Should Finlanders avoid gluten?

by alison ballentyne
(La Ronge, Sk Canada)

I have been researching gluten intolerance and came across a research study done in Finland. Is there a higher incidence of gluten intolerance in people of Finnish ancestry? And is lactose intolerance sometimes connected to gluten intolerance?



Hi Alison,

There are studies done all over the world on Gluten Sensitivity, so where the study is done gives you no indication of whether that region has a higher or lower incidence of Celiac Disease- unless of course that was what the study was designed to find out.

However, it does seem that Northern Europeans do have higher incidences of Celiac Disease. But that does not mean that Northern Europeans should necessarily avoid gluten. It just means that they should be more aware of it.

But I believe that ANYONE who has a chronic illness should be more aware of the possibility of Celiac vs someone who is perfectly healthy. So, a Finnish person who is perfectly healthy and fit shouldn't worry as much as, say, someone of Chinese descent who has a chronic health issue.

And the connection with lactose intolerance is that Celiac Disease often destroys the cells that produce lactose and are therefore often lactose intolerant.

The OPPOSITE is NOT necessarily true, however. Having lactose intolerance does not necessarily mean that you have or are predisposed to Celiac Disease. It just means that you to not have the enzymes to break down lactose and that can occur for reasons other than Celiac disease.

I hope that this helped, but I sense that you have a more PERSONAL reason for asking this question rather than just curiosity. Am I right?

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

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