Why is celiac disease so common in Ireland?

Why is celiac disease so common in Ireland?

Celiac disease (gluten sensitive enteropathy) is a condition affecting the small bowel, characterized by permanent intolerance to dietary gluten, and giving rise to varying degrees of malabsorption and diarrhea. With the advent of sensitive screening tests, the condition is being increasingly diagnosed. Celiac disease is more common in the Irish and in those of Irish descent. Simoons (1978, 1981) hypothesized that the present-day prevalence of celiac disease across Europe is related to the interaction between genetic gradients, largely determined by the advance of agriculture, and historical patterns of cereal ingestion. This essay examines Simoons’ hypothesis as it relates to Ireland, reviews the ethnic and genetic mix of those living on the island of Ireland and aspects of Irish dietary history, and considers how these factors may have combined to result in a high frequency of celiac disease.


Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Remnant says March 10, 2013

Somewhat related: It really is amusing how, although as implicitly white a movement as it is (and boy is it), paleo (the diet) remains so politically correct and queasy about biological realities. As more and more scientific results such as this come out, you can see the sweat breaking out on the brows’ of the mainstreatm paleo movement.

It makes so much sense that the paleo diet is all over the radar screens of the alternative right (Dennis: I owe my introduction to the paleo diet to you). Now we will see how long the paleo diet movement can last without acknowledging its fundamentally reactionary assumptions.

Add Your Reply