Nutritional Intervention to Prevent (NIP) Type 1 Diabetes A Pilot Trial

H. Peter Chase, Ellen Lescheck, Lisa Rafkin-Mervis, Heidi Krause-Steinrauf, Sonia Chritton, Smita M. Asare, Sara Adams, Jay S. Skyler, Michael Clare-Salzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to describe a pilot trial of using an omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) to prevent islet cell autoimmunity in infants with an increased risk for developing type 1 diabetes (T1D). Infants from pregnant mothers who either have T1D (or the father or a previous child has T1D) and who entered the study in the third trimester or infants younger than age 5 months having a first-degree family member with T1D were eligible for the study. Infants from either group also had to have an increased genetic (HLA) risk for T1D (or multiple first-degree relatives with T1D) to be eligible. The study is a multicenter, 2-arm, randomized, double-masked clinical trial that will last 4 years (1 year of recruitment and 3 years of treatment). Treatment with DHA (or control) began in the last trimester of pregnancy or in the first 5 months after birth. Inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, chemokines, eicosanoids, and C-reactive protein, are being measured along with fatty acids in maternal and infant blood. Ninety-eight infants were enrolled (41 during pregnancy and 57 in the 5 months after birth). HLA results of the 97 eligible infants (1 infant had a protective 0602 allele and was thus ineligible) showed that 90 have DR3 and/or DR4. Seven infants were enrolled without DR3/4 but who instead had multiple first-degree relatives with T1D. Compliance has been excellent, and no families have discontinued participation. Intervention trials in this high-risk group are feasible but require significant effort to identify potential participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • chronic disease management
  • diabetes (type 1 and 2)
  • nutritional intervention
  • prevent type 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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