Omega-6 Fats May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Study

Posted By: Staff

Fatty foods are always considered bad for one's health. However there are certain fats that are actually good for one's health. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fats are just a few among the good fats that one needs to consider adding in their diet.

Eating a diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats may significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study.

Soybean, sunflower oils and nuts are a few of the foods that are rich in Omega-6 fats.

According to the study, a simple change in diet might protect people from developing type 2 diabetes which has reached alarming levels around the world," said Jason Wu, of The George Institute for Global Health in Australia.

healthy fats

"The people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat. Yet those who had the highest levels of blood omega-6 markers had a much lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes," said Professor Dariush Mozaffarian, from Tufts University in the US.

Meanwhile there were also reports which stated that omega-6, which is found in bean and seed oils such as soybean and sunflower oils and in nuts, may have negative health effects, such as inflammation leading to the increased risk of chronic diseases.

However, contrary to the reports, a new research recently published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal explored these concerns in studies from around the world. During the study, researchers found that individuals who had the highest blood level of linoleic acid, the major omega-6 fat, were 35 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future than those who had the least amount.

Since diabetes is one of the leading lifestyle diseases across the globe today, it is very important to prevent the disease before it gets too late.

healthy fats

For the study the researchers analysed data from 20 studies involving 39,740 adults from 10 countries, in whom 4,347 new cases of diabetes occurred over time.

The study included adults with a wide range of ages and without any diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at the onset of the studies, when they were laboratory tested for levels of two key omega-6 markers - linoleic acid and arachidonic acid.

Linoleic acid was associated with lower risk, while levels of arachidonic acid were not significantly associated with either higher or lower risk of diabetes.

"Some scientists have theorised that omega-6 is harmful to health," said Wu, lead author of the study.

"But based on this large global study, we have demonstrated little evidence for harms, and indeed found that the major omega-6 fat is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes," Wu said.

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(With Agency Inputs)

Read more about: fat, diabetes
Story first published: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 23:00 [IST]
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