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Question:

From Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA:

The recent controversy regarding specific chemicals in cow's milk and the potential for triggering type 1 diabetes has me concerned about how to approach introducing my 12 month old to cow's milk. I have given her a mix of formula and cow's milk, 20%, on a few occasions, but stopped because of some redness she developed around the mouth and chin. Could this sensitivity be some sort of precursor to an autoimmune response related to type 1 diabetes? If the answer is unknown, then I would like to ask you if organic milk would be any better than store bought milk in terms of hedging my bets, just in case cow milk does have some potential of triggering the disease.

Background information: I breast fed her for ten months. I gave her rice cereal mixed with breast milk from seven to ten months, then formula with cereal to this day. Her father has type 1 diabetes.

Answer:

The idea that cow's milk either as formula or raw milk might predispose someone to Autoimmune or Type 1A Diabetes was first proposed in Finland and seemingly supported by small, but well conducted studies. As the years went by, however, it became clear that this was far from universally true and finally, in the last two years, the whole idea was convincingly disproved, at least as far as the U.S. was involved. The risk of your daughter developing this form of diabetes is in any case only a little over 1:20 and you could, if you wished, have her tested for antibodies to find out if this was at all probable. Presently, there is no accepted way to avert insulin dependance in those who are already pre diabetic.

DOB

DTQ-20040301224658
Original posting 3 Mar 2004
Posted to Other

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:56
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