Fish derived serum omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

January 14, 2014

High concentrations of serum long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a University of Eastern Finland study published recently in Diabetes Care. The sources of these fatty acids are fish and fish oils.

Type 2 is becoming increasingly widespread throughout the world, including Finland. Overweight is the most significant risk factor, which means that diet and other lifestyle factors play important roles in the development of type 2 diabetes. Earlier research has established that weight management, exercise and high serum linoleic acid concentrations, among other things, are associated with reduced risk of diabetes. However, findings on how fish consumption or long-chain omega-3 fatty acids 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 – and some studies have even linked a high consumption of fish to increased .

Ongoing at the University of Eastern Finland, the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) determined the serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations of 2,212 men between 42 and 60 years of age at the onset of the study, in 1984–1989.

During a follow-up of 19.3 years, 422 men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Serum long-chain omega-3 fatty acid concentrations were used to divide the subjects into four categories. The risk of men in the highest serum omega-3 fatty acid concentration quarter to develop type 2 diabetes was 33% lower than the risk of men in the lowest quarter.

The study sheds new light on the association between fish consumption and the risk of . A well-balanced diet should include at least two fish meals per week, preferably fatty fish. Fish rich in long-chain include salmon, rainbow trout, vendace, bream, herring, anchovy, sardine and mackerel, whereas for example saithe and Atlantic cod are not so good alternatives. Weight management, increased exercise and a well-rounded diet built around dietary recommendations constitute the cornerstones of diabetes prevention.

Explore further: High serum omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content protects against brain abnormalities

More information: Serum Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in Men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, Jyrki K. Virtanen, Jaakko Mursu, Sari Voutilainen, Matti Uusitupa, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen Diabetes Care 2014;37(1):189-96.

Related Stories

High serum omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content protects against brain abnormalities

October 17, 2013
According to a new study, high long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content in blood may lower the risk of small brain infarcts and other brain abnormalities in the elderly. The study was published in Journal of ...

Higher mercury levels in humans associated with increased risk for diabetes

April 8, 2013
A new study found that higher levels of mercury exposure in young adults increased their risks for type 2 diabetes later in life by 65 percent. The study, led by Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington epidemiologist ...

Amount and types of fat we eat affect health and risk of disease

January 10, 2014
Healthy adults should consume between 20 percent and 35 percent of their calories from dietary fat, increase their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, and limit their intake of saturated and trans fats, according to an updated ...

Excess omega-3 fatty acids could lead to negative health effects

October 28, 2013
A new review suggests that omega-3 fatty acids taken in excess could have unintended health consequences in certain situations, and that dietary standards based on the best available evidence need to be established.

Marine algae can help acne sufferers

November 28, 2013
Scientists from the University of Stirling have discovered an unlikely treatment for acne – marine algae.

Researchers see added nutritional benefits in organic milk

December 9, 2013
A team led by a Washington State University researcher has found that organic milk contains significantly higher concentrations of heart-healthy fatty acids compared to milk from cows on conventionally managed dairy farms. ...

Recommended for you

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent

July 20, 2017
An existing Alzheimer's medication slashes inflammation and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome, a potential therapeutic intervention for a highly dangerous condition affecting 30 percent of adults in the ...

Diabetes or its precursor affects 100 million Americans

July 19, 2017
Almost one-third of the US population—100 million people—either has diabetes or its precursor condition, known as pre-diabetes, said a government report Tuesday.

One virus may protect against type 1 diabetes, others may increase risk

July 11, 2017
Doctors can't predict who will develop type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels, requiring daily insulin injections and continual monitoring.

Diabetes complications are a risk factor for repeat hospitalizations, study shows

July 7, 2017
For patients with diabetes, one reason for hospitalization and unplanned hospital readmission is severe dysglycemia (uncontrolled hyperglycemia - high blood sugar, or hypoglycemia - low blood sugar), says new research published ...

Researchers identify promising target to protect bone in patients with diabetes

July 7, 2017
Utilizing metabolomics research techniques, NYU Dentistry researchers investigated the underlying biochemical activity and signaling within the bone marrow of hyperglycemic mice with hopes of reducing fracture risks of diabetics

Immune system killer cells increase risk of diabetes

July 6, 2017
More than half of the German population is obese. One effect of obesity is to chronically activate the immune system, placing it under continuous stress. Researchers in Jens Brüning's team at the Max-Planck-Institute for ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.