The curious case of gluten

Soup King recently shared with me an article in the NY Times. It’s eye-opening and also makes so much sense as I piece together my own medical history and that of my kids’.

Celiacs is a multi-factorial disease. Understanding what causes it is still being researched. There’s a genetic predisposition and the gluten protein which acts as a trigger, but those two factors alone are not enough to cause Celiacs. Recent evidence, which was referenced in the article, suggests that preventing autoimmunity could come down to the bacteria in our gut. Only in recent years have we begun to realize antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs can have a serious long term impact on our gut flora.

Leaky gut, while not an official medical diagnosis, has been pointed to by an increasing number of people as an underlying cause for autoimmunity, especially in the case of Celiacs and gluten-intolerance. So, if the research holds, this could in fact support this theory.

Another part of that research was the important role that breast-feeding played.  In summary, breast-feeding seemed to demonstrate a protective effect by providing beneficial bacteria during the introduction of gluten and other foods.

Considering that according to the CDC, in 2004 (most current data I could find) less than half the infants born were still breastfeeding at six months, this in conjunction with prominent antibiotic use could explain the rising levels of Celiacs and other autoimmune disorders.

I think this is wonderfully promising information for all those out there struggling with Cecilacs, gluten intolerance, or some other auto-immune disorder.



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