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Fish oil and zinc lower chances, improve diabetes factors

Diabetes Update: Those who consistently used fish oil supplements were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and zinc improved glucose control, reduced insulin resistance, and balanced lipids, in two new studies.

Fish oil lowers chances for type 2 diabetes

In this large, long-term study, doctors measured oily and non-oily fish in the diets of 163,706 men and women, aged 50 and older, who submitted one to five 24-hour diet diaries between 2009 and 2012.

Over an average of 10 years of follow-up, compared to those who ate no fish, those who ate fish less than once per week were 18 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes. Those who got at least one serving of fish per week were 22 percent less likely.

Those who reported regularly taking fish oil supplements at the beginning of the study were 9 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes compared to those who didn’t take fish oil supplements. Those who continued taking fish oil supplements throughout the study were 18 percent less likely compared to those who hadn’t taken fish oil supplements.

Reference: Diabetes Care; 2021, Vol. 44, No. 3, 672-80

Zinc improves glycemic control, insulin, and lipids

In this review of 27 studies covering 2,016 participants, daily 25 mg doses of zinc in studies of at least 12 weeks had greater benefit than shorter studies with higher doses.

In the low-dose studies, fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and total and LDL cholesterol levels all improved. In studies where daily zinc doses exceeded 25 mg, long-term average blood sugar levels (A1C), insulin resistance, and triglycerides all improved.

Shorter studies improved fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance, and triglycerides, while longer studies improved fasting and A1C levels, triglycerides, and total and LDL cholesterols.

Reference: Advances in Nutrition; 2021, Vol. 12, No. 1, 141–60

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