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September 22, 2001

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Virginia, USA:

I read something about cow's milk being related to the onset of juvenile diabetes. What information do you have on this? What can a mom do who has it in her family and wants to avoid her 11 month old getting it?

Answer:

The role that cow’s milk may have in triggering type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes is still unresolved. On the one hand, DAISY, a large U.S. study, has shown no evidence of such a relationship. On the other hand, this has been confirmed in reliable studies in both Finland and New Zealand. The explanation of this disagreement may be something to do with the prevalence of a specific ‘beta casein’ in certain dairy herds and perhaps too with the processing and distribution of whole milk. In your case and considering the nutritional importance of milk in most young children, I would continue to recommend to use it.

DOB