Type 1 diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels rise as a result of the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, which is the hormone responsible for getting glucose into the cells to provide the body with the energy it needs to function properly.
It is common for type 1 diabetes to appear in childhood or young adults. However, this does not mean that it cannot appear at any other stage, which manifests with symptoms such as thirst, hunger, tiredness, dryness, itching of the skin, tingling in the legs, blurred vision, difficulty in healing, or frequent urination.
Although the causes of this type of diabetes are associated with a genetic factor or the effect of certain viruses, a study has established that there could be a relationship between the consumption of dairy products and the appearance of this disease.
What does science say about diabetes and dairy products?
Research published in November 2021 revealed that high dairy consumption from cow sources increases the likelihood of type 1 diabetes. According to Katariina Koivusaari, a professor at the University of Helsinki, the study found that the intake of bovine dairy was associated with a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children with a higher genetic predisposition.
Katariina Koivusaari also states that milk is a complex product. Therefore, it is impossible to determine from what was observed which of all the factors that compose it may be associated with the increased risk of type 1 diabetes, which means that more research would be needed.
“Further studies should also determine which factor in milk may be related to disease risk so that this can be taken into account in its processing. The results of individual investigations do not change the nutritional recommendations, which are based on extensive research evidence,” Koivusaari stated.
Other results of the study
Just as a link was established between cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes, it was also found that consuming these products increases the risk of children developing asthma.
The evidence indicates that ingesting dairy products subjected to high temperatures, as in infant formula, can cause this type of respiratory complication. In this case, more research is also required.
The study failed to observe an association between the consumption of pasteurized dairy products since the evidence suggests that processed milk can produce an alteration in immunological properties.
Although there is still a lot of research, this could be a very important step in preventing diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes, which has always been related to a hereditary factor.