Babies born to women with sensitivity to gluten appear to be at increased risk for certain psychiatric disorders later in life, according to research by scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
The team’s findings, published ahead of print on April 25 in The American Journal of Psychiatry, add to a growing body of evidence that many "adult" diseases may take root before and shortly after birth.
"Lifestyle and genes are not the only factors that shape disease risk, and factors and exposures before, during and after birth can help pre-program much of our adult health," said investigator Robert Yolken, M.D., a neuro-virologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. "Our study is an illustrative example suggesting that a dietary sensitivity before birth could be a catalyst in the development of schizophrenia or a similar condition 25 years later."
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