SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition - EuropeUS edition

Headlines > Research

Dietary changes may help type 1 diabetics keep producing insulin for longer

4 comments

By Nathan Gray+

19-Jul-2013
Last updated on 19-Jul-2013 at 13:18 GMT

Increasing intakes of specific foods rich in branched-chain amino acids and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids could be of benefit for young people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, say the researchers.
Increasing intakes of specific foods rich in branched-chain amino acids and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids could be of benefit for young people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, say the researchers.

Simple dietary modifications that include the addition of foods rich in certain amino and fatty acids could help young people with type 1 diabetes to keep producing at least some of their own insulin for longer, according to new research.

Supplementing diets with a mixture of foods containing high levels of branched-chain amino acids and long chain omega-3 fatty acids could help young people who have been recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to keep producing levels of insulin that may reduce the long term risk of diabetes complications, say researchers writing in Diabetes Care.

Led by Professor Elizabeth Mayer-Davis from Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the study analysed data from more than 1,300 youths recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"Increased intake of branched-chain amino acids and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may support preservation of beta-cell function," said the authors.

"These novel results can be used to design future studies to establish the efficacy and effectiveness of nutritional approaches to support preservation of b-cell function among youth with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes," they added.

However, Mayer-Davis added that the study results reflect people eating actual foods rich in these nutrients, not those taking supplements.

Nutrient boost

The US-based researchers followed the 1,316 participants diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in order to analyse whether nutritional intake affected the levels of insulin produced over a two year period.

The participating youngsters, ranging from toddlers up to age 20, formed part of the multi-centre 'SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth' study - which is the largest U.S. study of childhood diabetes.

The team found that a high intake of specific foods rich in branched-chain amino acids such as leucine (which is known to stimulate insulin secretion) and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a higher production of insulin for longer  - with some patients still producing at least some of their own insulin to two years after initial diagnosis.

Mayer-Davis noted that while all of the youths still required supplemental insulin, the participants may benefit from a reduced risk of diabetes complications by continuing to produce some of their own insulin.

"This also opens the door for a new approach that could really benefit the lives of these children," she commented.

Source: Diabetes Care
Volume 36, Number 7, Pages 1842-1850, doi: 10.2337/dc12-2084
"Nutritional Factors and Preservation of C-Peptide in Youth With Recently Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes: SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study"
Authors: Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, Dana Dabelea,  et al

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

4 comments (Comments are now closed)

What foods??

What foods specifically would help?

Report abuse

Posted by deborah
09 October 2013 | 02h49

type 2

re type 2 I'm going to guess that the short andswer is no... the mechanism for the disease is different. receptor site damage rather than reduced insulin production / beta cell damage is the cause of sweetening of the blood in type 2. this article is talking about beta cells. but as I said in my earlier comment a balance healthy diet is always good.

Report abuse

Posted by hendryson
08 October 2013 | 15h41

maybe

maybe so... apparently other studies suggest that foods high in estrogens such as soy products inhibit insulin production. Wait til there is something conclusive before jumping on any bandwagon and eat a healthy balanced diet. If you can get your T1 toddler to do that you're winning. I thank people who do this research because they are working towards a better work for T1 children and adults but I caution any judgments based on actions taken based new studies. Thank you Dr. Liz for trying to preserve the beta cells of our babies. You've got the attitude that our hospital medical staff / pediatrician lacked when I asked what could be done for the remaning healthy cells in our baby T1. I understand the avoidance of providing false hope... but remember just hope can be a powerful thing. Message I take from this article still.. eat a healthy balanced diet.

Report abuse

Posted by hendryson
08 October 2013 | 15h37

Read all comments (4)

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...