Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 271
    Published on November 29, 2017

A study shows omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) fats may help in preventing type 2 diabetes

Earlier studies have indicated that omega-6 foods may increase body inflammation, a risk factor for chronic diseases. A current large global study done by researchers shows significant risk reduction to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) by eating the diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Researchers analyzed records of 39,740 individuals from 20 studies belonging to 10 countries. They found 4,347 new type 2 diabetes (T2D) cases over a period. In their studies, researchers tested for the levels of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, two key markers of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Results show 35 percent less likely risk of the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) among those individuals with the highest blood levels of linoleic acid (a major omega-6 marker) compared to those individuals with the least blood levels of linoleic acid. But arachidonic acid (another omega-6 marker) was not associated with either lower or higher risk of the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Our body obtains linoleic acid through diet as our body does not produce linoleic acid naturally. This fat is found mostly in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. As per US dietary guidelines, an individual should get 5 to 10 percent of the energy through polyunsaturated fats.

Omega-6 fats PUFAs may help in preventing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and inflammation.

Lead authors of the study were Dr. Jason H Y Wu, M.Sc, Ph.D., a senior research fellow, Food Policy Group, from The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia and the senior author of the study was Professor Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist, from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, from Tufts University Massachusetts, United States. The study findings were published on October 11, 2017, in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Title of the article was "Omega-6 fatty acid biomarkers and incident type 2 diabetes: pooled analysis of individual-level data for 39,740 adults from 20 prospective cohort studies."

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Omega-6 : Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). It is required for the optimal health of an individual. Our body can not produce omega-6 fatty acids naturally. This can be consumed in moderation in place of saturated fats. We get following health benefits with omega-6 fatty acids.

Following foods gives us highest omega-6 fatty acids.

  • Oils such as safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, poppyseed, corn, walnut, cottonseed, soybean and sesame.
  • Poultry foods.
  • Cereals.
  • Whole-grain bread.



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