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From Nortonville, Kentucky, USA:

My husband has type 1 diabetes, diagnosed when he was 18, and we're about to have our first child. I read that her chances of developing diabetes are 6-7%. I plan to breastfeed because I've heard that can reduce the chances of a child developing diabetes. Will this offset the role of heredity at all? How long should I try to breastfeed?


There have been several studies that have shown that early ingestion of certain cow's milk proteins increases the risk of type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, but exactly how this comes about and whether it is related to the specifics of genetic predisposition is not yet known. The duration of breast feeding is a subjective issue, but you should try to do this for least three months. However, the impact on triggering diabetes has not yet been correlated with how long it is continued.


Original posting 26 Jan 2001
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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