Too much gluten in toddler years may raise risk of celiac disease

CHICAGO, Ill. (WPVI) -- Bad news for lovers of bread, baked goods, and pasta.

Eating too much of those in the first 5 years of life increases a child's chance of developing celiac disease, if they have the genetic tendency for the disease.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Public Health monitored 6-thousand newborns from the United States, Germany, and Finland who carried a genetic trait linked to celiac and Type 1 diabetes.

Over 5 years, nearly 20 per cent of the kids developed an autoimmune reaction to gluten - the protein in grains.

Most were consuming well over the recommended amount of bread and processed pasta.

And every extra daily gram of gluten raised the risk.

The study said eating an extra half-slice of white bread every day at age 2 increased celiac risks by 7% at age 3..

The researchers say, however, it's too soon to recommend cutting gluten from children's diets, because grains contain vital nutrients.

A person with a parent, sibling, or child with celiac has a 1-in-10 chance of developing it.

The study was published today in the Jourtnal of the American Medical Association.
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