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From Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

My nine month old son weighs 24 pounds, and his doctor told me that I can start him on homogenized milk instead of formula. However, my sister developed type 1 diabetes in her late 20s, and the doctors are not sure if a virus attacked her pancreas or if it is heredity since there is no known family history. A friend of the family who is a doctor told me that my son has a greater chance of developing diabetes if I give him homogenized milk before the age of one. Is this a fact?


The risk of developing type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes depends on both genetic factors as well as on certain little understood environmental ones. The idea that early exposure to cow's milk was one important environmental factor was first proposed in Finland over twenty years ago. There were many studies, but the results were conflicting even when it looked as though the problem might be related to a specific cow's milk protein variant that occurred only in certain herds. Quite recently however, there have been some conclusive studies showing that this particular beta casein variant does not predispose to autoimmune diabetes so that there would be no increased risk of diabetes from starting your son on homogenised milk.


Original posting 26 Aug 2003
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:48
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