Eating lots of gluten in pregnancy doubles the risk of having a child with Type 1 diabetes، research suggests ،as the Daily Mail said.
A study of 63،500 women found that the more gluten they ate during pregnancy، the higher the chance that their child would develop the condition by the age of 16.
The researchers، from Denmark، Iceland and the US، stressed that they had not proved the link and that more studies were needed before women should alter their diets. But if confirmed، it would radically change the way medics think about Type 1 diabetes.
The autoimmune disease results in the body being unable to produce its own insulin، stopping proper regulation of blood sugar.
It affects 400،000 people in Britain – including Prime Minister Theresa May – and usually strikes first in childhood or adolescence.
Those with it have to inject insulin several times a day to stay alive.
Unlike the Type 2 form of diabetes، Type 1 has nothing to do with lifestyle and is irreversible. Until now scientists have thought of Type 1 diabetes as an unavoidable condition that has more to do with genetics than any environmental factor.
So the idea that a mother's behaviour may contribute to its development is controversial.
The scientists، writing in the British Medical Journal، stressed that their findings are tentative.
The team، led by the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen، said: 'The safety of substituting gluten-containing foods for other foods and nutrients should be investigated as well as the possibility of obtaining a larger effect by adherence to a completely gluten-free diet.'
Gluten is found in wheat، rye and barley and gives food a chewy texture and elasticity during the baking process.
The scientists are not sure why this would trigger Type 1 diabetes، but believe gluten may provoke inflammation in the metabolic system.