Gluten-free diet does not offer expected diabetes benefits

Tue, 07 Jun 2011
A new study by scientists in Germany has found that a gluten-free diet for babies in their first year does not manage to reduce the risk of their later developing type 1 diabetes for children who have a family history of the condition.

Although other studies had highlighted the possibility that children with gluten diets during their early months could be at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes than those with a gluten-free diet, this new research has shown otherwise.

The research involved monitoring the diets of 150 babies that had at least one parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes, with half the babies not being allowed any gluten until they reached the age of six months, while the other half were not given any gluten in their diet until they got to their first birthday.

The findings showed that three of the children who had started eating gluten in their diet at six months old had developed type 1 diabetes by the age of three, as compared with four children in those that didn't receive gluten until they were one year old.

The results suggested that although ensuring a baby doesn't eat gluten until is not harmful, it also does not lower the chances of the baby later developing type 1 diabetes.
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