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Diabetes Update - Omega -3s and B-complex improve kidney function in diabetes

July 23, 2020


Diabetes types 1 and 2


     Type 1 diabetes usually appears early in life when the pancreas cannot produce insulin, and is not preventable. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs later in life, most often due to lifestyle factors that impair the ability of the body to use its insulin effectively. Both affect kidney waste-filtering function.


 Omega-3s improve kidney function in type 2 diabetes


     This review of 10 placebo-controlled clinical studies covering 344 participants with both types of diabetes found that taking omega-3 supplements for at least 24 weeks reduced protein in the urine, an early sign of kidney disease. Those with type 2 diabetes saw the greatest benefit. Also, systolic blood pressure tended to decline in those taking omega-3s.


Reference: PLOS ONE; 2020, 0228315, Published Online





B-complex improves kidney function in type 1 diabetes


     In this study, 80 children aged 12 to 18 with type 1 diabetes for at least five years took a placebo or a combination of vitamins B1, B6, and B12 daily. The children had albumin protein in the urine and high homocysteine levels, both signs of kidney damage, and were taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Elevated homocysteine levels can signal B-vitamin deficiency.

     After 12 weeks, while the placebo group did not change, children taking B vitamins saw significant decreases in homocysteine levels and urinary albumin. Also, fasting and long-term average blood sugar levels declined. Triglycerides and total cholesterol levels both decreased compared to placebo and compared to the beginning of the study. Doctors noted B vitamins were safe and produced no adverse side effects in any of the children.


Reference: Clinical Nutrition; 2020, Vol. 39, No. 1, 49-56



Reference: PLOS ONE; 2020, 0228315, Published Online







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