3 easy ways to reverse diabetes and insulin resistance with Omega-3 | Omega-3 Natural Medicine For hyperglycemia

Are Omega-3 Fats Good for Diabetes?

Are Omega-3 Fats Good for Diabetes?
You may have heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for you. Is this true for people with diabetes? If so, what’s the best way to get them?

A new study from England found that women who consume more omega 3s have a healthier mix of gut bacteria. These bacteria have been found to reduce the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

A study from Harvard University found that omega 3s raise levels of a hormone called adiponectin, which increases insulin sensitivity. Researchers felt this might help prevent or control Type 2 diabetes.

Omega 3s are a group of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). There are three kinds of omega 3s. Those known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are mostly found in fish.

A third type, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found in plants. The body can use ALA to produce small amounts of the other types.

All three types help reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease and stroke, and decrease insulin resistance. They seem to prevent depression and help with brain function. EPA seems to be especially important to help brains grown in childhood and to keep them strong in old age.

The other major category of PUFA is omega-6 fatty acids. We need them, too, and in close to equal amounts with omega 3s. Both types help the body make hormones that tend to balance each other out. For example, omega-6-derived hormones may start inflammation the body uses to fight infection. Omega-3-derived hormones stop inflammation when the fight is over.

The problem is the modern food environment. According to an article in Nutrition Journal, “A healthy diet should consist of roughly one to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3.”

Grain-fed meat and processed foods are extremely high in omega 6, so people get far too much. We need to eat more omega 3 and cut down omega 6 to regain balance.

Holistic doctor Andrew Weil, MD, believes that, “The imbalance [between omega 6 and omega 3] may explain the rise of such diseases as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity, and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body. The imbalance may also contribute to obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity, and even a tendency toward violence.”

How to get your omega 3s

 

The richest source of omega 3s is fatty fish, such as sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon. Cod liver oil, which parents used to give their kids back in the day, is a tremendous source.

You mostly have to get EPA and DHA from seafood, but you can get ALA from plant sources, and your body can convert some of it to EPA. Some food sources of ALA are flaxseeds or oil, chia seeds or oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, tofu, walnuts, and walnut oil.

You probably don’t eat much of those, except maybe the soy and walnuts, but a lot of your PUFA intake comes from the cooking oil you use. When you buy fried food at a restaurant, it’s probably been cooked in omega-6 oil. Vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed are nearly all omega 6. Often these are packaged in bottles that simply say “vegetable oil.”

Many websites say a better alternative may be canola (rapeseed) oil, which is much higher in omega 3. But some authorities caution against canola, because it is a genetically modified product and has usually been heavily processed. I’m not sure who is right about this. I still use canola oil in my kitchen.

Cooking with olive oil will give more omega 3s, but it’s expensive. I would recommend olive oil in salad dressings, but in frying, the best plan may be to fry less, to use canola oil when you do fry, and to sauté or parboil more.

If you’re going to eat meat, you don’t want it to be from grain-fed animals. Grass-fed beef is 4–7 times higher in omega 3 than commercial, grain-fed beef. Butter from grass-fed cows is also higher in omega 3 and lower in omega 6 than butter from grain-fed cows.

You can buy dairy products or eggs enriched with omega 3s, or just skip the food and buy omega-3 capsules.

Another vegetarian source is algae or seaweed. That’s where the fish get it. You can buy seaweed wafers to eat, which I very much like. There is also algae oil, which is made into vegetarian omega-3 capsules.

The main thing is to limit intake of processed foods and fast foods, because those are almost always full of omega-6 oils.

 

Omega-3 Supplement Guide: What to Buy and Why

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for your health.

Eating whole foods that are rich in omega-3s, like fatty fish is the best way to get enough.

If you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, you may want to consider taking a supplement.

However, there are hundreds of different omega-3 supplements available. Not all of them have the same health benefits.

This detailed guide explains everything you need to know about omega-3 supplements.

 

 

 

Omega-3s come in several forms

Fish oil comes in both natural and processed forms.

The processing can affect the form of the fatty acids. This is important, because some forms are absorbed better than others.

  • Fish. In whole fish, omega-3 fatty acids are present as free fatty acids, phospholipids, and triglycerides.
  • Fish oil. In conventional fish oils, omega-3 fatty acids are mostly present as triglycerides.
  • Processed fish oil. When fish oils are refined, food chemists often convert the triglycerides into ethyl esters, allowing them to adjust the concentration of DHA and EPA in the oil.
  • Reformed triglycerides. The ethyl esters in processed fish oils can be converted back into triglycerides, which are then termed “reformed” triglycerides.

All of these forms have health benefits, but studies indicate that the absorption of omega-3 from ethyl esters is not as good as from the other forms — although some studies suggest they are equally well absorbed (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

 

Natural fish oil

This is the oil that comes from the tissue of oily fish, mostly in the form of triglycerides. It’s the closest thing you can get to real fish.

Natural fish oil contains several important nutrients.

The amount of omega-3s in fish oil — including both EPA and DHA — ranges from 18–31%, but the amount varies between fish species

Additionally, natural fish oil boasts vitamins A and D.

Salmon, sardines, herring, menhaden and cod liver are among the most common sources of natural fish oil. These oils are available in capsules or liquid form (6Trusted Source).

 

 

Processed fish oil

Processed fish oil is purified and/or concentrated. It consists of ethyl esters or triglycerides.

Purification rids the oil of contaminants, such as mercury and PCBs. Concentrating the oil can also increase EPA and DHA levels. In fact, some oils may contain up to 50–90% pure EPA and/or DHA.

Processed fish oils make up the vast majority of the fish oil market, as they’re cheap and usually come in capsules, which are popular with consumers.

Your body doesn’t absorb processed fish oil as well as natural fish oil when it’s in the ethyl ester form. Ethyl esters also seem to be more prone to oxidation and rancidity than triglycerides (7).

However, some manufacturers process the oil even further to convert it back into a synthetic triglyceride form, which is well absorbed (1Trusted Source, 8).

These oils are referred to as reformed (or re-esterified) triglycerides. They’re the most expensive fish oil supplements and only make up a small percentage of the market.

 

Krill oil

Krill oil is extracted from Antarctic krill, a small shrimp-like animal. Krill oil contains omega-3s in both triglyceride and phospholipid form (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 is absorbed just as well from the phospholipids in krill oil as from the triglycerides in fish oil — sometimes even better (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Krill oil is highly resistant to oxidation, as it naturally contains a potent antioxidant called astaxanthin (15Trusted Source).

Additionally, krill are very small and have a short lifespan, so they don’t accumulate many contaminants during their lifetime. Therefore, their oil doesn’t need to be purified and is rarely found in the ethyl ester form.

 

 

Green-lipped mussel oil

The green-lipped mussel is native to New Zealand, and its oil is usually in the form of triglycerides and free fatty acids.

Other than EPA and DHA, it also contains trace amounts of eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA). This rare omega-3 fatty acid may be even more effective at lowering inflammation than other omega-3s (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Consuming green-lipped mussel oil, rather than fish oil, is considered to be environmentally friendly.

 

 

Mammalian oil

Mammalian omega-3 oil is made from seal blubber and is in the form of natural triglycerides.

In addition to EPA and DHA, it also contains relatively high amounts of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), an omega-3 fatty acid with several potential health benefits. Mammalian omega-3 oil is also exceptionally low in omega-6 (18Trusted Source).

 

 

ALA oil

ALA is short for alpha-linolenic acid. It’s the plant form of omega-3s.

It’s found in particularly high amounts in flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

Your body can convert it into EPA or DHA, but this conversion process is inefficient. Most plant oils are also higher in omega-6s than they are in omega-3s (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

 

 

Algal oil

Marine algae, particularly microalgae, are another triglyceride source of EPA and DHA.

Actually, the EPA and DHA in fish originate in algae. It’s eaten by smaller fish and moves up the food chain from there.

Studies show that algal oil is even more concentrated in omega-3s, particularly DHA, than fish oil. It’s a particularly good source for vegetarians and vegans (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

It may also contain important minerals like iodine.

Furthermore, algal oil is considered to be environmentally friendly. It doesn’t contain any contaminants, such as heavy metals, which makes it a sustainable, healthy option.

 

 

Omega-3 capsules

Omega-3 oils are commonly found in capsules or soft gels.

These are popular with consumers since they don’t have a taste and are easy to swallow.

The capsules are usually made from a soft layer of gelatin, and many manufacturers also use enteric coating.

Enteric coating helps keep the capsule from dissolving until it reaches your small intestine. This is common in fish oil capsules, as it prevents fish burps.

However, it can also mask the foul smell of rancid fish oil.

If you take omega-3 capsules, it may be a good idea to open one from time to time and smell it in order to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid.

 

What to look for when buying supplements

When shopping for an omega-3 supplement, always read the label carefully.

 

 

Also check the following:

  • Type of omega-3. Many omega-3 supplements often contain little, if any, EPA and DHA — the most important types of omega-3s. Make sure your supplement contains these.
  • Amount of omega-3. A supplement may say on the front that it contains 1,000 mg of fish oil per capsule. However, on the back you’ll read that EPA and DHA are only 320 mg.
  • Form of omega-3. For better absorption, look for FFA (free fatty acids), TG, rTG (triglycerides and reformed triglycerides), and PLs (phospholipids), rather than EE (ethyl esters).
  • Purity and authenticity. Try to buy products that have either the GOED standard for purity or a third-party seal. These labels show that they’re safe and contain what they say they do.
  • Freshness. Omega-3s are prone to going rancid. Once they go bad, they’ll have a foul smell and become less potent or even harmful. Always check the date, smell the product, and see if it contains an antioxidant like vitamin E.
  • Sustainability. Try to buy fish oil that the MSC, the Environmental Defense Fund, or a similar organization has certified. Small fish with short lifespans tend to be more sustainable.

 

Which omega-3 supplements are the best?

A regular fish oil supplement is probably the best choice for most people looking to improve their well-being.

However, just remember that natural fish oil usually consists of no more than 30% EPA and DHA, which means 70% is other fats.

You can also buy supplements that contain a higher concentration of omega-3s. EPA and DHA can be as high as 90%. For best results, look for brands that contains omega-3s as free fatty acids. Triglycerides or phospholipids are good as well.

A few reputable omega-3 supplement brands include Nordic Naturals, Green Pasture, Bio-Marine Plus, Omegavia, and Omega-3.

 

The 7 Best Fish Oil Supplements of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Boost your diet with healthy omega-3s

Fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to boost heart health, improve mood, and reduce joint inflammation.1 Fish oil generally contains two forms of omega-3s: DHA and EPA, which are found in shellfish and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of low-mercury fatty fish per week,2 but if you don’t like the taste of fish or are not a fan of cooking it, a fish oil supplement can help you meet your omega-3 needs.

Omega-3 fish oil supplements may be beneficial for the whole family. Omega-3s support neurodevelopment during pregnancy and infancy, may protect against childhood allergies and improve ADHD behaviors, and reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease throughout the lifespan.1 Choosing a high-quality fish oil supplement is essential to ensure you’re not consuming harmful ingredients like mercury. There are many options on the market to help you meet your needs, including gummies, capsules, and liquids.

Here are the best fish oil supplements.

 

An excellent fish oil is made from the highest quality ingredients, contains potent omega-3s, and is easy to take with no fishy aftertaste. Nordic Naturals’ Ultimate Omega meets all these criteria. The soft gels have a fresh lemon taste and are made from 100% wild-caught sardines and anchovies.

Each two soft gel serving contains 1280 milligrams of total omega-3s with 650 milligrams EPA, 450 milligrams DHA, and 180 milligrams of other omega-3s. The non-GMO verified supplement is in the highly absorbable triglyceride molecular form and composed of over 90% triglyceride-form omegas. Like all Nordic Naturals’ fish oil products, Ultimate Omega is Friend of the Sea certified, third-party purity tested, and backed by over 50 research studies. If you’re not a fan of swallowing pills, Nordic Naturals offers the same product in liquid form.

 

InnovixLabs Triple Strength Omega-3 Concentrated Fish Oil is a high-quality product without a big price tag. The concentrated formula delivers more omega-3 per pill than other fish oil pills so that you can get all the benefits in fewer capsules.

The pill’s all-natural enteric coating means there’s no odor, fishy aftertaste, or fish burps. InnovixLabs uses fish that are wild-caught, using sustainable fishing methods. This fish oil is verified by multiple third-party testing and is IFOS 5-star certified for best in purity, potency, and freshness.

 

NOW Ultra Omega 3 Fish Oil is another fish oil supplement that delivers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s manufactured under strict quality control standards and tested to be free from harmful mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants.

The soft gel is enteric-coated and odor-controlled, so it’s unlikely to produce fish burps or cause nausea or reflux. Each soft gel contains 500 milligrams of EPA and 250 milligrams of DHA to support brain health.3 NOW is a member of GOED, a global organization focused on increasing the consumption of EPA and DHA. The GOED logo is also an indicator of quality, as GOED members are required to certify that they will adhere to voluntary quality benchmarks.

 

If you prefer gummies over pills for your supplements, Nature Made Fish Oil Dietary Supplement Gummies are a tasty, affordable, and high-quality option. They come in orange, lemon, and strawberry flavors, contain no artificial flavors or colors, and are gluten-free. Each serving of gummies provides 57 milligrams of EPA and DHA from tuna. Nature Made recommends adults take two gummies daily.

Nature Made is devoted to quality supplements at an affordable price. All of their adult gummies—including the fish oil—received the USP Verified Mark, which certifies that the product contains the ingredients declared on the label, is made using Good Manufacturing Practices, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.

 

If you have trouble swallowing pills and aren’t a fan of gummies, you may want to try Carlson Labs’ The Very Finest Fish Oil. Each teaspoon of the potent liquid provides 1,600 milligrams of omega-3s, with 800 milligrams EPA and 500 milligrams DHA from Norwegian fish oil. The liquid’s slightly lemony taste makes it palatable and easy to swallow, with no bad aftertaste or fishy burps.

Carlson Labs recommends taking the supplement once or twice daily at mealtime. Evidence suggests that consuming fish oil supplements with a high-fat meal may improve the absorption of EPA and DHA.4

A recipient of numerous awards for taste and quality, this fish oil is made with the highest quality, deep cold-water fish using traditional, sustainable methods. Carlson carefully manages the fish oil’s production, from sea to store, and guarantees its freshness, potency, and purity. It’s also IFOS and IGEN non-GMO certified. Note that this product requires refrigeration.

 

Choosing a sustainably sourced fish oil supports the long-term well-being of the oceans and protects the vitality of harvested species. Most of the EPA and DHA for supplements are sourced from small fatty fish in coastal waters that deplete global fish stocks; however, Carlson Labs’ EcoSmart Omega-3 is made from highly sustainable calamari species. The potent supplement is Friend of the Sea and IFOS certified. It’s good for you—and the earth.

Each two soft gel serving contains 720 milligrams of DHA and 280 milligrams of EPA. The slight lemony flavor masks any fishy taste, and the product uses vitamin E as a preservative instead of artificial ingredients. The gluten-free supplement is regularly tested by independent labs to ensure that it is free of harmful levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, and other contaminants.

 

The World Association of Perinatal Medicine recommends that pregnant women consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA daily to support infant brain, retina, and nervous system development.5 Research suggests that infants whose mothers supplemented with DHA during pregnancy had a healthier immune system.6

One serving of Nordic Naturals’ Prenatal DHA provides 205 milligrams of EPA, 480 milligrams of DHA, and 145 milligrams of other omega-3s from anchovies and sardines. The soft gels also provide 400 IU of highly absorbable vitamin D3 for an added immune boost and support the growing fetus’s increased vitamin D needs. The unflavored soft gels are easy-to-swallow and won’t make you queasy. Plus, like all top-quality Nordic Naturals supplements, the product is third-party purity tested and non-GMO verified.

If you don’t finish your supplement while pregnant, you may want to keep taking it in the postpartum period, pending your healthcare provider’s approval. Evidence shows that DHA boosts mood in moms—especially in the postpartum period—as the fetus and placenta deplete the EPA and DHA stores from the mother during pregnancy.7

 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega at Amazon

“Made from the highest quality ingredients, contains potent omega-3s, and is easy to take with no fishy aftertaste.”
Best Budget:

InnovixLabs Triple Strength Omega-3 at Amazon

“Sustainably sourced using wild-caught, smaller fish.”
Best Budget Runner-Up:

Now Foods Ultra Omega-3 at Amazon

“Enteric-coated and odor-controlled, so it’s unlikely to produce fish burps or cause nausea or reflux.”
Best Gummies:

Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies at Amazon

“Each serving of gummies provides 57 milligrams of EPA and DHA from tuna.”
Best Liquid:

Carlson The Very Finest Fish Oil at Amazon

“A recipient of numerous awards for taste and quality.”
Best Sustainably Sourced:

Carlson EcoSmart Omega-3 at Amazon

“Made from highly sustainable calamari species.”
Best Prenatal:

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA at Amazon

“Provides 205 milligrams EPA, 480 milligrams DHA, and 145 milligrams other omega-3s from anchovies and sardines.”

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