Omega-3 boosts insulin resistance markers, suggests study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Insulin resistance Nutrition Essential fatty acid Fatty acid

Increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may help to improve important markers insulin resistance, which may lead to diabetes, says new research.

The study, published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology,​ evaluated the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on lipid profile and insulin resistance biomarkers. The researchers found that dietary intake of concentrated omega-3 capsules with meals resulted in improved lipid profiles and adiponectin levels, compared to placebo in a baseline condition, and an improvement of all insulin resistance parameters after an oral fat load.

“Omega-3 PUFA not only improved lipid profile in a baseline situation, but it also improved all insulin resistance parameters in a post-prandial situation simulated with an oral fat load. This is another important action,”​ said the researchers, led by Giuseppe Derosa from the University of Pavia, Italy.

Omega-3

The beneficial effects of dietary intake of omega-3 PUFA and cardiovascular disease first established following the observation that the Greenland Inuits had low mortality from coronary heart disease despite a fat-rich diet.

Since then, research has demonstrated omega-3 fatty acids can improve the plasma lipid profiles, boost inflammatory responses, and reduce blood pressure, pulse pressure, and basal heart rate.

Study details

For the study, 167 patients (82 males and 85 females) were assigned to receive one gram of either placebo (a capsule containing sucrose, mannitol, and mineral salts) or omega-3 PUFA (concentrated EPA and DHA) three times a day, during meals, for six months.

Omega-3 PUFAs were reported to improve HDL-cholesterol and plasma triglyceride markers compared to placebo, while they had a neutral effect on total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.

After an oral fat load, the researchers found that the group taking omega-3 capsules showed an improvement of all parameters, include insulin resistance biomarkers, while there was a neutral effect with placebo.

Derosa and his colleagues concluded that omega-3 intake “resulted in a greater improvement of lipid profile and ADN compared to placebo in a baseline condition, and an improvement of all insulin resistance parameters after an oral fat load.”

Source: European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ejlt.201000504
“Effects of n-3 PUFA on insulin resistance after an oral fat load”
Authors: G. Derosa, A.F.G. Cicero, E. Fogari, A. D'Angelo, A. Bonaventura, P. Maffioli

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