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From England:

My 38 year old mother has had type 1 diabetes for nine years, and she has had a lot of problems with control even though she keeps to an eating plan and has tried a number of different types of insulin. I have heard that there is some evidence to suggest that certain fatty acids in the diet can aid in the absorption of insulin -- is this true? If so, what fatty acids and how can they help?


I think that you have probably heard of the use of alpha lipoic acid and gamma linolenic acid as antioxidants in the treatment of some of the long-term complications of diabetes, especially neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid seems to be particularly popular in Germany, and its action is both as an antioxidant to slow tissue damage in both typeá1 and typeá2 diabetes, and enhance the action of insulin in facilitating the entry of glucose into the cells. In this way, it may reduce the dose of insulin in type 2 diabetes. I don't believe it has any effect on insulin absorption. It is probably available in supermarkets, health food stores or chemists in the UK, but your mother should still talk to her diabetes doctor before starting to take this supplement.


Original posting 4 Mar 2001
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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