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Researchers Suggest a Meat Consumption

Is it possible that meat consumption plays a role in the incidence of type 1? Italian researchers believe it might.

“Our ecological analysis indicates that nutritional factors, and in particular meat consumption, play a role in the incidence of type 1 diabetes and its increase worldwide.”

In an exploration into the role of nutritional habits and of “gene-nutrient interactions” in the rising incidence of type 1, the researchers did an ecological study in the 37 world areas were a 3 percent yearly increase of type 1 incidence had been reported. “We calculated … the per caput daily supply of milk, meat and cereals from 1961 to 2000 and its correlation with the type 1 incidence,” they write.

What they found in that time frame was that the supply of milk and cereals remained almost unchanged. However, the supply of meat increased by over 31 percent.

“The absolute mean type 1 increase [number of cases per 100,000 per year] was plus 0.32,” say the researchers. “A significant positive correlation with supply of milk was present from 1961 to 2000, while that with meat and cereals became significant in 1983 and 2000.”

The researchers suggest further experimental and case-control studies in order to assess the gene-nutrient interactions.

—Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, January 2006

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