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Omega-3s and Leucine May Help With Insulin Production

People with type-1 diabetes have trouble producing their own insulin, and many eventually lose the ability altogether. A recent study suggests that eating foods rich in branched-chain amino acids such as leucine and long chain omega-3s may help young diabetics continue producing some of their own insulin for longer.

Participants in the study included 1,316 participants ranging in age from 2 to 20 who had been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. Over the course of two years, the researchers followed their dietary intake in order to determine its effect on insulin production.

The researchers found that eating foods packed with omega-3s and leucine was positively associated with higher production of insulin for a longer period of time. Being able to produce at least some of their own insulin may help diabetics reduce the risk of some diabetes complications.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted the study. It was published in the July 2013 issue of Diabetes Care.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.

Leucine is an essential amino acid that cannot be manufactured in the body. It helps protein molecules form, creates new muscle, and helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels. Foods rich in leucine include soybeans, lentils, beef, peanuts, salmon, eggs and milk.

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