Your online resource for objective Diabetes information
Whether you have only recently learned that you have diabetes or you know someone with this condition, you’ll find information on here to keep you updated with developments in the treatment field, including medical research and health news. Our ongoing dialogue with our customers enables us to keep providing you with information and support. Look out for our monthly enews (sign up here) and articles from leading experts in the field. You can find general health information on our blog where you’ll find our articles from our in-house nutritionists as well as guest practitioners, events and webinar information and our media cuttings archive.
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder classified by abnormally high blood sugar, resulting from low levels of the hormone insulin. Continuous high levels of glucose can result in damage to blood vessels – the underlying cause of many of the health problems associated with diabetes. People with diabetes have two to four times the risk of developing heart disease or stroke than the general population. They are also highly susceptible to conditions such as nephropathy (damage to the kidneys) and peripheral neuropathy (diabetic nerve damage). Sufferers who have chronic diabetes are about 50% likely to experience some kind of nerve damage.
Type I diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells (pancreatic beta cells), resulting in high blood sugar. There are several hypotheses as to the cause of type I diabetes, including viral or bacterial infection and/or an autoimmune reaction to components in food such as cow’s milk. In type II diabetes insulin is produced, but the target cells do not recognise it and glucose is not able to move into the cell. This causes a need for abnormally high amounts of insulin; type II diabetes develops when the beta cells cannot meet this demand. Risk factors for type II diabetes include increasing age, smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical inactivity), which affect the actions of insulin within the body. A third type of diabetes ‘gestational diabetes’, which occurs during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is most likely the result of the production of high levels of a variety of hormones, which impair the action of insulin in the tissues, thereby raising blood sugar.
Where insulin is absent or activity is impeded, the enzymes needed to create specific fatty acids cannot be produced and this has major effects on cell membrane fluidity and the production of eicosanoids – hormone-like substances which control immunity, inflammation and play a key role in the cardiovascular system. Indeed there is increasing evidence that supplementing with long-chain fatty acids has significant beneficial effects on diabetic neuropathy and serum lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides), as well as other diabetic complications such as nephropathy (damage to the kidneys) and macroangiopathy (fat and blood clots in the large blood vessels).
Fatty acid supplementation benefits both the cardiovascular system and the nervous system, nourishes the myelin sheath, and prevents further degeneration of inter-cellular communication. It also reduces the risk of developing neuropathy, and actually reinvigorates nerve endings to overcome numbness and the likelihood of eventual tissue loss. EPA plays a role in the compaction, stabilisation and maintenance of myelin sheaths by regulating the production of proteolipid protein (PLP). PLP is literally the ‘glue’ that holds in place the sheets of protective fats which cover the nerve axon. Loss of PLP is associated with many conditions that have nerve damage including Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
We recommend Pharmepa STEP 1: RESTORE at up to 4 capsules daily for a period of 3 months, as it’s suitable for counteracting omega-3 deficiencies and restoring a healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Adults should take it for a period of three months. This initial ‘restore’ phase of the treatment programme may then be followed by a long-term ‘maintenance’ dose of 4 capsules of Pharmepa STEP 2: MAINTAIN daily. Take both products with food for optimum absorption. For vegetarians, our Echiomega supplement provides a more effective solution than flaxseed oil, with higher conversion to the important long-chain fatty acid EPA.
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