Diabetes Forecast

Debunking the Link Between Cow's Milk and Type 1

By Miriam E. Tucker , , ,


Scientists know that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Less clear: why the body reacts in the first place. One long-held theory is that feeding an infant cow’s milk triggers the process, but that appears untrue. After about two months of breastfeeding, 2,159 newborns, who had close family members with type 1 diabetes, were randomly assigned to formula either with or without intact cow’s milk protein. The researchers didn’t look at babies who hadn’t been breastfed at all. Ten years later, type 1 diabetes developed in 7.6 percent of children fed the cow’s milk formula versus 8.4 percent fed the other formula—not a significant difference. The bottom line: Cow’s milk formula appears to be safe for newborns with a family history of type 1 diabetes.
Source: JAMA, published online Jan. 2, 2018



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