Nutritional Intervention to Prevent Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system (the part of the body which helps fight infections) mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin (islet cells found in the pancreas). As these cells are destroyed, the body's ability to produce insulin decreases.
The autoimmune process is thought to be initiated by a gene-environment interaction. The genetics involved in the development of T1D are fairly well understood. There is a higher risk of developing T1D with the presence of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR3 or DR4. It is also known that not everyone with these genes actually develops T1D. Therefore, one or more environmental factors are thought to contribute to the process of developing T1D.
The consumption of the anti-inflammatory fatty acids, the omega-3 fatty acids, has decreased significantly in the past 100 years. At the same time a rise in the incidence of T1D, especially in young children has occurred. Because of the warnings to eliminate fish during pregnancy, pregnant women are consuming even less omega-3 fatty acids during fetal development.
Observations have been made that children who have received omega-3 fatty acid supplementation have a lower risk of T1D. Omega-3 fatty acids could have a protective effect that may occur during pregnancy, infancy, or both. The mechanism of this protection may be due to the DHA mediated suppression of the inflammatory response.
Patients at higher risk for T1D have an increased pro-inflammatory environment. We hypothesize that DHA supplementation during pregnancy and early childhood will block the initial pro-inflammatory events and prevent development of islet cell autoimmunity in children at higher risk for T1D.
This study is a feasibility study to determine if a full-scale DHA supplementation study will be implemented. If a full study is implemented, the primary outcome will be to determine if nutritional supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids during the last trimester of a mother's pregnancy and/or the first three years of life for children who are at higher risk of T1D will prevent the development of islet autoimmunity.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Dietary Supplement: DHA Treatment
Dietary Supplement: Placebo for DHA
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
- 20% higher level of plasma and/or red blood cell membrane phospholipid DHA achieved in the treatment group [ Time Frame: Every 3 months for two years; every 6 months until age 3. ]
- At least a 20% reduction in the level of the major inflammatory cytokine, IL1-beta, achieved in the plasma of the treatment group [ Time Frame: Every 3 months for two years; every 6 months until age 3. ]
- 95% of families will continue to attend follow-up visits [ Time Frame: Every 3 months for two years; every 6 months until age 3. ]
|Study Start Date:||June 2006|
|Study Completion Date:||April 2013|
|Primary Completion Date:||February 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: DHA Treatment Group
DHA study treatment given on daily basis to nursing mother (breast milk) or baby as either formula, or capsules (removing content and mixing with food)depending on age of child.
Dietary Supplement: DHA Treatment
DHA study treatment given on daily basis to nursing mother (breast milk) or baby as either formula, or capsules (removing content and mixing with food) depending on age of child.
Placebo Comparator: Control Group
Placebo for DHA given to nursing mother (breast milk), study formula, or capsules (removing content and mixing with food)depending on age of child.
Dietary Supplement: Placebo for DHA
Study placebo given on daily basis to nursing mother (breast milk) or baby as either formula, or capsules (removing content and mixing with food)depending on age of child.
There are two possible entry pathways for study participants. The first pathway is the entry point for pregnant mothers in their third trimester (24 weeks gestational age) whose babies may be at higher risk for T1D based on family history. At birth, or soon after, their babies will be tested for HLA type (to look for the specific gene which confers a higher risk of developing T1D). If the HLA typing shows that the baby is at higher risk for T1D and no protective genes are present, the baby will then continue in the study. The second pathway is the entry point for babies whose mothers were not enrolled during pregnancy. These babies will also be tested for HLA type. Their eligibility will be based on the presence of higher risk genes or the presence of a multiplex family history. This screening process may take place up until the baby is 5 months old.
Eligible participants (pregnant women or infants) will be randomized to one of the two study groups: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) study substance (this is the intervention) or control study substance (this is the placebo). The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to be used in this trial is produced from algae, not from fish oil, so there is no risk of mercury or pesticide contamination.
Pregnant and nursing mothers who are assigned to the control group will receive study capsules containing a vegetable oil and no DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . Pregnant and nursing mothers who are assigned to the experimental group will receive study capsules containing DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, infants will receive the study substance indirectly through their mother (either the placenta or breastmilk).
Infants who are either partially or exclusively formula feeding will receive study substance more directly through the study formula. The control group will receive study formula containing the typical amount of DHA that can be found in some infant formulas, while infants in the experimental group will receive study formula containing a larger amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) than typically found in some infant formulas. By six to twelve months of age, all infants will get study supplement added to solid foods.
All mothers will have contact with the study site every 3 months. Nursing mothers will provide samples of breast milk for fatty acids analysis at these visits.
Infants will need to come to follow-up study visits every 6 months. At each of these visits, the infant will have a limited physical exam and blood drawn from a vein to monitor immune activity, levels of fatty acid and vitamin D, and to check for diabetes-related autoantibodies. Infants/children cannot continue in the study if they: (1) develop two positive autoantibodies, present at two consecutive visits, or (2) develop T1D.
All follow-up study visits will continue for 1-2 years, and possibly an additional 2 years if a full-scale study is initiated.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00333554
|United States, California|
|Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles|
|Los Angeles, California, United States, 90027|
|Children's Hospital of Orange County|
|Orange, California, United States, 92868-3835|
|University of California, San Francisco|
|San Francisco, California, United States, 94143|
|United States, Indiana|
|Indiana University-Riley Hospital for Children|
|Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202|
|United States, Iowa|
|University of Iowa Health Care|
|Iowa City, Iowa, United States, 52242|
|United States, Massachusetts|
|Joslin Diabetes Center|
|Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215|
|United States, Minnesota|
|University of Minnesota|
|Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455|
|United States, Missouri|
|The Children's Mercy Hospital|
|Kansas City, Missouri, United States, 64108-9898|
|United States, Utah|
|Utah Diabetes Center|
|Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84108|
|Study Chair:||Jay S Skyler, M.D.||University of Miami|
|Principal Investigator:||H. Peter Chase, MD||The University of Colorado Health Science Center- Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes|
|Principal Investigator:||Michael Clare-Salzler, MD||University of Florida, Department of Pathology, Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes Research Program|