The role of diet in type 1 diabetes development is poorly understood. Metabolites, which reflect dietary response, may help elucidate this role. We explored metabolomics and lipidomics differences between 352 cases of islet autoimmunity (IA) and controls in the TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) study. We created dietary patterns reflecting pre-IA metabolite differences between groups and examined their association with IA. Secondary outcomes included IA cases positive for multiple autoantibodies (mAb+). The association of 853 plasma metabolites with outcomes was tested at seroconversion to IA, just prior to seroconversion, and during infancy. Key compounds in enriched metabolite sets were used to create dietary patterns reflecting metabolite composition, which were then tested for association with outcomes in the nested case-control subset and the full TEDDY cohort. Unsaturated phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, phosphatidylethanolamines, glucosylceramides, and phospholipid ethers in infancy were inversely associated with mAb+ risk, while dicarboxylic acids were associated with an increased risk. An infancy dietary pattern representing higher levels of unsaturated phosphatidylcholines and phospholipid ethers, and lower sphingomyelins was protective for mAb+ in the nested case-control study only. Characterization of this high-risk infant metabolomics profile may help shape the future of early diagnosis or prevention efforts.
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