Gluten Sensitivity in the Irish

.....and wheat was not a staple food until after the potato famine of 1847. The majority of patients suffering from gluten-induced enteropathy (coeliac disease) are of tissue type HLA B8. The incidence of coeliac disease in southwest Ireland, particularly Galway, is amongst the highest in Europe, and there is correspondingly a high prevalence of HLA B8 tissue type. It has been suggested that when populations consume large quantities of gluten from wheat cereals the susceptible HLA B8 individuals develop disease and are at a reproductive disadvantage compared with those not genetically predisposed to the disease, leading to a reduced proportion of B8 individuals in subsequent generations.
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