Scientists from the Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and elsewhere found flaxseed oil is more beneficial than fish oil to people with type 2 diabetes.
Many studies have found the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in animal models and human diseases. Compared with commonly used fish oil, flaxseed oil is tastier and more acceptable.
However, the efficacy of the two types of oil on the heart health of type 2 diabetes patients with coronary heart disease is unclear.
In the current study, researchers aimed to answer the question.
They used data from the database of the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A total of 120 patients were enrolled and then divided into two groups: 60 in the flaxseed oil group received 1,000 mg of flaxseed oil, which contains 400 mg of α-Linolenic acid, as their omega-3 fatty acid source; 60 in the fish oil group received 1,000 mg of fish oil, which contains 250 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid and 150 mg of docosahexaenoic acid.
The researchers examined heart risk biomarker changes between the two groups.
After a follow-up of 10 weeks, the team found flaxseed oil was much better at reducing insulin levels and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels (a sign of inflammation) than fish oil.
The effects of flaxseed oil and fish oil on insulin resistance, fasting blood sugar, body weight, and body mass index was found to be similar.
Moreover, the team found patients who received flaxseed oil tended to have better overall survival than those who received fish oil, although the difference was not strong.
They conclude that compared with fish oil, flaxseed oil is more effective in reducing insulin levels and inflammation levels for diabetic patients with heart disease.
For these patients, flaxseed oil might become a better choice.
The research was published in The Journal of Thoracic Disease and conducted by Wei Jiang et al.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with diabetes, and green tea and coffee could help reduce death risk in diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
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