Studies say NO, cow milk does not prevent the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Neither is avoiding the cow milk completely. Parents of children who are at the risk of Type 1 diabetes does not give cow’s milk to their wards. It is a common belief that cow milk triggers the onset of the disease. the studies conducted on such vulnerable children reveal that the cow’s milk does not have such critical role in Type 1 diabetes as believed earlier. At the same time, there should not be any change in the current dietary recommendations regarding the same.

What Is The Link Between Cow Milk & Type 1 Diabetes?

The link between cow milk and diabetes is the proteins in milk. Though there are 4 types of protein in the milk, there is one particular protein called A1 beta casein that is linked to diabetes. This type of protein is capable of triggering immune response I the body that can lead to the destruction of insulin-producing cells. Destruction of these cells leads to no insulin production and this leads to Type 1 diabetes.

This type of diabetes usually starts from childhood. Studies were done on infants by giving them the weaned milk in infancy. The weaned milk is the milk after the removing the problematic proteins. But this step has not been successful and there still were children who developed Type 1 diabetes.

Other Factors Of Cow Milk- Diabetes Link

The threat of cow milk causing diabetes is not ending here. It has lactose as the sugar content. Lactose has a low glycemic index and does not cause sugar spike in the blood. But it can affect the insulin as if the blood sugar is high. It causes more insulin production that can lead to Type 2 diabetes where the body cells are resistant to insulin and not take in sugar.

Cow milk could be a potential trigger for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in its own way. Though there is no clear evidence that can ascertain it as a great risk for diabetes, cow milk is a taboo for many, especially those who are genetically prone to this disease.

Cow Milk Prevents Type 2 Diabetes?

There is another side to the story where the cow milk can be preventive against Type 2 diabetes. Cow milk contains fats, sugar, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The fat part is something that most people like to avoid. They are most likely opting for fat-free milk or low-fat milk. Here, the milk fat from the whole fat milk can have some protective nature against diabetes. Studies show that the milk fat can lower the insulin resistance.

The fat that is responsible for this protective nature is trans-palmitoleic acid. The higher the level of this fat in the body higher the protection is. The benefits of this fat are,

  • Lower body mass index
  • Reduced waist circumference
  • Triglyceride level management
  • Lower level of C-reactive protein
  • Low fasting sugar level

The Clash Of Fats And Sugars

As much as the milk fat is beneficial for the body and helps in preventing or controlling diabetes, the milk sugar lactose is still on the bad side. The dairy sugar is more a risk factor than the fat is beneficial. Scientists urge people who are the risk of getting diabetes to stay cautious about cow milk.

The Good Side Of Choosing Alternatives

Cow milk is not the only source of nutrients and calcium. You can get the similar benefits from vegan milk like soy, rice and almond milk. On the other hand, the goat milk and camel milk are also in the race as alternatives. The problem with animal-based milk is the presence of hormones and other drugs in the milk that the animals take in. These are not good for the human body. If you want a healthier option, choose the organic, plant-based milk. Soy has less sugar and almond milk can be sweeter.

The alternatives are not only nutritious but also come with no risk of developing diabetes. They are lower in fat content and have the sugar that is more tolerable for the humans.


Typ1 diabetes is closer to the genes than it to the consumption of cow milk. It is still uncertain if cow milk is preventive for diabetes or a risk of developing diabetes. Milk has its benefits on the human body. It depends on which milk a person prefers and what he or she is taking. The choice of the alternatives depends on the taste of the person. One must choose what is good for them and what suits their body. Milk is just a possible trigger for diabetes. There are other factors like carbohydrates intake, autoimmune diseases, cholesterol level, smoking, stress that has more say in diabetes than cow milk. Cow milk is neither a curse nor a cure as far as diabetes is concerned.