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Fish oil holds promise for Those with Type II diabetes

Fish oil improves glucose uptake in muscle cells, new research suggests

June 14, 2006


Findings reported by scientists from Texas A&M University-Kingsville suggest that fish oil improves glucose uptake in muscle cells, and that this action is influenced by the concentration of fish oil.  These results were released on June 10 at the 66th annual meeting of the American Diabetic Association in Washington, DC.

Results of the in vitro study indicate that when the hormone insulin is present, fish oil helps to more efficiently transport glucose into muscle cells.  This is important because blood sugar must get inside muscle cells for proper metabolic functioning and scientists have not yet fully understood how fish oil may impact this in the presence of insulin.  The aim of the study was to evaluate differences in cellular glucose activity with various concentrations of fish oil.

In this study, Omega-3(TM), Ultimate Omega(TM), DHA(TM), and Complete Omega-3-6-9(TM), patented omega-3 fish oil concentrates from Nordic Naturals, Inc. of Watsonville, California, were used.  All of these essential fatty acid blends improved glucose uptake.  Omega-3 (providing 30% EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid] and DHA [docosahexaenoic acid]) and Ultimate Omega (providing 60% EPA and DHA) had the most impact, followed by DHA(TM) (containing 50% DHA, 10% EPA) and Complete Omega-3-6-9(TM), a fish oil and borage oil blend.

In addition, Omega-3 and Ultimate Omega were shown to improve cell viability, a measure of cellular metabolic activity.  Farzad Deyhim, PhD, Associate Professor and Olivia Olivarez completed this work in the Department of Human Sciences.

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