Cow's Milk and Type 1 Diabetes Link Strengthened

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DIABETES

Previous studies linking early exposure to cow's milk with the development of Type 1 diabetes have been strengthened by a new study from the University of Helsinki. Researchers studied infants having close relatives with Type 1 diabetes, indicating a genetic susceptibility to the disease. Mothers were encouraged to breast-feed their babies, then introduce either cow's milk or another type of formula to the diet at about six months of age. Researchers confirmed a significantly higher immune response to bovine insulin in infants who were given cow's milk. It is this response to insulin that many researchers believe foreshadows Type 1 diabetes.

Paronen J, Knip M, Erkki S, et al. Effect of cow's milk exposure and maternal type 1 diabetes on cellular and humoral immunization to dietary insulin in infants at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Diabetes 2000;49:1657-65.

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