New international study shows benefits of omega-3 fats in Type-2-Diabetes

Senior author of the study Professor Laurence Harbige explains that this study provides important data which could improve health recommendations and outcomes for Type-2-Diabetics.

Date: 27 December 2021

A major new international collaborative study with London Met’s Lipidomics and Nutrition Research Center (LNRC) has found that people with Type-2-Diabetes who supplemented their diet with Omega-3 fatty acids had better control of their blood glycaemia and lipids.

The study, published in the international journal Metabolites last month was carried out by an international team of researchers. The study analysed the data from 30 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from across the world. It found that, depending on dose and duration, Omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved glycaemic factors such as blood glucose and glycated hemoglobulin (HbA1c) and decreased blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

These metabolic factors are important and need to be managed properly by diet and/or drug treatment in Type-2-Diabetes, as they track with clinical deterioration and progression.

Senior author Professor Laurence S Harbige, Deputy Director of the LNRC, said "This is the first convincing evidence for a beneficial effect of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in Type-2-Diabetes. These essential nutrients are found naturally in oily fish, seafoods, and plant seeds, and we have known for some time that they can regulate blood lipids and inflammation"

"Individual trials, including our own studies in people with Type-2-Diabetes in Mexico, had previously shown that Omega-3 were of benefit in Type-2-Diabetes, but other studies showed no effects or were equivocal. What was needed was a so-called Meta-Analysis of RCTs in Type-2-Diabetes, which reduces the effects of different factors that affect individual trials."

"This type of evidence-based medicine is important as it provides the hard data behind recommendations that can then be made by health professionals. Black African, African Caribbean and South Asian communities are at a higher risk of developing Type-2-Diabetes so dietary recommendations and advice are particularly important in tackling Type-2-Diabetes in London."


man wearing suit, smiling

Professor Laurence S Harbige, Deputy Director of London Met’s Lipidomics and Nutrition Research Center