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Hydrolyzed Infant Formula Reduces Type 1 Diabetes Among High Risk Infants (Video)
Hydrolyzed Infant Formula Reduces Type 1 Diabetes Among High Risk Infants (Video)

(November 11, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Feeding high-risk infants a highly hydrolyzed infant formula instead of cow’s milk formula reduces the likelihood that they will develop autoantibodies associated with type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Here are some recommendations for the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents, from the American Diabetes Association:

•    Diagnosis is similar to that in adults and should be pursued expeditiously

•    Hyperglycemia alone in the setting of an acute illness and isolated glucosuria may be due to other causes

•    Differentiating type 1 from type 2 diabetes is based on patient characteristics, history, and lab tests, if appropriate

Researchers out of the Hospital for Children and Adolescents in Helsinki randomized 230 infants with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes and at least one family member to type 1 diabetes to receive either a casein hydrolysate formula or conventional cow’s milk based formula whenever breast milk was not available. This continued for the first six to eight months of life. The infants were then followed up for ten years to see whether their bodies began producing cells that attack insulin-producing cells, and the children were monitored for incident type 1 diabetes until they were 10 years of age.

After controlling for differences in the duration of exposure to the study formula, Infants fed the casein formula were 49% less likely to develop positivity to one or more of the assessed autoantibodies and 53% less likely to develop positivity to two or more than those given the cow’s milk-based formula. The risk of developing type 1 diabetes was not significantly associated with the feeding intervention, however.

Today’s research demonstrates the feasibility and safety of using a dietary intervention to help prevent type 1 diabetes in high-risk populations.