Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on C-peptide preservation in pregnant women with type-1 diabetes: randomized placebo controlled clinical trial

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Type-1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is caused by autoimmune insulitis. There are evidences that pregnancy and n-3 fatty acids exhibit suppressive effect on human inflammatory system.


Ninety pregnant women with T1DM were included in the prospective randomized placebo controlled clinical trial. Forty-seven of them were put on standard diabetic diet enriched with EPA and DHA twice a day (EPA 120 mg and DHA 616 mg; Study group) and 43 pregnant diabetic women were on standard diabetic diet with placebo (Control group). Duration of T1DM in all participants was between 5 to 30 years. Blood samples were analyzed from all pregnant women for fasting C-peptide (FC-peptide), fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c in each trimester throughout pregnancy and after delivery. Umbilical vein blood was analyzed for fetal C-peptide level, glucose concentration and insulin resistance.


In the Study group FC-peptide concentration raised from 59.6 ± 103.9 pmol/l in first trimester, to 67.7 ± 101.3 pmol/l in the second trimester and to 95.1 ± 152.7 pmol/l in the third trimester. Comparing the FC-peptide values during first and third trimester a statistically significant increase in third trimester was found (P < 0.001). In the Control group FC-peptide concentration ranged from 41.7 ± 91.6 pmol/l in the first trimester to 41.2 ± 70.9 mmol/l in the second trimester while in the third trimester it reached 52.4 ± 95.3 pmol/l. Comparing the FC-peptide values during first and third trimester the statistical difference was not significant.


Combining of LC n-3 PUFAs and pregnancy yields immunological tolerance and stimulates the production of endogenous insulin in women with T1DM.

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