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).