According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in every 400 children and adolescents have diabetes in the United States. A majority of these children have type 1 diabetes, an insulin-dependent autoimmune disorder. Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Society peer reviewed scientific journal, has published studies that show the significant relationship between type 1 diabetes and cow’s milk consumption, and yet, cow’s milk is still seen as our children’s favorite health drink both at home and at school.
In 1991, Dahl-Jorgensen K., Joner G. and Hanssen K.F. showed the “Relationship between cow’s milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood.” Many countries were included in the study. Japan showed the lowest consumption of cow’s milk and the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes, while Finland had the highest of both. France, Israel, Canada, U.S.A., Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden’s consumption of cow’s milk and incidence of type 1 diabetes were somewhere in between Japan and Finland. In 1997, Hammond-McKibben D. and Dosch H. M. s calculated the risk of the consumption of cow’s milk on the development of type 1 diabetes in their study “Cow’s milk, bovine serum albumin, and IDDM: can we settle the controversies.” What they found was that the relationship between cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes is 200% greater than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer and 900% more than high blood pressure and cholesterol and heart disease. Both of these studies were published in Diabetes Care.
Many other studies have shown that dairy consumption is also related to the increase in other autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. Just last week at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting, it was reported that children’s type 1 diabetes has increased by 23% from 2001 to 2009. As guardians of future generations, we need dispel the myth that cow’s milk is our children’s healthiest drink.