Diabetes precursor may be checked by omega-3 fatty acids

11:18am, October 9, 2007

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might delay the onset of type 1, or juvenile-onset, diabetes in children prone to the disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers identified 1,770 babies who were at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes because they had a gene variant linked to the disease or a parent or sibling with the condition. Between 1994 and 2006, the babies' parents completed annual questionnaires about foods the children ate.

During the study, 58 of the children developed an antibody against the islet cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Such antibodies are often, though not always, a precursor of type 1 diabetes.

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