Gluten-free diet may reduce risk of type-1 diabetes

Gluten-free diet may reduce risk of type-1 diabetes

  • We have seen how gluten is a hidden danger that threatens many people.
  • According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness approximately 1 in every 133 Americans suffers from an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease, which is the most extreme form of gluten intolerance. Gluten-free diets are on the rise and are being recommended by many health experts.
  • A new animal study from the University of Copenhagen now shows a connection between the health of baby mice and their mothers eating a gluten-free diet. The researchers hope that type-1 diabetes may be prevented through easy changes in diet.
  • “Preliminary tests show that a gluten-free diet in humans has a positive effect on children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. We therefore hope that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy and lactation may be enough to protect high-risk children from developing diabetes later in life,” explains Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen, assistant professor from the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
  • The study was recently published in the journal Diabetes.
  • Findings from experiments on mice are not necessarily applicable to humans, but in this case we have grounds for optimism,” says Professor Axel Kornerup, who was a co-writer on the study.
  • Early intervention makes a lot of sense because type 1 diabetes develops early in life. We also know from existing experiments that a gluten-free diet has a beneficial effect on type 1 diabetes,” Kornerup adds.
  • Experiments of this nature have been conducted since 1999, staring from Professor Karsten Buschard from the Bartholin Institute at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, who was another author on the study.
  • This new study beautifully substantiates our research into a gluten-free diet as an effective weapon against type 1 diabetes,” Karsten Buschard states.
  • The results of the study showed that eating a gluten-free diet promoted good intestinal bacteria. Gut flora plays a crucial part in the function of the immune system and a resistance to type-1 diabetes.
  • We have not been able to start a large-scale clinical test to either prove or disprove our hypothesis about the gluten-free diet,” says Karsten Buschard.
  • Assistant Professor Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen hopes that this positive study will lead to more in depth research. “”If we find out how gluten or certain intestinal bacteria modify the immune system and the beta-cell physiology, this knowledge can be used to develop new treatments,” Hansen says.
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