Cow's Milk Formula and Type 1 Diabetes
Is the bovine insulin in cow's milk formula a trigger for type 1 diabetes? Babies at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes who drank cow's milk formula during the first six months of life (when breast milk was unavailable) appeared, at age 3, to be more likely to go on to develop the disease than those weaned on an insulin-free formula, a Finnish study found. Researchers hypothesized that cow insulin could trigger the infant immune system to misfire, paving the road to type 1 diabetes. They did blood tests to detect autoantibodies—markers of a dysfunctional immune system—and found fewer autoantibodies in the children on insulin-free formula.
Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, published online March 5, 2012