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Type 1 Diabetes Prevention

Several efforts examine the possibility of halting the development of type 1 diabetes. So far the results are mixed -- at best.


The DAISY trial (the Diabetes AutoImmune Study in the Young) was designed to answer the question whether certain types of stomach virus (enterovirus) could cause increased susceptibility to diabetes. The study looked at two alternate hypotheses: that enteroviruses are either transmitted from the mother at birth or acquired in early childhood, resulting in a chronic infection that leads to an autoimmune response, or that late infections acquired by children who already have abnormal beta-islet cell function can put the final nail in the coffin of the insulin-secreting cells.

But like the DPT-1 trial, this study yielded negative results. "There is no evidence from this study that enterovirus infection is a risk factor for development of beta-cell autoimmunity," researchers write in the January 2003 issue of the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.


The European Nicotinamide Diabetes Intervention Trial, or ENDIT, conducted in Europe, Canada, and the U.S., is looking at whether high doses of nicotinamide, a form of Vitamin B3 with antioxidant properties, can help to preserve beta-islet cell function in people at risk for type 1 diabetes due to their family history. Trial results, announced at a European diabetes meeting in early 2003, indicated that the supplement offered no additional protection against diabetes, Dupre tells WebMD.

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Reviewed on June 24, 2004

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