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Jun 15, 2017 10:24 AM EDT

Researchers found out that seal oil is a potential agent in nerve restoration for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

The research team from the Krembil Neuroscience Centre in Toronto says that patients who ingested an omega-3 supplement derived from seal oil had an increased corneal nerve fiber length. According to Science Daily, the patients took the supplement twice a day for over a year.

A total of 40 patients participated in the study. For the record, the corneal nerve fiber is located at the front of the eye. The cornea has the highest density of nerves in the body. That being said, any damage to these nerves is considered a biomarker for the progression of Type 1 diabetes.

Per Z News India, author Dr. Evan Lewis, a neurologist, said that "nothing like this" has been attempted in humans before. All of the results from this particular trial are vital steps toward a "clinical therapy for people with diabetic neuropathy". Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage brought about by diabetes complications.

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Some of its symptoms include numbness, tingling sensation, and even a feeling of burning hands and feet. Constant pain is also imminent accompanied with difficulty in walking. Currently, there are no therapies available.

Meanwhile, the study did not measure the effects of seal oil in vision recovery for diabetic blindness patients. Nevertheless, the experts found that experienced a 29 percent increase in corneal nerve fiber length due to the omega-3 seal oil supplement. The researchers plan to conduct a phase three randomized controlled trial in the future, involving more participants.

Dr. Lewis added that their original goal was to collect enough data to power a randomized clinical trial. He noted that he believes that this study lays the groundwork for that dream to happen. Funding for this study was provided by Diabetes Canada and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre.

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