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Omega 3 fatty acids may help to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

January 18, 2014

According to a new Finnish study, high blood concentrations of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids may contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

The observational study determined the serum omega 3 fatty acid concentrations of 2,212 men between 42 and 60 years of age and documented cases of type 2 diabetes development during a follow-up of 19 years (1). The study results showed that the risk of diabetes in men with the highest serum omega 3 fatty acid concentrations was 33% lower than the risk of men with the lowest blood concentrations.

The researchers commented that, in addition to the cornerstones of diabetes prevention, such as weight management and increased exercise, a well-balanced diet should include at least two fish meals per week, preferably fatty fish. Fish rich in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, rainbow trout, vendace, bream, herring, anchovy, sardine and mackerel. Findings on how regular fish consumption or increased intakes of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil affect the risk of diabetes have been highly contradictory. A protective link has mainly been observed in Asian populations, whereas a similar link has not been observed in European or US studies (2).

References

  1. Jyrki K. et al. Serum Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in Men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Diabetes Care. 2014; 37(1):189–196.
  2. Zhang M. et al. Fish and Marine Omega-3 Polyunsatured Fatty Acid Consumption and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Endocrinol. Published online September 2013.