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Debbie-Sue

Flaxseed Oil: Good or not for diabetes type 2?

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I've been reading about flaxseed oil being good for type 2's and in a different article, should be avoided by diabetics on certain meds like Metformin. I am taking Met 2x a day at the maximum mg. I am confused by some articles saying it benefits diabetics and others say to avoid it. Which is right?

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Hi Debbie-Sue,

 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center's website, flaxseed can raise your bg levels if you are takng Met. But there are many people here who eat flaxseed and say that it actually helps their bg levels. I would experiment to see. Let us know how it works for you.

 

Possible Interactions with: Flaxseed Oil

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Hi Debbie-Sue,

 

There may be truth in what you say. I eat raw flaxseed (for its fats) many times during the day. If I overeat it a bit my BGs tend to rise even on an empty stomach.

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I was afraid of the responses. I just bought a huge bottle of flaxseed oil and now I don't think I'll even use it. I got my dh to take one this morning so maybe he'll take a shine to them. I do have flax seed so I guess I'll use thosemore often.

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I use ground flaxseed all the time to make all sorts of baked goods. I find I get very little bg spikes from flaxseed. Sometime it will actually push my bg down. Flaxseed is basically all fiber so it shouldn't affect bg. It does have fat like any seed so if you are sensitive to fat you may need to be careful. Since using flaxseed I have raised my HDL to 89

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I taker flax oil, 2000 mg per day, as a vegetarian source of EFA's. I also take an algae-source supplement of EPA and DHA (longer-chain EFA's not available in flax).

 

I have never noticed any increase in blood sugars, even after eating flax MEAL, in addition to my supplement. I had never heard it can raise BG's either. I'd go ahead and take it and see what happens. The less-direct effect on your Diabetes, ie, improving your lipid profile and blood clotting (you are not supposed to take omega-3's AND aspirin!), are most likely going to be worth it.

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I eat ground flax nearly every morning. Personally, if I found that Metformin interfered with the benefits of flax, I'd dump the met! But, that's just me.

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I did find this with a quick Google, it suprised me!

 

Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use omega-3 fatty acid supplements, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), without first talking to your health care provider.

 

Blood-thinning medications -- Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the effects of blood thinning medications, including aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and clopedigrel (Plavix). Taking aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in some circumstances (such as in heart disease), but they should only be taken together under the supervision of a health care provider.

 

Diabetes medications -- Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements may increase fasting blood sugar levels. Use with caution if taking medications to lower blood sugar, such as glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Micronase or Diabeta), glucophage (Metformin), or insulin. Your doctor may need to increase your medication dose. These drugs include:

 

Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL)

Glyburide (Micronase or Diabeta)

Metformin (Glucophage)

Insulin

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Huh! Whaddya know?!

 

My doctor however does not increase my medication dose ... I do! And it does not seem necessary for me.

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I gooooooogled it in response to your post about aspirin and fish oil which I take both, possibly being harmful. I thought it would be of the blood thinning effect and I was correct. Doc knew I was taking fish oil when released from the hospital, so I guess I do not need to be to concerned. I barely ever bruise.

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Yep, I DO bruise ... not as badly as when I first started aspirin, but still pretty ugly. That is why I quit it.

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My doctor was the one who told me to do the fish oil supplements. He didn't manage any interactions with the metformin. I've never seen a bg spike from the flaxseed but I will have to pay attention when I take my fish oil caps.

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I just recently added Flaxseed Oil capsule to my dietary supplements. I did not notice any difference in my BG. Again, it may depend on the doseage.

 

I recently heard that taking Fish Oil is not the recommended supplement for improving your lipids. Apparently, we are should receive more Omega 6's than Omega 3's, and fish oil provides quite the opposite. (this came from Brian Peskin who wrote the book "Hidden Story of Cancer" - he claims that heart disease and cancer are caused by the same issue).

 

There is quite a lot of conflicting advice....it is probably all wrong.

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This may be of interest.. it seems EPA and DHA are better than flaxseed (linoleic ) . IIRC the conversion process is linoleic >>EPA>>DHA, with the conversion efficiency from linoleic >>EPA at about 1 in 50 (low) . this suggests the conversion efficiency is even lower in diabetics. So , if you want the benefit of omega3.. you may be better off with EPA and DHA, though fish oil does raise BG in some

 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids

 

"People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes. Another type of omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (from flaxseed, for example) may not have the same benefit as fish oil. Some people with diabetes can' t efficiently convert LNA to a form of omega-3 fatty acids that the body can use. Also, some people with type 2 diabetes may have slight increases in fasting blood sugar when taking fish oil, so talk to your doctor to see if fish oil is right for you."

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I...

I recently heard that taking Fish Oil is not the recommended supplement for improving your lipids. Apparently, we are should receive more Omega 6's than Omega 3's, and fish oil provides quite the opposite. (....

 

Well.. not according to Lands at NIH. There is a good non tecnical discussion here

Whole Health Source: Eicosanoids and Ischemic Heart Disease

Whole Health Source: Eicosanoids and Ischemic Heart Disease, Part II

 

The gist is if you want to avoid heart disease, lower your consumption of omega 6 and increase your consumption of omega 3.

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So those of us taking flax should stay away from Metformin because of the ill effects, I guess! (Gladly.)

 

Nearly every morning, I eat a bowl consisting of:

 

1/2 cup (uncooked) rolled oats

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp virgin coconut oil

1 large pat of butter

Himalayan pink salt

Stevia

 

It's pushing the carb limit a bit (by far the most carbs I ever eat at one sitting) and sometimes I have to leave it out if I'm having trouble with BG. But, the other ingredients are so good and so important that things are not as good when I have to omit it. The coconut oil gives incredible energy for most of the day (see: MCTs). We all know the goodness of butter and I'm convinced the flax is doing good, too. If I run out, I don't get the same good experience.

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This may be of interest.. it seems EPA and DHA are better than flaxseed (Linolenic ) . IIRC the conversion process is Linolenic >>EPA>>DHA, with the conversion efficiency from Linolenic >>EPA at about 1 in 50 (low) .

 

Opps got my omega 3 and omega 6 names confused, what I meant was the omega 3 as described in wikipedia

 

* α-Linolenic acid – an ω-3 fatty acid found in many vegetable oils. The unmodified term linolenic acid most commonly refers to this substance.

* γ-Linolenic acid – an ω-6 fatty acid

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