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Fish Oil Supplements May Help Fight Type 2 Diabetes, Study Shows

Fish oil supplements, which are Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to raise levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream, which is an important hormone with beneficial effects on metabolic processes like glucose regulation and the modulation of inflammation, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). In long-term human studies, higher levels of adiponectin are associated with lower risks of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

“By reviewing evidence from existing randomized clinical trials, we found that fish oil supplementation caused modest increases in adiponectin in the blood of humans,” said the study’s lead author, Jason Wu, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in a MedicalXpress.com report.

The meta-analysis reviewed and analyzed results from 14 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, which included 682 subjects treated with fish oil, and 641 given placebos – most commonly olive and sunflower oils. In those taking fish oil, adiponectin levels increased by 0.37 ug/mL.

“Although higher levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream have been linked to lower risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease, whether fish oil influences glucose metabolism and development of type 2 diabetes remains unclear,” said Wu. “However, results from our study suggest that higher intake of fish oil may moderately increase blood level of adiponectin, and these results support potential benefits of fish oil consumption on glucose control and fat cell metabolism.”

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