. . . it prevents celiac disease Celiac disease is an extreme autoimmune response to gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and triticale) resulting in degradation of the intestinal wall. This greatly impairs absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease now affects 1% of the population (its incidence has been growing rapidly) and has a genetic component. Spanish researchers studied 75 newborn babies over the first 4 months of life. They were classified according to genetic predisposition to celiac disease (high or low) and whether they were breastfed or bottle fed. The researchers found that among those genetically predisposed to get celiac disease, certain gut microflora tended to predominate; however microflora in those who were breastfed were more like the microflora found in the babies with a low genetic predisposition. In other words, although the babies will be followed to see who actually gets celiac disease, breastfeeding appeared to be protective against it. We recommend breastfeeding for the first two-to-three years of life if at all possible. If you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant, please call our office at 1-800-250-3063 for more information. Sanchez E. Influence of environmental and genetic factors linked to celiac disease risk on infant gut colonization by bacteroides species. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2011 August; 77(15):5316-5323.
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