Omega-3s may help to treat type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable autoimmune disorder of unknown origin. New research, however, may pave the way for novel, more efficient therapies for type 1 diabetes, as omega-3 fatty acids are found to reduce the autoimmune responses typical of the disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that affects approximately 1.25 million adults and children in the United States.
In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system does not recognize its own beta cells, so it attacks and destroys them. Beta cells are responsible for creating insulin.
The body needs insulin to transport glucose into cells, where it is needed for producing energy. Without insulin-producing beta cells, the glucose builds up in the blood stream, and the body cannot use it for energy.
It is not yet known what causes type 1 diabetes, and there is currently no cure for the illness. The most common treatment option is administering insulin, but the ultimate goal of the medical research community is to stop the body's immune system from attacking its own beta cells, or reversing this process.
New research, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, investigates the benefits of adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet of mice with type 1 diabetes.
Omega-3s are a class of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). They are typically found in fish, seafood, and some vegetable oils, as well as in dietary supplements.
These fatty acids are important for the good functioning of several organs, as these beneficial fats improve the activity of muscles, prevent blood clotting, help digestion, and aid the division Continue reading