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Link Between Cow's Milk Consumption And Risk Of Diabetes Type 1

Published by CBC News

Type 1 diabetes projected to double in young European children

The number of European children under the age of five with Type 1 diabetes could double by 2020, a rapid increase that points to environmental factors, researchers say.

The study in Saturday's issue of The Lancet was based on an analysis of 29,311 cases of Type 1 diabetes in 20 European countries between 1989 and 2003.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by insulin deficiency and is treated with insulin injections. It occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that are needed to control blood sugar are destroyed.

"By 2020, the predicted number of new cases is 24,400, but this change is not shared evenly between the age groups, with incidence of Type 1 diabetes in the youngest age group expected to double in both sexes," Dr. Chris Patterson of Queen's University in Belfast, Gyula Soltesz of Pecs University in Hungary and colleagues wrote in the study.

Diagnoses were rising at a rate of 3.9 per cent per year overall, and increasing by 5.4 per cent per year among those under five.

Based on those trends, the number of cases among children under five is predicted to double, to 20,113 in 2020 from 9,955 in 2005, the researchers said.

Cases among European children under the age of 15 are predicted to rise even more, to 159,767 in 2020 from 93,584 in 2005.

Read the rest of this article at


Note from Ben Kim: Though there are likely several potential contributing causes of diabetes type 1, it's hard to ignore the strong connection between cow's milk consumption and risk of insulin-dependent diabetes in children.

The evidence in relevant studies suggests that some component of cow's milk in its pasteurized and homogenized form is capable of triggering an autoimmune-type reaction in children who may be genetically predisposed to developing diabetes type 1.

Researchers have not been able to pinpoint what this component is - some suggest that it's bovine serum albumin, while others feel that it could be bovine insulin.

For a look at peer-reviewed scientific studies that highlight the link between cow's milk consumption and incidence of diabetes type 1 in children, have a look at the following summaries:

Nutritional factors and worldwide incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes.

Early introduction of dairy products associated with increased risk of IDDM in Finnish children.

Early exposure to cows' milk raises risk of diabetes in high risk children (Registration may be required to view full article.)

Cow's milk exposure and type I diabetes mellitus. A critical overview of the clinical literature.

Cow's milk diabetes evidence mounts.

Ischaemic heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, and cow milk A1 beta-casein.

Clearly, ingesting cow's milk and dairy products made with cow's milk doesn't cause diabetes type 1 in everyone. As it is with almost all chronic states of dysfunction, diabetes type 1 tends to arise in children who are genetically predisposed to developing it.

And because there is enough evidence to indicate that ingesting pasteurized and homogenized dairy products can precipitate diabetes type 1 in predisposed children, my feeling is that all parents and expectant parents should be made aware of this link so that they can make informed choices as they raise their children and even during pregnancy.

For children who have diabetes type 1, I strongly recommend limiting or avoiding intake of cow's milk and products made with cow's milk, as we just don't know how much regenerative capacity each child's insulin-producing cells have. Regular intake of dairy amounts to regular autoimmune activity against the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, making it near impossible for a type 1 diabetic to experience improvement and less dependency on meds.

As it is with just about every other autoimmune-related illness that we know of, the greatest improvement from avoiding dairy and other known causes of the illness at hand can be expected early on in the life of the disease; the longer one allows diabetes type 1 or any other autoimmune illness to exist, the more difficult it becomes to experience improvement.

This can be a difficult subject to discuss, especially with parents who have a child with diabetes type 1. This discussion isn't meant to assign blame or generate feelings of guilt. We must give all parents as much relevant information as possible to empower the best decisions for their families from this day forward.

Limiting or avoiding cow's milk and foods derived from cow's milk means striving to stay away from milk, cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, cream, ice cream, whipped cream, and all junk foods like milk chocolate, potato chips, and cookies that contain dairy.

Though raw organic dairy and foods made with raw organic dairy are better choices than factory-farmed dairy, my experience has been that it's best to avoid all types of dairy, especially in cases where there is existing autoimmune illness.

So what do you eat and feed your children if you take away dairy? Lots of green vegetables and other fresh plant foods like beans, lentils, peas, and whole grains. For more specific ideas, here's a look at what we've been feeding our two boys these days :


Ripe avocados, mangoes, watermelon, and banana


Rice, some type of leafy green vegetable (usually Bok choy), small amount of naturally raised chicken or turkey meat, soup made with vegetable or organic chicken broth, all chopped up into easy-to-eat pieces and mixed together in one bowl like a stew


Same as lunch


Smoothies, dried mango, goji berries, mulberries, oatmeal squares, anything else that I've been experimenting with for our recipes archive


Please consider sharing this post with expectant parents and parents of young children. Limiting or avoiding dairy doesn't guarantee immunity against type 1 diabetes and other chronic diseases, but based on everything that I've read on this topic and experienced with my own body and with clients over the years, I feel that it's more than a worthwhile investment in our health.


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I am a mom with an almost 6-year-old who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 3.

When first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes there is MUCH information you are given to care for your child - very overwhelming. But when you've had time to step back and accept it for what it is, you begin to look for more information on why diabetes exists and how we can make our daughter's life better living with type 1 diabetes. We truly believe that there is an environmental aspect to this disease, meaning something in our environment is acting as a trigger in people who have the antibody or pre-disposition for developing type 1 diabetes - type 1 diabetes requires a "trigger" to manifest itself in people who have this genitic marker. But don't forget that people with this marker will eventually be diagnosed with type 1 regardless.

We have seen a large increase of type 1 diabetic children (6 and under) being diagnosed in our small city in the last year (10 children that I know of)! Scary!

Though we believe these environmental factors contribute to the trigger of type 1 and how our daughter's diabetes is controlled on a daily basis, I must say that it is VERY challenging to elliminate some food groups (such as dairy) as these kids are already so limited in what they can eat - throw being Celiac into the mix (which goes hand-in-hand with type 1 most often) you've got a real problem.

I must also comment that while elliminating dairy from a type 1 diabetic's diet will certainly give better control on the whole, it will not elliminate the need for daily insulin injections as many, many factors affect their "numbers" i.e. emotions, weather (heat/cold), activity, and food combinations - you will never have a "perfect" day and there is in no way a method of how to predict what those numbers will be day-to-day - it certainly keeps you on your toes!

A great resource on current studies, research, etc. for type 1 diabetes is through the BC Children's website and click on "Specialized Pediatrics" and then click on "Endocrinology" and you will find a lot of information on the topic there too.

In close, I will say that type 1 diabetes is life changing not only for the person who is diagnosed with disease but the whole family and network of people that surround that person. It takes a village to raise a child and that is most certainly true in the case of a diabetic child - we are so very thankful for the people in our daughter's life and we hope that one day very soon, there will be a cure or they will find the exact cause and why this disease manifests itself in certain people.

I am sorry, I love your newsletter, but I totally disagree with this article. I grew up on raw dairy, my whole family, 12 children, two adults, and none of us, even going back generations have/had diabetes. We had to stop eating the raw dairy when a neighbor sued the farmer and took the money and moved to Florida in the late '50s. Totally bogus claim they made, no one in the family was sick, but they won. But, I will say, I do not like dairy sold at stores. I do believe commercial dairy is not healthy. I only eat raw dairy products full fat and/or organic kefir and/or yogurt, all full fat, organic pastured butter, and I am 62 and I would say in good health and by all means not fat. I do limit my grains though. Very intolerant of grains but love rice in small quantities.

But I would add that two of my sisters have become very fat, not from dairy, never from fat because fat does not make you fat, but because of carbs, meaning lots of grain products in their diet, and I keep warning them of becoming diabetic because of being overweight and overdosing on grains, not because of eating dairy.

"Clearly, ingesting cow's milk and dairy products made with cow's milk doesn't cause diabetes type 1 in everyone. As it is with almost all chronic states of dysfunction, diabetes type 1 tends to arise in children who are genetically predisposed to developing it."

I think what he's trying to say is that there is a possibility that dairy is a cause of type 1 diabetes, especially in those predisposed to it but many will not develop diabetes simply by eating dairy, only some(:

The #1 authority on milk is found here:
NOT MY SITE Site owner says milk causes a disease for
every letter of alphabet He has free newsletter every day

Here is another that can't possibly beat the one above I have paid no attention to it.

A library or health food store get a copy of
Don't Drink Your Milk by Oski, I believe and
he was the head of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins.



see also:

and search: milk hazard any other substance with hazard

I've been a Type I diabetic since early childhood and now have a 3 yr old Type I diabetic child. (4th generation) Upon my son's diagnosis, we were blessed to find an endocrinologist who thinks along the same lines we do in regards to nutrition and health. So the issue with cow's milk has been on my radar screen for some time now.

According to our doctor, the pasteurization process is one of three factors in the milk that together may contribute to this greater likelihood of onset of Type I diabetes in those who are predisposed.

In looking for alternative milk products, I've often seen products that are labeled "cultured" but not "pasteurized". Can anyone give me some information on the difference between the two? My assumption has been that the removal of the pasteurization component in the equation makes the product ok for my family --- in addition to being organic. Any thoughts???

Thank you so much!

The cure for type 1 diabetes is to avoid cow's milk 6 months.
You had better avoid commercial bakery products that likely
contain milk as whey, cassein or whatever.

Somewhere, I have this all explained but since the cure costs
you nothing and will leave you a tiny bit richer, anyone with
type 1 would be foolish to demand proof. You will be richer by
the amount you never spent for dairy products.

There is no "pasteurization component." Pasteurization is a process, not a product. It involves using a combination of heat and time that reduces pathogenic organisms in the food to levels below that which can cause illness. It also prolongs storage life by preventing spoilage.

Culturing is the opposite: it consists of adding live organisms to the food, such as yeast to bread, bacteria to yogurt and cheese, etc. Buttermilk is made by adding live cultures to milk, for example.

See for more information.