Diabetic? Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids Could Help Save your Heart
Daily consumption of omega-3 essential fatty acids may reduce blood levels of homocysteine in diabetics. Homocysteine is a compound in the blood that has been linked to heart disease.
Iranian researchers conducted a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that was published in the June edition of the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.
The researchers recruited 81 diabetics for the study.
The participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group was given a 3g supplement of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which provided 1,548 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 828 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and 338 mg of other omega-3 fatty acids.
The other group was given about 2g of sunflower oil as a placebo.
After two months of supplementation, the omega-3 group saw a 22% reduction in homocysteine levels (3.10 micromoles per litre of blood) whereas the placebo group saw a statistically insignificant reduction of 1% (.10 micromoles per litre).
A large body of research has already linked omega-3 essential fatty acid consumption with heart benefits and it appears that these benefits may be particularly significant for diabetics.
Research has also shown that omega-3s may lower the risk of developing dementia, elevate mood and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
The best way to get more omega-3s through diet alone is by eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, and albacore tuna.
Increasing your omega-3 essential fatty acid consumption even just a little bit can have a substantial effect on health. In fact, a mere 300-500 mg daily increase (approximately 3 servings of fatty fish per week) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiac death.
If fish isn't to your taste, another option is to take a quality fish oil supplement high in EPA and DHA and certified for purity.