flaxseed oil as good as fish oil for diabetics with heart disease

Diabetics have an increased risk of heart disease. But a simple seed may help with both.

Fish oil and flaxseed oil are both important sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. But there are a number of reasons—both taste and ethics—that one may prefer a vegetarian source. A recent study put the two supplements to the test in type 2 diabetics who had coronary heart disease.

Ninety people were divided into three equal groups. While one group received a placebo for 12 weeks, the other groups took either 1,000mg of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or 1,000mg of fatty acids from flax seed oil.

Compared to the placebo, fish oil and flaxseed oil both significantly reduced insulin levels and both significantly increased total nitrite and antioxidant capacity.

Flaxseed oil significantly reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation used to measure the risk of heart disease and stroke, while fish oil reduced glutathione levels.

Overall, the researchers conclude that flaxseed oil is as effective as fish oil for reducing insulin and increasing nitrite and antioxidant capacity in diabetics at risk of heart disease. It also may have the advantage in reducing C-reactive protein.

Earlier research supports the benefit of flaxseed for diabetics. In a small study of people with metabolic syndrome, 30g of flaxseed powder was shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance.

Phytother Res 2019;33(7):1943-1951

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For more information, and tons of delicious recipes, for treating and preventing diabetes and heart disease, see Linda's The All-New Vegetarian Passport: a comprehensive health book and cookbook all in one.

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 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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