The prevention of type 2 diabetes: should we recommend vegetable

January 1, 2011 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

The prevention of type 2 diabetes: should we recommend vegetable

Year: 2011
Authors: Feskins, E.J.M.
Publication Name: Am. J. Clin. Nutr.
Publication Details: Volume 94; Pages 369-370.


In this review article, the author describes the role of plant and fish based omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FA) in altering the incidence of diabetes.  He reviews research which shows that total omega-3 FA intake is inversely associated with the incidence of diabetes and almost entirely due to intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These results have been shown in studies of plasma omega-3 FAs and incident diabetes, and in food frequency assessments. Cohort studies have shown no clear association of plasma EPA/DHA with diabetes, and 4 out of the 5 cohorts showed no association with plasma ALA. One cohort study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), showed that ALA was associated with lower diabetes risk. Why the other cohorts did not find an association with ALA needs more investigation. ALA has so far been studied less frequently in relation to diabetes and glucose metabolism. The studies highlighted suggest that ALA can be protective and merits more attention. In summary, studies to date do suggest that ALA can reduce diabetes risk. To what extent enzyme activities play a role is not clear. Finally, studies on dietary patterns and diabetes should also take a closer look at ALA and its main sources. [Editors comments]

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