If You Have Diabetes You Can Avoid Kidney Problems With Omega-3

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a Harvard research team found Omega-3 fatty acids may help slow the progression of kidney issues in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, they found Omega-3 may help ward off coronary artery disease. The paper focused on the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on patients with albuminuria in their blood and patients with stable CAD.

Some of the patients in each group had type 2 diabetes while others did not. The presence of albuminuria is significant. It indicates kidney dysfunction and is especially common in patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of serious kidney complications worldwide.

Albuminuria also indicates generalized endothelial dysfunction, which can develop into the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Its presence alone is a predictor of death by cardiovascular issues.

Another symptom of albuminuria is the activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. As a result, doctors use angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB). While these drugs are considered standard responses, some professionals believe omega-3s have promise as supplements that could be prescribed in addition to the usual treatment.

Researchers looked at patients undergoing conventional drug therapy alone and compared them with similar patients who also took Lovaza. There were 262 participants recruited aged 36 to 80 years with stable CAD and all came from Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Lovaza is a prescription regulated, lipid controlling supplement. The supplement is administered in the form of a liquid-filled gel capsule. Lovaza is an ethyl ester and there is evidence to suggest it may be absorbed more efficiently than other over-the-counter medication. Previous studies of Omega-3 had mixed results as none had focused on CAD patients.

The researchers looked for individuals with major inflammatory issues and their goal was to target the inflammation with omega-3s, preventing further coronary plague development.

  • There was no change in ACR in non-diabetic individuals with both the Lovaza or control groups. But those taking Lovaza did show a significant reduction in triglyceride and an increase in HDL. The increase in HDL was expected because hypertriglyceridemia is Lovaza’s FDA-approved result.
  • Lovaza seemed to stabilize ACR in diabetics which researchers suggest it could be a way of keeping kidneys operational. Omega 3 formula maintained ACRs in patients over a 12-month period in the control group.
  • 17 diabetic subjects on fish oil (43%), showed ACR decreased, while ACR decreases in only five of the control subjects (12.5%).
  • In diabetic patients who took ACEIs or ARBs, Lovaza prevented the increase in ACR. In controls, ACR jumped 64.2% 

This is very promising news for diabetics at risk of developing kidney problems and serves to reiterate the benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids as well as supplementation in general for those living with chronic illness. 

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