People with higher in Omega3 levels in their blood have a reduced risk of diabetes

There is now increasing evidence that there is a link between Omega 3 and diabetes prevention. 2 new reports about Omega 3 and diabetes have found that people with the highest levels of the 2 important essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), being the 2 most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, were about a third less likely to develop diabetes than people who had the lowest levels of the Omega3 fats.

As well as EPA and DHA, there is another Omega 3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This is the plant-based version of the Omega 3 fats. ALA is not found in fish, as DHA and EPA are, however ALA is found in a range of plants and in particular flax, soy and some others.

And research in Singapore has also found that a higher level of ALA in the blood also decreases the risk of diabetes.

The first of these studies, published in early 2011, where 3088 older people with an average age of 75 had their Omega 3 blood levels measured. Over the course of 10 years these people were assessed for diabetes.

Of those with high levels of Omega3 fats 5% developed diabetes over 10 years, whereas 6.5% of those with the lowest levels developed diabetes.Omega 3 and diabetes

And so the conclusion drawn from the study was “individuals with the higher concentrations of both types of fatty acids had lower risk of diabetes”.

Of course it is not necessarily the case that having higher levels of the Omega 3 fatty acids in the blood actually prevents diabetes, though this may be so. The study did not establish a causal link between higher levels of Omega3 fats in the diet, or in the blood, and the prevention of diabetes, it merely made the observation that people with high levels of Omega3 fats had a lower risk.

There may be many explanations for this result. For instance those with higher levels of Omega3 fats in the blood may well have a different diet from those with lower levels of Omega3 fats, and it may be other factors in the diet which reduced risk of diabetes. Omega 3 fats generally come from seafood and in particular from oily fish, and people who eat a lot of seafood may, for example, eat less red meat.

Or those people may perhaps be more health-conscious, and exercise more. Or perhaps they were more diet conscious and so were less prone to being overweight.

Hopefully you see my point. There could be any range of factors in play here.

However it does seem clear that those with higher levels of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA in the blood have a lower risk of diabetes, it’s just not clear why.

And similar results were also found in a study in Singapore where 43,000 people between 45 and 74 years of age were studied between 1993 and 1998 and then followed up 5 to 6 years later.

Again it was found that those with higher levels of ALA, the plant-based Omega 3 fat, had a lower risk of diabetes. Again, for the same reasons as outlined above, this does not prove that the higher level of ALA in the blood actually caused the reduction in risk.

However there is plenty of solid scientific evidence demonstrating a wide range of other health benefits from increasing your intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids. There is no doubt now that more Omega3 in the diet can decrease your risk of a range of health problems including heart disease.

And these health benefits are also attracted to those at risk of diabetes, or who have it, and so whether or not it’s the Omega3 fats which actually reduce the risk of diabetes, there is no doubt that increasing your intake of the Omega3 fats will improve your health.

Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil