Breastfeeding May Lower Celiac Risk

breastfeeding-may-lower-celiac-risk_300Researchers still don’t entirely understand why some people develop autoimmune problems from eating foods with gluten while others seem to tolerate gluten without difficulty. But a study in Sweden shows that children less than 1 year old who stop breastfeeding, are eating gluten-containing grains and have suffered multiple infections have a much greater risk of celiac (an autoimmune response to gluten).

In this research, the highest risk was seen for children who had several infections before they were 6 months old, ate large amounts of gluten and had ceased breastfeeding before the gluten was introduced in their diets.

Dr. Anna Myléus, who led this study, says: “While we do not know if the increased risk is due to a genetic predisposition to both infection and celiac disease, our results highlight the importance of breastfeeding in reducing risk of celiac disease, especially for an infant who has frequent infections.”

Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.