Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes makes up for 10% of all cases. It is causes by a lack of insulin production by the pancreas. Some studies show a correlation between Type 1 diabetes and higher milk consumption (specifically milk with high levels of the protein beta-casein A+B).
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body cannot efficiently use the insulin the pancreas produces. Excessive body weigh, particularly in the upper body, is the chief risk factor. In fact, 80% of type 2 diabetes sufferers are overweight.
According to the Seventh-day Adventist Prospective Diabetes Study the risk of diabetes for vegetarians is 53% lower for males and 55% lower for females. For vegetarians 50-69 years of age, the risk is 76% lower.
World-wide, the lowest rates of diabetes are recorded in populations where the consumption of animals products is the lowest. Some evidence suggests that high-fiber diets protect against diabetes.
Vegans are likely to have lower risk of diabetes because they are less obese and also consume less saturated fat, more fiber (especially soluble fiber), more magnesium and more unrefined foods with low glycemic index.
Studies show that vegetarian, vegan and near-vegetarian diets can improve glucose control and reduce the need for hypoglycemic medication.