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Fish oil supplements enhance insulin sensitivity

People who have a metabolic disturbance - such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, insulin resistance or too high levels of triglycerides in the blood - can increase their insulin sensitivity by taking fish oil supplements. Researchers in Singapore drew this conclusion in a meta-study that they published in Lipids.

The researchers collected 17 well-executed trials, in which a total of 627 people had participated. The participants in the experimental group were given extra fish oil and the researchers looked at the effects of the fatty acids on the insulin sensitivity.

The doses tested varied from 1 to 4 g omega-3-fatty acids per day.

When the researchers looked at the studies they had selected as a whole, they observed no positive effect of fish oil on insulin sensitivity.

Fish oil supplements enhance insulin sensitivity

Fish oil supplements enhance insulin sensitivity

But when the researchers looked at the findings for different subgroups separately, they saw that fish oil had an effect in people with metabolic disorders. In this group supplementation reduced the likelihood of insulin resistance by a hefty 47 percent.

The researchers did not venture to suggest an optimal dose. They did indicate however, that they suspect that the optimal length of a course of supplements is at least four weeks.

Fish oil supplements enhance insulin sensitivity
"This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that fish oil supplementation did not affect estimates of insulin sensitivity overall," the researchers concluded. "However, short-term fish oil supplementation could improve insulin sensitivity among patients with metabolic disorders, which could be a significant intervention as secondary prevention of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome."

Wild speculation
Pharmacological athletes who use insulin as a doping substance often report that insulin only has a positive effect on the body composition for a limited time. Ultimately the injections have a stimulatory effect on the body's fat reserves. Doping gurus suspect that this is mainly because the body builds up resistance to high doses of insulin.

So might fish oil supplementation delay the rise of this resistance?

Lipids Health Dis. 2017 Jul 3;16(1):131.

Fish oil increases insulin sensitivity only when combined with exercise 10.02.2014

Insulin & Glucose Metabolism
Fish Oil

Fish only offers protection against heart attacks if you eat walnuts too
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish and fish oil capsules offer noticeably better protection against heart attacks in combination with alpha-linolenic acid - the omega-3 fatty acid found in walnuts and linseed.

Combination of physical exercise and fish oil makes you cleverer
Your brain absorbs new information better if you eat oily fish such as salmon or mackerel a couple of times a week, or take fish oil capsules. And this ability increases even more if you also get daily exercise. Animal data.

Omega-3 fatty acids are more effective when taken with lecithin
Well - a little bit more effective...