Scientists have found a link between maternal gluten intake and type 1 diabetes in children.
The British Medical Journal recently published a study that examined the diets of over 70,000 expecting mothers.
Over a period of six years, researchers had one-third of the Danish pregnant population consistently answer food frequency questionnaires.
And for the first time, the results showed a consistent association between the mothers' diets and the presence of diabetes in their children.
247 cases of type 1 diabetes was found among the children whose parent had a higher gluten intake.
However, researchers believe that it is not the diet alone that affected the kids' health, but the timing as well.
The link was specifically connected to mums who consumed gluten-rich foods during their second trimester.
Foods with a high content of this storage protein include breads, pastas, pastries and breakfast cereals.
Women with the highest gluten intake versus those with the lowest gluten intake (over 20g a day) had double the risk of type 1 diabetes development in their offspring.
Pre-existing diabetes (type 2 or gestational diabetes mellitus) was not related to gluten intake.
While the study’s findings proved strong conclusive results, researchers emphasised that more tests and experiments must be conducted to confirm these results.
But they urge parents to keep these facts in mind when eating during pregnancy, especially after the second trimester.
They also found that gluten proteins (gliadin) can be passed on through breast milk.
This study has conveyed interesting information that could potentially allow us to protect our little ones' health.
Diet is always an important factor during pregnancy.