Nutrients helped control fat, sugar and insulin in three new studies that offer hope for type 2 diabetics.
In an omega-3 study, 27 women with type 2 diabetes and normal fat levels in the blood took 1.8 grams of fish oil capsules per day or a placebo for two months. At the end of the study, the omega-3 group had significantly less fat mass and smaller fat cells under the skin, and had lower risk for fatty deposits in the arteries and for cardiovascular disease compared to placebo. Omega-3s did not change how sensitive the women were to insulin, the hormone that helps the body regulate blood sugar (glucose).
In a lab study, researchers suggested that the energy “power plants” in cells—the mitochondria—could help type 2 diabetics increase insulin sensitivity. The investigators exposed fat cells to two mitochondrial nutrients, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), and found that over a 24-hour period, the mitochondria grew larger, gained oxygen capacity and processed energy more efficiently. Researchers said this is the first study to show that ALA with ALC may help fat cells improve diabetes and obesity.