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This supplement could prevent type 2 diabetes if you are taking it

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
How this supplement could help prevent type 2 diabetes

New research suggests taking fish oil supplements that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids have benefits for lowering our chances of the disease that is now considered a global epidemic.

Type 2 diabetes rates are on the rise worldwide. Some risk factors for the disease include genetics, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inactivity, aging and fat accumulation in the mid-section. Researchers are still not certain why some people develop type 2 diabetes, making prevention important.

You can lower your chances of diabetes by getting plenty of exercise, eating a heart healthy diet that is primarily plant based, maintaining a normal weight and by controlling your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The study that will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), found omega-3 fatty acids raise the level of an important hormone in the body known as adiponectin.

Adiponectin is linked to lower incidence of heart disease and inflammation that can lead to type 2 diabetes; found in long-term studies.

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Lead author, Jason Wu, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health said in a press release, "By reviewing evidence from existing randomized clinical trials, we found that fish oil supplementation caused modest increases in adiponectin in the blood of humans."

The Harvard team reviewed 14 randomized, placebo controlled trials for their analysis, finding fish oil supplements raised adiponectin levels by 0.37 ug/mL compared to placebo that primarily included sunflower and olive oil.

The study authors note a wide range of differences among the 682 subjects in the studies that suggests fish oil’s influence of type 2 diabetes prevention might vary among populations.

Wu said it remains unclear whether fish oil supplements improve glucose metabolism or can definitely prevent type 2 diabetes, but the higher levels of adiponectin from taking the omega-3 fatty acids suggests there are benefits.

Speak with your doctor before starting any supplement. If you have been told you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, adding fish oil supplements might help prevent the disease, combined with other healthy lifestyle interventions.

Source: The Endocrine Society