Choosing foods with certain nutrients could help people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes continue to produce some insulin, according to a new study.
HealthDay News reports that after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, people may be able to encourage their body to keep producing some insulin with some simple diet adaptations. The impact was significant — up to two years more insulin production, in fact.
To be clear, food choices will not eliminate the need to take insulin with this disease. Type 1 diabetes requires exogenous insulin be given to sustain life; in this way, the disease is very different than type 2 diabetes.
But eating these foods and encouraging some natural insulin production may mean that less insulin is needed.
What foods are we talking about?
In this study, high levels of leucine and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with higher levels of c-peptide (a measure of insulin production in the body).
Foods such as eggs, meats, dairy, soy, fatty fish (salmon) and nuts were being analyzed here for their potential benefits. Dietary supplements can also be found for similar purposes. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or medications.
The hope of this study is that with more beta-cell preservation (the insulin makers in the pancreas), it will be easier to control and reduce complications from type 1 diabetes.