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Omega-3s show little heart health benefit for diabetic women

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Women with diabetes who have been taking omega-3 supplements as part of a treatment plan to lower their risk for heart disease may want to consider getting a cholesterol test, as a new study has found that the fatty acids do little to reduce the risk of heart disease in this group.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in previous studies to reduce the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries of healthy individuals. However, little research had been done into their effect on individuals with diabetes, which significantly elevates the risk of developing heart disease.

The study used food questionnaires to determine the amount of omega-3s consumed by participants. Researchers then tracked their medical records. They found that diabetic women who incorporated the highest levels of omega-3s into their diet were just as likely to develop heart disease as those who consumed the least.

Tina Costacou, who led the investigation, said that women should focus on traditional diet and exercise recommendations to control their risk factors for heart disease.

"Although omega-3 is typically associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, this may not be the case for women who have type 1 diabetes," she said.

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