Infants at lower risk from digestive disease if introduced to cereal early

by Medindia Content Team on  July 16, 2005 at 6:10 PM General Health News
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Infants at lower risk from digestive disease if introduced to cereal early
Infants may have lower risk for the disease of the intestine called celiac disease if they are introduced to cereals at the age of 4 to 6 months.

Researchers from University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center had reported that celiac disease, also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy, might have less chances of happening to children who are genetically more susceptible to this disease who are exposed to gluten containing food like cereals at the age of 4 months onwards than the children who are introduced to cereals at any other than during 4-6 months.

Gluten-sensitive enteropathy is a disease that happens due to inflammation of the small intestine and can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, less absorption of food and nutrient deficiencies. Celiac disease happens when the body's immune system attacks the small intestine by mistake. The disease is associated with a genetic condition, the same gene that increases the risk of diabetes for the children. However, it is also a known fact that only few of the people susceptible to the celiac disease actually develop the disease.

The research shows that the risk of the disease increases by almost five times in children who are introduced to the cereals at an age earlier than 4 months.

Reference: University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, news release

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