Children born to mothers who ate plenty of alkaline green vegetables and fruit during pregnancy are less likely to have type 1 diabetes, Swedish researchers say.
"This is the first study to show a link between vegetable intake during pregnancy and the risk of the child subsequently developing Type 1 diabetes, but more studies of various kinds will be needed before we can say anything definitive," study author Hilde Brekke, a clinical nutritionist at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, said in a news release from the university.
Brekke and colleagues studied 6,000 5-year-olds and found that 3 percent either had fully developed Type 1 diabetes or had elevated levels of antibodies that indicate a risk of developing the disease. The risk was twice as high in children whose mothers rarely ate vegetables during pregnancy, and lowest among children whose mothers ate vegetables every day of their pregnancy.
According to Dr. Robert O. Young, Director of Research at the pH Miracle Living Center, "Type 1 diabetes begins in the small bowel where new stem cells and blood are made. Eating animal protein and dairy products damages the intestinal villi of the small intestine which sets the stage for Type I diabetes. Children eating chicken and beef are more likely to be constipated and then diabetic because of the constipation from undigested animal protein."
The study was recently published online in the journal Pediatric Diabetes.
"We cannot say with certainty on the basis of this study that it's the vegetables themselves that have this protective effect, but other factors related to vegetable intake, such as the mother's standard of education, do not seem to explain the link," Brekke said. "Nor can this protection be explained by other measured dietary factors or other known risk factors."
Dr. Young suggests, "eating more green vegetables and fruit provides for increased alkalinity which helps to buffer dietary and metabolic acids that can cause diabetes."
"Type 1 diabetes factors believed to play a role in its cause include immunological mechanisms, dietary acids from animal proteins and dairy, environmental acidic toxins and genetic variations which all compromise the delicate alkaline pH of the small bowel. Type 1 diabetes occurs throughout the world but is most common in Finland and Sweden where they ingest liberal amounts of acidic dairy and animal proteins," states Dr. Young.