Diabetes Diet: Omega-3 Fatty Acid Benefits

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According to the findings from a 2008 study conducted in France, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids could reduce fat mass in diabetics, as well as improving blood lipid levels associated with the formation of arterial plaque.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health, and improved behaviour and mood.

Diabetes diet: Assessing the results

The researchers, led by Morvarid Kabir from France’s INSERM, randomly assigned the 27 female volunteers to receive either daily supplements of fish oil (three grams, providing 1.8 grams of omega-3) or placebo (paraffin oil) for two months. The subjects did not show signs of high triglyceride (blood fat) levels.

At the end of the study, Kabir and co-workers report significant reductions in total fat mass and the diameter of fat cells beneath the surface of the skin (subcutaneous adipocytes) in the omega-3, but not the placebo, group.

Moreover, risk factors for plaque formation in the arteries (atherogenic markers), such as triacylglycerol levels and the ration of triacylglycerol to HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, were significantly lower as a result of omega-3 supplementation, indicating considerable cardiovascular benefits for the women.

Commenting on the findings the researchers said: ‘A subset of inflammation-related genes was reduced in subcutaneous adipose tissue after the fish oil, but not the placebo.

No significant changes occurred in insulin sensitivity measures.

‘A moderate dose of omega-3 PUFAs for two months reduced adiposity and atherogenic markers without deterioration of insulin sensitivity in subjects with type-2 diabetes’, concluded the researchers.

Some adipose tissue inflammation-related genes were also reduced. These beneficial effects could be linked to morphologic and inflammatory changes in adipose tissue.

Only recently, researchers from the University of Colorado at Denver reported that increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources may protect children at high risk of type-1 diabetes from developing the disease.

An estimated 19 million people are affected by type-2 diabetes in the EU 25, equal to four per cent of the total population. This figure is projected to increase to 26 million by 2030.

If you want to read more about how inflammation can contribute to the onset of diabetes and heart disease, click here:


Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

JAMA, Vol. 298, pp. 1420-1428 

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  • Eating fatty fish to get some omega 3 fats has no problems, if you don’t do it too often. But if you want to supplement your diet with the proper amounts of omega 3 by just eating fish, it could be a health risk. You would have to eat fish almost every day and that could mean dangerous amounts of mercury in your nervous system.

    It is important to have in mind that there are certain conditions to get the benefits fish oil can bring.

    You need to take a good quality fish oil, free from mercury and other contaminants. That is molecularly distilled fish oil.

    Then, you need to take a minimum amount of fish oil, krill oil or cod liver oil at a certain frequency.

    There is not an establish amount of omega 3 for any health benefit but I recommend to take at least 900 mg per day of omega 3 fats (close to 3.000 mg of fish oil), EPA plus DHA, per day. You should increase these amounts if you are overweight or you have degenerative disorders, like hypertension or high triglycerides.

    Also, you should lower your intake of omega 6 fats (mostly grains and grain oils) since omega 3 and omega 6 counteract each other in the body. The best way to reduce omega 6 fats is to eliminate all starches from your diet, that is all grains and grain oils.

    Best wishes,
    Alfredoe

  • This is good information and also studies have shown that a diet by a Dane is doing well against diabetes without drugs

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

  • I have been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, 2 and a half year ago. Can you please advise me on certain foods and amounts( if they are allowed ) I could consume: grapes; peanut butter; smoked fish ; soya sauce; red wine; whole meal pasta; whole meal rice; whole meal pita bread or whole meal rye bread. My last glucose count on fasting was 7.5 I had another test today and it went down to 7.2. I know I can control this with my diet and exercise but my GP wants me to start taking Metformin, which I am reluctant to do. I would appreciate your comments. Many thanks in advance.

  • I have been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, 2 and a half year ago. Can you please advise me on certain foods and amounts( if they are allowed ) I could consume: grapes; peanut butter; smoked fish ; soya sauce; red wine; whole meal pasta; whole meal rice; whole meal pita bread or whole meal rye bread. My last glucose count on fasting was 7.5 I had another test today and it went down to 7.2. I know I can control this with my diet and exercise but my GP wants me to start taking Metformin, which I am reluctant to do. I would appreciate your comments. Many thanks in advance

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