Pardon my absence; switching over to a new computer has taken over as priority lately. I'm happy to return to regular postings with a report of this recent study, which looked at vegetable consumption in 6,000 Swedish pregnant women and, 5 years later, risk of diabetes in their child. It turns out that the higher the vegetable consumption during pregnancy, the lower the risk of type 1 diabetes in the child. The vegetable link, while strong, may not reveal the whole story, warn the researchers. Something else about the women's lifestyles could also be at play.
This study reminds me of another way that vegans are protected against type 1 diabetes; some research has suggested a link between dairy consumption and increased type 1 diabetes risk. For example, this study from 2000 (click to see the full-text version of it) from the journal Diabetes declares, "our results provide support for the hypothesis that high consumption of cow’s milk during childhood can be diabetogenic in siblings of children with type 1 diabetes." Another study published in the same journal in 1993 found a link between early exposure to dairy milk and diabetes risk.
At this point, no one knows conclusively what causes susceptibility to type 1 diabetes, but it looks like a plant-based diet, at least in part, plays a role in reducing risk.