An article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals a protective effect for high omega-3 fatty acid intake against the development of diseases related to obesity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.*
Zeina Makhoul, PhD, and colleagues evaluated data from 330 Yup’ik Eskimos. Omega-3 fatty acid intake among the Yup’iks averages twenty times higher than most Americans.
Triglycerides, glucose, insulin, leptin, and C-reactive protein were measured in the participants’ blood samples, and dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for the intake of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Among subjects with lower blood levels of EPA and DHA, having a high body mass index was correlated with high triglycerides and C-reactive protein, both of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly diabetes. “The new finding was that obesity did not increase these risk factors among study participants with high blood levels of omega-3 fats,” senior author Alan Kristal, DrPH, revealed.
Editor’s note: The researchers recommend that a clinical trial be conducted to help confirm whether increased omega-3 fatty acids reduce obesity’s effect on triglycerides and inflammation.