Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

8/18/03

Q:

Could you tell me if flax seed oil is good or harmful to me? I am a type 2 diabetic.

A:

I know of no negatives for flax seeds on diabetes; they are a nutritious food that may help with arthritic inflammations and in lowering blood fats. One Tablespoon per day is a suggested intake of the oil, or two Tablespoons of ground seeds. They contain an essential fatty acid, meaning our bodies do not manufacture this. However, someone with diabetes will probably be better off taking a fish oil supplement for these essential fats, as diabetes can impair the body's ability to convert the flax oil into a useable essential fatty acid. If you do eat fish, cold water fish, preferable from Alaska, is the best source. A pure grade fish oil is a useful alternative, so that both flax and fish can be taken for different benefits.

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