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Study Contradicts Theory That Cow's Milk May Trigger Diabetes in Infants

August 29, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

Contradicting an earlier study, a new report says that drinking milk has little to do with whether infants who are genetically prone to juvenile diabetes actually develop the disease. The theory was that a baby's developing immune system builds up an immunity to a certain milk bacteria protein that looks like a protein found in insulin-making cells in the pancreas and, as a result, destroys the cells. Dr. Jill Norris of the University of Colorado Health Science Center reported the finding in the Aug. 28 Journal of the American Medical Assn.

The doctor whose 1992 study raised the cow's milk issue disagreed. "They say the association between milk and diabetes is weak," said Dr. Hans-Michael Dosch of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "We say it's as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and cancer." The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants genetically prone to diabetes not be given cow's milk for at least a year after birth.

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