Sunday, January 27, 2013

Type 1 Diabetes – Dairy and Gluten to blame?

Environmental agents and type 1 diabetes

The most investigated dietary component associated with type 1 diabetes is cow-milk protein. Exposure to cow milk in early life (e.g. because of lack of breast feeding) has been linked with type 1 diabetes in humans and diabetes-prone BB rats. However, there is inconsistency in the studies, perhaps due to the variable composition of milk, with genetic variation in cow proteins. The findings are also consistent with the existence of a subset of milk-sensitive diabetes-prone individuals. Immune tolerance to insulin might also be compromised by early exposure to cow milk, which contains much less insulin than does human milk.

Wheat gluten is a potent diabetogen in BioBreeding (BB) rats and NOD mice, animal models of type 1 diabetes. Between 5% and 10% of type 1 diabetic patients have gluten-sensitive enteropathy (coeliac disease) and many more have antibodies to transglutaminase, a circulating marker of coeliac disease. Wheat may therefore be involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, possibly inducing subclinical gut inflammation.
Or how about this:
An abrupt change in the incidence of type 1 diabetes after the migration of Polynesians to New Zealand was suggested most likely to result from the early introduction of dairy products into the infant diet, accompanied by an earlier weaning in New Zealand (Elliott 1992). A positive correlation has been reported between per capita consumption of unfermented milk proteins in populations worldwide (Scott 1990) or fluid cow milk consumption in children aged 0 to 14 years and incidence of type 1 diabetes (Dahl-Jørgensen et al 1991, Fava et al 1994). In addition, countries with the lowest prevalence of breast feeding at 3 months of age had the highest incidence of the disease (Scott 1990).

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