The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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    Does dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of type 1 diabetes?

    Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) accounts for 5% to 10% of all patients with diabetes.

    Now, The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) reports an association between high dietary intake of omega-3 and a lower incidence of type 1 diabetes.

    First, the details.

    • 1770 children at risk for type 1 diabetes were monitored for about 6 years.
    • Risk for diabetes was defined as a genetic predisposition or a sibling or parent with type 1 diabetes.
    • Islet autoimmunity (IA, a predictor of diabetes) was compared to the dietary intake of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids starting at age 1 year.

    And, the results.

    • 58 children developed IA.
    • After adjusting for genetics, family history of type 1 diabetes, caloric intake, and omega-6 fatty acid intake, higher omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of IA.

    The bottom line?
    An “association” does not mean one factor (lower omege-3 intake) “causes” the other (increased risk of type 1 diabetes).

    According to Dr. Jill Norris in a WebMD interview, “The thinking is that omega-3 may increase the body’s ability to fight the inflammation that leads to type 1 diabetes.”

    She also cautions, “This is a preliminary study. We really can’t make dietary recommendations based on these findings.”

    9/29/07 20:29 JR

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