Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2012-01-26
. . . and type 1 diabetes
There seems to be some confusion about whether
wheat is associated with type 1 diabetes, i.e., the form
that generally occurs in children consequent to destruction of
insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is not to be
confused with the contribution wheat makes to type 2 diabetes,
the type that generally afflicts adults, though it is indeed now
occurring in children, as well.
There are several lines of evidence that
suggest—not prove, but suggest—that some component(s) of
wheat induce the changes that lead to type 1 diabetes in
genetically-susceptible people, both children and adults. (This is
summarized on pages 112-113 of the Wheat Belly
book, but much of the skepticism over this argument, as always,
comes from people who have not read the book.)
–Children with celiac disease are
10-fold more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than children
without celiac disease (Hansen 2001).
–Children with type 1 diabetes are 10- to 20-fold more
likely to develop celiac disease and/or antibodies to wheat
components (Barera 2002).
–The experimental mouse and rat models for type 1
diabetes demonstrate a connection to wheat. One study, for instance,
showed that 64% of mice fed wheat-containing chow develop type 1
diabetes, compared to 15% of mice fed non-wheat-containing
chow that develop type 1 diabetes (Malaisse
2004, Funda 1999).
–Children with type 1 diabetes have 24-29% likelihood of
autoantibodies, i.e., antibodies against
proteins, compared to 6% in children without type 1 diabetes (Barker
2006 and others). Wheat gliadin and lectins have been implicated
in generating increased intestinal damage and permeability that can
lead to increased autoantibody expression (Visser
2009). Admittedly, this is correlation, not necessarily causation.
But the closer we look, the worse it gets.
Concerningly, the NIH/CDC-sponsored SEARCH for
Diabetes in Youth Study has documented that, starting in 1978, the
incidence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing 2.7% per year
2007). This phenomenon is not confined to the U.S., but has been
demonstrated in registries in other countries, as well. Note that,
since 1978, humans have not really changed . . . but the
wheat has. Specifically, wheat gliadin, glutens, and
lectins have changed, the three most important and potentially
immunogenic (immune-stimulating) components of modern wheat.
What we don’t have is a trial
in humans, half of whom eat wheat starting at birth, half of whom
avoid wheat from birth. You can imagine the difficulties in conducting
such a trial. So don’t hold your breath waiting for these data.
So how incriminating does something have to
be before we take action? Note that type 1 diabetes is a life-long
diagnosis that can only be managed with present technology, not cured.
In my book, we have such overwhelmingly damning evidence against wheat
in so many spheres of health that this simply provides one more reason,
in this case an argument to avoid in newborns, infants, and children.
This is yet another potential “nail in the coffin”
for wheat, i.e., an association so bad that, if substantiated,
will add to wheat’s downward spiral.