Can Omega-3s Improve Insulin Sensitivity And Help Reduce Insulin Resistance?
If you are looking to stay healthy and decrease your risk of diabetes, then you need to keep your insulin sensitivity as high as possible. Insulin is our body's key to unlocking the transport process for nutrients to move from the blood into cells throughout the body. When our cells become less sensitive to insulin, sugar stays in the blood for longer than it should. High blood sugar levels and low insulin sensitivity leads to diabetes. These are some early prediabetes symptoms.
Omega-3 fats are essential for our health and are the only fat that we do not consume adequate quantities of from our diet. These fats help to keep nerves healthy, reduce inflammation and are important components of all cells throughout the body. Our modern diet does provide enough omega-3s from foods and so many people choose to use supplements to achieve a suggested intake of 1 g/d (Antarctic Krill Oil).
Clinical research shows a direct relationship between the amount of omega-3s in the blood (EPA, DPA and DHA) and insulin sensitivity. Individuals with higher level of omega-3s have higher sensitivity to insulin and a better ability to clear sugar from the blood using a lower amount of insulin. Higher omega 3s were also associated with lower inflammation and lower blood lipids.
These findings provide an interesting insight into the relationship between omega-3s and blood sugar control and diabetes risk. Not only does high omega-3s increase insulin sensitivity, but it also decreases the demand on the pancreas for insulin product. In conclusion, omega-3s appear to improve insulin sensitivity and other aspects of diabetes risk such as insulin resistance.
Ref: Albert et al. Higher omega-3 index is associated with increased insulin sensitivity and more favourable metabolic profile in middle-aged overweight men. Scientific Reports. 4: 6697 (2014).