Effects of gluten-free, dairy-free diet on childhood nephrotic syndrome and gut microbiota

Pediatr Res. 2015 Jan;77(1-2):252-5. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.159. Epub 2014 Oct 13.


Emerging evidence suggests an association between food sensitivity and gut microbiota in children with nephrotic syndrome. Diminished proteinuria resulted from eliminating cow's milk and the use of an oligoantigenic diet which excluded gluten, especially in patients with immune-related conditions, i.e., celiac disease and nephrotic syndrome. The mechanisms underlying the association of diet, gut microbiota, and dysregulation of the immune system are unknown. Gut microbiota is influenced by a number of factors including diet composition and other environmental epigenetic exposures. The imbalance in gut microbiota may be ameliorated by gluten-free and dairy-free diets. Gluten-free diet increased the number of unhealthy bacteria while reducing bacterial-induced cytokine production of IL-10. Thus, gluten-free diet may influence the composition and immune function of gut microbiota and should be considered a possible environmental factor associated with immune-related disease, including nephrotic syndrome. Furthermore, the imbalance of gut microbiota may be related to the development of cow's milk protein allergy. Investigations are needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge concerning the associations between the gut microbiome, environmental exposures, epigenetics, racial influences, and the propensity for immune dysregulation with its inherent risk to the developing individual.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diet, Gluten-Free / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / microbiology*
  • Lactose Intolerance / physiopathology*
  • Microbiota / physiology*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / immunology*