Probiotics are linked to positive regulatory effects on the immune system. The aim of the study was to examine the association between the exposure of probiotics via dietary supplements or via infant formula by the age of 1 year and the development of celiac disease autoimmunity (CDA) and celiac disease among a cohort of 6520 genetically susceptible children. Use of probiotics during the first year of life was reported by 1460 children. Time-to-event analysis was used to examine the associations. Overall exposure of probiotics during the first year of life was not associated with either CDA (n = 1212) (HR 1.15; 95%CI 0.99, 1.35; p = 0.07) or celiac disease (n = 455) (HR 1.11; 95%CI 0.86, 1.43; p = 0.43) when adjusting for known risk factors. Intake of probiotic dietary supplements, however, was associated with a slightly increased risk of CDA (HR 1.18; 95%CI 1.00, 1.40; p = 0.043) compared to children who did not get probiotics. It was concluded that the overall exposure of probiotics during the first year of life was not associated with CDA or celiac disease in children at genetic risk.
Keywords: celiac disease; celiac disease autoimmunity; dietary supplements; infant formula; probiotics.