Flax seed, Omega-3 and Sunlight

“I’ll take an order of flax seed, omega-3 and sunlight please!” This is what I’d order from the fast food window if I could…..

Because the medical community still doesn’t know exactly what triggers type 1 diabetes, there are always new discoveries about possible links to causes or triggers. I remember when I was in college reading about diabetes being linked to drinking cow’s milk, and for a while, blaming my parents for raising us in Vermont, and allowing us to drink milk from the dairy farm down the road. My sister also had diabetes and drank the same milk as me. But so did all the other kids in our small town, so why were we the only ones with the disease? I remember another study pointing the finger of diabetes at a lack of sleep, (I always slept like a rock until I had children). Finally, I remember one particular older woman who told me that, “The sugar diabetes” came from eating too much sugar, just like cavities. She was a stranger in the doctor’s office, and had no idea that I’d grown up with hippy parents who only allowed sugar once a week and called it, “Candy Day.”

I knew getting type 1 diabetes had nothing to do with eating sugar or drinking milk, but I wanted there to be a reason. I wanted there to be someone or something to blame. Eventually, I realized it didn’t matter where my diabetes came from because it wasn’t going anywhere. So I paid less attention to all the finger pointing.

Until I became a mother.

In the June 5 issue of WebMD Health News, Salynn Boyles reports,

“There is new evidence that children who get plenty of vitamin D, either from supplements or sun exposure, have a reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Vitamin D supplementation during infancy was associated with a 29% reduction in type 1 diabetes risk in a recently published research analysis.

And a new study examining type 1 diabetes rates in specific populations confirms that rates are lower in sunny equatorial countries and higher in northern latitude countries that get far less sunlight.”

Another study recently reported flax seed and omega-3 as deterrents to developing type 1 diabetes. Okay, I thought. Here is something I can work with. I may not be able to pinpoint how I got stuck with this disease, but maybe there is something I can do for my children. And what a relief that we live in the South, no wonder my sister and I got diabetes, living in cold Vermont! Now I was back to blaming my parents for living in New England. But there is hope for my kids! But In the back of my mind I know flax seed, omega-3 and sunlight aren’t going to keep my kids from developing diabetes just as much as I know throwing a penny in a fountain and making a wish to keep them healthy won’t work either. Why researchers haven’t figured out the cause of type 1 diabetes is beyond me. So until they do…..

I’ll feed my children flax seed muffins, scrambled eggs and spend every afternoon at the beach if that will give them an extra layer of protection against this disease. I’ll do whatever it takes.

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