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Gluten-free Diet Prevents Diabetes (Type 1) at Same Rate as Gluten-enriched Diet

Celiac.com 08/14/2007 - A study on the effects of a gluten-free diet versus a gluten-enriched diet on the incidence of diabetes in mice has yielded some surprising results that are not fully understood. The results of the study were published recently in the journal Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.

It is well known that environmental nutrition and infections play a key role in the development of diabetes (type 1). A Czech research team made up of doctors David P. Funda, Anne Kaas, Helena Tlaskalová-Hogenová, Karsten Buschard recently set out to study the relationship between type 1 diabetes and both gluten-free and gluten enriched diets. The team tested the hypothesis that early introduction of gluten into the diet might increase diabetes incidence in mice.

For a period of 310 days, non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice were fed one of the following diets: standard diet, a gluten-free diet, a gluten + modified Altromin diet, or a hydrolyzed-casein based Pregestimil diet. The mice were observed for signs of diabetes, including evaluation for insulitis score, and numbers of gut mucosal lymphocytes.

Compared to mice fed the standard Altromin diet, mice fed on the gluten-free and the Pregestimil diets showd markedly lower incidence of diabetes. Incidence rates were as follows (p < 0.0001): NOD mice fed gluten-free diet (5.9%, n = 34) and Pregestimil diet (10%, n = 30) compared to mice on the standard Altromin diet (60.6%, n = 33).

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Somewhat unexpectedly, the gluten+ diet also prevented diabetes to the same degree as the gluten-free diet (p<0.0001, 5.9% n=34). Of those mice who did develop diabetes, those on the gluten-free and Pregestimil diets did so at a later time than those on a standard diet.

Compared to control mice, non-diabetic NOD mice on the gluten-free diet and to a lesser extent also gluten+ and Pregestimil diets showed lower insulitis scores. No significant differences were found in the number of CD3+, TCR-+, and IgA+ cells in the small intestine. The researchers concluded that a gluten-enriched diet prevents diabetes in NOD mice at the same rate as a gluten-free diet.

Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 5 , Pages 323 - 327

health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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1 Response:

 
Mr. H
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said this on
30 Mar 2010 11:32:24 PM PDT
This study doesn't take into account whether or not the mice in question were susceptible to celiac. I theorize, no celiac genetic markers no type 1 diabetes.




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Have been dealing with splinter hemorrhages on three of my toe nails since February. I did go to my doctor who rightly so did a very complete blood work-up ruling out other diseases such as lupus and RA and referred me to several other doctors to make sure that it was not cancer, endocarditis, or something serious. I went to the doctors. I have done some research on vitamin deficiency and it seems that some link splinter hemorrhages to vitamin C deficiency. For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have been eating 3 clementines a day (in addition to the usual multivitamin that I take) and it seems to be helping the splinter hemorrhages. One has grown out and not returned. Visited my GI doctor today and talked about malabsorption of nutrients as a potential issue. We are doing more blood work and checking nutrient levels. I have to believe it has something to do with the celiac. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but like you am trying to figure this out. Please let me know if you find any answers, and yes, be sure to check with your doctor to rule out anything serious.

You only need one positive on the celiac panel. I tested positive only to the DGP IgA and had a Marsh Stage IIIB intestinal damage. Good luck!

Welcome to the forum. First, you need to get copies of your celiac test to confirm you actually had it done and what the results were. Second, to confirm a diagnosis, you must obtain biopsies via an endoscopy. Were the doctors gastroenterologists? Third you need to research celiac disease. Yes, you can be asymptomatic, but could still have instestinal damage as the small intestine is vast. here is a good place to start: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You might think you are a silent celiac, but ever been anemic? Had your bones checked?

That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.

9 months ago I went to my doctor for normal blood work. She called me to tell me everything looked great, but o yeah, my gluten sensitivity levels were extremely high. I should probably stop eating gluten since it looks like I have celiac. She hung up and I never heard from her again. I cut out gluten completely, even though I have never experienced one single symptom of celiac. 9 months later, I decided to reach out to another doctor to get a second opinion, as I experienced absolutely zero change on 9 months of strict gluten free diet. All this doctor did was request the results from the previous doctor, tell me it is confirmed I have celiac, and hung up the phone. This angers me tremendously on two counts. One, I have absolutely zero symptoms of celiac, and would NEVER know if I was "glutened". Two, the complete lack of information or support from both doctors is horrifying to me. And finally, I simply do not believe the diagnosis and as considering just starting to eat a normal diet again. I would never know the difference. I am really just venting because this situation upsets me so much, and I have suffered mentally and socially from going gluten free. Since I have absolutely zero symptoms, even if I was actually celiac, I highly doubt anything would ever come of it if I continued to eat gluten. I could just pretend I never heard from either terrible doctor and go on living my life. Someone has to have been in the same situation as me, right?