Sugar may increase the risk of type ONE diabetes too

Future type 1 diabetic?

Most people know that sugar consumption increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. But it may also increase the risk of type ONE diabetes. Several studies have found that children consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates and/or sugar have an increased risk of type 1 diabetes [1 2 3].

This new study shows that kids who consume a lot of sugar also progress faster from early signs of the disease (detectable antibodies to beta cells) to full-blown type 1 diabetes:

Diabetologia: Sugar intake is associated with progression from islet autoimmunity to type 1 diabetes: the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young

What does this mean? It could mean that increased consumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates is worsening the modern epidemic of type 1 diabetes, as well as the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Perhaps an increased intake of refined carbs/sugars, via an increased insulin production, stresses the beta cells and make them more vulnerable to the autoimmune reaction that leads to type 1 diabetes.


I often meet some resistance from parents of kids with type 1 diabetes, when discussing this possible link. Understandably so. It’s a comforting idea that type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with the environment, that it’s only fate. But the data does not support this.

Something in the environment has caused a lot more people to get type 1 diabetes in the last few decades – coinciding with the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It could be the same thing driving both epidemics. A sick environment with – among other things – too much refined carbs and sugar in the food supply.



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One comment

  1. chris c
    Interesting, I'd already seen the possible connection to wheat/celiac but hadn't seen this connection to sugar consumption before. I believe a while back the *rate of increase* in Type 1 was actually higher than the rate of increase in Type 2, and especially adult onset/LADA, which was double the incidence of childhood onset, but haven't kept up with the latest stats.

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