Calling parents: 10 year study shows no link between cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes

Posted on 09 January 2018

Baby milk forumla

A new study funded by JDRF has found zero link between cow’s milk formula and type 1 diabetes – offering reassurance to parents concerned by unproven theories about causes of the condition.

After studying babies from 15 countries, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have concluded there’s no link between formula made with cow’s milk and babies developing type 1 diabetes later in life.

The 2,159 babies who participated in the study all had a predisposition to type 1 diabetes, meaning at least one person in their family was affected by the condition and they had genes known to increase the risk of developing type 1.

Half the babies were fed a standard cow’s milk formula, and half were given a formula without a key protein from cow’s milk for at least two months until six to eight months old. All were followed for at least 10 years to determine which children developed type 1 diabetes.

Scientists found that children fed cow’s milk formula didn’t have their chance of developing type 1 diabetes affected after an average of 11.5 years.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive at JDRF, says:

“This is very reassuring for our supporters, and shows there’s no need for parents to avoid giving their children cow’s milk during infancy.

“This study once more shows there’s no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. At JDRF, we will continue our exciting research to find a cure for this condition.”