Two new studies are reviewed.

Singapore Chinese Health Study

  • The analysis included 43,176 Chinese adults (45 to 74 years of age) who were free of chronic disease.
    • Higher intake of total omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a significantly lower incidence of diabetes.
    • Omega-3 from marine sources was not associated with diabetes risk
    • Nonmarine omega-3 intake was significantly associated lower risk of diabetes.
    • Omega-6 and omega-6:omega-3 ratio were not associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes in older adults

  • Data in 3088 older men and women (average age: 75 years) from the Cardiovascular Health Study were followed in real time.
    • After controlling for the potential confounding effects of age, gender, race, clinic site, body mass index, alcohol intake, smoking, physical activity, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and linoleic acid, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid were not associated with a higher incidence of diabetes.
    • Individuals with the highest concentrations of both types of fatty acids had lower risk of diabetes.

The bottom line?

Based on these results, higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of diabetes.

Others here and here have reported the benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in people with diabetes.

6/10/11 21:25 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, a complementary and alternative medicine website.