Lower Consumption of Cow Milk Protein A1 β-Casein at 2 Years of Age, Rather than Consumption among 11- to 14-Year-Old Adolescents, May Explain the Lower Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in Iceland than in ScandinaviaBirgisdottir B.E. · Hill J.P. · Thorsson A.V. · Thorsdottir I.
aUnit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali University Hospital & Department of Food Science, and bDepartment of Pediatrics, Landspitali University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; cNew Zealand Dairy Research Institute, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Aim: To compare the consumption of the cow milk proteins A1 and B β-casein among children and adolescents in Iceland and Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland) as this might explain the lower incidence of type 1 diabetes (per 100,000/year, 0–14 years) in Iceland. Methods: The consumption of A1 β-casein in each country among 2- and 11- to 14-year-old children was calculated from results on food intake and on cow milk protein concentration. The consumption values were then compared and evaluated against the incidence of type 1 diabetes. Results: There was a significant difference between the consumption of A1 (p = 0.034) as well as the sum of A1 and B (p = 0.021) β-casein in Iceland and Scandinavia for 2-year-old children. In the same age group, consumption of A1 β-casein correlated with the incidence of type 1 diabetes in the countries (r = 0.9; p = 0.037). No significant difference in consumption of A1 or the sum of A1 and B β-casein was found for 11- to 14-year-old adolescents. Conclusion: This study supports that lower consumption of A1 β-casein might be related to the lower incidence of type 1 diabetes in Iceland than in Scandinavia. Additionally it indicates that consumption in young childhood might be of more importance for the development of the disease incidence than consumption in adolescence.
Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali University Hospital
IS–101 Reykjavik (Iceland)
Tel. +354 543 8414/8410, Fax +354 560 1873
Received: November 22, 2004
Accepted: September 12, 2005
Published online: January 10, 2006
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 41
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (European Journal of Nutrition, Metabolic Diseases and Dietetics)
Vol. 50, No. 3, Year 2006 (Cover Date: May 2006)
Journal Editor: Elmadfa, I. (Vienna)
ISSN: 0250–6807 (print), 1421–9697 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM