omega 3 diabetes

Did You Know?

Omega 3 reduces triglycerides and lowers blood pressure.


Omega 3 and Diabetes

Research on the benefits or side effects regarding regular intake of Omega 3 fatty acids and those with diabetes is ongoing. The studies to date have been either pro or con leaving both patients and their doctors at a loss. If you do have diabetes and want to make Omega 3 supplements as part of your daily routine, talk to your doctor first and then proceed with caution.

Researchers know that regular use of Omega 3 fatty acids helps improve blood flow, reduces triglycerides, and lowers blood pressure. All of these benefits are extremely helpful to those with diabetes. On the other hand, the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on blood sugar levels are still up in the air.

With some study groups, the blood sugar levels rose. Others found no change, and even then some lowered. This has baffled researchers and is leading to confusion with the medical world as to whether they should tell patients to take Omega 3 or not.

Effects on Blood Sugar Levels

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality headed up the studies in Southern California. They closely monitored patients' total cholesterol levels and also their HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides. At the same time, they monitored the different participants' blood sugar levels to see if those changed. They worked with more than a dozen different groups and found that Omega 3 levels taken from fish helped triglyceride levels to drop in comparison to those taking a placebo. At the same time the Omega 3 supplements did not affect any other cholesterol level. None of the Omega 3 supplements affected blood sugar levels.

What do the Doctors Say?

It seems that many of these differences lie in the form of Omega 3 oil that is taken. Omega 3 that comes from plants and vegetable oils doesn't seem to help, while fish oil supplements do make a difference. It is believed that this flux occurs because flax seed and other seed oils contain higher levels of ALA, and diabetic people have a harder time processing ALA effectively. Fish oil supplements are easy to take, more effective, and are usually mercury free (check the label to make sure before purchasing) making them the best way to add Omega 3 supplements to a diabetic patient's diet.

Additional research shows that those with diabetes often have high triglyceride levels and low HDL levels. Because many researchers have discovered that HDL levels increase while triglyceride levels drop with regular intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, doctors are quick to suggest their patients take Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. Regular use can prevent heart disease and stroke in many people.

It is apparent that the benefits of Omega 3 or fish oil supplements are high. For this reason, diabetics should not avoid them due to the slim margin of warnings. Instead, visit your doctor and ask to be more closely monitored while taking any Omega 3 supplement. As long as your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels are not spiking, taking Omega 3 supplements can become part of your daily routine.