Much has been written about the link between celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes, and the challenges of living with both. Unfortunately, when you suffer from an autoimmune disorder such as these, your odds of developing another are increased. For this reason we are always interested to hear about new research with a goal of reducing the instances of these conditions.
Research has shown that the intestinal microbiome plays a large role in the development of Type 1 Diabetes and now, recent research at Mayo Clinic has found that gluten in the diet may modify the intestinal microbiome, increasing instances of Type 1 Diabetes.
Researchers demonstrated that mice that were fed a gluten-free diet had much less incidence of Type 1 Diabetes. The lack of gluten appeared to be protecting the mice. When the researchers then added gluten back into the diets of the mice, the protective effect of the gluten-free diet was reversed.
“These changes suggest that the presence of gluten is directly responsible for the Diabetes-creating effects of diet and determines the gut microflora,” says Govindarajan Rajagopalan, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic immunologist and the study author.
Since this research has so far only been conducted on mice, it’s not clear whether or not the same results would occur in humans.
“While this is purely an animal-based study, it allows us to manipulate these mice in such a way as to study the effects of certain diets, and these diet changes seem to make an impact on the likelihood of developing the mouse equivalent of Type 1 Diabetes,” says Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.
The next step is a similar trial in humans. A study is beginning at Mayo Clinic for newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic patients. You can find out more about the study at ClinicalTrials.gov