Omega 3 And Diabetes Archives

Eating more Omega 3 may well help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise. Estimates are that in a few short years diabetes will be one of the most significant diseases worldwide. Today we wanted to look at diabetes symptoms, and whether increasing your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce your risk of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes, affecting roughly 90 percent of all diabetes sufferers. It is more common in older people, including women, but can also be contracted by younger people.

If you have type 2 diabetes your pancreas is not making sufficient insulin for your body’s needs resulting in too much glucose in your blood. This results in a wide range of symptoms, though can also be characterised by a lack of obvious symptoms, and for this reason it is considered that there are many sufferers who have never been diagnosed.

Those suffering from Type 2 diabetes may notice an increase in urine passed, unusual thirst, blurred vision, a sense of lethargy, mood swings and even notice that small cuts or abrasions may take a long time to heal, and gradual weight gain, and others.Omega 3 and type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes should be distinguished from type 1 diabetes which is a disease of young people, where the pancreas is unable to make insulin. This is much less common.

What are the diabetes risk factors?

The exact causes of type 2 diabetes are mixed and not totally understood, however the risk factors certainly are well understood. These risk factors include a genetic predisposition as well as a range of unhealthy lifestyle factors including poor diet, low levels of exercise, high blood pressure and obesity.

In other words the greatest risk of type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle. And it can be managed in many cases by reversing these factors and increasing the level of exercise, improving the diet and reducing weight.

You are also at greater risk as you get older, though of course there is nothing you can do about this.

Women who have type 2 diabetes however have some specific concerns that are not shared by men. And women who are or intend to be pregnant have some very specific concerns. For example women with diabetes must pay specific attention to managing their diabetes during pregnancy as failure to manage blood sugar levels properly can lead to specific health problems such as high blood pressure and can even lead to health complications for the baby including birth defects or excessive weight.

Can you cure diabetes?

It is more difficult to cure diabetes than to prevent it, and for this reason much effort goes into type 2 diabetes prevention. Once a person has diabetes it is more common to manage it than to cure it, though good management can often lead to remission.

By paying more attention, in the early years of life, to maintaining a healthy lifestyle potential diabetes sufferers may well be able to prevent the condition occurring in the first place.

Does Omega 3 supplementation have a role in preventing or managing diabetes?

It would now seem as a result of a recent Chinese study that one of the tools that diabetes sufferers may use in managing their diabetes or even preventing it is Omega 3 supplementation. A Chinese study of around 110,000 people published in June 2011 has found that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of fish consumed and the incidence of diabetes.

In other words those who ate more fish had a lower level of diabetes.

Of course fish contains the 2 essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats, DHA and EPA. It is well known that these are very important to the proper functioning of your body and there are a wide range of health conditions which may be improved or possibly even prevented by increasing your intake of DHA and EPA. It would seem, from the results of the study, that type 2 diabetes may be one of them.

In the study those with the highest levels of fish intake ate the equivalent of around 7 servings of fish per week. In the US this intake of fish is extremely rare.

The best way to increase your Omega 3 intake to this level is by taking Omega 3 supplements.

It’s fascinating to watch the gradual development of the scientific evidence in support of the conclusion that increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fats has very specific health benefits. The health benefits in relation to cardiovascular disease are now well established, and researchers gradually extending that 2 other conditions such as diabetes.

Of course this study does not prove that taking Omega 3 supplements, or eating lots of fish, can prevent or cure diabetes, but it certainly gives grounds for further study, and supports the conclusion that there are widespread health benefits for all of us in increasing our intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

To read the study click here

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Omega 3 supplementation may help prevent or reduce the incidence of diabetes

There is a growing body of evidence that one of the major causes of much disease in our society is inflammation. Inflammation is a silent killer, and many of us are completely unaware that it may be happening to us right now.

It has been well known for some time that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. For many years doctors have prescribed low doses of aspirin for their anti-inflammatory properties, however this can have side effects. Taking Omega 3 supplementsor eating more fish does not have serious side-effects.

Suggestions now are that inflammation also has a significant role in the onset of diabetes amongst overweight or obese people. Type II diabetes can occur when an overweight person starts to suffer from inflammation.

Whilst there is a clear link between being overweight or obese and contracting diabetes it is not demonstrated that it is simply the fact of being overweight that causes the diabetes. There must be a cause for the diabetes, and being overweight triggers the cause.Omega 3 and diabetes

And it seems one of the major culprits is now considered to be inflammation in those who are overweight or obese. Several studies have found that inflammation in overweight people can be provoked by immune cells which are called macrophages and that this in turn leads to insulin resistance, and then to Type II diabetes.

The researchers have also demonstrated that obesity alone without the inflammation is not a cause of insulin resistance. This research has been done on mice and goes by the long winded name of  “JNK1 in hematopoietically derived cells contributes to diet-induced inflammation and insulin resistance without affecting obesity.” You can read it here.

Of course there are drugs specifically targeted at reducing inflammation, however in many cases the side effects may outweigh the benefits. However foods such as fish high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids can also combat inflammation very successfully without side-effects.

And of course there are also foods which you should avoid as these have a negative effect, and in particular it is best to avoid alcohol, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils and saturated fats. In see a complete anti-inflammatory food pyramid here if you are interested in learning more about what you should not be eating and what you should.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 essential fatty acids may well be the reason why they are so beneficial to so many areas of the health, but this is still in the process of being proven. However many studies are now suggesting that increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, most easily by taking fish oil supplements, may have a positive and beneficial effect on so many areas of your health.

Diabetes may also now be one of those conditions positively affected, or possibly even prevented, by increasing your dietary intake of essential fatty acids.

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Should you be taking a fish oil tablet for diabetes?

Every year around a million people in the US are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Although not usually fatal type 2 diabetes is a serious disease, and can have a major effect on the life of the sufferer. Is there a link between fish oil and diabetes reduction?

The increase in the rate of diabetes in our population has scientists worried. Along with the impact on the lives of the diabetes sufferers and their family there are enormous costs imposed on the health system and the sufferer, often for life. So what can be done to lower the incidence of diabetes in the population?

Certainly there are a range of lifestyle factors which can help with the reduction in diabetes, such as dietary changes, levels of exercise and losing weight. However here we concentrate on the benefits of Omega 3 fats, so we want to look at Omega 3 and diabetes.

There is now little doubt that there is clear evidence supporting the link between fish oil and diabetes relief. Fish oil is of course the major source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and almost all good Omega 3 supplements utilize fish oil for their Omega 3. The main fats that are of benefit to diabetes are known as EPA and DHA. We have written about these elsewhere on this site.Fish oil and diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. The disease causes insulin in the blood to be unable to sufficiently deal with the levels of blood sugar, so these become elevated.

And the insulin is less able to assist with the uptake of the fats into the cells, so levels of fats in the blood rise. People with diabetes tend to have lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of triglycerides in the blood, and the figures also show that people with type 2 diabetes have a 6 times higher risk of heart attack and a 3 to 8 times higher risk of heart disease than people who do not.

So what is the fish oil and diabetes link? Is there any evidence that taking Omega 3 fish oil has any effect on diabetes? Yes, scientists are now convinced that Omega 3 fish oil and diabetes relief are inextricably linked, and that taking fish oil lowers some of the risks inherent to sufferers of diabetes.

Why is there a link between diabetes and fish? Because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, and studies have shown that polyunsaturated Omega 3 fats reduce the amount of triglycerides in the blood, reduce abnormal heart rhythms, reduce blood pressure by small but significant amounts, and improve blood clotting regulation.

A large study on the link between fish oil and diabetes found that taking one gram of fish oil a day reduced cardiovascular mortality by 30% and the risk of death by heart attack by 45%. Blood pressure is lowered and circulation problems reduced. As the risks of heart problems are way higher for diabetes sufferers this is excellent news indeed.

A number of studies have now confirmed that diabetes and fish oil intake are linked, that more Omega 3 in the diet helps reduce the negative effects of type 2 diabetes.

How should you be getting your fish oil? Well of course eating fish high in fat is a good way, the American Heart Association recommends eating 2 fish meals a week, but there are also warnings for certain people of eating too much fish due to the incidence of some heavy metals and in particular contaminants like mercury in fish.

So by far the best way to get daily Omega 3 in the diet is to take the very best Omega 3 supplements. The best ones use fish from the southern ocean, the cleanest ocean in the world. These fish are naturally high in DHA and EPA, and the oil taken is then purified by a process called molecular distillation so that the are no detectable levels of nasty contaminants in the oil.

And the best Omega 3 supplements also have higher levels of DHA, the most important Omega 3 fat, than regular fish oil capsules.

So it seems clear, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes there are good reasons to include quality fish oil your diet daily.
The lowering of the risks of death and disease are so striking it’s worth making the effort to up your intake of fish oil, daily.

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