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May 19, 2008

Alternative Therapies and Explanations, Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Portsmouth, Virginia, USA:

My daughter has been tested for her insulin levels and with a test where she should be in a range from zero to 22, she was tested at 29.5. She was then six years old, two years ago, but has grown fast, matured and gained weight, especially in the belly area. She is also a child with somewhat of an anger problem and we are starting therapy for this. All her other tests came out wonderful. I have flaxseed oil, but am not sure if this is the DHA you recommend giving her in high dosages. We usually order from Puritan Pride; is this okay? Please give me information on what to buy and where to buy to start her on this routine. We have increased exercise and have always had food with fiber in the house and keep the snacks to a minimum, but, when with friends, we think she can snack too much. Also, while reading a newsletter "The Bottom Line," they suggested chromium picolinate and pycnogenol. Do you agree? Is there a division of your research in my Hampton Roads, Virginia area that we could go to? I was tested also and I was to be in the range of 0 zero to 99. My number was 101, again all the other tests came out fine. So, we are in this together, I'm 48 and overweight.

Answer:

Flaxseed oil may help with constipation but does nothing for diabetes or preventing diabetes. Same with the other things you mentioned, so save your money. If both you and your daughter are overweight (she with slightly high insulin levels and you with very high insulin levels), then the goal should be weight loss – fewer calories, more exercise. There is not much else that will help unless both of you decide that you do not want future diabetes. There are no quick fixes, I am afraid. Blood pressure should be checked and treated, if elevated; lipid levels should also be checked and treated, if elevated; liver function should be checked to see if the obesity is already causing liver irritation (called steatosis). The only other clinical factor would be acanthosis nigricans, a clinical sign of already existing insulin resistance related to obesity and predicting future diabetes development as well.

SB

[Editor’s comment: We are not familiar with any specific recommendations about vitamins or supplements. Furthermore, we are not a research organization and do not have a research facility in yours or any other area.

BH]