Diabetics avoid kidney problems when they eat fish at least twice a week. (Photo: Stock File)
Omega-3 may boost diabetics' kidney health
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
Kidney function improved in type-1 diabetics with the highest average intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) versus those who consumed the lower fatty acids intakes, according to the latest issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
The results are based on data from 1,436 people aged 13-39 who partook in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetics are at increased risk of kidney disease.
Type-1 diabetes is a condition involving a person’s inability to produce insulin due to damaged pancreatic cells; it is thought to be an autoimmune response. It is most common among people of European descent, and some two million Europeans and North Americans suffer from it.
The incidence of type-1 diabetes is allegedly rising by about 3 per cent annually, and new cases are estimated to ascend by 40 per cent between 2000-10.
Led by Dr Amanda Adler from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, researchers measured the excretion of the protein albumin in the 1,436 participants’ urine. Albumin leaks from the kidney into the urine of people affected with kidney problem.
A level of 30 mg of albumin in the urine per 24 hrs is indicative of adequate liver function.
The results showed that people with a higher average intake of omega-3s had albumin excretion levels 22.7 mg per 24 hours lower than participants with the lowest average intakes of the fatty acids.
Yet, no link was found with the incidence of kidney damage or raised albumin levels.
“Dietary omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids appear inversely associated with the degree, but not with the incidence of albuminuria in type-1 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “These findings require further investigation in prospective studies.”
Eating fish twice weekly might thus help diabetics avoid kidney problems, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, of which Dr Adler was co-autor. The results came from a study of albumin in the urine of 23,000 middle-aged and older English women and men who participated in a European cancer study, of whom 517 had diabetes.
Results of a double-blind placebo-controlled trial in Hong Kong published earlier this year suggested that omega-3 fatty acid supplements could improve diabetics’ kidney health. These researchers examined kidney function through creatine levels, with high levels symptomatic of damage.
“Our results showed a significant decrease in serum creatinine level after fish-oil supplement in type-2 diabetes mellitus patients,” stated the researchers in Diabetic Medicine. “Prior studies have [also] suggested that fish-oil supplement has renoprotective effects in diabetes mellitus.”
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007 reported that higher consumption of omega-3 may cut the risk of type-1 diabetes by 55 per cent, per the analysed data of 1,770 children at high risk of developing the condition.
- Krill preclinical studies presented at health council
By Natalia Real