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Category: Science

Research Spotlight: Type 1 Diabetes and Gluten

Gluten and the Microbiome

In humans, the relationship between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease is clear: having celiac disease dramatically increases risk for becoming a type 1 diabetic. But even beyond those with celiac disease, it has now been shown that early introduction of gluten-containing cereals in infancy is directly related to increased risk for type 1 diabetes.

The why and how of this relationship are still not perfectly clear. However, new research is focused on the role of dietary gluten in challenging the microbiome – the 100 trillion bacteria living within each of us – and how this paves the way for increased inflammation and autoimmunity, fundamental mechanisms in type 1 diabetes.

Interesting new research has shown how a gluten-free diet dramatically protects laboratory mice from becoming diabetic. Further, this same report reveals that the mechanism by which diabetes is instigated in mice consuming gluten has to do with changes in the bacteria residing in their intestines.

I appreciate that this report is advanced, but I want to share it as it is intriguing not only from the perspective of further implicating gluten as an instigator of autoimmunity, but also because it provides insight as to the role of the microbiome as a mediator of this process.

What this means is that, moving forward, we will be exploring what it means to adopt lifestyle changes to preserve a healthy population of intestinal bacteria. I believe this will, perhaps, offer the most powerful leverage point to reign in inflammation and autoimmunity. And how interesting it will be as we explore how gluten factors in to this equation.

For more information, order your copy of Grain Brain today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

  • Cathy

    I have Diabetes 2, Colitis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. About 6 years ago my immune system attacked my liver and I almost died. I was on Prednisone for 2 years and my liver has been fine ever since. It is after they liver problem that all these other things started to happen to me. I wonder if gluten could be the problem. They all seem to be related diseases. Please any help would be so appreciated.

    • nomoregrain

      Absolutley Cathy! Read Grain brain and go grain free! Im sure Dr. Perlmutter would agree! You will love it and the changes you will see!

    • Tanene

      Cathy; go to JJVirgin website–she will tell you to cut out 7 foods that are most likely to cause allergic reaction–even when not noted in ‘common’ allergic testing that doctors do. Stop these foods from your diet for 21 days. No cheating, absolutely none–because if you cheat you cannot tell what food (s) is causing the problem. Then reintroduce [maybe] each of those foods one at a time: try for several days–a week–and see your body’s reaction. Many people learned of JJVirgin on her PBS talk and have changed their lives and eliminated health issues.Read the real people testimonials and read ingredients: many products have wheat in them. We even have gluten free mustard available now.

  • TapestryGarden

    Thank you for this information. I see every day the impact of the low fat high carb craze and now we have diabetes and obesity and other health issues related to all those years of Wonder Bread and Trix. My doctor asked me to quit gluten after my thyroid died. I have found avoiding grains makes a huge difference so it’s not just gluten. Grain Brain is a very descriptive term as I turn into three of the Seven Dwarfs after eating grain products…Sleepy Grumpy and Dopey….best to avoid it.

  • Koen

    I’m not surprised by this. But I am surprised that they didn’t say a word about exorphins. It’s almost sure that exorphins can be related with auto-immune diseases. An exorphin is an undigested peptide that get through the gut barrier (mostly because of leaky gut), and works as an opiate. It is known that the gluten protein will be broken down into exorphins when bad digested. In the book “Devil in the Milk” by Keith Woodford, they have also related type 1 diabetes with A1 milk. A1 milk is milk that have the specific caseine protein, that can be broken down into BCM7 (Beta Casein Morphin 7). That BCM7 exorphin is very similar with the gluten exorphins, that binds to the same receptors. When they gave mice BCM7, many of them became type 1 diabetic. And the interesting part is that when they gave mice Naloxone (is a opiate antagonist/blocker), the diabetic symptoms fade away.

    But with a healthy gut, the exorphins should not get into the blood stream. So of course the gut is very important in this matter.

  • Louise

    I believe if you read the Monash University studies and notes carefully on their website, and watch their video, you find that they originally used wheat bread as their “FODMAP” in the first studies of the fodmap diet. Apparently wheat has a special effect on the micro-biome. That’s why they changed it later on to something else, so that the special wheat effect wouldn’t happen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByszVbFBPtY

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