Type 2 diabetics are at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Over 2,000 studies confirm the role of omega-3 essential fatty acids from diet and supplements in fighting cardiovascular disease, but the most noticeable benefit of omega-3's in diabetes is something most diabetics do not expect.
Fish Oil, Diabetes, and Heart Disease
There is a special relationship between sugary foods and diabetes. When sugary foods are cooked with high heat, the fats within them undergo what chemists call the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction creates a kind of caramel which in turn can "gunk up" fine blood vessels all over the body. Insulin is produced by the pancreas but cannot travel where it is needed. The pancreas gets messages that blood sugar levels are high and produces even more insulin that cannot reach the locations that need it. Even worse, the insulin that does enter circulation preferentially stores fat and leaves sugar in the bloodstream. Diabetes is a disease that tends to get worse and worse as time goes by for this reason. The omega-3 essential fatty acidsin fish oil help reverse this process. The body uses omega-3 essential fatty acids to make the hormones that reduce inflammation. When there is less inflammation, there is less swelling between tissues, and blood circulates better. Simply relieving inflammation can cause the belly to lose up to 1/3 of its mass—not by reducing belly fat, but removing fluid between fat cells that keep the fat layer tight. And since belly "fat" is the prime culprit in the high blood pressure that wears out the heart and kidneys, diabetics get a special cardiovascular boost from fish oil. But there is another effect that most diabetics will notice far more.
Fish Oil and Appetite
It's a well-established fact that omega-3 essential fatty acids reduce appetite. Whether it's the oil from Korean pine nuts, flaxseed oil, a handful of almonds, or a fish oil capsule, getting about 5 grams of healthy fat 30 minutes before a meal greatly reduces appetite. Diabetics who eat less need less insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Numerous studies find that regular use of fish oil, Korean pine nut oil, or just eating up to 1 oz (approximately 30 grams) of nuts each day lowers appetite enough that diabetics can lose weight. This happens even though nuts are a high-fat food and fish oil and Korean pine nut oil are essentially 100% fat. Fish oil, nuts, and pine nut oil all protect against cardiovascular disease. They all reduce appetite. They help diabetics get control over their blood sugar levels by reducing consumption of food. Getting healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids not just every day but before every meal can help reverse the spiral of ill effects diabetes causes. Along with appropriate medication, exercise, and dietary restraint, omega-3 essential fatty acids protect against the dreaded complications of type 2 diabetes and may even help reverse the disease.