This month's issue of Diabetes includes a study suggesting that the development of Type 1 diabetes may be related to an abnormal response to exposure to wheat protein. Researchers at the University of Ottawa (Canada) found that almost half of 42 Type 1 diabetics tested had an abnormal immune response to wheat protein. Dr. Fraser Scott is involved in this research.
"The immune system has to find the perfect balance to defend the body against foreign invaders without hurting itself or over-reacting to the environment and this can be particularly challenging in the gut where there is an abundance of food and bacteria," Scott said. "Our research suggests that people with certain genes may be more likely to develop an overreaction to wheat and possibly other foods in the gut and this may tip the balance with the immune system and make the body more likely to develop other immune problems, such as type 1 diabetes."