Childhood risk for developing the allergic/autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease might be eliminated if infants were exposed to gluten as early as 4 months of age, new British research suggests.
The observation is based on work with 1,300 infants. Half were exposed to solid foods — including wheat protein — at an age that conflicts with current breastfeeding guidelines. Among those who were, none developed celiac disease.
“It was a surprise,” said study author Dr. Gideon Lack. “But if this study is correct, it would indicate that in order to prevent the development of celiac disease, we would need to introduce significant quantities of wheat into a baby’s diet as of 4 months of life.”
But the finding is not the final word on the subject, cautioned Lack, a professor of pediatric allergy and immunology at King’s College London.
“This is one study with a relatively small number of