Dr Alessio Fasano, M.D., the pediatric gastroenterologist who published the groundbreaking study in the Annals of Medicine in 2003 that established the prevalence rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people in the US, told FoodNavigator-USA in 2014: “There must be some environmental factors that explain why most people [with the genetic predisposition] eat gluten all their lives and stay healthy, and others lose their tolerance. And it could happen at any time. Some people don’t become celiac until they are in their 70s. You’re not out of the woods at any age.
“We also know that prevalence is rising and we’re in the midst of an epidemic. Based on our study it seems that prevalence has doubled every 15 years in North America. Why? I think it goes back to the microbiome. There are antibiotics, our diet has changed, we travel more. There have been so many changes in the past 50 years.”