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What and when babies first eat may affect diabetes risk

Children predisposed to type 1 diabetes are better off waiting until 4 months of age to consume solid foods

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11:26am, July 11, 2013

Infants at risk of type 1 diabetes who receive their first solid foods between ages 4 months and 6 months appear less likely to develop the condition than others given solid food before or after that time window, a new study finds.

Type 1 diabetes, which can strike children at any age, occurs when an aberrant immune reaction kills cells in the pancreas, requiring a person to take insulin shots. Two studies in 2003 found an association between early first foods and the presence of rogue antibodies, a warning sign of type 1 diabetes. The new findings go an important step further, tracking babies long enough to see who developed diabetes, says Kendra Vehik, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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