Food and Behaviour Research

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8 May 2014 - Medicalxpress - Gluten-free diet reduces risk of type 1 diabetes in mice

New experiments on mice show, that mouse mothers can protect their pups from developing type 1 diabetes by eating a gluten-free diet. According to preliminary studies by reseachers at the University of Copenhagen, the findings may apply to humans.

More than 1% of the Danish population has type 1 diabetes, one of the highest incidence rates in the world.

New experiments on mice now show a correlation between the health of the pups and their mothers eating a gluten-free diet. Our hope is that the disease may be prevented through simple dietary changes, the researchers say.

"Preliminary tests show that a gluten-free diet in humans has a positive effect on children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. We therefore hope that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy and lactation may be enough to protect high-risk children from developing diabetes later in life," says assistant professor Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen from the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

The findings have recently been published in the recognised journal Diabetes.