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[IP] Beating a dead cow?

This has been discussed at length, but here is a timely study that suggests a 
link between cow's milk and T1 in kids who are predisposed. I copied it from 
YAHOO health headlines; prudence would seem to be in order on the part of 
parents with diabetes...  

Monday October 16 1:10 PM ET
Cow's Milk May Raise Diabetes Risk in Some Children 

WESTPORT (Reuters Health) - The controversial link between drinking cow's 
milk during infancy and the risk of developing diabetes may have been 
strengthened by a study published this month.

According to a report in the October issue of Diabetes, exposure early in 
life to cow's milk may increase the lifetime risk of developing diabetes in 
high-risk children.

Exposure to cow's milk has previously been shown to cause the body to mount 
an immune response to insulin in some children, but the link has been 
disputed by at least one study. Type 1 diabetes can be characterized by an 
``autoimmune'' response, where the body's immune system attacks cells in the 
pancreas that produce insulin.

Dr. Johanna Paronen from University of Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues 
studied infants with relatives who had diabetes. The children were fed either 
a cow's milk-based formula or a non-cow's milk based formula after 
breast-feeding until the age of 6 to 8 months.

At 3 months of age, infants fed cow's milk had a significantly higher immune 
response to cow insulin than infants who received the other formula or were 
breast-fed did, the authors report. However, the groups showed no differences 
in reactivity to human insulin at that age.

``Our observations raise the issue of whether oral exposure to foreign 
insulin plays a role in the autoimmune process leading to type 1 diabetes,'' 
Paronen and colleagues write. It could be that in some predisposed children, 
early exposure to cow's milk could trigger an immune reaction to insulin, 
they conclude.

SOURCE: Diabetes 2000;49:1657-1665. 

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