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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Study indictaes link between gluten and diabetes

ROCHESTER - Mayo Clinic researchers have completed an animal study that seems to show a connection between Type One diabetes and gluten in wheat products. 

Immunologist Dr. Govin Rajagopalan says the goal of the research was not just to determine if gluten in wheat products leads to a higher incidence of diabetes but to determine why and how the amount of wheat, or gluten, in the diet affects the incidence of diabetes.  Gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph Murray says gluten probably does not *cause* Type One diabetes, but the change in bacteria from avoiding gluten may offer protection against this form of diabetes.  Type One diabetes is an inherited inability to produce insulin, rather than an acquired condition that can be brought on by obesity and other health factors.


The DNR is warning Minnesotans about the dangers of thin ice.  Temperatures have been below freezing but not for an extended period of time.  Water safety specialist Kara Owens says they're reminding people before going near a partially-frozen pond or lake to always check the ice because no ice is ever 100-percent safe.  She says you need a good solid four inches for walking.  Owens says she doesn't believe that any body of water right now has four inches of clear ice for walking on it.  She says it's especially important to keep a close eye on children around water this time of year  There were six ice fatalities in Minnesota last winter and all involved vehicles or snowmobiles. 


The Salvation Army wants to make sure bell-ringers are standing next to their red kettles as much as possible during the upcoming holidays and they're putting out a call for volunteers.  In Fergus Falls, Lieutenant Linda McCormick points out a red kettle without a bell-ringer doesn't bring in any money.  She says "it's important that you feel that your donation is appreciated -- which it greatly is -- but it's nice to have somebody stand there and thank you for your donation."  The Fergus Falls Salvation Army is also asking for donations of toys and other items for their Christmas giveaway.


School districts around the state continue to fight bullying.  Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard says they have a relatively strong anti-bullying policy in place.  He says what makes cyberbullying easy to do is the anonymity and lack of accountability in cyberbullying.  When cyberbullying occurs there is not a lot of human interaction that happens, you are isolated from everybody and you continue to do it.  Kjergaard says it's inappropriate and it's wrong. He says when the bullying happens off school grounds it's up to parents to know what their kids are doing.  He says parents need to watch their kids, especially teens, if they are showing signs of being bullied -- if they don't want to go to school, or have changes in personality.  And if your child is the bully be sure to take away your teen's smartphone or computer.