Why is type 1 diabetes increasing?
- Hygiene hypothesis: exposure to a variety of infectious agents in early childhood appears to be protective against type 1 diabetes by promoting a healthy immune system.
- Viral hypothesis: some viruses (including enterovirus, rubella, mumps and cytomegalovirus) may start or speed up the autoimmune process in type 1 diabetes.
- Breastfeeding versus cow’s milk hypothesis: proposed mechanisms are that (1) breastmilk may contain protective factors and (2) proteins present in cow’s milk formula may trigger type 1 diabetes.
- Gut microbiota: we carry a huge variety and number of bacteria in our intestines, and these bacteria make various chemicals that affect our health. Some bacteria promote healthy functioning of our body, and others increase inflammation and may affect the development of the immune system.
Your taskRead the paper by Egro (2013). The below questions should guide your reading:
- What are the reasons for the rise of type 1 diabetes discussed in the article?
- Are the same reasons at play for the increase in type 2 diabetes?
- What can we do as a society to reduce the incidence of diabetes?
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