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Omega-3 fatty acids may improve kidney health in diabetics

Published on

12 April 2010

Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce kidney damage in type-1 diabetics, says a new study.

In the study, the excretion of the protein albumin in urine was measured in 1,436 participants (aged between 13 and 39). Albumin is the most abundant protein in human serum and in people with kidney problems the protein leaks from the kidney into the urine. According to the results, people with a higher average intake of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had lower albumin excretion levels than people with the lowest average intakes of omega-3 (1). However, no link was observed with the incidence of kidney damage or raised albumin levels.

Results of a randomized controlled trial from China 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 kidney damage.


  1. Lee C.C. et al. Dietary intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and diabetic nephropathy – cohort analysis of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) Diabetes Care. Diabetes Care. 2010.

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