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.
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