Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2005;569:142-50.

Early nutrition and later diabetes risk.

Author information

Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 281, FI-00029 HUCH, Helsinki, Finland.


Early feeding may modify the risk of both type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) later in life. The information generated so far is, however, controversial. When evaluating studies on the impact of early feeding on risk of later diabetes, the data have to be assessed critically and possible confounding factors have to be considered. The study design may induce biases and there are considerable differences in early feeding practices across various countries and cultures. Accordingly it may not be possible to generalise observations based on one population. Long breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding in particular, and supplementation with vitamin D in infancy have been reported to confer partial protection against beta-cell autoimmunity and TID. In contrast, early exposure to cow's milk proteins and cereals and heavy weight in infancy have been implicated as risk factors for T1D. Long breastfeeding has also been observed to protect against T2D in aboriginal populations. Poor fetal nutrition resulting in low birth weight has been identified as a factor contributing to later insulin resistance and T2D. Recent data indicate that current overweight and obesity are stronger determinants of insulin resistance than birth weight among preschool children. High-nutrient diet and rapid growth in early infancy have been reported to adversely programme the principal components of the metabolic syndrome including insulin resistance and T2D. It is an important scientific and public-health objective to define protective and predisposing effects of early nutrition on the development of diabetes, since early feeding can potentially be modified to minimise the risk of later chronic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center