Multiple studies have been published recently showing the power of omega-3 fatty acids to prevent Type 1 Diabetes in children. For example, one study out of Norway found that children with Type 1 Diabetes were far less likely to have received fish oil supplements as infants than children that did not have Diabetes.
To examine the effects of omega-3 supplementation on Diabetes in children, researchers at the University of Colorado began a HUGE study entitled, Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY):
The study was conducted in Denver, from January 1994 through November 2006 and included 1,770 children at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, defined as either possession of HLA genotype for a high diabetes risk or having a sibling or parent with type 1 diabetes. The mean age at follow-up was 6.2 years.
Researchers found a very significantly decreased risk in islet autoimmunity (a risk-indicator of Type-1 Diabetes) in children that received Omega-3 fatty acids:
The researchers found that 58 children developed islet autoimmunity during follow-up. Adjusting for HLA genotype, family history of type 1 diabetes, caloric intake, and omega-6 fatty acid intake, omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a 55% reduced risk of islet autoimmunity.
In the second part of the study, researchers examined another factor related to islet autoimmunity, the omega-3 content of erythrocyte membranes:
The researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acid content of erythrocyte membranes was associated with a 37% decreased risk of islet autoimmunity.
If you have Diabetes in your family history, you may want to consider giving your children pharmaceutical-grade fish oil!