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Meat and Dairy may Contribute to Type 1 Diabetes

One positive aspect of Covid-19 is having time to catch up with my reading. Today I read a blog by Dr. Greger. He referenced a video that he made in 2017. This was new to me. Either I did not see it or I forgot that it was important.

Anyhow, he was talking about a possible link between meat and dairy as a cause of Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body's own immune system attacks itself. One theory as to why this happens is that a foreign invader looks similar enough to other body cells that the immune system is tricked. The immune system gets fooled into thinking that the insulin-producing cells are also foreign invaders and destroys them.

A bacteria that can have this effect on the immune system is Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, which is found in meat and dairy. This bacteria has increased in prevalence since World War II. Increased meat and dairy consumption since WWII have resulted in more Type 1 Diabetes. Researchers have been able to grow this harmful bacteria from mother's breast milk, indicating that the bacteria can be transmitted from mother to child by breastfeeding. This is a concern because the immune system is forming in the first two years of life.

This research is not conclusive. This is still an association. Another theory is the Advance Glycosylation End (AGE) products are the cause of Type 1 Diabetes. AGE products are found in meat and dairy.

The information in Dr. Greger's video suggests that a whole-food plant-based diet early in life may be protective against Type 1 Diabetes. I encourage you to watch the video and come to your own conclusions. If choosing a whole-food plant-based diet, please work with a qualified healthcare professional.

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