Omega 3 and Leucine help decrease insulin requirements in people with Type 1 Diabetes

Omega 3 and Leucine help decrease insulin requirements in people with Type 1 Diabetes

Recent scientific studies have shown that a diet that is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and the amino acid Leucine, increase C-peptide levels, helping people with Type 1 Diabetes preserve their beta cells, reduce their insulin requirements and prevent the onset of chronic complications.

By Joe Cardozo

Based on the results of a study conducted by scientists from the University of North Carolina and led by Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, foods that contain the amino acid Leucine and those which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can decrease the amount of insulin required by children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes.

Dr. Mayer-Davis, author of this study, is a professor of nutrition and medicine and also the interim chairman of the Department of Nutrition of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“After a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, a long chain of amino acids and fatty acids were related to C-peptide levels. Adequate C-peptide levels improve blood glucose levels control and can help prevent chronic complications,” said Dr. Mayer-Davis, adding “these investigations are just beginning and parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes need to continue following their doctor’s orders for their children, in terms of insulin requirements and any other medication.”

To evaluate the hypothesis of the influence of nutritional factors in preserving beta cells, Dr. Mayer-Davis and her colleagues reviewed the information gathered from more than 1,300 young people of up to 20 years of age and who’d been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes for approximately 10 months.

Nutritional information gathered from participants included their consumption of foods that contained Leucine and fatty acids. Blood tests were subsequently done and used to analyze various nutrients, including fatty acids and vitamin D as well as to measure C-Peptide levels.

After 2 years, researchers found that Leucine and Omega 3 fatty acids were directly related to higher c-peptide levels.

However, vitamin D, which has been considered as a protective vitamin against Type 1 Diabetes, was associated with lower C-peptide levels in this study, but according to Dr. Mayer-Davis this occurred by chance, as it isn’t consistent with previous research.

The highest Omega 3 fatty acids levels, showed a direct relationship with a greater preservation of beta cells, meaning that a higher amount of fatty acids leads to higher levels of C-peptide.

Some examples of foods that contain Leucine are dairy products, meat, eggs, soy products, nuts and wheat. Among some of the foods that are rich in Omega 3 are oily fish such as salmon and sardines.

“There may be certain developments that can improve a person’s ability to produce insulin after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, in the context of a healthy diet, eating dairy products, foods rich in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids, such as Salmon, which can help,” said Dr. Mayer-Davis and concluded by clarifying “but parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes can’t expect these foods to lead to miracles, as their children will still need insulin.”

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