By Harry Bligh
Scientists from Leeds Beckett University are undergoing research into whether omega 3 fatty acid supplements may help people with diabetes better control their condition.
The study is focussing on whether taking omega 3 supplements may help reduce risk factors of cardio vascular disease (CVD) of people with type 1 diabetes.
Scientists will look at how the body will respond to a diet of high fat and carbohydrate after six months of taking omega 3 supplements. Previous to this, taking the supplements has shown that taking supplements can reduce risk factors for CVD in people with type 2 diabetes. The team in Leeds seek to prove the same benefits occur with those living with type 1.
People with type 1 diabetes are at a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, a very serious illness that can reduce life expectancy and quality of life.
This is due to abnormalities in the metabolic and vascular functions which can be common with those suffering from diabetes and can be susceptible to diets that are high in carbohydrates and fat.
Previous research concluded that the n3-FA fatty acids in omega 3 supplements were successful in reducing CVD biomarkers in people with CVD and type 2 diabetes.
“People living with type 1 diabetes can often find it a challenge to manage their diabetes at mealtimes, especially when eating some of their favourite foods.
This can have a negate impact on their cardiovascular disease risk, so its important that we investigate now, cost effective and pragmatic strategies that are accessible” – Lauren O’Mahoney
The study, undertaken by Dr Matthew Campbell and Lauren O’Mahoney, will examine the glycaemic, lipaemic, inflammatory and vascular responses after a high fat/carbohydrate diet over 6 months. Over this six month period, volunteers will be split into two groups, first group taking omega 3 supplements during the test and the other group taking placebo supplements. The volunteers will visit the testing laboratory after 3 and 6 months and then 3 months post-supplementation.
Blood samples will be taken from volunteers for 8 hours on each visit to analyse the blood content// and ultrasound scanning techniques on the neck and arm.
The team at Leeds Beckett hope that this study will have the potential to benefit people with type 1 diabetes to improve their long-term mealtime self-management strategies and help prevent their risk of cardiovascular disease.