Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids can reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

In high concentrations, serum long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Diabetes Care.

Thus far, research on fish oil consumption and diabetes has been contradictory, the University of Eastern Finland researchers noted, with a protective link seen mostly in Asian individuals but not European or U.S. populations. Some previous studies have even suggested that fish oil can lead to an increased diabetes risk.

Study shows men benefit from fish oil

The recent study, the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), aimed to determine the serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations of 2,212 men between the ages of 42 and 60 during 1984 and 1989.

Men who had the highest serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men who had the lowest concentrations, the study found.

"The study sheds new light on the association between fish consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes," a press release on the study stated. "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, whereas for example saithe and Atlantic cod are not so good alternatives."

Source: University of Eastern Finland

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