Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Diabetes Risk Traced to Infant's First Foods

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Diabetes Risk Traced to Infant's First Foods

Article excerpt

Timing of first solid foods might be an important factor in babies predisposed to type 1 diabetes, according to a new study from Colorado. Infants with genetic risk factors who receive their first solid food between the ages of 4 and 6 months appear less likely to develop the condition than those who start their solid food regimen outside that time window.

Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age. It is caused by an aberrant immune reaction that kills cells in the pancreas, requiring the patient to receive insulin injections. In 2003, two studies identified an association between early first foods and the presence of rogue antibodies; a warning sign of type 1 diabetes. The studies went further in tracking the babies to see which of them later developed diabetes. The new study included 1,835 children (mean age, 7 years) in the Denver area. These children were at high risk for type 1 diabetes because they either carried a genetic variant associated with the disease or had a parent or sibling with the disease. Of the 53 children with diabetes, 28 had their first solid foods before 4 months. Diabetes risk was nearly doubled for the group that began consuming solid foods before the age of 4 to 6 months compared with infants who began solid food consumption at 4 to 6 months of age. …

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