Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Go Fishing For Omega-3 To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

FIsh oil for type 2 diabetes

Experts have identified many ways to help prevent type 2 diabetes, and one of the latest studies suggests omega-3 fish oils can be helpful. You don’t need to go fishing to reap the benefits of this recommendation, however.

It’s well accepted that diet has an important impact on both the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, many people are unsure what they should and should not eat and can greatly benefit from knowing some specific, scientifically supported menu ideas.

A new study from the University of Eastern Finland has offered some insight into the question as to whether eating certain fish that are rich sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) can help prevent type 2 diabetes. The authors used data from the ongoing Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

Read about foods that can help you produce insulin

The data came from 2,212 men who were aged 42 to 60 when they first entered the study in 1984 to 1989. When a follow-up was conducted at 19.3 years, it showed that 422 men had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

An evaluation of all the men’s concentration of omega-3 fatty acid concentrations revealed that the men who had the highest serum omega-3 concentration had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than men who had the lowest concentrations.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

These findings suggest that including fish rich in omega-3 may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association has long recommended eating fish at least two times a week, with each serving equaling 3.5 ounces.

Read more about type 2 diabetes and fish

The fish that provide the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, rainbow trout, lake trout, sardines, albacore tuna, anchovy, bream, and herring. Fish to avoid (because of a high potential for mercury) include shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish.

If you do not want to eat fish, you can take fish oil or krill oil supplements to get the recommended amount of EPA and DHA. When choosing fish oil or krill oil supplements, select them based on the amount of EPA and DHA in the product. A vegetarian omega-3 supplement is also available that provides DHA.

A typical dose for healthy individuals is 500 mg of EPA and DHA daily. Individuals with heart disease or who have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes may take 1 to 4 gram of EPA and DHA daily. Supplementation with omega-3 should be discussed with your physician.

This new study suggests men may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they consume omega-3 fatty acids. A previous meta-analysis of 12 studies, which appeared in the International Journal of Endocrinology in September 2013, also noted a 20 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes for every 80 grams per day of oily fish consumed.

Virtanen JK 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 Jan; 37(1): 189-96
Zhang M et al. Fish and marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Endocrinology 2013; 2013:501015

Image: zimpenfish/Flickr