Omega-3 Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes: What's the Link?

Composition, ethnicity, trial duration, recruited age all influence effect of omega-3 on T2DM progression
Composition, ethnicity, trial duration, recruited age all influence effect of omega-3 on T2DM progression

HealthDay News — Consumption of single omega-3 is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), with dosage, ethnicity, trial duration, and recruited age influencing the effect, according to a meta-analysis published online December 29 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

Cai Chen, from the Huazhong University of Science & Technology in China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis based on prospective cohorts to examine the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the risk of T2D. They calculated pooled risk using a fixed or random effects model. 

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The researchers found that consumption of single omega-3 correlated with increased risk of T2D (relative risk, 1.45); the relative risk was statistically insignificant for mixed omega-3. For diabetes risk, the dose-response curve presented an inverted U-shape, corresponding to omega-3 consumption dose. In subanalysis, omega-3 was inversely associated with the risk of T2D in Asians (relative risk, 0.82); in Westerners the risk was increased (relative risk, 1.3). A positive association was seen between T2D risk and omega-3 intake in studies with follow-up duration ≥16 years and baseline age ≥54 years.

"Our findings suggest that dosage and composition of omega-3, ethnicity, trial duration and recruited age may influence the effect of omega-3 on T2D progression," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by CIMF-Novo Nordisk.

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