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Nutrition Factors and Preservation of C-Peptide in Recently Diagnosed Type 1 Youth

Aug 14, 2013

Certain foods may require less insulin for newly diagnosed type 1’s….

Food with leucine such as dairy products, meat, soy products, eggs, nuts and whole wheat, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, especially salmon, may mean less insulin is required for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes young adults.

Researchers analyzed data from 1,316 young adults up to 20 years of age who had been recently diagnosed with type 1diabetes in the SEARCH for diabetes in YOUTH study. Questionnaires about nutrition information such as food containing leucine, omega 3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin E, and vitamin D was gathered. Blood samples were also used to measure the amount of C-peptide level, which is a reliable marker of how much insulin the body is making.

After two years of study, EPA plus DHA and leucine had significant impacts on C-peptide level. However, vitamin D unexpectedly showed an inverse relationship with C-peptide level, a result contrary to previous trials where vitamin D was suspected to have a protective effect on type 1 diabetes.

In conclusion, higher levels of branched-chain amino acids and long chain omega 3 fatty acids may support the preservation of B-cell function and help prevent early complications. "It’s possible that there are approaches that may improve the ability to produce insulin after diagnosis." "Within the context of a healthy diet, dairy products, high-protein foods and salmon may help. But parents shouldn’t expect that these foods will be a miracle. Their children will still need insulin," lead author Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, PHD, cautioned.

Mayer-Davis EJ, Dabelea D, Crandell JL, et al. Nutritional Factors and Preservation of C-Peptide in Youth With Recently Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes: SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study. Diabetes Care. 2013 Jul;36(7):1842-50