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Diabetes is bad enough with all of the heart risk involved. But if you have diabetes, odds are you are also in pain. It’s called “diabetic neuropathy,” which is a fancy way of saying you have nerve pain. The worst part is, scientists and doctors have no idea why there’s a connection between poor blood sugar control and nerve pain.
But what we do know is that there is an incredible and completely natural and easy way to help relieve that pain if you’re suffering.
Take daily fish oil supplements.
When researchers at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City tested the ability of fish oil to help heal nerves that had been damaged by diabetes – damage that occurs during a painful process known as diabetic neuropathy — they produced powerful results.
Researcher Mark Yorek notes that “Diabetic neuropathy is a very costly and debilitating complication of diabetes. It is the leading cause of foot ulcers and non-trauma-related amputations, and the impact of diabetic neuropathy on the patient and family are unmeasurable.”
Aside from fish oil’s effectiveness at easing neuropathy, York points out that these types of “supplements are considered very safe and could be easily translated into everyday care. Fish oil would be easy to take, like a vitamin, and should have few side effects when combined with other medications.”
In lab tests, the Iowa researchers found that compounds in fish oil called resolvins (also known as resolution-phase interaction products) boost nerve health, help nerves transmit their signals more effectively and keep them from dying or atrophying.
According to Yorek: “Even though a lot more work needs to be done, including clinical trials with human subjects, our animal studies suggest that fish oil can reverse some of the harmful effects of diabetes on the nerves.”
Even if you don’t have diabetes, taking fish oil is a good idea. A study at Harvard shows that taking fish oil can increase your levels of adiponectin. This hormone that helps your body moderate blood sugar levels, lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and drops your chances of heart disease.
Some people are a little reluctant to take fish oil because of the “fishy” taste, and because of those nasty fish burps. An easy way to avoid that is to use a fish oil supplement that is mostly krill oil. Not only do the omega-3s from krill penetrate faster and more completely, but there’s no fishy smell or anything else “fishy” going on.