New Delhi: A new study by The George Institute for Global Health suggests that eating a diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The findings, published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, shed new light on the potential health benefits of omega-6, which is found in bean and seed oils such as soybean and sunflower oils and in nuts, and support clinical recommendations to increase dietary intake of omega-6 rich foods.
Lead author Dr Jason Wu of The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, said: “Our findings suggest that a simple change in diet might protect people from developing type 2 diabetes which has reached alarming levels around the world.”
“This is striking evidence,” said senior author and Prof Dariush Mozaffarian, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. “The people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat. Yet those who had the highest levels of blood omega-6 markers had a much lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.”
Recent studies have raised concerns that omega-6 may have negative health effects, such as inflammation leading to the increased risk of chronic diseases. Yet, when the global collaboration led by The George Institute explored these concerns in studies from around the world, they found that individuals who had the highest blood level of linoleic acid, the major omega-6 fat, were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future than those who had the least amount.