Fish oil can help slash diabetes risk

Just as one study claims to find no benefits off fish oil,  another one finds some very real benefits: Fish oil can boost the body's level of adiponectin.

Now, if you're like most people, you've probably never heard of this hormone -- but trust me, you don't just want it.

You need it.

This hormone helps control blood sugar, which is why other studies have found that people with higher levels of it have a lower risk of both diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

And that's not all it can do.

Adiponectin from the benefits of fish oil. It can also help control inflammation, which may be why higher levels of adiponectin have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and other serious heart problems.

It's also a pretty handy fat-burner, and can reduce your risk of obesity. And if all that's not enough, this hormone can also slash your risk of both atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It's pretty important stuff -- and so far, science hasn't identified too many ways to boost your levels of it other than with the benefits of fish oil. We know from animal studies that higher omega-3 intake seems to stimulate adiponectin production, but the new research is one of the first human studies I've seen to make that connection.

In this one, a Harvard University team looked at data from 14 gold-standard clinical trials and found that higher omega-3 intake can boost your adiponectin levels by an average of 0.37 micrograms per milliliter of blood.

I realize that number might not mean much to most people, but it's a respectable (if modest) boost -- and the researchers say some people may see even bigger gains via increased omega-3 intake.

Call that yet another good reason to boost your own omega-3 levels and get more benefits of fish oil. You can do so by simply eating more fatty fish, but the best way to make sure you get what you really need each day is with a supplement.

Be sure to stick with a quality supplement from a maker you trust -- one that's been purified to remove contaminants such as mercury.