August 3, 2021

New review investigates the effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure, and lipid profile

Taurine is a sulfur containing amino acid that is found in high concentration in the heart and white blood cells. It plays an important role in regulating glucose, lipid metabolism, and blood pressure but results in human clinical studies have been inconsistent.

According to a review published three weeks ago in the European Journal of Pharmacology, researchers investigated the effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure, and lipid profile. Taurine is found in animal food sources such as turkey, chicken, and shellfish and dietary intake has been inversely correlated to mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disease. The average daily intake of taurine is between 40 mg to 400 mg in non-vegetarians, so it makes sense that supplementation can provide a therapeutic effect.

This review included 12 randomized controlled trials including 391 individuals who consumed either taurine supplementation or placebo on cardiovascular biomarkers including blood pressure and lipid profile in patients with obesity as well as anthropometric measurements. Most of these studies were in patient populations with liver or metabolic dysfunction including type II diabetes, hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The taurine supplementation doses ranged between 500 mg up to 6 grams per day over a duration between a 2-week and 6-month period. The two most common doses used were 1.5 grams or 6 grams per day.

As a result, there was a significant effect of taurine supplementation on systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. There was no effect of taurine supplementation on fasting blood glucose levels, LDL cholesterol, body mass index, or body weight.

Taurine’s effects on hypertension are due to its role of enhancing endothelial function and reduction of oxidative stress. Some of the taurine’s mechanisms on dyslipidemia include promoting cholesterol excretion, impeding bile acid absorption, and suppression of HMG-CoA reductase. The beneficial effects of taurine on obesity are attributed to its role in reducing inflammation of adipocytes and increasing adiponectin levels, which are associated with improved insulin sensitivity and anti-inflammatory actions.

These results demonstrate that taurine supplementation can lower blood pressure and improve dyslipidemia by reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Other nutrients to consider include delta and gamma tocotrienols, fish oil, and magnesium.

 By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Guan L, Miao P. The effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure and lipid profile: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 29;885:173533.

New study investigates the effect of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in patients with diabetic neuropathy

Type II diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals and the youth account for 20% to 50% of new onset diabetes cases.

Previous research has demonstrated low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of type II diabetes. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation and inhibiting β-cell destruction. 

According to a new study two weeks ago in Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of high-dose vitamin D supplementation on microcirculation, inflammatory markers, and peripheral neuropathy symptoms in patients with type II diabetes.

This study included 67 patients with type II diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The research team investigated the effect of different doses of vitamin D supplementation on microcirculation, neuropathy symptoms, and inflammatory markers in patients with type II diabetes. Each patient was given either 5,000 IU or 40,000 IU once a week over a 24-week period. Neuropathy assessment included neuropathic symptomatic score (NSS), neuropathic disability score (NDS), and visual analogue scale (VAS). Cutaneous microcirculation (MC) was assessed by laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF). Laboratory assessment included total cholesterol, C-reactive protein, HA1c, vitamin D 25-OH, parathyroid hormone (PTH), IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNFα. These were assessed at baseline and after treatment.

A vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency was identified in 78% of the patients. As a result, vitamin D supplementation at 40,000 IU once a week demonstrated a significant decrease in neuropathy severity as well as an improvement of cutaneous microcirculation. In addition, there was a reduction in IL-6 levels and an increase in IL-10 levels. No changes were shown in patients that received vitamin D supplementation at 5,000 IU once a week.

This study demonstrated that high-dose vitamin D supplementation can reduce inflammation as well as improve microcirculation and neuropathy symptoms in patients with type II diabetes.

It is important to take vitamin K along with vitamin D to prevent against arterial calcification. It is also essential to maintain adequate levels of all the fat soluble vitamins as more and more research demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.

All chronic conditions are multifactorial and vitamin D is many times part of the picture. Other nutrients that can support neuropathy symptoms include benfotiamine, folate, cobalamin, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, acetyl-l-carnitine, and lipoic acid.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Karonova T, Stepanova A, et al. High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation Improves

Microcirculation and Reduces Inflammation in Diabetic Neuropathy Patients. Nutrients. 20 August 2020, 12(9), 2518.

 

 

New study demonstrates success of low FODMAP diet in IBS for long term treatment

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS can affect and one’s work, sleep and relationships.

Most treatments for IBS consist of medications that are often ineffective and can have numerous side effects. A low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet is not a new treatment. Most functional medicine practitioners often incorporate a low FODMAP diet for patients with IBS, however, many of the dietary recommendations have not been backed by clinical trials.

According to a new study published last week in Nutrients, researchers investigated the short and long term efficacy, nutritional adequacy, and long term acceptance of a low FODMAP in patients with IBS. The patients’ compliance and ability to identify food triggers was also evaluated.

This study included 41 patients with IBS were given low-FODMAP diet and after two months started to reintroduce foods and then were treated with an Adapted low-FODMAP diet for a 6 to 24 month follow up. At each follow up visit questionnaires and Biolectrical Impedance Vector Analysis (BIVA) were performed. As a result, the low-FODMAP diet was effective in controlling gastrointestinal symptoms both short and long term as well as improving quality of life, anxiety, and depression. In addition, the low-FODMAP diet improved the quality of life without affecting nutritional adequacy. It was also noted that the perception of trigger foods was significantly different between the baseline and after two months. As a result, the research team demonstrated that even if there were some problems of acceptability and adherence reported, an low-FODMAP is nutritionally adequate and efficacious in improving IBS symptoms long term.

Diet is the most effective means to returning balance within the gastrointestinal system. Some patients may need a combination of botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Certain diagnostic tests may also be beneficial, including stool testing as well as food antibody testing.

The gastrointestinal tract is considered to be the body’s ‘second brain,’ it is made up of a self-contained, complex network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and proteins embedded in the lining of the GI system. It is responsible for all aspects of the digestive process, from the esophagus to the stomach and small and large intestines and may be responsible for IBS symptoms.

There are other nutrients that can support patient with IBS. For example. Perilla frutescens is an herb native to Eastern Asia that demonstrates antispasmodic, prokinetic, and anti-inflammtory effects, which help normalize and promote health bowel function and provide relief from GI symptoms. In addition, there are some specific researched strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3856 that have been shown to reduce digestive discomfort and abdominal pain in individuals with IBS.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Bellini M, Tonarell S, et al. A Low-FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Some Answers to the Doubts from a Long-Term Follow-Up. Nutrients, 7 August 2020, 12(8), 2360.

New review investigates the metabolic effects of probiotics in patients with type 2 diabetes

Type II diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals and the youth account for 20% to 50% of new onset diabetes cases.

According to a new study published this month in Scientific Reports, researchers investigated the cardiometabolic effects of probiotics in patients with type II diabetes. These patients are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous research has demonstrated the association of the gut microbiome with metabolic markers and type II diabetes.

This meta-analysis included 32 randomized placebo controlled trials and assessments included body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, c-reactive protein (CRP), HbA1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and blood pressure. These studies included between 20 to 136 patients each over a duration between 4 to 43 weeks. Some studies used a single strain, multi-species, or spores at doses of a minimum of 2 billion CFUs.

As a result, probiotic supplementation demonstrated a significant effect on reducing total cholesterol, triglyceride levels, CRP, HbA1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and blood pressure. In addition, probiotic supplementation also increased HDL levels, however, it did not have a significant effect on BMI or LDL cholesterol levels. These results demonstrate that probiotics can improve dyslipidemia and dysglycemia in patients with type II diabetes.

These effects are due to the immunoregulatory properties of probiotics. In addition,

low grade inflammation by the gut promotes insulin resistance in the liver and the release of inflammatory mediators from the adipose tissue. Also, increased intestinal permeability allows translocation of proinflammatory lipopolysaccharides.

Furthermore, the gut microbiome is found to be different in patients with type II diabetes compared to healthy individuals. For example, if one has more Bacteroidetes bacteria, the individual tends to be leaner. High Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratios have been known to increase the caloric extraction from food and these individuals tend to be more obese. Also, the ratio of Bacteriodes and Firmicutes has a positive correlation with decreased insulin resistance. This also ties together the importance of dietary fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and weight loss.

Probiotics help encourage microbial diversity, especially if the probiotic supplement is of mixed species. In ecological terms, it is more stable to have diverse populations in any ecosystem. The same is true for the gastrointestinal microbiome. This meta-analysis demonstrates the potential benefits of probiotic supplementation in patients with type II diabetes.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Kocsis T, Molnar B, et al. Probiotics have beneficial metabolic effects in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 16;10(1):11787.

New study demonstrates delta-tocotrienol supplementation improves biomarkers in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become an increasing epidemic. It is the most common cause of elevated liver enzymes and is associated with diabetes and obesity with advanced liver disease.

There are few guidelines for diagnostic and follow up methods and limited proven treatment options. Previous research of pharmacological agents to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were performed with poor results.

Annatto tocotrienols are tocopherol free isomers of vitamin E that have been previously shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in chronic disease.

According to a study just published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers investigated the effects of delta-tocotrienol supplementation on biomarkers of hepatocellular injury and steatosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

This study was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial including 71 patients between the ages of 20 and 70 years of age with ultrasound proven fatty liver disease, a fatty liver index (FLI) greater than 60 with mild to moderate elevation in liver enzymes. The patients were randomized to receive either 300 mg twice daily of delta-tocotrienol supplementation or placebo for 24 weeks. Assessments included body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, FLI, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and grading of hepatic steatosis on ultrasound. Laboratory assessment included glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid, complete blood count (CBC), total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, tumor necrosis factor-α, (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), leptin, adiponectin, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST).

As a result, there was a significant improvement in FLI, HOMA-IR, hs-CRP, MDA, ALT, AST, TNF-α, IL-6, total cholesterol, and triglycerides compared to placebo. In addition, hepatic steatosis was significantly reduced, and an average decrease in BMI of 8% and weight loss of 15 lbs.

These individuals are in a chronic disease state and have increased demands then what could be obtained from the diet alone and therefore, dietary supplements should be considered to help prevent the progression as well as improve liver function. Other nutrients to consider include phosphatidylcholine, fiber or resistant starch, n-acetylcysteine, fish oil, and probiotics.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Perez MA, Khan DA, et al. Delta-tocotrienol supplementation improves biochemical markers of hepatocellular injury and steatosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. August 2020, Volume 52, 102494.

 

 

New study investigates the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in patients with type II diabetes

Type II diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals and the youth account for 20% to 50% of new onset diabetes cases.

Previous research has demonstrated low levels of vitamin D associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation and shown to work on β-cells by inhibiting their destruction. 

According to a new study last week Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in patients with type II diabetes.

This randomized controlled trial included 88 non-obese patients with type II diabetes who were deficient or insufficient in vitamin D. Each patient was randomly assigned to a vitamin D supplementation group or placebo. The vitamin D supplementation group received 30,000 IU of vitamin D once a week over a 6-month period. Laboratory assessment included serum levels of TNF-α, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) fasting glucose, HbA1c, vitamin D 25-OH, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. In addition, a homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was also assessed.

As a result, the group that received the vitamin D supplementation demonstrated higher vitamin D 25-Oh levels as well as a significant reduction in hs-CRP and TNF-α levels compared to placebo. There was a decrease in IL-6 levels but it was not significant. Also, there were no changes were seen in fasting glucose or HbA1c levels.

This study demonstrated that six months of vitamin D supplementation can reduce inflammatory markers in patients with T2DM. It is also essential to take a vitamin D along with vitamin K to optimize the level of each vitamin and prevent against arterial calcification. It is important to maintain optimal levels of all the fat soluble vitamins as more and more research demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.

There is no evidence for an ideal ratio between D and K1 or K2, however, we need to optimize each vitamin. It is also important to note their no toxicity of vitamin K.

All chronic conditions are multifactorial and vitamin D is many times just a small part of the picture. It is important to look deeper and address other common deficiencies such as magnesium, vitamin C, glycine, and essential fatty acids. Other nutrients that can help therapeutically include inositol and tocotrienols. Many of these nutrients play a synergist role with one another and it is important to have adequate levels for optimal function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: El Hajj C, Walrand S, et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in Non-Obese Lebanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 9 July 2020, 12(7), 2033.

New review investigates the impact of ketogenic diet in patients with obesity and type II diabetes

Ketogenic diets has become increasing more popular the past few years to support weight loss, neurological disorders and those with insulin resistance.

In a meta-analysis published this week in Nutrients, researchers investigated the impact of a ketogenic diet and its effects on specific metabolic biomarkers in patients with obesity and type II diabetes.  

Ketogenic diets reduce insulin levels which redirects lipid metabolism and utilizes ketones as an alternative energy source instead of glucose. Ketones are non-carbohydrate energy sources that are converted from fatty acids in the body. Ketones are generated in the body by limiting carbohydrate to 5% to 10% of total daily dietary requirements.

This review consisted of 14 randomized controlled trials including 734 patients whom were overweight or had obesity, 444 diabetic patients, and 290 non-diabetic patients. The primary laboratory assessment included fasting glucose, HA1c, fasting insulin, C-peptide, total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum creatinine. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were also collected. The effects of ketogenic diets on glycemic control over a 3 to 12-month period were greater in patients with diabetes compared to low-fat diets. This was demonstrated by a significant reduction in HA1c levels and homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) values for diabetic patients. Similar effects were seen with both diets in nondiabetic patients. In addition, ketogenic diets for 4 weeks to 12 months demonstrated a significant weight reduction in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Also, lipid profiles were improved including an increase in HDL cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels in diabetic patients.

As a result, this study showed that ketogenic diets are more effective in improving metabolic biomarkers associated with glycemic, weight, and lipid controls in patients whom are overweight, especially those with diabetes compared to low-fat diets.

This is the first study to perform a meta-analysis with randomized controlled trials to investigate the impact of ketogenic diets on glycemic control, weight loss, lipid control and cardiovascular and renal risk markers over varied low-fat diets.

Ketogenic diets are an effective strategy for weight loss, however, transitioning to a ketogenic diet can be challenge as the body is switching from burning glucose to fat for fuel. Many individuals often experience fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and irritability during this transition.

Perceived hunger is also a common barrier to weight loss. Based upon this recent research exogenous ketones are a great adjunct to a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, or for an individual transitioning to a ketogenic diet for weight loss. Exogenous ketone supplementation Increase blood ketone levels which may directly suppress appetite as they lower plasma ghrelin levels reduce cravings.

Source: Choi Y, Jeon S, and Shin S. Impact of a Ketogenic Diet on Metabolic Parameters in Patients with Obesity or Overweight and with or without Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 6 July 2020, 12(7), 2005.

New study demonstrates the effect of resveratrol supplementation on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is naturally found in nuts, berries, and grapes skin but the concentration is low. Studies have been widely publicized for its cardiovascular, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-aging benefits.  Research has also shown significant benefits in several chronic inflammatory disorders.

According to a study published earlier this week in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers investigated the effect of resveratrol supplementation on bone health in postmenopausal women.

Resveratrol is also a phytoestrogen and animal studies have shown that it promotes osteoblastic formation similar to genistein. There have only been a few human studies to investigate this, however, none of these studies were over 6 months in duration or in postmenopausal women.

This was a 24-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-period crossover study including 125 postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 85 years of age investigating the effects of resveratrol supplementation at 150 mg per day given in divided doses and its effects on cognition, cerebrovascular function, bone health, cardio-metabolic markers, and well-being in postmenopausal women.

As a result, after 12 months of resveratrol supplementation, there were beneficial effects on bone density in the lumbar spine and femur resulting in an improvement in T-score and a reduction in the 10-year probability of hip fracture risk. This improvement was higher in women with poor bone health biomarker status as expected. Interestingly, the improvement in T-score with resveratrol correlated with an improvement in perfusion. This is mediated by the activation of estrogen receptors on the endothelial cells by the resveratrol. In addition, there was a 7.24% decrease in C-terminal telopeptide type-1 collagen levels. This is a bone resorption marker that is useful to screen for excess bone loss as well as monitoring the effectiveness of osteoporosis treatment.  Furthermore, a sub-group analysis showed the benefit of resveratrol on bone health was also greater in individuals who were supplementing with vitamin D and calcium. This demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive approach compared to monotherapies.

In conclusion, this study showed that supplementation with 150 mg of resveratrol daily can reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women. Other nutrients to consider include tocotrienols, genistein, vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, DHEA, and specific collagen peptides.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Wong R, Zaw J, et al. Regular Supplementation with Resveratrol Improves Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2020 Jun 21.

 

New study investigates the impact of anti-inflammatory diet in patients on disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

There has been a significant increase in the incidence of autoimmune disorders over the past several decades. Most individuals have a less-than-perfect diet and over the years Americans have lost much of the diversity in their diet which plays an essential role in the gut microbiome and a contributing factor in the epidemic of autoimmune disorders. More and more research demonstrates that the food one eats affects what bacteria populations are in their gut.

A significant environmental trigger in autoimmune disease is the diet. Dietary approaches provide the most effective means to returning balance and dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system.

According to a new study published last week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers investigated the impact of an anti-inflammatory diet and disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

This was a single-blinded crossover study including 47 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Patients were randomly assigned to either an anti-inflammatory diet or control diet for a 10-week period. After a 4-month washout period, the patients switched diets. Food equivalent of approximately 50% of their energy requirements was delivered weekly to their homes. For the remaining meals, they were advised to consume the same type of foods as the ones provided during each diet. The primary outcome was the change in Disease Activity Score in 28 joints-Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (DAS28-ESR). Secondary outcomes were changes in the components of DAS28-ESR such as tender and swollen joints, ESR, C-reactive protein and visual analog scale.

The main meals of the diet included fish three to four times per week and vegetarian dishes with legumes once to twice a week. Potatoes, whole grain cereals, vegetables, spices, and other flavorings were also included. Snacks consisted of fruits and breakfasts included low-fat dairy, whole grain cereals, pomegranate, blueberries, nuts, and juice shots with probiotics. The probiotic shot included a strain of Lactobacillus plantarum and was consumed five days a week. For the meals not provided, patients were advised to limit their intake of meat to less than 3 times per week and to eat fiver or more servings daily of fruits and vegetables, to use oil or margarine for cooking, and to choose low-fat dairy and whole grain cereals.

The control diet provided contained meat or chicken and refined grains daily, a protein bar for snacks, and breakfasts consisted of white bread with a butter and cheese, or yogurt with corn flakes and orange juice. In addition, patients were instructed to consume meat more than five times a week, eat seafood no more than once a week, and to consume less than five serving of fruits and vegetables. Patients were also advised to use butter for cooking; and consume high-fat dairy products. They were also advised to avoid products with probiotics. Before each diet period, patients received a binder including weekly menus and recipes as well as instructions on for the meals not provided. Three weekly menus were repeated throughout the diet periods.

As a result, DAS28-ESR significantly decreased with the anti-inflammatory diet and was significantly lower after the intervention than after the control period in the patients that completed both periods. This study demonstrates positive effects of an anti-inflammatory diet on disease activity in patients with RA.

In addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, other nutrients to consider include vitamin D, fish oil, resveratrol, curcumin, and probiotics.

Autoimmunity can occur a few different ways. It is also important to look at any environmental triggers such as food sensitivities, nutrient status, toxins, and gut health. Each person’s biochemical individuality exerts a major influence on his or her health. The level of nutrient intake, lifestyle choices and environmental exposures filtered through genetic predisposition are major factors in the expression of disease, and a successful treatment approach must investigate these factors.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS Source: Vadell A, Barebring L, et al. Anti-inflammatory Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis (ADIRA)- a Randomized, Controlled Crossover Trial Indicating Effects on Disease Activity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Jun 1;111(6):1203-1213.

New study demonstrates the role of DHA in reducing the risk of type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease

Insulin resistance are a significant health care problem in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people.

Insulin resistance is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Previous research has shown omega-3 fatty acids mitigate insulin resistance linked to obesity, however, results have been inconsistent.

According to a new study published last week in Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of DHA-rich fish oil on glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-30), which is linked to insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s disease. GSK-3 is involved in Aβ plaques, and Tau phosphorylation, which is elevated in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

This was a double-blind randomized control trial including 58 individuals between the ages of 18 and 70 years of age with mild to moderate abdominal obesity. Participants were excluded if they have been diagnosed with diabetes or on blood sugar lowering medications that could affect insulin sensitivity such as Metformin. Each participant consumed 2 grams of fish oil consisting of 860 mg of DHA and 120 mg EPA or a placebo (corn oil) per day for a 12-week period. Anthropometric measurements were conducted using bio-electrical impedance scales. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated). Laboratory assessment included fasting glucose, fasting insulin, hs-CRP, total cholesterol, RBC fatty acids, and GSK-3β. As a result, the DHA-rich fish oil significantly reduced GSK-3 and reduced insulin resistance compared to the placebo. Baseline CRP and fasting insulin levels were positively correlated, indicating the relationship between low-grade systemic inflammation and hyperinsulinemia.

This study demonstrates the effect of DHA-rich fish oil improving insulin sensitivity by reducing GSK-3 levels in individuals at a high risk of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance with high baseline CRP levels. DHA-rich fish oil should be considered as an early intervention to reduce the risk of developing metabolic disease and associated comorbidities as well as in reducing insulin resistance in individuals with higher inflammation levels.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Fish Oil Supplementation Reduces Kinase Associated with Insulin Resistance in Overweight and Obese Midlife Adults. Nutrients 30 May 2020, 12(6), 1612.