If you are a pasta or bread lover, then it might be a bad news as a new study has found that consuming heavy amounts of gluten from an early age could lead to gluten intolerance and children might develop celiac disease.
The findings of this study were published in the journal JAMA which suggest that eating higher-than-normal levels of gluten during the first five years of your life is associated with the likelihood of developing celiac disease, a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine.Higher gluten intake was associated with a 6.1 per cent increased risk of celiac disease autoimmunity, immunological response to gluten and a 7.2 per cent increased risk of the celiac disease per each additional gram of gluten per day.
In this study, researchers analysed more than 6,600 newborns in the United States, Finland, Germany, and Sweden, who were born between the years 2004 and 2010. All of the children carried a genotype associated with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.
Every few months, the study's authors recorded the children's gluten intake until the age of five and compared the levels to reference amounts of gluten intake in healthy children at each age. Over the course time, till the study continued, 1,216 of the children amounting to nearly 20 per cent developed celiac disease autoimmunity, the first sign of the body's negative response to the protein, said study author Carin Andren Aronsson, study manager at the Unit for Diabetes and Celiac Disease at Lund University in Sweden.
Another 450 developed celiac disease, about 7 per cent. Most of the diagnoses occurred between the ages of 2 and 3, according to the study. In people diagnosed with celiac disease, eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents nutrient absorption.
"Our study shows a clear association between the amount of gluten the children consumed and the risk of developing celiac disease or pre-coeliac disease," said Daniel Agardh, associate professor at Lund University and consultant at Skane University Hospital in Malmo.
The current results showed that children between the age of 2-3 are at an increased risk of developing celiac disease. The increase in risk was noticeable even with small amounts of gluten, a daily intake of 2 grams - or the equivalent of one slice of white bread. "A daily gluten intake over 2 grams at the age of 2 was associated with a 75 per cent increase in the risk of developing coeliac disease," said Carin Andren Aronsson, a dietician at Lund University.