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Celiac Disease
4 Minutes

Can Weetabix reduce the risk of Celiac Disease?!

We know that allergies and autoimmunity are on the rise in our kids. Some like peanut/egg have gone up multiples in the last few decades. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that is also on the rise in our children. Essentially it is a severe reaction to the protein gluten causing the body to effectively attack its own digestive system. Not ideal. Luckily the leading researchers in paediatric allergy led by Professor Gideon Lack have found new ways to help stem this rise. Believe it or not, you may find a potential tool in your local supermarket… 

What is Celiac Disease? 

This is essentially the body’s immune system reacting against itself. Which is the case for all autoimmune diseases. In this case, it is the body attacking the small intestine triggered by proteins found in Gluten. If untreated it can cause lasting effect. Check out the below from the Celiac Disease Foundation which sums it up what happens vs normal:

Celiac Disease

What causes it?  

As usual there is rarely a simple answer. Genetics often plays a significant part – particularly in Celiac Disease. However, when it comes to misfiring immune systems. Often one of the first manifestations according to Professor Lack is serious eczema. There are however MANY theories as to the underlying cases. From problems in the gut microbiome, to family history to issues during pregnancy and development. 

However, the key thing is: what can we do to help prevent Celiac Disease in our kids? 

Once again. Because of multiple potential causes this is a hot and ripe area for research. Some research has pointed out a diet high in prebiotic fibre during pregnancy can vastly reduce incidence of celiac in kids. However, there are no current official strategies to actively prevent. 

The latest research however, is showing a powerful role to play as to when we introduce potential allergens to our kids.  

The latest research suggests early introduction of Gluten to at risk kids could help reduce incidence: 

Pioneering studies EAT and LEAP have all shown compelling evidence from early introduction (as early as 3-4 months old) of allergens (peanut/egg/milk etc) and reduction in the risk of developing allergies.

The basic theory as to how this works is that the main immune system resides in the gut. Whilst there are some immune fighters on the skin, only exposing those to allergens (more likely if skin is broken as with eczema) means more chance of a ‘misfiring’ response. Instead if we get straight to the main immune system in the gut which is better able to cope there is more chance of the immune system ‘learning’ to cope with it. Click here for much more from Professor Lack himself on the detail behind this. 

So, when it comes to gluten and Celiac Disease, is Weetabix the answer?! 

According to the latest research: ‘the introduction of Gluten from age four months was associated with a reduced Celiac Disease prevalence.’ 

The way that they exposed the children was via two Weetabix – yep – (80% of wheat protein is gluten) through a week from 4 months. 

They were subsequently tested for anti-TG2 antibodies at 3yrs old.

The result? 

‘Significantly more children in the standard introduction group had a diagnosis of Celiac disease confirmed than in the early introduction group – 1.4% vs 0% in EIG’.

Bottom line? 

This research is NOT something you should ever try out solo yourself without talking to your paediatrician fully ahead of time. Allergies and autoimmunity in young kids is not to be messed with without expert assistance. However, it certainly provides food for thought and discussion with your doctor. Particularly if you have a family history of Celiac, autoimmunity or allergies. Or if you have a very young baby with serious eczema that could predispose them to allergy development. 

For link to the full research click here or for more from Professor Lack and his fascinating research click here. 

Good luck! 

 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

 

 

 

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