In a new study, kidney function was improved in type-1 diabetics with the highest average intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), according to findings published in Diabetes Care. The results are based on data from 1,436 participants in a trial including people aged between 13 and 39. Diabetics are known to be at increased risk of kidney disease.
The researchers measured the excretion of the protein albumin in urine. Albumin is the most abundant protein in human serum and in people with kidney problems the protein leaks from the kidney into the urine. A level of 30 mg per 24 hours is reportedly representative of sufficient function. According to the results, people with a higher average intake of omega-3s had albumin excretion levels 22.7 mg per 24 hours lower than people with the lowest average intakes of omega-3.
Results of a double-blind placebo-controlled trial from Hong Kong published earlier this year suggested that supplements of omega-3 fatty acids may improve the kidney health of diabetics. In this study, the researchers evaluated kidney function by measuring creatine levels, with high levels indicative of damage to the functioning of nephrons in the kidney. “Our results showed a significant decrease in serum creatinine level after fish-oil supplement in Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients,” stated the researchers in Diabetic Medicine (Vol. 27, pp. 54-60). “Prior studies have [also] suggested that fish-oil supplement has renoprotective effects in diabetes mellitus,” they added.