A new study is examining the beneficial properties of fish oil, particularly its ability to improve the long-term health of diabetics . The research, by scientists at the University of Southampton and funded by charity Diabetes UK, hopes to discover if regular doses of medication derived from fish oil could help to prevent complications associated with diabetes, including heart disease, blindness and amputation, as well as improving nerve damage .
The study involved 100 people known to be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, who were given a medication called OMACOR, which is derived from fish oil from Norwegian sardines, to see if it would help the function of nerves and small blood vessels in the feet.
Researcher Keith McCormick, one of the research team, commented “OMACOR has already proved to be extremely successful in the treatment of high triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood, but if this trial is successful it will provide evidence that treatment with these purified long chain fatty acids can also serve to improve small nerve and blood vessel function that is very relevant to people at risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
Iain Framen, director of research at Diabetes UK, also said “Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for up to ten years, meaning 50 per cent of people already have complications, such as neuropathy, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke, by the time they’re diagnosed.”
He added “The research being funded at the University of Southampton therefore has the potential to identify a readily available treatment to prevent some of the serious complications of diabetes and protect those at risk.”

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