– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Women who eat a high fibre diet during pregnancy may cut their child’s risk of developing coeliac disease, a new study suggests.
Experts from SPINK Health in Norway found that the risk of the disease was 34 per cent lower in children with mothers who ate at least 45 grams of fibre on a daily basis.
High fibre intake from fruits and vegetables, rather than from cereals, was associated with the lowest risk, the research found.
Coeliac disease causes gluten intolerance, in which the immune system misidentifies gluten from wheat, barley and rye and tries to fight the small intestine, causing diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal problems.
The study found that for every 10g more fibre pregnant women ate each day, their children’s risks for coeliac disease declined by eight per cent.
There’s no cure for coeliac disease, but it can be managed by eating a gluten-free diet.
The SPINK Health researchers analysed data on 88,000 children born between 1999 and 2009. They found women who reported eating more than 45 grams of fibre a day while they were pregnant were 34 per cent less likely to have a child with the illness than women in the lowest category for fibre consumption.
And eating a gluten-free diet did nothing to prevent women’s babies from developing coeliac later on.
Tunde Koltai, chair of the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS), welcomed the results of the study.
“By providing early detection programmes for children, we can achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment, reduce the risk of future associated health complications and give children the opportunity to thrive,” Tunde explained.
“Greater public awareness and the establishment of national detection programmes for early identification of paediatric coeliac diseases are two steps to achieve earlier diagnoses.”
The research was presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.