High maternal fibre intake during pregnancy is linked with a decreased risk of coeliac disease in offspring, according to new research presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) at the weekend.
Researchers examined data on 88,269 children from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study born between 1999 and 2009, followed till January 1, 2017. Participating pregnant mothers completed a food frequency questionnaire in week 22 of pregnancy, from which gluten and fibre intake were estimated.
During a mean follow-up of 11 years, 982 children were diagnosed with coeliac disease. The study found higher fibre intake was associated with a lower risk of coeliac disease in the offspring (OR 0.92; 95% CI 0.85-1.00 per 10 g increase). There was no significant association between maternal gluten intake and coeliac disease in the offspring.
“As this is the first study on maternal fibre intake, we cannot yet recommend any specific dietary measures during pregnancy to prevent coeliac disease and this needs to be further studied but we are currently assessing whether maternal fibre intake could impact on children’s gut flora,” said Dr Ketil Størdal, lead author of the study.