The Impact of Diet Wheat Source on the Onset of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus-Lessons Learned from the Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) Mouse Model

Nutrients. 2017 May 10;9(5):482. doi: 10.3390/nu9050482.


Nutrition, especially wheat consumption, is a major factor involved in the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and other autoimmune diseases such as celiac. While modern wheat cultivars possess similar gliadin proteins associated with the onset of celiac disease and T1D, alternative dietary wheat sources from Israeli landraces and native ancestral species may be lacking the epitopes linked with T1D, potentially reducing the incidence of T1D. The Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) mouse model was used to monitor the effects of dietary wheat sources on the onset and development of T1D. The effects of modern wheat flour were compared with those from either T. aestivum, T. turgidum spp. dicoccoides, or T. turgidum spp. dicoccum landraces or a non-wheat diet. Animals which received wheat from local landraces or ancestral species such as emmer displayed a lower incidence of T1D and related complications compared to animals fed a modern wheat variety. This study is the first report of the diabetogenic properties of various dietary wheat sources and suggests that alternative dietary wheat sources may lack T1D linked epitopes, thus reducing the incidence of T1D.

Keywords: Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) mouse; Triticum dicoccoides; emmer; type 1 diabetes mellitus; wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Random Allocation
  • Triticum* / classification


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin