Govindarajan Rajagopalan, Ph.D., Yogish C. Kudva, MBBS, and Joseph Murray, M.D., discuss research showing that the intestinal microbiome plays a large role in the development of type 1 diabetes and that gluten in the diet may modify the intestinal microbiome to result in increased incidences of type 1 diabetes.
In this study, non-obese diabetic mice (mice that grow to develop type 1 diabetes) had a dramatically reduced incidence of type 1 diabetes when fed a gluten-free diet. When the researchers added gluten back into the diets of mice, it reversed the protective effect the gluten free diet had provided.
There also was a measurable impact of the gluten on the bacterial flora of the mice, which might be one way in which gluten could affect the risk for type 1 diabetes.
Full text of study can be found here.