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More Fish, Greater Diabetes Risk?

Posted on November 15, 2022 | No Comments on More Fish, Greater Diabetes Risk?

Contrary to published findings that having fish for dinner a couple of times a week may cut your risk of heart-related ailments, a recent study hinted that the same good result may not be seen in diabetes patients.

“Diet is a key factor in preventing the onset of diabetes in adults, but how omega-3 fatty acid intake impacts diabetes risk is still unresolved,” Dr. Frank B. Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues said in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Rather, their findings suggest that eating two or more servings of fish a week may slightly increase diabetes risk.

The link between fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake and the development of diabetes was determined by observing 152,700 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,504 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The researchers noted the participant’s body weight, family history of diabetes, and menopausal status and hormone use when applicable.

The study authors recorded the development of adult-onset diabetes among these healthcare workers during up to 18 years of follow-up. Diabetes risk was evaluated after adjusting for lifestyle and other dietary factors. Dr. Hu’s team noted increased diabetes risk “in all cohorts” consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

“Diabetes was 1.17 times more likely among people who ate fish two to four times a week, and 1.22 times more likely among those who ate fish five or more times a week, relative to those who ate lesser amounts of fish,” they wrote.

However, they say further study is needed to figure out the “clinical relevance” of the current findings and determine the mechanisms behind their observation that high fish intake may raise diabetes risk.

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