High blood sugar (also known as Hyperglycaemia) is a big problem for those diagnosed with diabetes. Many diabetics have to pay close attention to what they eat, drink and even the amount of exercise they undertake; with all three being factors that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels can be affected by a number of factors, which will vary according to the individual. If blood sugar levels are not effectively managed, it can cause severe damage to the major parts of your body, such as your nerves, blood vessels, and even your organs.
Monitoring blood sugar levels on a daily basis can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. The good news is that rising blood sugar levels can be effectively managed, with research highlighting a number of natural solutions. In fact, recent research points to a new possible blood sugar control. Krill oil! Could this be natures blood sugar miracle? Let’s find out.
First, a little about what insulin resistance actually is. Insulin resistance is prevalent in people with type 2 diabetes. If a person is insulin resistant, when they consume a carbohydrate-rich or high sugar food, although the pancreas may release insulin, the cells of the body do not recognize that insulin is present. That means that blood sugar is high and as a result, blood insulin levels are also high. Sugar is not able to get into the cells for energy and becomes stored, leading to higher levels of fat in and around blood vessels (for examples, in the form of triglycerides), internal organs, muscle and throughout the body.
Recent research has indicated that krill oil may benefit those with diabetes by improving insulin resistance. A study fed mice a high fat diet, substituted with krill oil over a period of 12 weeks, in contrast to a low fat normal diet. Mice body weight and food consumption were recorded. The results showed that the mice fed krill oil gained less body weight and accumulated less fat in tissue, such as adipose and liver.
Furthermore, their glucose metabolism had also improved. Although further testing is required, the researchers concluded that diets containing krill oil can significantly improve fast blood glucose concentration and glucose intolerance leading to enhance insulin sensitivities in obese animals
The link between diabetes and cholesterol is often overlooked, yet they are significantly interlinked. Diabetes tends to lower “good” cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and “bad” cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.
This common condition is called diabetic dyslipidaemia and can increase your risk for premature coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. Therefore, if you have diabetes taking steps to lower high cholesterol is essential. In a study, 120 patients were assigned to 1 of 4 groups. They either received 1-1.5 grams of krill oil (depending on their body mass index), 2-3 grams of krill oil, 3 grams of fish oil, or a placebo. After 3 months of supplementation:
Group 1-1.5 grams of krill oil
- Lowered total cholesterol by 13.5%
- Lowered LDL’s (bad cholesterol) by 33.9%
- Increased HDL’s (good cholesterol) by 43.3%
- Lowered triglycerides by 11.5%
- Lowered blood sugar by 6.3%.
Group 2-3 grams of krill oil
- Lowered total cholesterol by 18%
- Lowered LDL’s (bad cholesterol) by 38%
- Increased HDL’s (good cholesterol) by 57.5%
- Lowered triglycerides by 27%
- Lowered blood sugar by 5.6%.
Group 3 grams of fish oil
- Lowered total cholesterol by 5.9%
- Lowered LDL’s (bad cholesterol) by 4.6%
- Increased HDL’s (good cholesterol) by 4.2%.
- Lowered triglycerides by 3.2%
- Lowered blood sugar by 3.3%.
The study highlights a number of benefits krill oil may have for those with diabetes, most significantly in improving cholesterol levels.
People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and several studies have shown a likely correlation between poor endothelial function and cardiovascular. It is even believed to be a predictor of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, research has indicated that krill oil may once again help. A study published BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care reviewed 47 participants included in an initial crossover study. Those who received krill oil for a period of 4 weeks experienced an improvement in their endothelial function. A total of 34 participants completed the additional 17-week supplementation period and when compared with their respective baseline measurements, it was found that they had a statically significant improvement. Not only in endothelial function but also in blood high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as ‘good cholesterol’.
The results of this study are promising, suggesting that krill oil may lead to moderate improvement of cardiovascular risks, specifically endothelial dysfunction and HDL in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Krill oil offers a range of health benefits, especially when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes. While the research is still new and further study may be needed, introducing krill oil to your diet could help with diabetes management and the controlling of blood sugar levels.