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The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas

July 2002

Vol. 1 No.7

The Pancreas – Under Attack by Cow-Milk
Most likely you will never know you have a pancreas, yet without it you would become very sick, and likely die. So this little organ is working 24/7 for you, most of the time without a single complaint. Anatomically, the pancreas is about six inches long and two inches wide, weighs about 3 ounces, and is situated in the posterior, upper left part of your abdomen. In the butcher shop this organ is sold as sweetbread (from a cow). Based on its functions, the pancreas would best be thought of as two separate organs: the organ that makes digestive juices (the exocrine pancreas) and the one that makes hormones for the whole body (endocrine pancreas). The “exocrine pancreas” produces enzymes (delivered through a duct to the first part of the small intestine) that digest proteins, fats and carbohydrates, so they can be absorbed through the intestine. The “endocrine pancreas” produces hormones, like insulin, which regulate the use and storage of the body's main energy sources, glucose (sugar) and fats. These hormones (delivered through the blood stream) are produced in very specific clumps of cells (islets). The insulin-producing cells are called beta cells. Type 1 (Childhood) Diabetes – The Milk-Drinkers Disease Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as childhood type diabetes, because this has historically been the most common kind of diabetes in children, and also as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), because patients must take daily injections of insulin for the rest of their lives. However, this relatively common disease is not restricted to children and many times appears for the first time in adulthood. Over 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. A more common form of diabetes is called type 2 (adult onset and non-insulin dependent). This type 2 form is due to the high-fat Western diet and resulting obesity, and occurs at least nine times more frequently than type 1.

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The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. like Motrin and Advil). could be the foreign protein of a virus’s coat or a bacteria cell wall. and the unhealthy. Unfortunately. environmental chemicals. The reason this happens in only some people. Some intestines allow proteins into the body more easily. high-fat.. Proteins produced by mother.” occurs. because of injuries caused by viruses. stimulate the production of antibodies 2 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . and not everyone. "Early exposure of infants to cow's milk protein may be an important factor in the initiation of the beta cell destructive process in some individuals. like cow-milk.nealhendrickson. is unknown. The immune system responds with an appropriate defense – antibodies are made against the foreign protein. because most baby formulas are usually cow-milk based. The Milk-Invader and Molecular Mimicry The problems all begin because of the natural condition of the intestine of a very young infant. The evidence incriminating cow-milk consumption in the cause of type 1 diabetes is sufficient to cause the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue this warning. Once the cow-milk proteins are absorbed into the bloodstream. This condition is sometimes called a “leaky Foreign proteins. and found in human mother’s breast milk. which as far as our bodies are concerned." (The American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group on Cow’s Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus – 1994). Unfortunately. and immune cells. serious health problems can develop when foreign proteins are allowed into the infant’s permeable intestinal tract.. our immune system recognizes them as invaders. During the first few months of life the intestinal wall of an infant is quite permeable in order to allow the passage of these intact proteins into the infant’s body. Once the cow-milk protein is in the blood then a phenomenon. known as “molecular mimicry. One explanation has to do with the difference in the permeability of intestinal walls. but also the insulinproducing beta cells of the pancreas. Cow-milk proteins are unique in that they are usually the first foreign proteins entering an infant’s gut and body. high cholesterol diet." and "The avoidance of cow's milk protein for the first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or delay its onset in susceptible people.” A very “leaky gut” will indiscriminately allow the influx of foreign proteins into the body. called T-cells. some people’s immune systems become slightly confused and attack not only the foreign cow-milk proteins. serve to promote an infant’s health and immunity from disease. in an effort to do the right thing. medications (NSAID. are directed to find and destroy these trespassers.

Therefore. the only people I have met with long-standing diabetes who still have all their parts working after 40 years of disease. Unfortunately. have been those following a low-fat nearly vegetarian diet – the best example are those few fortunate people following the Kempner Rice Diet from Duke University – 3 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 1 . This is a diet of starches with vegetables and fruits – the less meat. and most-importantly. Antibodies appropriately produced to attack and destroy the cow-milk protein find the beta cells first -they attach to the cell surfaces. the pancreas can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin for the body’s needs. and sometimes death. processed foods and vegetable oil the better. In fact. But the threats to a diabetic’s health are much greater. and fatigue – many times followed by coma. By this effort. Insulin replacement therapy is far from perfect and does not correct all of the underlying metabolic As you will recall. urination. directed against small segments of their proteins – specific sequences of amino acids. which then attack and destroy these insulin-producing cells. therefore the disease is permanent and the patient will always require insulin (unless some future technology changes this). these same sequences of amino acids are also found on the body’s own tissues (a copy or mimic of the foreign protein segment). and cancer.nealhendrickson. heart attacks. to help counteract this disadvantage. activating T-cells. Diabetics are metabolically handicapped people. Once the beta cells are destroyed they will not grow back. people with this disease must be cared for with vigilance – and that means very careful control of their blood sugars with insulin injections. such as kidney failure. these are also the problems faced by people without diabetes who are on the Western diet. The apparently well child (or adult) becomes very ill with symptoms of excessive thirst. hampered in their ability to defend and repair themselves from outside injuries.. a healthsupporting diet. dairy. a segment of 17 amino acids has been identified on the cow-milk protein that is identical to a segment on the surface of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Once these cells are destroyed. the type 1 diabetic has the best chance to avoid premature death and serious complications.. In the case of type 1 diabetes. a wholesome lifestyle. The lifesaving treatment is very specific: replacement of insulin by daily injections. the onset of the disease usually appears to be sudden and is often catastrophic. like an infection or an unhealthy diet (the high-fat. osteoporosis.The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. high-cholesterol Western diet). A patient living with a damaged pancreas has an increased risk for premature development of serious complications. The Handicap of Diabetes Even though the process of beta cell destruction may take three to five years on the average. blindness.

especially in children under five years. like Japan.nealhendrickson. sometimes for 50 years. has 36 times more type 1 diabetes than does a country of low consumption. 2 There is a strong correlation between total cow-milk consumption and type 1 diabetes. Finland. but it is only a tendency. Inherited by an Education There is some inherited tendency to develop type 1 diabetes.. when an infection like a virus is involved. This environmental relationship is further confirmed when people migrate from an area of low incidence to high incidence. the past 20 years of accumulated evidence has shown the tendency to run in families is largely fostered by mother and father teaching sons and daughters to consume dairy products. and actually most people (90%) who develop this disease do not have close relatives with it. To bring out this genetic tendency requires an environmental toxin. Rather than through genetic inheritance or a transmitted virus. and increase their risk of developing disease. between 9 regions of Italy Type 1 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. low-fat dairy products would cause at least as much harm as the full-fat versions. for example. Infectious agents. The strongest contact we have with our environment is our food. In about 30% of identical twins. worldwide. For example. 5 4 3 A similar relationship has been found within a single country. a high milk-consuming population. This rise clearly points to an 6 4 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 .com/mcdougall/020700puthepancr. late in the process of disease development. More likely. Since the cow-protein is the culprit activating the immune reaction. for example. have been suspected to cause type 1 diabetes. Evidence Incriminating Cow-Milk: 1) Population Studies (Epidemiology): When populations of people who are genetically similar have a different incidence of disease then something in the environment must be suspected as the cause..The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. both get diabetes. when Samoan children move to New Zealand and when Asians move to England. it acts as a nonspecific stress. This migration phenomena has been seen. There has been a rapid increase (greater than 10-fold) in type 1 diabetes in European countries in the past few decades. that increases the body’s needs for insulin and precipitates a rise in blood sugar earlier than would have occurred otherwise. – regions consuming the most milk have the most diabetes. like viruses.

nealhendrickson. rather than a genetic cause. 11-13 Antibodies against cow-milk protein (specifically bovine serum albumin and an ABBOS peptide of 17 amino acids) were found to react with a similar-looking sequence of amino acids on the beta cells of the pancreas in 100% of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There are notable exceptions to this strong positive correlation between cow-milk consumption and type 1 diabetes – but there is also a scientific explanation for the discrepancies. The A1 and B forms of beta caseins are believed to be the proteins that cause the body to respond by destroying the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The explanation is: cow-milks from different herds have important differences in their proteins. This is caused by exposure of an infant (before the age of three months) to cow’s insulin (bovine insulin) found in the milk the child drinks. environmental.. It is estimated that 80% of dairy cows have this A1 and or B variant. Examples of this apparent inconsistency are seen in Iceland. The cow-milk found in populations with a low incidence of type 1 diabetes has a much lower fraction of A1 and B beta caseins (instead they have the A2 variant).. Africa.4 times greater in high milk consumers (3 or more glasses a day) compared to those who drink less milk (less than 3 glasses a day). This rise has been paralleled by an increase in fluid milk intake. and the Maasai people of Tanzania. 10 9 14 These antibodies to cow-milk also attack 5 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . When these variants of cow-milk are taken into consideration then the correlation of cow-milk consumption and type 1 diabetes becomes evident. One reason this may be so frequently found is because cows have been selectively bred this way to increase the protein content of the cow-milk (a quality desired by dairy producers). 2) Case Studies: Studies comparing populations of people with type 1 diabetes with healthy individuals indicate the risk of developing type 1 diabetes is 5. In these populations there is high milk consumption and low diabetes.8 3) Milk-induced Changes in the Immune System: Children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have been found to have increased levels of antibodies directed to several different cow-milk proteins. 1 Antibodies to insulin often appear in children who develop type 1 diabetes. New Zealand.The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www.

and they don’t fool me. Only bottle-fed infants show reactions to cow-milk proteins. (For a comprehensive discussion of the importance of breast feeding read The McDougall Program for Women). Sensible Action: Cow-milk Avoidance: The dairy industry makes attempts to argue against their products causing type 1 diabetes.. Immune cells. For maximum benefit for the young child.The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. once activated by act naturally and avoid a potential tragedy. Avoidance of cow-milk through exclusive breast feeding prevents the development of antibodies to cow-milk protein (beta casein). Since cow-milk is ideal for baby cows and was never intended for human children. Molecular mimicry appears to be involved. These T-cells. 17 16 15 9 4) Animal studies: Experimental animals (mice and rats) fed cow-milk have been found to develop diabetes. known as T-cells. Increased levels of antibodies to these cow-milk proteins are found in children with type 1 diabetes. but it would be prudent for a nursing mother to avoid cow-milk in her diet.nealhendrickson. then attack the beta cells of the pancreas and destroy them.. With the same action you will be 6 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . have been found to proliferate in response to cow-milk proteins in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic children. I would suggest you take the less risky road for your family. (You can view their very selective use of the scientific literature to defend the safety of their products here: http://www. 18-20 It is important to note that soy protein and wheat protein have also caused 21 experimental animals to develop diabetes. This is another reason breast feeding exclusively is the right choice and why soy-based infant formulas are not an acceptable substitute for cow-milk based formulas (see next month’s newsletter for even more compelling reasons to use soy with caution). Whether this kind of cow-milk protein consumption is a cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. Please note: A nursing mother consuming cow-milk can pass the proteins to her infant through her breast milk.html) These arguments don’t fool the American Academy of Pediatrics and hundreds of top scientists worldwide. feed mother’s breast milk exclusively for six months and then as a decreasing part of the diet until the child is two years of age. human insulin and may be the trigger for the autoimmune response that causes diabetes.nationaldairycouncil.

. The dairy industry’s main selling point is calcium. diagnosis of the disease is difficult. high-fat dairy products. of 57 studies on cow-milk and bone health came to this conclusion: “In fact. reducing the risk of constipation. I believe. But what can be done for those less fortunate patients already with pancreatic cancer? A case control study demonstrated that patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who ate a diet of fruits and vegetables (a 23. however a thorough review by researchers at the Department of Nutritional Sciences. and overloaded with calories. of the studies providing strong evidence. No one has ever become ill or died from a lack of cow-milk. The only well-established causative factor is cigarette smoking. these values do not provide a solid body of evidence to support this recommendation. as well as future cancers. ear infections. It is deficient in dietary fiber. diet.000 people die from this disease yearly. There is no human nutritional requirement for cow-milk. arthritis. the opposite is true for billions of people. animal protein. vitamin C. and disease pathogens (bacteria and viruses).The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. This is disease of developed countries – where the rich Western diet is consumed. if you want to effectively win the war on cancer of the pancreas you must do so by prevention. asthma. strokes and heart disease. and iron. coffee. Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.” By the way. essential and low physical activity increase the risk. bed-wetting. However.. lactose intolerance.nealhendrickson. is the most likely cause of most cases. most of the studies reviewed here were paid for by the dairy industry – and they still failed to show their products met the manufacturer’s multimillion dollar advertising claims. niacin. environmental chemicals. Even with the best that modern medicine has to offer.24 22 7 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . There is also an association with chronic pancreatitis and diabetes – both are diseases of the Western diet (discussed above and below). and obesity. Because of the deep location of the pancreas inside the abdomen. alcohol. approximately 25. Therefore. These values suggest that there is little risk of harm to the skeletal system if recommendations to the general population to consume dairy foods are heeded. only 29% showed favorable effects and 14% showed unfavorable effects on bone status. and as a result it is nearly always fatal in a matter of months – 90% have died within 12 months of diagnosis. saturated fat. Prevention is the key to dealing with pancreatic cancer. eczema. saturated fat. However. Without a doubt. University of Alabama. Obesity. There are data that show a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer.

327(5):302-7. 4. 1992 Jul 30. LaPorte R. Karjalainen J. writing "This exploratory analysis suggests that a strict macrobiotic diet is more likely to be effective in the long-term management of cancer than are diets that provide a variety of other foods. Fava D.17(12):1488-90. 5. Chronic forms of pancreatitis can devastate a person’s life over many years. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.8 Suppl 1:101-7. compared to only 10% on the regular diet. The elevated triglycerides seem to interfere with the circulation of the pancreas and cause severe inflammation. 2. Diets high in sugar and fat will cause the level of blood fats.The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. Patients suffer abdominal pain and malnutrition.. ketogenic diet). 1991 Nov. 8 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . case-control study. Diabetes Care. Diabetes Care. and have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Diabetes Care.. The researchers concluded that the macrobiotic approach may be an effective treatment. known as pancreatitis.14(11):1081-3. A population-based. N Engl J Med. Verge C. Dahl-Jorgensen Chronic alcohol abuse and an unhealthy diet are known to cause acute and chronic pancreatitis." Pancreatitis Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that is very painful and at times deadly. 1985 Sep-Oct. to rise in some people. known as triglycerides.17(12):1381-9. 1994 Dec. A low-fat. Diabetes Care. 1994 Dec. Geographic differences in the risk of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: the importance of registries. Relationship between cows' milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood. Relationship between dairy product consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood in Italy. This study from researchers at Tulane University showed half of those on the macrobiotic diet were alive after one year. 26 25 A high protein 27 ketogenic diet has been reported to cause pancreatitis that killed a child.nealhendrickson. (The Atkins diet is a high protein. complex carbohydrate diet and alcohol avoidance is the foundation to preventing further attacks. Environmental factors in childhood IDDM. References: 1. macrobiotic diet) lived longer (17 months versus six months) and enjoyed an improved quality of life. The mortality rate of acute pancreatitis is about 10%. 3.

. Diabetologia. 8.49(6):912-7. Pediatrics. 2000 Jun. 7.nealhendrickson. Lancet.48(7):1389-94. 17. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. Is childhood-onset type I diabetes a wealth-related disease? An ecological analysis of European incidence rates. Diabetes and cows' milk. 2001 Oct. Dahlqvist G. 14. Diabetes.. 1999 Mar. Childhood diabetes in Finland study group. 9 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 .74(3):342-5. Acta Paediatr Scand. Saukkonen T.35(10):980-4. Murch S. Bovine beta-casein antibodies in breast. Jakobsson I. Monetini L. Elliott R. 10. An increased level of antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin is a risk determinant for early-onset type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus independent of islet cell antibodies and early introduction of cow's milk.106(4):719-24. Dietary bovine beta-lactoglobulin is transferred to human milk. 11.348(9032):926-8. Children with newly diagnosed insulin dependent diabetes mellitus have increased levels of cow's milk antibodies. Virtanen S. 1985 May. Thorsdottir I.7(3):137-40. Diabetes Res. and type 1 diabetes: a nested case-control study of siblings of children with diabetes. Cow's milk formula feeding induces primary immunization to insulin in infants at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and cow milk: casein variant consumption.348(9042):1656. 1988 Mar. 1996 Oct 5. but the increase is not an independent risk factor for diabetes. 16. Diabetologia. 2001 1995 Nov.44 Suppl 3:B9-16. Lancet. Vaarala O.42(3):292-6. 13.84(11):1258-61. HLA-DQB1 genotype. Cow's milk consumption. Cell-mediated immune response to beta casein in recent-onset insulindependent diabetes: implications for disease pathogenesis. 6. Different beta-casein fractions in Icelandic versus Scandinavian cow’s milk may influence diabetogenicity of cow's milk in infancy and explain low incidence of insulindependent diabetes mellitus in Iceland. Patterson C. 1996 Dec 14.The McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. Acta Paediatr. Diabetologia. IgA bovine serum albumin antibodies are increased in newly diagnosed patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.17(1):51-4.and bottle-fed infants: their relevance in Type 1 diabetes. 1999 Jul. 2000 Oct. Cavallo M. 1992 Oct. 12. 15. Savilahti E. 9. Diabetes.

2002 May 1. Potential mechanisms by which certain foods promote or inhibit the development of spontaneous diabetes in BB rats: dose. Akerblom H. Athyros V. J Am Coll Nutr. 25. Diabetes. Stewart W. Stolzenberg-Solomon R. J Child Neurol. Diabetologia. Putative environmental factors in Type 1 diabetes. 1998 Mar. Carter J. Diabetes Metab Rev. Prospective study of diet and pancreatic cancer in male smokers. J Clin Gastroenterol. Hypothesis: dietary management may improve survival from nutritionally linked cancers based on analysis of representative McDougall Newsletter July 2002 -The Pancreas http://www. 2002 John McDougall All Rights Reserved 10 de 10 09/03/11 22:56 . Pancreas cancer--we know about smoking. 22.. 23. 1993 Jun.46(4):589-98. but do we know anything else? Am J Epidemiol. and switch in infiltrate from Th1 to Th2 cells. Long-term follow-up of patients with acute hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis.16(9):682.155(9):793-5. early effect on islet area. 20. 24.14(1):31-67. 19. Karges W. Diabetes. Dietary prevention of diabetes in the non-obese diabetic mouse. Am J Clin Nutr.72(3):681-9. 1997 Apr. Elliott R. 1988 Jan.155(9):783-92.34(4):472-5.31(1):62-4. 27. Immunological aspects of nutritional diabetes prevention in NOD mice: a pilot study for the cow's milk-based IDDM prevention trial.nealhendrickson. 2001 Sep.46(4):557-64. Potter D. Dairy foods and bone health: examination of the evidence. Acute pancreatitis causing death in a child on the ketogenic diet. 26.12(3):209-26. Scott F. Am J Epidemiol. Weinsier R. 21. 2002 May 1. 2000 Sep. 2002 Apr. 18. 1997 Apr. timing..