Diabetes MellitusOmega-3 Fatty Acids

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in people with type 2 diabetes

A moderate dose of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for 2 months reduced adiposity and atherogenic markers, and had no negative effect on insulin sensitivity.

First, the details.

  • 27 women with type 2 diabetes and normal blood triglyceride levels were randomly allocated to 2 months of 3 grams/day of either fish oil (1.8 grams omega-3 PUFAs) or placebo (paraffin oil).
  • The women and researchers were not aware of the treatment given.

And, the results.

  • Body weight and energy intake measured using a food diary were unchanged.
  • But total fat and subcutaneous fat cell diameter were significantly lower in the fish oil group.
  • Insulin sensitivity was not different between the groups.
  • By contrast, atherogenic risk factors (ie, triglyceride blood levels, the ratio of triglyceride to HDL good cholesterol, and plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor were lower (better) in the fish oil group than in the placebo group.
  • Some inflammation-related genes were also reduced in subcutaneous fat tissue after the fish oil, but not the placebo.

The bottom line?
The reduced fat tissue combined with the positive effects on lipids in the absence of deteriorating insulin sensitivity are positive findings for omega-3 in people with type 2 diabetes.

12/22/07 1:08 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.