Eating Eel May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand Indigenous


By: Linda von Wartburg

Marie Benton, a Maori health researcher in New Zealand, has carriedout a ten-year study of her tribe, comparing nine people who ate eelregularly and lived a traditional lifestyle with nine people who atea more Western diet.

Of the first group, none developed type 2 diabetes and all arehealthy; two of them are in their eighties. Everyone in the secondgroup developed type 2 diabetes and seven of them died, mostly intheir fifties and sixties. The only two surviving subjects are aged42 and 50 years.

The study forms part of Mrs. Benton's doctorate, which investigatesthe explosion of previously unknown type 2 diabetes that occurred inthe Maori population after the 1960s. She has found that thelong-finned eels in the traditional diet contain high levels ofomega-3 fatty acids, far more than in salmon and approximately thesame as in sardines.

It is her conclusion that daily consumption of eel has been animportant factor in the well-being of the first group, along withtheir active traditional lifestyle and consumption of fruit andvegetables.

Source: NZ Herald



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