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Diabetic? Protect Your Kidneys With Omega-3

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recently funded a study which found that omega-3s may improve the kidney health of diabetics. These findings are significant because diabetics have a considerably higher risk of developing kidney disease.

Researchers from the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge (UK) conducted the study and their findings were published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

The researchers recruited 1,436 diabetics between 13 and 39 years of age for the study.

To evaluate kidney disease risk, researchers measured the level of a protein called albumin in the urine of the participants. Albumin is normally filtered by our kidneys but when they aren't working properly small amounts of the protein can leak into urine.

Over 6.5 years of follow-up, the researchers found significantly lower levels of albumin on average among participants with high intakes of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

This study builds on a number of previous studies including one published by Hong Kong researchers earlier this year. Their findings showed that supplements of omega-3s reduce levels of a protein called creatine among diabetics. Creatine levels are directly linked to kidney damage which can lead to kidney disease.

The link between omega-3 essential fatty acids and benefits for diabetics is quickly growing but even if you are not diabetic, omega-3s can be extremely beneficial. These essential fatty acids have been associated with a number of health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of dementia risk and even improving your mood.

You can increase your omega-3 intake by eating more oily fish such as salmon or mackerel. If you don't care for fish, a high quality fish oil supplement will work as well. Look for one that's certified for purity and potency so you can be sure it doesn't contain dangerous contaminants. Also be sure that the product will deliver at least 650mg of the most important omega-3s, EPA and DHA.

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