Omega fats may reduce diabetes risk

Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center report that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, may improve insulin resistance in overweight individuals. Insulin resistance is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Researcher Yvonne Denkins, PhD, developed a study in which 12 overweight insulin-resistant adults (who did not have full-blown diabetes but were at increased risk for developing the disease) consumed 1.8 grams of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) each day at breakfast for 12 weeks. She found there was an increase in insulin sensitivity after DHA supplementation in over 70% of participants.

“Although these are very preliminary results from a small number of subjects, we were encouraged by the findings and plan to test the effect of DHA on a larger population,” says Denkins. She recommends two servings of cold-water fish per week to get the suggested allowance of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish like salmon, halibut, mackerel, and herring. Fish oils are also available in capsules from health and nutrition stores.

Source: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, May 2, 2002