosed until I was 46.

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    17 hours ago, Guest Laura said:

    I have observed a common disease association: infants & young children born with milk protein intolerance are frequently also diagnosed with IBS and or celiac disease. 

    I'm not surprised about the skim milk problem.  The lower the 'fat' content in dairy, the greater the severity of intolerance present itself.

    I have milk protein intolerance and cannot consume a drop of skim or regular milk.  Yet, I can add heavy cream to sauces or biscuits without a reaction.  Buttermilk was not bad either until the enlightened minds at the dairy plants decided it would be healthier to mix it with low fat (1.5%) milk.  Now the buttermilk is untenable as it has been polluted with a high milk protein additive.

    I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND what the dairy industry's (as well as the general public's) obsession is with NON-FAT and LOW-FAT dairy. When I'm buying yoghurt, I always purchase the highest fat content I can find.  And every time at brand gets launched that offers a higher-fat option, that option disappears within 6 months!  It's INFURIATING to have to deal with having to explain to people (who do not listen) that lower fat content DOES THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES! 

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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 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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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