Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA:

I'm referring to the article "Common Class of Viruses Implicated as Cause of Type 1 Diabetes" by Thomas H. Maugh II. In his article, he writes about possible triggers such as nitrosamine and a protein in cow's milk as other possible triggers of type 1 diabetes. Where can I find more information on these two possible triggers?


The Nitrosaminne story comes from the very early days of trying to find the environmental factor that triggered autoimmune diabetes in genetically susceptible subjects. It arose because of the high incidence of type 1A (autoimmune) in Iceland where they also have a high intake of nitrosamine in a diet that depends a lot on smoked meat. This idea has not really stood the test of time.

The cow's milk story has ebbed and flowed over the years after being started in Finland. Perhaps the best account to read in support of a valid link is Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and cow milk: casein variant consumption by Elliott RB et al in Diabetalogia vol 42, page 292, 1999. Very briefly, this shows a significant correlation between the incidence of autoimmune diabetes and early exposure to cow's milk that contains A1 and B casein. Cow's milk that contained A2 casein did not have this effect. Another aspect of this can be read in the paper Cow's milk and type 1 diabetes: the real debate is about mucosal immune function by Harrison LC and Honeyman MC in Diabetes vol 48, page 1501, 1999.


[Editor's comment: Also see: Effect of cow's milk exposure and maternal type 1 diabetes on cellular and humoral immunization to dietary insulin in infants at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Finnish Trial to Reduce IDDM in the Genetically at Risk Study Group. SS]

Original posting 12 Oct 2000
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.