The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Does dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of type 1 diabetes?

    Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) accounts for 5% to 10% of all patients with diabetes.

    Now, The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) reports an association between high dietary intake of omega-3 and a lower incidence of type 1 diabetes.

    First, the details.

    • 1770 children at risk for type 1 diabetes were monitored for about 6 years.
    • Risk for diabetes was defined as a genetic predisposition or a sibling or parent with type 1 diabetes.
    • Islet autoimmunity (IA, a predictor of diabetes) was compared to the dietary intake of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids starting at age 1 year.

    And, the results.

    • 58 children developed IA.
    • After adjusting for genetics, family history of type 1 diabetes, caloric intake, and omega-6 fatty acid intake, higher omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of IA.

    The bottom line?
    An “association” does not mean one factor (lower omege-3 intake) “causes” the other (increased risk of type 1 diabetes).

    According to Dr. Jill Norris in a WebMD interview, “The thinking is that omega-3 may increase the body’s ability to fight the inflammation that leads to type 1 diabetes.”

    She also cautions, “This is a preliminary study. We really can’t make dietary recommendations based on these findings.”

    9/29/07 20:29 JR

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