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Curr Diab Rep. 2010 Oct;10(5):345-9. doi: 10.1007/s11892-010-0131-5.

Infant and childhood diet and type 1 diabetes risk: recent advances and prospects.

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  • Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, 13001 East 17th Place, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. jill.norris@ucdenver.edu


Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by a preclinical period of autoimmunity. It is well accepted that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to disease risk. Given that type 1 diabetes, and its preclinical autoimmunity, appear early in life, infant and childhood diet have been implicated as potential initiating exposures in the etiology of the disease. Several publications in the past year have provided further evidence for existing hypotheses regarding the roles of wheat, cow's milk, omega-3 fatty acids, and the maternal diet during pregnancy. However, inconsistencies in findings between studies suggest the need for collaboration and standardization of study methods to move forward in research in this area. One such example of this is the TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) study, which is an international, multicenter birth cohort study with standardized recruitment, dietary collection methodologies, and analytic approaches.

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