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About Type 1 Diabetes

Rationale for the TRIGR Study

TRIGR and Breast Feeding

What is the TRIGR Study?

Health care support for families in the Study

What I had to do if I participated in the TRIGR Study?

Rationale for the TRIGR Study

The rationale for TRIGR began with observational studies that showed that breastfeeding was associated with somewhat lower rates of children developing type 1 diabetes. These studies first appeared in the mid-1980’s. At virtually the same time, basic research began focusing on the role of cow’s milk proteins in diabetes in animals. The reason to focus on cow’s milk was motivated by the fact that cow’s milk based infant formula is the foreign, intact, food protein most commonly encountered first by babies. Recently, studies have focused on hydrolyzed formulas – those in which a chemical reaction was used to break down the milk proteins into smaller components. Decreased rates of type 1 diabetes development were found in animals weaned to hydrolyzed proteins instead of intact foreign proteins. Some evidence is now available suggesting that a similar relationship may exist in humans, but further research is needed.

A randomized controlled trial - the standard type of research study to determine whether a medical treatment is effective in humans - is the next step to find out whether this work will lead to protection against type 1 diabetes. Such a trial has been developed and tested by an international team of physicians and scientists first led by Prof. Hans Åkerblom and currently by Prof. Mikael Knip in Helsinki, Finland. These years of development and study set the stage for the multinational TRIGR trial, now underway on three continents.


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