A gluten-free diet was linked with lower A1C levels (a measure of glucose control over the previous 2–3 months) and lower insulin demand in children newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (but without celiac disease), according to new research presented at the American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions. Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley, causes an autoimmune reaction in people with celiac.
The nonrandomized study included 46 participants between the ages of about 7 and 13. Twenty six were started on a gluten-free diet and 20 remained on a standard diet. After one year, subjects on the gluten-free diet required an average of 0.22 units less of insulin per kilogram of body weight per day and had A1C levels averaging 2.8% lower. There was no difference in daily carbohydrate consumption between the gluten-free and standard diet groups.
Want to learn more about A1C? Read “HbA1C: What It Is and Why It Matters,” “Lowering A1C Levels Naturally” and “How To Lower Your A1C Levels: More Steps You Can Take.” And to learn more about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, visit our sister site, Gluten-Free Living.