Research Study Relates Diabetes to Coeliac Disease

Fri, 05 Aug 2011
Recent UK research intimates that Type 1 diabetes and the food intolerance disorder coeliac disease seem to share a common genetic origin.

It would appear that similar environmental factors trigger the genetic similarities.

The research suggests the possibility that the protein gluten, which causes coeliac disease, could also trigger type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes involves the body attacking the beta cells of the pancreas, restricting its ability to produce the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar levels.

On the other hand coeliac disease attacks the small intestine. Both conditions arise due to a malfunctioning immune system.

The University of Cambridge and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry researchers analysed almost 20,000 tissue samples to study any genetic features the two conditions share. They discovered that the two diseases share seven chromosome regions.

The researchers state that these key areas thought to regulate the mechanisms which cause the body’s own immune system to attack beta cells in the pancreas and the small intestine need further study.

Further research needs to be undertaken to specify the ways in which genetic as well as environmental factors combine to trigger such health conditions.

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