A protein supplement given to pregnant women might stop children developing diabetes decades later, suggest scientists. Researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada suggest that adding the supplement taurine could help stave off the late-onset form of the disease, the BBC reports. Diabetes occurs when the body, for whatever reason, cannot produce enough ofthe hormone insulin to properly regulate bloodsugar levels. Insulin is produced in cellsin the pancreas called islet cells, but scientists have found that the pancreas also contains stem cells - master cells which have the ability to turn into replacement islet cells and help the gland working properly through life. Pregnant rats given a low-protein diet have offspring who have far fewer pancreatic stem-cells - on average, only half as many. This suggests that this deficiency in pregnancy could contribute to type II diabetes later in life. However, rat mothers supplemented with taurine through pregnancy and until weaning had normal levels of these stem cells, and maintained them throughout life. Lead researcher Professor Hill is keen to start human trials, and maintains that nutrition during pregnancy could be at the root of many more conditions which develop during life.