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Old 07-22-2011, 09:41 AM
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Default Omega 3 fatty acids and diabetes risk�more than just fish oil?

Perhaps other omega3 oils are better than fish oil.

Background Nearly 12% of US adults have type 2 diabetes, a prevalence 25% greater than that reported only 20 y ago. Although the nation's battles with caloric overconsumption and obesity are largely to blame, some research suggests that a shift in the types of dietary fats might also be involved. Of particular interest is the well-documented inverse relation between fish oil consumption and diabetes risk. Not all research, however, is consistent in this regard, with some showing increasing risk with greater consumption of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids typically found in marine foods. Three independent studies, accompanied by a corresponding editorial by Edith Feskens from Wageningen University, published in the August 2011 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition contribute new insight into how consumption of various omega-3 fatty acids might be related to diabetes risk.

Study Design Two of the investigations were conducted in Chinese populations�one using data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study (43,176 men and women), the other from the Shanghai Health Studies (116,156 men and women). Whereas the Singapore study related total omega-3, nonmarine-derived omega-3, and seafood-derived omega-3 intake with risk of diabetes, the Shanghai study compared intakes of various types of seafood and total omega-3 intake with diabetes risk. The third study, based in the United States, followed a cohort of adults (3088 men and women); blood concentrations of various seafood- and plant-based omega-3 fatty acids were studied in regard to their association with diabetes risk.

Results The Singapore study documented an inverse relation between plant-derived omega-3 intake, but not seafood-derived omega-3 intake, and risk of diabetes. Data from the Shanghai cohort suggested decreased diabetes risk with increased seafood intake, although the relation was stronger for women than men. Results from the US cohort suggested that several forms (marine and plant) of omega-3 fats were related to lower risk of diabetes.

Conclusions In her accompanying editorial, Feskens queries, "in the prevention of type 2 diabetes: should we recommend vegetables oils instead of fatty fish?" Indeed, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (such as alpha-linolenic acid, a dietary essential) have been shown in numerous studies to be as inversely related to diabetes risk, if not more so, as marine oils. She also urges additional research using fatty acid intake biomarkers and further investigation of the inherent interactions between genetics and diet on diabetes incidence and progression.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:35 PM
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Interesting. Sometimes when there's controversy there may be a bit of truth on both sides. These studies keep me on my toes and perpetually CONFUSED.

If the Gerson clinic has been using flax oil for therapuetic reasons on cancer patients there are some true benefits that we can derive from it
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:19 AM
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Yes mommysunshine. Controversies like coffee and eggs. Someday, we will know for sure. Or will we ever?

I feel it is best to get omega3 from vegetables, but I do take fish oil when I have a bottle available. It is so convenient. Flax is the best, except for men. Too many phytoestrogens. So for me, flax is a few weeks on then a long break.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:26 PM
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In order to make sense of these studies it's important to look at the full text and examine the ways the data was obtained.
I don't know if any of you have ever tried filling in a food frequency questionaire but you would have to have extremely good recall or an extremely boring diet to work out with any degree of accuracy what your omega 3 intake was last week last month last year or for the last 3 yrs.
When people look at the data they've collected and then try to work our what the average intakes would be the figures take guesswork and then extrapolate from that to the point where the results really are not credible or useful.

If we want to know what a person's omega 3 status is we need to take a sample of blood and measure the omega 3 omega 6 ratio.
In the same way if we want to know a person's vitamin D level we need a 25(OH)D test. EVERYTHING else is guesswork and simply not sufficiently reliable to be worth reporting let alone worth basing any person decision making on.

When it come to Diabetes incidence we all understand this is a problem of GLUCOSE metabolism and while it MAY be that omega 3 does delay the onset of diabetes by resolving the inflammation resulting from the consequences of excess glucose/fructose consumption and the problems arising from dysfunctional glucose/fructose metabolism. Omega 3 like Vitamin D, Magnesium, Melatonin is an anti inflammatory substance and so deficiency in omega 3 (and vitamin d3, magnesium, melatonin) will increase the risk of diabetes incidence but if we want to reduce the incidence of diabetes we must focus our attention on the primary causal factors and that means reducing our reliance on those substances that raise blood glucose high and fast or cause elevated triglycerides levels. Refined carbohydrates sugars and high dietary fructose are the root cause of the problem, low anti inflammatory reserves merely exacerbate the problem. It's those foods that weren't available to previous generations and which have been introduced over the last 100yrs that are driving the current epidemics.

We have to bear in mind that much research is published to meet an agenda. What is fashionable is likely to get published and people who need to get researched published will follow trends and produce me too papers that produce data that fits in with current expectations. People WANT TO BELIEVE that vegetable oils are healthy and saturated fat is not. Producing papers that sound like they are meeting popular fashionable ideas but that don't actually produce hard evidence to support those ideas is not helpful.
We have been badly let down by MOST MODERN NUTRITIONAL RESEARCH and these papers don't add much valuable information to the current debate.
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