Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Childhood Infection and Type 1 Risk

Scientists don't yet know what triggers the development of type 1 diabetes, but one theory is that childhood infections set off the autoimmune reaction that destroys insulin-producing cells while another places the blame on diet. Now a study suggests that the trigger may, in fact, be a little of both. Researchers measured blood levels of autoantibodies, specific proteins that are a sign of type 1 diabetes, in almost 2,000 babies with a family history of the disease. They also recorded the children's illnesses and eating patterns. They found that gut infections increased the risk that a child would carry diabetes autoantibodies, but there was an odd catch. The gut problems that increased the risk of developing type 1 appeared to be linked to the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, in infants younger than 9 months. The researchers concluded that infections may only increase risk for type 1 if the gut is already inflamed by reactions to certain foods.
Source: Diabetes Care, published online Oct. 5, 2012


Get Free Health Tips

Register for free recipes, news you can use, and simple health tips – delivered right to your inbox.

Get to Know

While she’s still spinning music, DJ Spinderella (aka Deidra Roper) is no longer spinning her wheels when it comes to getting the right information to help her family members who have diabetes. Read more >