Diet additions may help youth with type 1 diabetes keep producing own insulin

July 16, 2013

Adding foods rich in specific amino and fatty acids to the diets of youth with Type 1 diabetes kept them producing some of their own insulin for up to two years after diagnosis, said researchers at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The youth still required supplemental insulin, but they may have reduced risk of by continuing to produce some of their own insulin, said Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, professor of nutrition at Gillings and medicine at UNC's School of Medicine, who led the study of more than 1,300 youth. "This also opens the door for a new approach that could really benefit the lives of these children."

The study, "Nutritional Factors and Preservation of C-Peptide in Youth with Recently Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes," was published in the July 2013 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

The participating youngsters, ranging from toddlers up to age 20, are part of a multi-center "SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth," the largest U.S. study of childhood diabetes. Mayer-Davis is national co-chair of SEARCH, funded by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Type 1 diabetes is almost always diagnosed between infancy and , according to the American Diabetes Association. The body's pancreas is unable to produce adequate amounts of the , required to metabolize food properly and create energy for the body's cells.

Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids researchers looked at, is known to stimulate secretion. It is found in dairy products, meats, soy products, eggs, nuts and products made with whole wheat. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are found in such as salmon.

The researchers analyzed how much (if any) insulin the subjects were producing up to two years after their diagnosis and compared this with nutritional intake.

Mayer-Davis noted the study reflects subjects eating actual foods rich in these nutrients, not taking supplements.

Explore further: Amino acid levels linked to type 2 diabetes risk

More information:

Related Stories

Amino acid levels linked to type 2 diabetes risk

May 9, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Levels of some amino acids are associated with glycemia and insulin resistance and predict the development of type 2 diabetes in men, according to a study published online May 2 in Diabetes.

Free fatty acids linked to cardiac risk in late adulthood

May 17, 2013

(HealthDay)—Blood levels of free fatty acids are associated with insulin resistance during young adulthood and cardiovascular risk factors in later adulthood, according to a study published online May 13 in Diabetes.

Early advice on diet improves insulin sensitivity in youth

July 10, 2013

(HealthDay)—Dietary counseling, initiated with the parents at infancy and maintained as the child ages, is associated with improved insulin sensitivity at age 15 to 20, according to a study published online June 25 in Diabetes ...

Recommended for you

Drug prevents type 1 diabetes in mice, study finds

September 14, 2015

The buildup of a substance in the pancreas during the pre-symptomatic stage of Type 1 diabetes is essential to the development of the disease, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have shown.

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

Engineered hot fat implants reduce weight gain in mice

August 20, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning "good" fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.