Omega-3s may prevent type 1 diabetes in kids

October 1, 2007 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Omega-3s may prevent type 1 diabetes in kids
A higher intake of omega-3 fats may protect children with a family history of type 1 diabetes from developing the disease.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined 1,770 children, aged one and older, who were at high risk for type 1 diabetes to determine whether omega-3 intake had effect on developing the condition.

Parents completed annual surveys that recorded the frequency of omega-3 intake in the children at age 3, 6, and 9. The children also received regular blood tests for auto-antibodies that would signal the onset of type 1 diabetes.

The most common sources of omega-3 fat were from plants - soy, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed - not fatty fish. At the end of the six year study, the researchers found that each 800 milligram increase of daily omega-3 fat intake was associated with a 55% drop in the risk of having diabetes auto-antibodies.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that is characterized by minimal insulin production by the islet cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the body can not clear sugar from the bloodstream. Hence, type 1 diabetics have a lifelong dependency on insulin injections.

An estimated 200,000 Canadians have Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in childhood.  For more information see Leslie's interview on Canada AM.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.