A higher consumption of gluten is associated in the first five years of life, with an increase in the risk of celiac disease

Celiac disease commonly occurs during early childhood., affecting one of every 71 children in our country. For several years, there have been many investigations that have been carried out around this disease, including the administration of a future vaccine, as well as studies that help to identify the triggers.

At the moment, it is known that the late introduction of gluten into the baby's diet does not minimize the risks, nor does the early introduction while breastfeeding is offered. But a recent study has determined that the amount of gluten ingested in the first years of life yes it could have an important weight in the development of this disease in individuals genetically predisposed to suffer from it.

The study data

The study, carried out at the University of Lund (Sweden), has been carried out in six clinical research centers in Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United States and has had a sample of 6,605 children with genetic predisposition to develop celiac disease.

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To find out if this predisposition existed, the researchers previously performed a genetic screening of children born between 2004 and 2010 who wanted to participate in the study, and then they were given a Track your gluten intake until the age of five.

Parents were asked to make a daily record of food and beverages that their babies consumed for three days, as well as a breakdown by ingredients of the recipes they were offered. The ages studied were six, nine and 12 months, and subsequently 18, 24, 30, 36 months and five years.

At the end of the follow-up in September 2017, the following results were obtained:

  • 21% of children tested positive for tTG autoantibodies
  • 18% of children developed autoimmunity for celiac disease
  • 7% percent of children developed celiac disease
The researchers associated that for each increase of one gram per day in the daily (absolute) intake of gluten, the risk of autoimmunity and celiac disease increased, especially between the age range of two and three years.

The association was evident in all participating countries, except in Germany, where there was insufficient data to draw definitive conclusions.

Although the study emphasizes that most of the participating children did not develop celiac disease, Carin Andrén Aronsson, lead author of the article and dietitian at Lund University reports:

"A daily intake of gluten of more than two grams at the age of two years It was associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of developing celiac disease. This is compared to children who ate less than two grams of gluten. "

However, for researchers it is still a challenge determine what amounts of gluten should be recommended as safe to avoid the development of the disease, since the intake varies and increases during the first years of life. In addition, there is uncertainty that the gluten intake reported by the study participants is not entirely accurate.

Therefore, it is suggested to carry out a new clinical trial in which it is also determined which groups of foods with gluten would have greater weight in the development of celiac disease.

This study would be added to another of similar characteristics carried out in 2018, which established the relationship of a healthy eating pattern rich in vegetables, pasta, rice and vegetable oils, with a moderate intake of fish, legumes and meat, and low consumption of sugar, refined cereals and jams, with a lower probability of autoimmunity to celiac disease.

Celiac disease: what it is and when there is a predisposition to suffer it

Strictly speaking, celiac disease is not an intolerance or a food allergy, but a autoimmune disease (that is, an immune response against the body itself) caused by exposure to gluten proteins, present in certain cereals.

Most people with celiac disease manifest one or more symptoms, although there are also asymptomatic people who do not have any discomfort. Celiac disease not only affects the digestive system, but any other organ of the human body, such as the skin, bones or the neurological system, for example.

Between the most notable symptoms in children there are chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite, bloating (swollen gut), weight loss, gas, stunted growth and short stature, anemia, irritability, sadness, fatty and smelly stools.

Celiac disease is not hereditary, but there is a genetic predisposition to suffer it. The probability of developing celiac disease is one in ten for children with a first-degree relative diagnosed.

People with type 1 diabetes, Turner syndrome, Down syndrome, autoimmune thyroid disease, Williams syndrome and autoimmune liver disease are also among the risk groups with the greatest predisposition to celiac disease.

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According to the Federation of Celiac Associations of Spain (FACE), 75% of celiac people would be undiagnosed especially because the symptoms can be confused with other types of pathologies. That is why it is so important to implement early diagnostic protocols, as well as new research to help detect possible triggers.

In case of suspicion of celiac disease, the specialist should be consulted to carry out the relevant tests confirming the disease, since the exclusion of gluten from the diet without a prescription It could carry certain risks.

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Video: Celiac Disease and Gluten (March 2020).