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The #1 Best Supplement for Prediabetes, Says Dietitian

Taking this supplement can be particularly helpful for those with prediabetes.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Approximately 96 million American adults have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That is more than 1 in 3 adults. Of those who have prediabetes, more than 80% don't even know they have it! Having prediabetes can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Keep reading to find out what prediabetes is and a supplement that may help in various ways.

RelatedBest Eating Habits to Reverse Prediabetes, Say Dietitians.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, however, they're not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Typically, when you eat food your body breaks it down into glucose and it's absorbed into your bloodstream. A hormone made by your pancreas called insulin allows that sugar in your blood to go into your cells to be used as energy. If you have prediabetes, the cells in the body don't respond normally to insulin. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get your cells to respond. Eventually, the pancreas can't keep up and your blood sugar levels go up which is what causes prediabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes if your prediabetes is left untreated.

A simple blood test can check for prediabetes. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned.

The #1 best supplement for prediabetes is an omega-3 supplement.

omega 3 fatty acids
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When taking supplements, none are a magic cure for prediabetes. However, an omega-3 supplement with EPA and DHA is one supplement that tends to be recommended for folks with prediabetes.

This is because one of the main health concerns when you have prediabetes is heart health. EPA and DHA omega-3s, as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, can help support the heart in a variety of ways.

Low levels of omega-3 in the body are associated with an increased risk of heart-related health issues. In addition, omega-3s have also been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure and healthy triglyceride levels. These are all concerns when you have prediabetes.

How much do you need?

You can get EPA and DHA omega-3s by eating fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, and salmon, but research shows that only one-third of Americans are meeting their EPA and DHA omega-3 needs through food. As such, a supplement may be a good idea.

The recommendation for EPA and DHA omega 3s is between 250-1,000 milligrams per day, with emerging research suggesting 1,000 milligrams per day is a good target amount.

You can select EPA and DHA omega-3 supplements made from krill, fish, or vegetarian marine algae.

Look for smaller-sized tablets if you want the pill to be easier to swallow, and enteric-coated supplements are made to reduce "fish burps."

Always as your doctor before taking any new supplement, and choose the one that is right for you.

Read more: The #1 Best Omega-3 Supplement to Take, Says Dietitian

Small changes

Having prediabetes doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

In addition to taking a supplement, there are lifestyle factors that can be followed to help minimize your risk. Some of these lifestyle factors include losing a small amount of weight, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, and eating in a healthful manner (such as taking in the recommended amount of daily vegetables and fiber).

Making small changes towards a healthier lifestyle has been shown to help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke if you keep them up over time.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more