According to a team of researchers led by Julie Antvorskov at the Bartholin Institute in Denmark in collaboration with researchers at Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut, high gluten intake by mothers during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of their child developing type 1 diabetes.
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley and is suggested to affect the development of type 1 diabetes. In animal studies, a gluten free diet during pregnancy almost completely prevented type 1 diabetes in offspring, but no intervention study has been undertaken in pregnant women.
The mechanisms that might explain this association are not known, but could include increased inflammation or increased gut permeability. However, more evidence is needed before changes to dietary recommendations could be justified.