Researchers Study Salmon Skin to Help Treat Diabetes


How do you control high blood sugar levels when you have diabetes? If you watch what you eat and monitor your blood sugar carefully, it’s possible to keep diabetes in check with smart diet and lifestyle choices.

But that’s not easy to do for a lot of people. So if those methods aren’t enough to treat diabetes, then what? Your doctor may recommend medications, including insulin injections, to control diabetes. But those are typically artificially manufactured in a pharmaceutical lab.

What if something already existed in the natural environment that could be used to create a medication designed to treat diabetes? There is. The study of marine life to treat diabetes, or more specifically a compound found in salmon skin.

In a study published in the journal Marine Drugs, researchers found that sea life like sponges, and salmon skin, contain a compound called terpene Dysidine. Lab tests found that terpene Dysidine may help improve insulin sensitivity and aid in controlling blood sugar levels. The findings are promising enough that this compound, found in salmon skin, is now being used in preclinical trials to treat diabetes.

Will eating salmon skin help treat diabetes? At this point, probably not. You’d need a larger dose than a single serving of fish to achieve the desired response to control diabetes.

But there’s nothing wrong with eating salmon skin that’s been baked, grilled, or fried. Salmon skin is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health, control blood pressure, prevent age-related memory loss, and support healthy skin and eyesight.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends eating fish a couple times a week. But it’s important to choose fish that don’t absorb high levels of mercury or come from polluted areas. Fish low in mercury include salmon, tilapia, shrimp, canned tuna, cod, and catfish.

Hungry for a little salmon or fish in your diet? Try these entrees from our Diabetic-Friendly menu: Salmon & Vegetable Linguini, Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach or one of 10 other fish entrees made with tilapia, haddock, pollock, or crab.