Research shows seal oil as nutritional therapy for type 1 diabetes

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For Immediate Release

Research shows seal oil as nutritional therapy for type 1 diabetes

— Patients show nerve regeneration by 30 per cent, Nutarniq Essentials now available in Canada —

(TORONTO, Canada – June 13, 2017) – Today, new research shows participants with type 1 diabetes regenerated nerves by 29 per cent after taking omega-3s derived from seal-oil. The results of a clinical trial conducted by; Dr. Evan Lewis PhD and collaborators from the University Health Network, Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, were released today in Neurology, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study showed that patients who ingested seal oil omega-3s twice a day over a 12-month period reported an increase in corneal nerve fibre length, which represents small nerve fibre regeneration around the body.

“Nothing like this has been attempted in humans before,” says Dr. Lewis. “Results from this trial are a very important step towards a clinical therapy for people with diabetic neuropathy.”

Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage caused by diabetes. Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but can include tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, a feeling of burning in the hands and feet, constant pain and difficulty walking due to painful symptoms. There are currently no therapies available for patients that stop or reverse the nerve damage.

“This study is the first to show that targeted nutritional invention can stop and reverse small fibre damage,” says Dr. Vera Bril, head of the department of neurology at UHN, medical director of the Ellen Prosserman Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, and the study’s principal investigator.

“The initial results of this research are very promising and Diabetes Canada looks forward to continued study on the impact of omega-3s on nerve regeneration,” said Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer at Diabetes Canada.


The paper entitled The effects of omega-3 supplementation on neuropathy in type 1 diabetes was published today in the prestigious Neurology, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Funding for the trial was provided by Diabetes Canada and the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre.

About the Study: Effect of omega-3 supplementation on neuropathy in type 1 diabetes: a 12-month pilot trial.

Dr. Lewis’ study involved 40 patients with type 1 diabetes and neuropathy. It took place at the Martin and Ellen Prosserman Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at the University Health Network. The focus of the trial was the change in corneal nerves. The cornea, which is located at the front of the eye, has the highest density of nerves in the body. Damage to these nerves, or loss of corneal nerve fibre length, is considered a biomarker for progression of type 1 diabetes.

Researchers investigated the effect of the omega-3 seal oil supplement on nerve structure and function and found that patients on average experienced a 29 per cent increase in corneal nerve fibre length. Those at high-risk of developing neuropathy and those with advanced neuropathy showed the most nerve regeneration.

“These findings suggest that use of this supplement has the potential to have a regenerative effect,” says Dr. Lewis. “Our goal was to collect enough data to power a phase 3 randomized controlled clinical trial.

“This is a very important step for providing a meaningful solution for people with neuropathy. It is well known that over time diabetics experience nerve damage that affects quality of life. We are thrilled with the findings as we only expected to see a five per cent increase over the year,” said Dr. Lewis.


About Evan Lewis

Dr. Evan Lewis completed his PhD at the University of Toronto, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine. While completing his PhD, he investigated the effects of seal oil omega-3 supplementation on neuromuscular function in athletes. The positive results from this research lead to the clinical trial investigating seal oil as a therapy for diabetic neuropathy.


Dr. Lewis founded Nutarniq Corp as a way to take his successful clinical research program outside the lab and help people improve their health. His research has shown that supplementation with full spectrum omega-3s can enhance nerve function in athletes and regenerate nerves in people with diabetic neuropathy.

“The launch of Nutarniq Essentials is a major advance for people with diabetic neuropathy” said Dr. Evan Lewis, Nutarniq CEO. “We look forward to supporting the health of diabetics through our continued commitment to clinical research and ongoing product development.


“Results from this trial are a very important step towards a clinical therapy for people with diabetic neuropathy” said Dr. Lewis. “With the help of the Health 2 Innovation Accelerator at U of T, I am working to commercialize these results through Nutarniq Corp, a Toronto base biotech startup”. Nutarniq has released a diabetic neuropathy supplement in an effort to take these impressive findings outside the lab and provide support for the 11 million Canadians with diabetes and pre-diabetes.


About Nutarniq Corp:

Nutarniq Corp. develops targeted nutritional therapies for chronic disease complications. Nutarniq’s flagship product, Nutarniq Essentials – Diabetic Neuropathy Supplement, is a therapeutic solution for individuals with diabetes and neuropathy. Developed by Nutarniq CEO Dr. Lewis, Nutarniq Essentials is a full spectrum clinical grade omega-3s supplement designed to provide all three essential omega-3s to support nerve structure and function. For information please visit


About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.


Tory Crowder, Jumpstart Communications

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