Omega-3 could help prevent type 2 diabetes in people with metabolic disorders


Short-term fish oil (rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids) supplementation is associated with increasing the insulin sensitivity among people with metabolic disorders. And what does this mean? Let us take step by step.
On the one hand, a metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions affect the processes our body uses to obtain energy and nutrients from the food we eat; when this happens, we might have too much of some substances or too little of other ones (in relation to what we need to stay healthy).
On the other hand, insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells to give them energy. When we eat, glucose created from food is sent to the blood; then, insulin helps move the glucose from the blood into the cells. Insulin sensitivity refers how sensitive is the body to the effects of insulin. Someone insulin sensitive will require smaller amounts of insulin to lower blood glucose levels than someone who has low sensitivity (also named insulin resistance). This last group of people will require larger amounts of insulin (either from their own pancreas or from injections) in order to keep blood glucose stable. Therefore, poor insulin sensitivity is associated with type 2 diabetes, one of the most common chronic disorders.
Thus, short-term fish oil supplementation (less than 12 but more than four weeks, because serum omega-3 fatty acids levels require a minimum of four weeks to reach equilibrium) could help prevent type 2 diabetes in people with metabolic disorders.


Gao H, Geng T, Huang T, et al. Fish oil supplementation and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lipids Health Dis. 2017;16(1):131.


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