Will a Gluten-Free Diet Prevent Childhood Diabetes?

Gluten Free Baby FoodWe moms have a lot to worry about. All the time. And feeding our kids is a huge source of angst, guilt, and second-guessing. So while it’s important to keep an eye on the latest research, it’s also important to note when that research is disproven -- so you can give yourself a break once in a while.
For families with a history of childhood diabetes, whether it’s because of genetics or diet, parents have sometimes been told to give babies a gluten-free diet for the first year of life. Several recent studies had shown a possible link, but this latest one says something different.


If you’ve heard people talk about going gluten-free but you don’t know why, here’s the lowdown: Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. People who have celiac disease are allergic to gluten, and it does painful (and gross) damage to their intestines.
Since an immune reaction against your own “islet cells,” which are cells in the pancreas, is a precursor to diabetes, researchers thought there might be a link. This latest study of 150 babies seems to say that though a gluten-free diet doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t particularly help, either.
Scientists are continuing to look at other possible reasons kids get diabetes, including studying different kinds of formula. But for now, if you’ve been keeping your kid on a gluten-free diet in hopes of avoiding diabetes, don’t. And if you’ve been feeling bad for not doing that? Don’t!

Are your kids at risk for diabetes? What steps are you taking?

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