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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Milky Clue to Diabetes

LONDON () -- New evidence has added weight to a controversial theory that feeding cow's milk to babies may cause them to develop diabetes in later life.

Researchers said on Oct. 4 that they studied 47 patients who had recently developed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and found that 51 percent of them had immune cells which grew and replicated when exposed to a protein called beta-caseine found in cow's milk.

Only 2.7 percent of healthy people in a control group had immune cells that reacted to the protein from cow's milk, the scientists wrote in the Lancet medical journal. "The association between IDDM and early consumption of cow's milk may be explained by the generation of a specific immune response to beta-caseine," said the researchers.