Cow’s Milk Linked To Type 1 Diabetes
A component of cow’s milk may trigger type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible people. A review, looking at 71 different studies has been published in the Journal of Nutrition & Diabetes. The findings strongly implicate a protein found in cows milk called A1-beta casein as a trigger of type 1 diabetes.
Interestingly, there has been a sudden increase in type 1 diabetes in China in recent years, and this correlates with a threefold increase in dairy consumption in the country. Dairy consumption rose from 6 kilograms per capita in 1992 to 18 kilos in 2006, and it continues to grow. In Shanghai, diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children aged 15 years and younger increased 14.2 percent between 1997 and 2011. In China, children under the age of 5 experienced the most dramatic increase; incidence rose by 33.61 percent. Dairy products have not traditionally been part of the Chinese diet. In recent years, consumption of cheese, ice-cream and yoghurt has risen sharply.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the pancreas is attacked by an individual’s own immune system. When the pancreas is not able to manufacture the hormone insulin, blood sugar rises dramatically and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed.
A number of factors operate together to trigger the development of type 1 diabetes: genes, viruses, imbalances in gut bugs, and food sensitivities. Components of cow’s milk protein (casein) and gluten are similar to proteins on the beta cells of the pancreas. This means a faulty immune system can cross-react and start forming antibodies against the beta cells if a food intolerance exists. Early introduction of cow’s milk and gluten (before the age of 12 months) increases the risk of type 1 diabetes. Children with gluten intolerance (celiac disease) are three times more likely to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
For more information about type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune conditions, see the book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation. To heal the gut lining and calm an overly reactive immune system, I recommend glutamine.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.