1-7) along with National Breastfeeding Month … and I thought it might be helpful to reiterate what we know (and don’t now) about celiac disease , non-celiac gluten sensitivity , and breastfeeding. First: there’s no question that breast is best, even if you have celiac or if your baby is at high risk for celiac. Breastfeeding protects babies from illness (possibly including celiac disease). It also benefits mothers in numerous ways (for example, it reduces your risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, along with osteoporosis). Some recent studies have shown that introducing gluten slowly to infants at high risk for celiac disease (most likely because a close relative has the condition) may help to delay or even prevent celiac in those children. The research is preliminary, but promising. Learn more here: Introducing Gluten While Nursing May Help Prevent Celiac Disease Meanwhile, when it comes to nursing, you should know that it is possible for gluten to pass from mother to child via breast milk. The quantities are minute, but as I and many other nursing mothers of celiac or gluten-sensitive babies can tell you, it doesn’t take much to produce a very fussy, uncomfortable baby. Therefore, if your infant or toddler has been diagnosed with celiac or gluten sensitivity and you’re still nursing, you need to be gluten-free, too. More on this: Can there be gluten in breast milk? There’s lots of research on this topic ongoing. But just remember: There’s no reason to stop breastfeeding your baby if you have celiac/gluten sensitivity, or if your baby does. Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world — sign up for my newsletter , connect with me on Facebook and Google+ , or follow me on Twitter – @AboutCeliac . Photo Getty Images/Juzant

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5 Questions Find Hidden Celiac Disease in Kids

“In the last decade the results of several investigations showed that gluten corrupts the … antioxidant balance in intestinal mucosa, probably by an overproduction of free radicals.” To further investigate this connection between celiac disease, free radicals and antioxidants, the researchers performed intestinal biopsies on 39 children with either active or silent celiac disease and on 19 healthy controls of equivalent age. The researchers found that children with both forms of celiac disease had significantly lower levels of the antioxidant known as glutathione, while markers of antioxidant activity were significantly higher. The “master” antioxidant The low observed levels of glutathione are particularly significant, because this chemical is often referred to as a “master” antioxidant, responsible for donating electrons to other antioxidants to increase their free-radical-fighting abilities. The findings of Clinical Biochemistry suggest that in patients with celiac disease , gluten may induce a flood of free radicals in the intestines. This flood is so overwhelming that it completely strips the body’s reserves of glutathione, thereby crippling the effectiveness of all the body’s other antioxidants and leading to increased oxidative damage and stress in the digestive system. This suggests that a diet high in antioxidants could help reduce the severity of celiac symptoms, the researchers said. “Oxidative stress is an important factor in the pathogenesis of celiac disease,” they wrote. “The antioxidant capacity of celiac patients is significantly reduced, mostly by a depletion of glutathione. Natural antioxidants and appropriate dietary supplements could be important complements to the classic therapy of celiac disease .” The research does not suggest that a higher antioxidant intake would enable people with celiac disease to eat gluten, merely that it would reduce the symptoms of the disease. Boost your superfood intake All people can improve their health by boosting their intake of antioxidant-rich foods. Studies have shown that berries and fruits are among the foods highest in antioxidants, particularly goji berries, acai berries, pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and apples. In general, the more deep red or purple the color, the higher the antioxidant content. Dried fruits are also high in antioxidants, with raisins and prunes ranking nearly as high as acai berries.

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Antioxidants can help treat children with celiac disease: Research

To find out, Peter Toftedal, MD, of Odense University Hospital, Denmark, created a questionnaire for parents. The five items elicit information on recurrent abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation , and lack of height and weight gain : Has your child ever suffered from abdominal pain more than twice during the last three months? Has your child ever had diarrhea lasting more than two weeks? Does your child have a tendency to firm and hard stools? Does your child gain enough weight? Does your child gain enough height? How well does it work? Toftedal and colleagues tested the questionnaire on Denmark’s County of Funen. They mailed it to the parents of 9,880 8- and 9-year-olds. Before giving the questionnaire, 13 Funen kids were known to have celiac disease. Of the 7,029 parents who filled out the questionnaire, 2,835 reported at least one symptom. All of these kids were invited for a blood test. Of the 1,720 children tested, 24 were positive for the antibodies characteristic of celiac disease. Further tests identified 14 kids with celiac disease.

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Gluten-sensitivity in Autism Different than Celiac Disease

Taylor, Dan Hellberg, Mary Ajamian, Caroline Z. Tan, Barry E. Kosofsky, Joseph J. Higgins, Anjali M. Rajadhyaksha, and Armin Alaedini. For their study, the team assessed 37 children (with or without gastrointestinal symptoms) diagnosed with autism according to both the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R), 27 unaffected siblings, and 76 age-matched healthy controls. They then tested blood specimens for antibodies to native gliadin , deamidated gliadin, and transglutaminase 2 (TG2). They then genotyped all children with positive antibody tests for celiac disease associated HLA -DQ2 and -DQ8 alleles . The team found that children with autism had substantially higher levels of IgG antibodies compared with unrelated healthy controls (p<0.01). The IgG levels were also higher compared to the unaffected siblings, but were not statistically significant. Autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms showed significantly greater IgG anti-gliadin antibody response, compared to those without them (p<0.01). All groups showed similar IgA response to gliadin across groups.

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