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Danbury Researchers Say Omega-3 Acids May Cut Diabetics' Heart Risks

Researchers at Western Connecticut Health Network in Brookfield have published a study on heart risks, diet and diabetes.
Researchers at Western Connecticut Health Network in Brookfield have published a study on heart risks, diet and diabetes. Photo Credit: Contributed

BROOKFIELD, Conn. -- Taking certain types of fatty acids appears to cut heart risks in people with type-2 diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at Western Connecticut Health Network in Brookfield.

The study, published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, found taking 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids via daily krill oil supplements appears to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Western Connecticut Health Network includes Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital.

Many people eat fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, and trout, or take fish oil supplements to meet this recommendation, researchers said.

However, krill oil, which is made from small crustaceans, provides the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in a different form than fish oil and may be more easily absorbed by the body, they said.

Researchers said participants in the study showed improved endothelial function after four weeks of a daily krill oil supplement compared with participants receiving olive oil, and further improvement following an additional 17 weeks of supplementation.

Endothelial function, they said, is the ability of the innermost lining of the blood vessels to expand and contract.

Several studies have shown a likely correlation between poor endothelial function and cardiovascular events, and it is believed to be a predictor of cardiovascular disease development.

According to Jessika Lobraico, lead author of the study, about 9 percent of Connecticut’s adult population have either type-1, or type-2 diabetes.

People with type-2 diabetes, she said, have an increase of heart disease.

Lobraico added patients always should check with health care providers before starting any new supplements or medications.

The researchers say additional study is needed to determine whether longer-term consumption of krill oil would reduce the risk further, and whether their findings for individuals with type 2 diabetes would extend to other high risk populations.

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