HealthDay News – Introduction of gluten from age 4 months is associated with a reduced prevalence of celiac disease (CD), according to a study published online September 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Kirsty Logan, PhD, from King’s College London, and colleagues randomly assigned 1004 infants to consume 6 allergenic foods (peanuts, sesame, hen’s egg, cow’s milk, cod fish, and wheat) in addition to breast milk from age 4 months (early introduction group [EIG]; 488 children) or to follow UK infant feeding recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months and avoid allergenic foods (standard introduction group [SIG]; 516 children).

The researchers found that the mean quantity of gluten consumed between ages 4 and 6 months was 0.49 and 2.66g/week in the SIG and EIG, respectively. The mean weekly gluten consumption varied from 0.08 to 0.9g/week at ages 4 and 6 months in the SIG and from 1.3 to 4.03g/week at ages 4 and 6 months in the EIG. A diagnosis of CD was confirmed in 1.4% of children in the SIG and none in the EIG.

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“The results of the present study emphasize the importance of conducting new randomized controlled trials to address the question of whether early introduction of high-dose gluten is an effective strategy for prevention of CD,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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