Is type 1 diabetes a food-induced disease?

Med Hypotheses. 2013 Aug;81(2):338-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.03.046. Epub 2013 May 17.


The incidence of type 1 diabetes among children has almost doubled during the last decades in Sweden. Type 1 diabetes is considered as an autoimmune disease with unknown aetiology. Here we propose that the immune reaction may be initiated by food-derived mechanisms. The incidence of diabetes parallels an increased consumption of pasta, white bread, meat, cheese, low-fat milk, exotic fruits, soda, and snacks. Simultaneously, the consumption of potatoes, butter, high-fat milk, and domestic fruit has decreased. Three categories of food related reaction mechanisms are discussed against the following items (1) proteins from wheat, meat, and milk, (2) fat from processed food, and (3) exotic fruits. The current food consumption is suggested to initiate a pro-inflammatory reaction in the intestine and thereby reduce the intestinal barrier function. This may influence tolerance development and thus pave the way for an autoimmune attack on pancreatic beta cells.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical