Study Finds No Link Between Baby Formula Made From Cow's Milk And Diabetes Risk
Could babies be at higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes from drinking formula made from cow's milk? That idea has been circulating for some time but the evidence has been scant and contradictory. A study published Tuesday makes it seem less likely.
There are two types of diabetes, and both are on the rise. It's clear that a major driving force behind the increase of Type 2 diabetes, which mainly affects adults, is the eating habits that are also driving the rise of obesity.
A much bigger mystery is what has been propelling the increase of Type 1 diabetes (once called juvenile diabetes). This disease usually strikes children and takes hold when a child's immune system starts attacking cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Researchers in Finland have been trying to tease apart the role of cow's milk for many years. In 2010 they published some intriguing results. They looked at antibodies that appear to be part of the Type 1 diabetes process. Studying 230 infants, they found these antibodies were more common in babies who consumed formula produced from cow's milk, compared with babies who were fed a formula in which those milk proteins had been broken down.
The results from that small study only suggested that whole proteins from cow's milk are triggering the immune reaction that leads to type 1 diabetes. But if that proved to be the case, there would be an easy way to reduce the risk of the disease: simply make sure baby formula was based on degraded milk proteins rather than whole proteins.
To find out whether that would indeed work, the scientists devised a very Continue reading