Increasing the intake of n-3 FAs has been shown to be both preventative in a healthy population and beneficial in people with diabetes (Montori et al 2000, Nettleton & Katz 2004, Sirtori and Galli 2002, Sirtori et al 1997). Although there have been random reports of improved glucose control with fish oil supplementation, a review published in 2004 cites two large meta-analyses of trials with n-3 long-chain PUFAs or fish oil in subjects with diabetes, which confirmed no adverse or positive effect on glucose control or impact on glycated haemoglobin.
A meta-analysis of 18 trials found that fish oil supplementation lowers plasma triglyceride levels in type 2 diabetic subjects; however, a possible rise in plasma LDL-cholesterol may occur (Montori et al 2000). Additionally, no significant effect occurs © 2007 Elsevier Australia
on glycaemic control, total cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol. In addition to this, more recent studies reveal an average of 7.4% increase in HDL levels concomitant with a 25% reduction in tryglycerides in response to 203 g of EPA/DHA supplementation over 6 months (Sirtori et al 1998). Such findings are supported by the results of other trials in the diabetic population (Nettleton & Katz 2005).
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