A new research suggests that infections during early life may increase the risk of developing gluten intolerance or celiac disease later in life. The study showed that the risk of developing celiac disease was particularly high in the case of repeated gastrointestinal infections in the first year of life.
Andreas Beyerlein from the Institute for Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen in Germany said,”It seems that the increased risk of celiac disease is associated with a permanent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract in early childhood and is not caused by a specific viral or bacterial pathogen.” The scientists analysed the data of 295,420 children who were born between 2005 and 2007 for the study. Medically attended infections from birth until a median age of 8.5 years were considered in the analysis. A total of 853 children developed gluten intolerance. While the analysis showed that the risk of developing celiac disease is particularly high when gastrointestinal tract infections occur during the first year of life, to a lesser extent, an increased risk of disease was also demonstrated in connection with early respiratory tract infections.

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