London, May 10 : Babies fed with cow milk may be at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes in later life, says a new study.
A 1993 study conducted by Finish researchers had revealed that consuming dairy products early was linked to diabetes risk.
This is because beta-lactoglobulin, a protein in cow's stimulate babies to make antibodies that also attack glycodelin, a protein vital for training the immune system.
This in turn disturbs immune system, thereby misguidedly destroying insulin-producing pancreatic cells, leading to type 1 diabetes.
Supporting the previous findings, Marcia Goldfarb of the company Anatek-EP in Portland, Maine, also discovered five children with type 1 diabetes, who were fed cow's-milk formula and all had antibodies to beta lactoglobulin.
"It's fascinating, but needs more back-up data," New Scientist quoted Mikael Knip of the Hospital for Children and Adolescents in Helsinki, Finland, as saying.
He is conducting further study, TRIGR, to test whether children fed formula have a lower risk of disease than those fed with hydrolysed version, where the milk proteins have been broken down.