Omega-3 fatty acids, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

Leila Azadbakht, Mohammad Hossein Rouhani, Pamela Surkan


  • In a manuscript published in July of 2011, Saidpour et al1 reported beneficial effects of fish oil and olive oil on insulin resistance after an eight-week intervention in rats. Fish oil is a rich source of n-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).2 There is evidence for the role of n-3 fatty acids in insulin resistance and diabetes, as other studies have shown similar effects of fish oil on insulin resistance in obese rats2 as well as in humans.3 Furthermore, according to a recent study, omega-3 supplementation in diabetic patients results in increasing visfatin levels,4 although evidence is controversial regarding visfatin and its function. While visfatin is an inflammatory factor and higher levels may have adverse effects,4 omega-3 fatty acids help prevent glucose intolerance and have anti-inflammatory properties.5

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