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Pediatr Diabetes. 2016 Jul;17 Suppl 22:49-55. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12341.

Dietary factors in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Virtanen SM1,2,3,4.

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Unit of Nutrition, Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.
Center for Child Health Research, University of Tampere and University Hospital of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.


There are several indicators concerning the putative importance of dietary factors during the fetal period lactation, infancy and childhood in the etiology of type 1 diabetes. Among foods, cow's milk consumption has been associated with an increased risk of preclinical and/or clinical type 1 diabetes and sugars with a progression from preclinical to clinical disease. Breast milk, on the other hand, may be protective. Processed foods may be related to a greater risk of type 1 diabetes because they contain higher amounts of advanced glycation end-products. Nitrites or N-nitroso compounds in processed meat products could increase the risk of this disease. Among nutrients, n-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and E, and zinc may protect from preclinical and/or clinical type 1 diabetes. The microbial composition of foods or food's other effects on gut microbiota are receiving increasing attention, also due to their putative role in the development of type 1 diabetes. Still the number of prospective studies in this research field is limited and most of the findings remain to be replicated.


children; diet; infant feeding; islet autoimmunity; nutrition; type 1 diabetes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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