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.
The mouse study adds more knowledge to a field that has been object for research many years.
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.
Findings from experiments on mice are not necessarily applicable to humans, but in this case we have grounds for optimism, says co-writer on the study professor Axel Kornerup from the Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
"Early intervention makes a lot of sense because type 1 diabetes develops early in life. We also know from existing experiments that a gluten-free diet has a beneficial effect on type 1 diabetes," he says.
Experiments of this type have been going on since 1999, originally initiated by Professor Karsten Buschard from the Bartholin Institute at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, another co-writer on the study.
"This new study beautifully substantiates our research into a gluten-free diet as an effective weapon against type 1 diabetes," Karsten Buschard explains.
The experiment showed that the diet changed the intestinal bacteria in both the mother and the pups. The intestinal flora plays an important role for the development of the immune system as well as the development of type 1 diabetes, and the study suggests that the protective effect of a gluten-free diet can be ascribed to certain intestinal bacteria. The advantage of the gluten-free diet is that the only side-effect seems to be the inconvenience of having to avoid gluten, but there is no certain evidence of the effect or side-effects.
"We have not been able to start a large-scale clinical test to either prove or disprove our hypothesis about the gluten-free diet," says Karsten Buschard.
Assistant Professor Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen is hoping that it will be possible to continue the work.
"If we find out how gluten or certain intestinal bacteria modify the immune system and the beta-cell physiology, this knowledge can be used to develop new treatments," she says.
Professor Axel Kornerup Hansen
Cell: 30 66 34 86
Axel Kornerup Hansen | Eurek Alert!
Learning from Nature: Genomic database standard alleviates search for novel antibiotics
02.09.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
Orang-utan females prefer cheek-padded males
02.09.2015 | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists. The study is the first to explain how the steep-fronted plateau formed.
China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from...
The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.
Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
02.09.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
02.09.2015 | Life Sciences
02.09.2015 | Awards Funding