Gluten-free diet reduces risk of type 1 diabetes in mice

May 8, 2014, University of Copenhagen
Gluten-free diet reduces risk of type 1 diabetes in mice
The mouse study adds more knowledge to a field that has been object for research many years.

New experiments on mice show, that mouse mothers can protect their pups from developing type 1 diabetes by eating a gluten-free diet. According to preliminary studies by reseachers at the University of Copenhagen, the findings may apply to humans.

More than 1% of the Danish population has type 1 , one of the highest incidence rates in the world. New experiments on mice now show a correlation between the health of the and their mothers eating a gluten-free diet. Our hope is that the disease may be prevented through simple dietary changes, the researchers say.

"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," says assistant professor Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen from the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

The findings have recently been published in the recognised journal Diabetes.

14 years of research into gluten-free diet

Findings from experiments on are not necessarily applicable to humans, but in this case we have grounds for optimism, says co-writer on the study professor Axel Kornerup from the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

"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," he says.

Experiments of this type have been going on since 1999, originally initiated by Professor Karsten Buschard from the Bartholin Institute at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, another co-writer 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 explains.

Gluten-free diet affects bacteria

The experiment showed that the diet changed the intestinal bacteria in both the mother and the pups. The intestinal flora plays an important role for the development of the immune system as well as the development of , and the study suggests that the protective effect of a gluten-free diet can be ascribed to certain intestinal bacteria. The advantage of the gluten-free diet is that the only side-effect seems to be the inconvenience of having to avoid gluten, but there is no certain evidence of the effect or side-effects.

"We have not been able to start a large-scale clinical test to either prove or disprove our hypothesis about the gluten-free ," says Karsten Buschard.

Assistant Professor Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen is hoping that it will be possible to continue the work.

"If we find out how gluten or certain modify the immune system and the beta-cell physiology, this knowledge can be used to develop new treatments," she says.

Explore further: Research finding could lead to new therapies for patients with gluten intolerance

More information: Paper: A maternal gluten-free diet reduces inflammation and diabetes incidence in the offspring of NOD mice, diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/ … 1/db13-1612.abstract

Related Stories

Research finding could lead to new therapies for patients with gluten intolerance

April 1, 2014
Researchers at McMaster University have discovered a key molecule that could lead to new therapies for people with celiac disease, an often painful and currently untreatable autoimmune disorder.

FDA defining what "gluten free" means on packages

August 2, 2013
Consumers are going to know exactly what they're getting when they buy foods labeled "gluten free."

From GI issues to weight loss: A breakdown of gluten-free eating

April 1, 2013
In the ever-present search to identify and address bad nutrition habits, gluten-free eating has been receiving a lot of attention. But experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) say it is not to be confused ...

Gluten-free craze for general population not supported by science, professor finds

October 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—There is no benefit for the average healthy adult to follow a gluten-free diet, according to research published by an Arizona State University professor in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of the ...

Going gluten-free: Is the diet a good fit for everyone?

June 28, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- One of the latest trends in the food market and among celebrities is going gluten-free. Snack giant Frito-Lay has announced it will introduce new gluten-free labels and products, and Miley Cyrus has credited ...

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

Big strides made in diabetes care

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.