Leeds researchers to find out whether fish oil could help diabetics

RESEARCH: Dr Matthew Campbell is looking for volunteers for research into Type 1 Diabetes at Leeds Beckett University.
RESEARCH: Dr Matthew Campbell is looking for volunteers for research into Type 1 Diabetes at Leeds Beckett University.
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Researchers in Leeds are studying whether fish oils help improve type 1 diabetes and they are looking for volunteers. Catherine Scott reports.

Researchers at Leeds Beckett University are seeking volunteers with type 1 diabetes to take part in a new study looking at whether omega-3 supplements can improve the day-to-day management of Type 1 diabetes.

The study is led by Dr Matthew Campbell, and conducted by Lauren O’Mahoney, who are both researchers in the Diabetes Research Team in the Institute of Sport, Physical Activity, and Leisure at Leeds Beckett.

The researchers are looking to recruit male and female volunteers, who are living with Type 1 diabetes, treated using insulin injections or an insulin pump, and aged between 18 and 65.

“People living with Type 1 diabetes can often find it a challenge to manage their diabetes at mealtimes, especially when eating some of their favourite foods,” explains Lauren O’Mahoney.

“This can have a negative impact on their cardiovascular disease risk, so it’s important that we investigate new cost-effective and pragmatic strategies that are accessible to people with type 1 diabetes.

“Research that we have conducted has revealed that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in the diet, can reduce cardiovascular disease risk in people living with Type 2 diabetes. However, there is simply not enough evidence to say with confidence whether these positive effects are transferable to people with Type 1 diabetes; this is what our study seeks to discover.”

Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups: one group will take an omega-3 supplement for six months and the second group will receive a placebo for six months.

Volunteers in the study will be asked to visit a laboratory at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus on four occasions.

After the first visit at the start of the study they will then be asked back once every three months for nine months. Supplements will be taken for the first six months of the study.

During each visit, participants will receive a breakfast- and lunch-based meal with blood samples taken over an eight-hour period.

Lauren added: “We hope that the findings of the study will benefit people with type 1 diabetes by providing new strategies to improve day-to-day and long-diabetes management”.

For more information about the study, contact Lauren O’Mahoney on 0113 812 2059 or L.Omahoney@leedsbeckett.ac.uk