Fish Oil and Diabetes: Omega-3 May Lower Blood Sugar

Written by Cassi O'Brien
Reviewed by Kimberly Langdon
omega-3 supplement can help in regulating blood sugar levels

It’s well known that there is a link between high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Having sustained blood sugar can lead to the development of diabetes or worsen pre-existing cases. Keeping blood sugar levels in check is therefore important. Among the natural ways to control blood sugar levels, omega-3 fatty acids have shown great promise in this arena.

What are normal blood sugar levels?

Blood sugar levels measure how much glucose is in the bloodstream. Acids and enzymes in the gut break down food into carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates turn into glucose, a.k.a. sugar, and sent from the gut into the bloodstream.

Insulin takes glucose out of the bloodstream, then moves it into cells. The cells then either use the glucose or store them for future use.

Glucose is the body’s main energy source. Therefore, it is important to have a decent amount. But when there is too much glucose present, it can become dangerous.

nutritive meal with eggs

What happens when you have high blood sugar levels?

Here’s a quick guide to knowing when blood sugar levels are considered high:

*During the period between meals, known as the fasting period, high blood sugar levels are considered any amount greater than 100 mg/dL.

*For the two hours after a meal, blood sugar levels will be elevated but are still not considered high unless they are greater than 120 mg/dL.

Once the levels go over these values, the body goes into a state known as hyperglycemia. The occasional case of hyperglycemia is not harmful and is nothing to worry about. But sustained or frequent hyperglycemia is a cause for alarm. It can result in damage to multiple parts of the body. Examples would be the vascular system, the brain, the kidneys, the eyes, and the nervous system.

Unfortunately, these kinds of health issues can start at an early age, so it’s important to pay close attention. Learning how to control blood sugar early can help prevent damage to overall health.

Omega-3 and blood sugar

Omega-3 fatty acids may be highly effective in naturally lowering blood sugar. In a study done on young adults between the ages of 22 and 26, who maintained a healthy lifestyle, resulted in improved control over blood sugar levels after a meal but had no effect on fasting glucose levels.

The study used DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids extracted from Herring Roe. The study’s findings suggest that taking an omega-3 supplement at a relatively young age may help control blood sugar levels. They may also prevent blood sugar-related issues in the future.

Having high blood sugar levels can be caused by a few factors. The main factor is a diet that contains a large amount of sugar and carbohydrates and insulin resistance. Maintaining a healthy diet is a key part of preventing multiple health issues.

Omega-3 fish oil may come in to save the day in that kind of situation. It can help keep blood sugar levels from making a negative impact when we eat an unhealthy meal.

A study in 2014 showed that omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate how we metabolize glucose. It may decrease the risk of obesity by preventing cells from absorbing too much glucose. It can also prevent damage to the body by counteracting inflammation that can be caused by high blood sugar levels.

fish oil can help with the fat loss but can omega-3 lower blood sugar too?

Another factor that can contribute to high blood sugar levels is genetics. One of the genetic conditions that can lead to hyperglycemia, is Congenital Hyperinsulinism.

In 2014, a study published in Front Endocrinol examined the effect omega-3 could have on children with this condition. It showed a significant decrease in the risk of becoming hyperglycemic in the children that were given omega-3. This demonstrated the effectiveness that omega-3 fatty acids have at controlling blood sugar levels.

Injuries can cause blood sugar issues too

While diet and genetics are the most common factors of blood sugar issues, injuries can also be a cause. Those who had suffered a traumatic brain injury can be at risk for both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. The latter is the state the body enters when there isn’t enough glucose in the bloodstream. An injury to certain parts of the brain can lead to cell death. This disrupts the processes that control blood sugar regulation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important to brain health and the healing process after a brain injury. In a 2013 study, the effect of an omega-3 + vitamin D deficiency, in those recovering from a traumatic brain injury was examined. The results indicated that a lack of omega-3 in a diet could hinder the healing process. It can also lead to a higher risk of impaired blood sugar regulation.

Considering these findings, taking omega-3 supplements after these types of injuries can help regulate blood sugar levels. It may also lead to quicker healing that will further improve glucose regulation.

Conclusion: Is Omega-3 Fish Oil Really That Effective for Controlling Blood Sugar?

When it comes to regulating blood sugar levels, omega-3 fish oil can be a godsend. It has shown remarkable abilities at lowering blood sugar levels naturally, regardless of what the cause of the impaired blood sugar regulation is.

Omega-3 fish oil is a safe and effective health aid that definitely should not be overlooked. Anyone battling issues with blood sugar regulation or is seeking to prevent these issues in the future may benefit from supplementation.

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