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By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
Can essential fatty acids REALLY help people with diabetes?
You already know that essential fatty acids found in Krill and Fish oil can help protect the heart and cardiovascular system.
But now, it may be able to control high blood sugar for those who suffer from diabetes.
Effects Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease which affects 346 million people worldwide.
Here in your backyard, 25.8 million Americans are battling diabetes.
There are more than 7 million people who don’t even know they have diabetes.
And an estimated 1.9 million people each year are newly diagnosed.
Diabetes is expected to double by the year 2030!
Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar, due to a lack of insulin produced or your body's inability to utilize insulin released from the pancreas.
There are two forms: Type I, which is characterized by your body not producing insulin from specialized cells in the pancreas; or Type II, which is your body’s resistance to insulin.
As a recap, when you eat and process foods, sugar is released into your bloodstream.
In non-diabetic people, the pancreas releases insulin to shuttle the sugar out of the blood and into the cells to use for energy. This does not happen in diabetes.
Not only do you see rapid increases in blood sugar, but you also have no means of getting that sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
Increased sugar in YOUR blood may lead to increased FAT levels,
mostly in your abdomen
Sedentary lifestyle, high-fat and high-sugar diets may be some reasons to blame.
So, back to essential fatty acids!
This will SHOCK YOU!
Essential Fatty Acids' Role In Diabetes
Essential fatty acids are fats which may be beneficial to altering cholesterol levels, improving triglyceride levels, raising HDL cholesterol, and improving cognitive and mental function.
But now it may show promise by binding to specific molecules, therefore reducing high blood sugar.
PPARγ is a receptor in your body which controls fat cell growth, and lends a hand in increasing sensitivity of your cells to insulin.
The problem: These cells need to bind to something called a ligand in order to activate so it can do its job.
One potent nutrient PPARγ can bind itself to may be essential fatty acids, more specifically DHA and EPA.
DHA and EPA may help control HIGH BLOOD SUGAR
DHA and EPA are found in high amounts in fish products as well as Krill/fish oil supplements.
Back to PPARγ!
When they bind to essential fatty acids, there are increases in cells that produce and burn fat, and cells which are responsible for glucose uptake.
They help shuttle sugar into cells!
This result in lower plasma glucose, or sugar in your blood!
This is a good thing for diabetics!
The binding of PPARγ to essential fatty acids increases the expression of GLUT4.
GLUT4 is a glucose transporter found in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and cardiac muscle.
This transporter is responsible for removing glucose from your blood and shuttling it into the working muscles.
Result: More sugar being used by your body.
This means there is less sugar in your blood and more sugar being used by YOUR muscles for ENERGY!
It also increases Adiponectin, a potent hormone which may help regulate blood sugar levels AND regulates the amount of FAT utilized by your body.
Interesting stuff, huh?
A Fishy Subject
This research is a great stepping stone for further research in human trials.
Less Sugar Spells R-E-L-I-E-F
Diabetes is a disease which affects many people worldwide.
It is also a disease which can lead to illness and premature death.
Diabetes is associated with incidences of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
One reason may be your body’s inability to process and use blood sugar appropriately, leading to resistance in your veins and arteries.
This increases peripheral resistance, leading to future complications
Essential fatty acids have been researched for the benefits they carry for your cardiovascular system.
Now they may show promise for diabetics by controlling high blood sugar levels, through the expression of hormones and genes responsible for controlling blood sugar and burning fat cells.
Krill and fish oil contain high levels of essential fatty acids which may be beneficial in the fight against diabetes.
Could essential fatty acids be the newest fighter in the battle against diabetes?
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Yu, YH. Wu, SC. Cheng, WTK. Mersmann, H. Shen, TL. Ding, ST. The function of porcine PPARγ and dietary fish oil effect on the expression of lipid and glucose metabolism related genes. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2011. Vol. 22(2);pp. 179-186.