Vegetables Can Protect Unborn Child Against Diabetes
New evidence is emerging for how important it is for pregnant women to eat
good, nutritious food. Expecting mothers who eat vegetables every day seem to
have children who are less likely to develop type 1 diabetes, a new study from
the Sahlgrenska Academy has revealed.
The study was performed in collaboration with Linköping University, which
is conducting a population study called ABIS (All Babies in Southeast Sweden).
The results have been published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes.
"This is the first study to show a link between vegetable intake during
pregnancy and the risk of the child subsequently developing type 1 diabetes,
but more studies of various kinds will be needed before we can say anything
definitive," says researcher and clinical nutritionist Hilde Brekke from the
Blood samples from almost 6,000 five year-olds were analysed in the study.
In type 1 diabetes, certain cells in the pancreas gradually get worse at
producing insulin, leading to insulin deficiency. Children at risk of
developing type 1 diabetes have antibodies in their blood which attack these
Of the 6,000 children tested, three per cent had either elevated levels of
these antibodies or fully developed type 1 diabetes at the age of five. These
risk markers were up to twice as common in children whose mothers rarely ate
vegetables during pregnancy. The risk was lowest among children whose mothers
stated that they ate vegetables every day.
"We cannot say with certainty on the basis of this study that it's the
vegetables themselves that have this protective effect, but other factors
related to vegetable intake, such as the mother's standard of education, do
not seem to explain the link," says Brekke. "Nor can this protection be
explained by other measured dietary factors or other known risk factors."
The term "Vegetables "in this study included all
vegetables except for root vegetables.
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