Monday February 17, 2020

Fish Oil Pills have Little or No Effect on Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

According to the team from University of East Anglia (UEA), omega 3 supplements offer no benefit

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Fish Oil, Pills, Diabetes
Increased consumption of omega 3 fats is widely promoted because of a common belief that it will protect against, or even reverse, conditions such as diabetes. Pixabay

If you are popping fish oil supplements to protect yourself against diabetes, you may be mistaken. According to the researchers, Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Increased consumption of omega 3 fats is widely promoted because of a common belief that it will protect against, or even reverse, conditions such as diabetes.

According to the team from University of East Anglia (UEA), omega 3 supplements offer no benefit.

“Our previous research has shown that long-chain omega 3 supplements, including fish oils, do not protect against conditions such as heart disease, stroke or death. This review shows that they do not prevent or treat diabetes either,” said Dr Lee Hooper, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

Fish Oil, Pills, Diabetes
If you are popping fish oil supplements to protect yourself against diabetes, you may be mistaken. Pixabay

“Omega-3 supplements should not be encouraged for diabetes prevention or treatment,” he added.

If people do choose to take supplementary fish oil capsules to treat or prevent diabetes, or to reduce levels of triglycerides in their blood, then they should use doses of less than 4.4 grams per day to avoid possible negative outcomes.

“The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega 3 fats on diabetes,” said the paper.

Omega 3 is a type of fat. Small amounts are essential for good health and can be found in the food that we eat. Omega 3 fats are also readily available as over-the-counter supplements and they are widely bought and used.

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The research team assessed the effects of long-chain omega-3 fats, ALA, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – taken as supplementary capsules, or via enriched or naturally rich foods.

Participants included men and women, some healthy and others with existing diabetes, from North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, in studies published from the 1960s until 2018.

Participants were randomly assigned to increase their polyunsaturated fats or to maintain their usual intake for at least six months.

There was clearly no effect of increasing long-chain omega-3 fats on diabetes, but there was insufficient information from trials of ALA, omega-6 or total polyunsaturated fats to assess either protective or harmful effects.

Fish Oil, Pills, Diabetes
According to the researchers, Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on risk of Type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

The results show that increasing long-chain omega-3 had little or no effect on diabetes diagnosis or glucose metabolism, but high doses, at levels found in some supplements, could worsen glucose metabolism.

“Oily fish can be a very nutritious food as part of a balanced diet, but we did not find enough trials that encouraged participants to eat more oily fish to know whether it is useful in preventing diabetes or improving glucose metabolism,” said Dr Julii Brainard from Norwich Medical School.

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“Future trials need to measure and assess baseline omega-3 intakes, and assess effects of eating more oily fish — not just supplements,” she added. (IANS)

Next Story

Higher Testosterone Levels may Lead to Type 2 Diabetes in Women: Study

Higher testosterone levels ups diabetes risk in women

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Diabetes
Higher testosterone levels increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in women, while reducing the risk in men. Pixabay

Health researchers have revealed that having genetically higher testosterone levels increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in women, while reducing the risk in men.

Higher testosterone levels also increase the risks of breast and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men, according to the study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Despite finding a strong genetic component to circulating testosterone levels in men and women, the authors found that the genetic factors involved were very different between the sexes.

“Our findings provide unique insights into the disease impacts of testosterone. In particular they emphasise the importance of considering men and women separately in studies, as we saw opposite effects for testosterone on diabetes,” said study lead author Katherine Ruth from University of Exeter in UK.

For the findings, the research team used genome wide association studies (GWAS) in 4,25,097 UK Biobank participants to identify 2,571 genetic variations associated with differences in the levels of the sex hormone testosterone and its binding protein sex-hormone binding globulin (SHGB).

Diabetes
Researchers found that in women, genetically higher testosterone increases the risks of type 2 diabetes by 37 per cent, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by 51 per cent. Pixabay

The researchers verified their genetic analyses in additional studies, including the EPIC-Norfolk study and Twins UK, and found a high level of agreement with their results in UK Biobank.

The team next used an approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses naturally occurring genetic differences to understand whether known associations between testosterone levels and disease are causal rather than correlative.

They found that in women, genetically higher testosterone increases the risks of type 2 diabetes by 37 per cent, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by 51 per cent.

However, they also found that having higher testosterone levels reduces T2D risk in men by 14 per cent.

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Additionally, they found that genetically higher testosterone levels increased the risks of breast and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.

“Our findings that genetically higher testosterone levels increase the risk of PCOS in women is important in understanding the role of testosterone in the origin of this common disorder, rather than simply being a consequence of this condition,” said study researcher John Perry from University of Cambridge. (IANS)