BOSTON (CBS) — Neither breastfeeding nor timing the introduction of food with gluten makes a difference in whether a child develops celiac disease, according to new studies.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, and celiac disease is an auto-immune condition that causes pain and digestive issues.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center For Celiac Research at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern that researchers wanted to study children with a family history of celiac disease.

“If we introduce [gluten] very early while the kid is breastfed, can we eventually prevent celiac disease that way by teaching their system to tolerate gluten?” Fasano said.

The answer is no, Fasano said.

“Genes really have a tremendous weight,” he said. “If you have specific genes and you have two copies of these genes, the risk goes tremendously high.”

The studies were reported in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern reports:

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