By now, we’ve all, at least, heard of omega-3 fatty acids. They are a well-loved source of health, reducing inflammation, excessive blood clotting, artery hardening and the amount of fat in your bloodstream. They are thought to help combat depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry/itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, and joint pain. They are recommended to everyone, regardless of preexisting conditions, age or gender. They are superheroes in a villainous world. And now, we have one more reason to adore them.
From 1994 to 2006, researchers studied 1,770 children at risk for developing type 1 diabetes. Their susceptibility was considered to be high because a parent or sibling had type 1 diabetes or because a genetic test had labeled them as such. Throughout the course of the study, 58 of the children developed the antibodies linked to the disease’s occurrence. An analysis of all of the kids’ eating habits revealed that those who consumed the most omega-3 fatty acids were 55 percent less likely to have produced the antibodies. This suggests that maintaining a diet rich in omega-3s can reduce the likelihood of an at-risk child developing type 1 diabetes.
We couldn’t ask for better news. Worldwide, 194 million people have diabetes, and the number continues to grow. While it accounts for only five to 10 percent of all diagnoses, type 1 diabetes is the variation most commonly seen in children and young adults. It affects them for reasons scientists are still unsure of, but heredity and environment are definite factors. Being able to assert that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of occurrence may lead to fewer cases and less suffering in the future. So ply your children with omega-3s, particularly if they are high-risk. And have some yourself. You can find the fatty acid in oily fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, scallops, mustard seeds, cauliflower and soybeans. Naturally, you can also get them in supplement form, via, among others, fish oil, cod liver oil and flaxseed oil.
Further reading: The Fat Battle: Omega-3 Fatty Acid
|NOW Foods – Walnuts, Halves & Pieces, Raw – 12 oz.|
|NOW Foods – Soybeans, Dry Roasted and Unsalted, Non-GE – 12 oz.|
|Bob’s Red Mill – Organic Golden Flaxseeds – 24 oz.|