Omega-3 Fatty Acid Linked To Type 2 Diabetes?

Kea Schwarz
By: Kea Schwarz

There is a lot of evidence for and against the effects of consuming omega-3 fatty acids and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In order to evaluate this concern a meta-analysis was carried out based on prospective cohorts.¹ Researchers calculated the diabetic risks of consuming omega-3 fatty acids by using a fixed or random effects model. Specifically, the correlation between dose and response was assessed. The results showed that consuming a single type of omega-3 lead to an increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, the relative risk for consumption of mixed omega-3 was deemed insignificant. The dose-response curve showed a bell shape of the risk of diabetes in comparison to the dose of omega-3 consumed. Furthermore, in a sub-analysis it was seen that omega-3 was reversely related to type 2 diabetes risk in Asians, while at the same time, the risk for getting type 2 diabetes increased for westerners. In studies that followed up over a 16 year period with a baseline age around 54 years old, an increased diabetes risk was seen in those that consumed omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, these findings suggest that many factors including, dosage, composition of omega-3, ethnicity, trial duration, and age could all have different influences on type 2 diabetes progression.²


References:

  1. HealthDay. News for physicians & medical professionals. Physician’s briefing. http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=718342. Accessed February 11, 2017.
  2. Chen C, Yang Y, Yu X, Hu S, Shao S. Association between omega-3 fatty acids consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis of cohort studies. Journal of Diabetes Investigation. February 2017. doi:10.1111/jdi.12614.
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