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Impact of Fish Oil supplements on Blood Sugar
Old 09-29-2009, 08:49 AM   #1
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Impact of Fish Oil supplements on Blood Sugar

I have read conflcting reports on impact of Fish oil supplements on blood glucose levels. Some studies say there is no impact. Some say it increases BG levels by ~14%.

Does anybody have any opinions/personal experience? Any drs. opinion will be valuable.

Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by detroitbabu View Post
I have read conflcting reports on impact of Fish oil supplements on blood glucose levels. Some studies say there is no impact. Some say it increases BG levels by ~14%.

Does anybody have any opinions/personal experience? Any drs. opinion will be valuable.

Thanks.
I do. I monitor my BG every morning. My glucose tolerance is shot, so my strategy is to not challenge its limited response capability. With this plan, morning BGs are almost always below 100. Suddenly in early June they jumped up 10 points or a little more. Not every morning, but often enough to have me wondering what is going on. I haven't been taking fish oil, but in summer I eat a lot of salmon- first the sockeye run, then the kings, and for the last few weeks silvers. Maybe an average of 1/2#/day.

I've been puzzling about what is going on, as I still eat the usual low carb meals.

So QFC ran some beef steak specials last week, and at the same time I started making some lamb from Whole Foods. Consequently I went a few days without any salmon.

Sugars back to normal. I have no proof that it is the fish, but as I have also read what you referred to, I think it likely is, at least for me. I do believe that "no effect" in a study can mask a lot of variability from person to person.

If I try again, and the effect is the same, I am not sure what I plan to do. I've been glutting myself on fresh salmon every summer for close to 50 years, and there is nothing in the food line that pleases me as much.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks haha.

From what I have read, some studies have shown that if you eat fish (salmon) it does not impact BG levels but if you take fish oil in the form of supplements, blood sugar goes up.

I have been taking fish oil supplements for last 8-9 months or so but I have not been checking my BG levels regularly. I am going for tests next week. I will know from my A1C reading what the story is (for me personally).
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by detroitbabu View Post
Thanks haha.

From what I have read, some studies have shown that if you eat fish (salmon) it does not impact BG levels but if you take fish oil in the form of supplements, blood sugar goes up.
I don't know how that would be possible, unless the typical person doesn't eat so much fish as he will consume fish oil.

Anyway, it has shown a marked effect for me, so far. There are still some silvers left in the markes, so I may retry next week.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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I don't know how that would be possible, unless the typical person doesn't eat so much fish as he will consume fish oil.

Anyway, it has shown a marked effect for me, so far. There are still some silvers left in the markes, so I may retry next week.

Ha
Yes, it is very counterintuitive. I will try to dig out the source and post it here.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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There are several places to look for information on PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids and Omega 3. You may want to start here and branch out from there.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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There are several places to look for information on PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids and Omega 3. You may want to start here and branch out from there.
Blood sugar is one area where one can really be an empiricist. What you are interested in is what happens to your own blood sugar. You can buy a meter and strips from Wal-Mart very cheaply. Once you know how to use it, no need to read the internet, or ask your variably informed MD or anything else. Just find out.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
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Blood sugar is one area where one can really be an empiricist. What you are interested in is what happens to your own blood sugar. You can buy a meter and strips from Wal-Mart very cheaply. Once you know how to use it, no need to read the internet, or ask your variably informed MD or anything else. Just find out.

Ha
well said Ha...
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:37 AM   #9
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Here is one Dr's opinion:
PaNu - PāNu Blog - Fish Oil - or*not?
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:13 AM   #10
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Here is one Dr's opinion:
PaNu - PāNu Blog - Fish Oil - or*not?
Paleolithic nutrition? Yeah, we should all eat what our prehistoric ancesters did back when life expectancy was, what, 25 years.

It is interesting that he puts words in Peter Taubes' mouth in the article. That sent me to Taubes' book where I found this on page 386:

Quote:
The concentration of fatty acids in the circulation ... is surprisingly low immediately after a meal, when blood-sugar levels are highest, but then increases steadily in the hours that follow, as the blood sugar ebbs. Injecting either glucose or insulin into the circulation diminishes the level of fatty acids immediately. It's as though our cells have the option of using fatty acids or glucose for fuel, but when surplus glucose is available, as signaled by rising insulin or blood-sugar levels, the fatty acids are swept into the fat tissue for later use. The concentration of circulating fatty acids rises and falls in "relation to the need for fuel...
(The above quote was selected with very little (if any) research into the OP's question, so treat it as such.)

So far, the best advice has been given by haha:

Quote:
You can buy a meter and strips from Wal-Mart very cheaply. Once you know how to use it, no need to read the internet, or ask your variably informed MD or anything else. Just find out.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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Paleolithic nutrition? Yeah, we should all eat what our prehistoric ancesters did back when life expectancy was, what, 25 years.
I used to say this same thing in the past, but I've changed my view since, in part from reading Younger Next Year.

Now I see it like this: Humans haven't changed much in the last 25,000 years, so it is useful to understand the prehistoric environment (and diet) that our bodies adapted to. Although a 56-year-old living today is very different from a teenage hunter-gatherer, the basic mechanisms of the body (changes in blood sugar, response to exercise) are still the same.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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I used to say this same thing in the past, but I've changed my view since, in part from reading Younger Next Year.

Now I see it like this: Humans haven't changed much in the last 25,000 years, so it is useful to understand the prehistoric environment (and diet) that our bodies adapted to. Although a 56-year-old living today is very different from a teenage hunter-gatherer, the basic mechanisms of the body (changes in blood sugar, response to exercise) are still the same.
That might be true if we really knew what our paleolithic ancestors ate. While we can be pretty sure they didn't eat candy bars or French bread, it is likely that their diet varied quite a bit in the different latitudes and ecosystems that they inhabited.

I believe that for me a very low carb diet works best. I also think these Geeky debates about what our ancestors ate and how they lived 40,000 years ago is kind of beside the point. When? Where? Which ancestors are we talking about?

Ha
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:18 AM   #13
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Here is one Dr's opinion:
PaNu - PāNu Blog - Fish Oil - or*not?
I don't see where he addresses the question of "does fat fish eating raise blood sugar in susceptible individuals?"

Ha
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well there weren't many replies when I last checked...
Old 09-30-2009, 02:03 PM   #14
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well there weren't many replies when I last checked...

@haha you're probably right. When I saw this thread I honestly pulled out the last place I heard about "fish oil".

Quote:
Paleolithic nutrition? Yeah, we should all eat what our prehistoric ancesters did back when life expectancy was, what, 25 years.
Yes clearly none of these paleo dieters realize this life expectancy, and certainly the diet implies causation here.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:13 PM   #15
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Although a 56-year-old living today is very different from a teenage hunter-gatherer,
Yeah, I said 25 years but actually that was very old age at the time. I am trying to remember who (he was well-respected in this field) claimed that the characters in Homer's "Illiad" & "Odyssey" were between 10- and 13-years old. He based this on the capabilities of today's children of that age and how they behave.

Kinda like "Lord of the Flies," huh?
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:45 PM   #16
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lifespan.jpg

(from Life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:16 PM   #17
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Hmmm. Maybe I was just making it up. No... that can't be. You can't make up stuff while on the Internet -- there are too many people watching.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:41 PM   #18
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I do not see how fish oil could raise your blood sugar. I check my B/S often and so far I have not noticed any change with the fish oil I take. I have been taking it for almost a year now.

I checked my B/S one morning last week and it was 82. I thought maybe the meter was wrong so I tested again. Same 82 again. I could not remember what I had eat the night before but I do remember I had walked 4 miles. I normally only walk 2 miles. If I do not walk and test the next morning my numbers are still under 100 but not by much. Exercising is the key.

For those reading this and wondering why I even test well let me say that the fasting numbers do not tell it all. My blood sugar can be 100 before I eat spaghetti and bread. Four hours after that meal my numbers are still in the 180 range unless I walk. I believe that is what causes all the problems. Because my fasting tests are always in the so called normal zone then years could pass and one would never know. I think I caught my disease early and from what I have read it is much better to manage than finding out after your numbers are out of sight.

Another very important thing to know about diabetes is you have to admit you have it. I know many people I can almost bet that have this disease and they refuse to stand up and say it. I think the word is denial.

I am talking to much so I will end my rambling and say goodnight . I almost forgot I have to take my fish oil
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:56 PM   #19
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Fish oil doesn't effect my BGL much, if at all. However, when I got put on a statin (simvastatin) my fasting glucose level jumped about 35%. All the documentation says statins don't effect blood glucose, but I know it does (in me). So IMHO, and as Ha says (sort of), test, get a baseline, keep everything else the same, add fish oil, and test some more. Then you'll know.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:01 AM   #20
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I have been taking a fish oil capsule daily for about 4-5 years. Over that period of time, my fasting glucose has only once been outside the range of 89-93. That one time was in Feb this year at annual physical, and it had risen to 101. I checked it myself a month later, and had it checked at the doc two months later, and it was 93 and 92 respectively. Never did figure our what caused the little spike.

With my weight on the high side, I have been concerned about diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc, so about 18 months or so ago I bought a glucose meter and some strips, as Haha suggested. It was not expensive, and it is easy to use. I don't check every day...don't need to. But I like to check on it once every couple months between blood tests at the doc, which I get about once every 6-8 months when I see him for lactobacillus supplements (that I can only get by prescription here...even though they are OTC/not regulated in the States).

Back to the topic: When I run out of fish oil supplements, or when I have forgotten to take them on a trip, my BG does not seem to be impacted. I think YMMV.

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