Originally posted by sonhouse
I think it is also due to the body attacking its own insulin producing cells so there is an autoimmune component as well.
yes, that is the cause for type 1 diabetes ( but not type 2 ) .
The reason for the increase in type 1 diabetes could be explained by the hygiene hypothesis:
Basically, the theory is we have evolved with immune systems adapted to constant exposure to microbes (both good and bad but mainly just harmless ) but our relatively sterile modern environment can mean your immune system isn't exercised with sufficient exposure to microbes and this causes it to malfunction because our immune system hasn't evolved to respond appropriately to that unnaturally sterile environment which has never existed in the distant past. The result is autoimmunity disease including type 1 diabetes.
I vaguely remember (don't remember from where ) some evidence of this with the discovery of a group of people that were known to have been exposed at childhood to unusually high levels of microbes from manure over an extended time and the result was they statistically had an unusually low incidence of allergies and type 1 diabetes later in life
-anyone: does anyone have a link for the above bit of evidence? I tried my best googling it but got absolutely nowhere.