Can a Low-Gluten Diet Improve Your Health (even if you don’t have celiac disease)?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Oluf Pedersen Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen

Dr. Pedersen

Professor Oluf Pedersen
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
University of Copenhagen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We focused our study on healthy people due to the world-wide bottom-up movement among healthy adults to live gluten-free or on a low-gluten diet.

Therefore, we undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged healthy Danish adults with two eight week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day).

The two diets were balanced in number of calories and nutrients including the same total amount of dietary fibres. However, the composition of fibres differed markedly between the two diets.

When the low-gluten trend started years back the trend was without any scientific evidence for health benefits. Now we bring pieces of evidence that a low-gluten diet in healthy people may be related to improved intestinal wellbeing due to changes in the intestinal microbiota which to our surprise is NOT induced by gluten itself but by the concomitant change in the type of dietary fibres linked to a low-gluten intake.

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Could a Low-Gluten Diet During Pregnancy Protect Offspring from Diabetes?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Knud Josefsen, senior researcher
Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet,
Copenhagen K, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In a large population of pregnant women, we found that the risk of the offspring being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 15.6 years (the follow up period) was doubled in the group of women ingesting the highest amounts of gluten (20-66 g/day) versus the group of women ingesting the lowest amounts of gluten (0-7 g/day). For every additional 10 grams of gluten ingested, the risk for type 1 diabetes in the child increased by a factor of 1.31.

It the sense that it was a hypothesis that we specifically tested, we were not surprised. We had seen in animal experiments that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy protected the offspring from diabetes, and we wanted to see if we could prove the same pattern in humans. There could be many reasons why we would not be able to show the association, even if it was there (sample size, low quality data, covariates we could not correct for and so on), but we were off course pleasantly surprised that we found the association that we were looking for, in particular because it is quite robust Continue reading

Amgen Tests IL-Blocker To Treat Symptoms of Hidden Gluten Consumption in Celiac Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and Presently research director at the Tampere University Hospital Tampere, Finland

Prof. Mäki

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD
Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and
Presently research director at the
Tampere University Hospital
Tampere, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The only treatment for this life-long gluten-induced autoimmune systemic disease is a strict avoidance of wheat, rye and barley, the food cereals which contain gluten, the environmental trigger and driving force in celiac disease.  Gluten causes intestinal
inflammation, usually with (but sometimes without) gastrointestinal or
nutritional symptoms or signs, and with frequent extra-intestinal
diseases. However, it is impossible for celiac disease patients to
avoid gluten entirely and indefinitely and a third of patients report
symptoms on a strict gluten-free diet. Gut mucosal healing is not
optimal in half of the patients, and inflammation and injury is
detected for years after starting the diet, presumably due to
contamination with gluten in the diet. This is why patients are
requesting, and academia and industry are looking for novel adjunct
therapies for celiac disease. Initially, these therapies are tested to
prevent the consequences of hidden gluten; the ultimate goal being
that also celiacs could one day eat safely wheat, barley and rye
products. Some 20 novel experimental therapies are at present actively
being investigated (modifying wheat or different drugs, devices and
vaccines/immunotherapy).

The present study investigated whether blocking interleukin 15, an
important mediator of celiac disease, reduces or prevents
gluten-driven ill health, both the inflammation and injury at the
small intestinal mucosal level and gluten-induced symptoms. The
experimental drug used was Amgen’s AMG 714, a human monoclonal
antibody, used at a low and high dose, in the presence or absence of a
high-dose gluten challenge. Continue reading

More People Without Celiac Disease Eating Gluten Free Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH Internal Medicine Resident Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Brandon Hyunseok Kim

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH
Internal Medicine Resident
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background of this study was to investigate the time trends in the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in the United States using most recent 6-year National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Previous studies using narrow populations or old study period mainly before mid 2000s suggested increasing prevalence of celiac disease. At the same time, there is a current popular trend of people following gluten-free diets beyond what would be expected if it were solely due to the increasing prevalence of celiac disease.

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Immune Markers Of Wheat Sensitivity In Patients Without Celiac Disease Identified

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Armin Alaedini, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Medicine & Institute of Human Nutrition Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032

Dr. Armin Alaedini

Armin Alaedini, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine & Institute of Human Nutrition
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY 10032

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: It has been a mystery why some people experience a range of symptoms in response to the ingestion of wheat and related cereals, even though they do not have celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder) or wheat allergy. Both gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, most commonly abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating, as well as extra-intestinal symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, and cognitive difficulties are reported by patients. The identity of the component(s) of wheat responsible for triggering the symptoms remains uncertain and it is not clear if gluten or non-gluten molecules are involved. There is evidence to indicate that wheat sensitivity also affects a subset of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder. Despite the interest from the medical community and the general public, the causes and mechanism of the associated symptoms have remained unknown and no biomarkers are available to aid in the diagnosis of patients.

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Gluten-Free Diet Induces Changes In Gut Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ettje Tigchelaar MSc PhD student from department of Genetics University of Groningen, Groningen

Ettje Tigchelaar

Ettje Tigchelaar MSc
PhD student from department of Genetics
University of Groningen, Groningen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A gluten-free diet is used by celiac disease patients to alleviate their symptoms. Previous research in these patients has shown differences in gut microbiota composition when on habitual gluten containing diet (HD) compared to a gluten-free diet (GFD). Recently more and more individuals without celiac disease also started to adopt a gluten-free diet to improve their health and/or control weight. We studied changes in gut microbiota composition in these healthy individuals on a gluten-free diet.

We observed changes in the abundance of specific bacteria, for example the abundance of the bacterium family Veillonellaceae was much lower on a gluten-free diet versus HD, whereas it was higher for the family Clostridiaceae. We also looked at the function of the bacteria in the gut and found that many of those bacteria that changed because of the gluten-free diet played a role in metabolism of starch. This makes sense since starch is like gluten highly present in wheat containing products, thus when eliminating gluten from the diet, the intake of starch also changes and the gut bacteria processing this dietary starch change accordingly.

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Breastfeeding May Not Protect Again Gluten Sensitive Celiac Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Maria Ines Pinto Sanchez, MD MSc​
Post-doctoral Clinical ​ Research Fellow and
Dr Elena Verdu, MD, PhD
Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute
McMaster University
Health Sciences Centre Hamilton, ON

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Celiac disease is a condition caused by ingestion of gluten in people with genetic predisposition, in which the finger like projections of the intestinal lining are damaged by inflammation. The “celiac” genes are necessary, but not sufficient, to develop celiac disease. For this reason, it is believed that additional factors could influence the risk of a predisposed child to develop celiac disease. Some studies have indeed suggested that the ideal time for the introduction of gluten to the diet would fall between the 4th and 6th month of life, when gluten should be introduced in “small quantities” and progressively, while maintaining breastfeeding whenever possible. The Nutrition Committee of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition recommended avoiding the introduction of gluten before 4 months and after 7 months of age in an attempt to prevent celiac disease. However, not all clinical studies reached this conclusion and we therefore conducted an updated analysis of the literature published on this subject to evaluate the relationship between time and amount of gluten introduction, breastfeeding and the risk of developing celiac disease. Our systematic analysis revealed that based on the studies published to date there is no strong support that early gluten introduction to an infant’s diet increases the chances to develop celiac disease or that breastfeeding specifically protects from it.

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Celiac Disease: When Should Gluten Be Introduced to Infants?

Ketil Stordal Researcher/consultant paediatrician National Institute of Public Health NorwayMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ketil Stordal
Researcher/consultant paediatrician
National Institute of Public Health
Norway


MedicalResearch.com:
What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The study identified 324 children with celiac disease from a cohort of 82 000. Start of gluten in the diet later than 6 months was associated with a 27% increased risk of celiac disease compared to those starting during the 5th or 6th month of life. Breastfeeding was not protective; the duration of breastfeeding was slightly longer among children with celiac disease (10.4 vs 9.9 months) and breastfeeding at the time of gluten introduction was not associated with the later risk of celiac disease. The participating mothers had submitted detailed data since pregnancy including infant feeding practices, and these were collected before onset of the disease.

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