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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007 Oct;17(8):572-80. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Fish oil, insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in healthy people: is there any effect of fish oil supplementation in relation to the type of background diet and habitual dietary intake of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids?

Author information

  • 1Institute of Food Science, Italian National Research Council, Avellino, Italy. rgiacco@isa.cnr.it <rgiacco@isa.cnr.it>

Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate whether a moderate supplementation of long-chain n-3 fatty acids is able to modulate insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, beta-cell function and glucose tolerance in healthy individuals consuming a diet rich in either saturated or monounsaturated fat, also in relation to their habitual dietary intake of n-6 and n-3 fatty acid.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

One hundred and sixty-two healthy individuals were randomly assigned to follow either one of two isoenergetic diets for 3 months, one rich in monounsaturated fats and the other rich in saturated fats. Within each group there was a second randomisation to fish oil (n-3 fatty acids 3.6 g/day) or placebo. At the beginning and at the end of the treatment periods insulin sensitivity (SI), first phase insulin response (FPIR) and glucose tolerance (K(G)-value) were evaluated by the intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). Fish oil did not have any effect on SI, FPIR, K(G)-value and disposition index in either diet. Even after dividing subjects according to the median value of n-6/n-3 ratio of serum phospholipids at baseline, there was no change in SI (Delta SI 0.42+/-0.34 on fish oil vs 0.14+/-0.23 on placebo for those with n-6/n-3 <4.85; -1.03+/-0.47 on fish oil vs -0.27+/-0.32 on placebo for those with n-6/n-3 >4.85) (M+/-SE), FPIR (Delta FPIR 135.9+/-78.9 vs 157.2+/-157.5 pmol/L; 38.8+/-181.7 vs 357.1+/-181.7 pmol/L), K(G)-value (Delta K(G) 0.14+/-0.15 vs 0.12+/-0.11; -0.32+/-0.16 vs 0.15+/-0.15) or disposition index (Delta disposition index 1465.4+/-830.4 vs 953.8+/-690.0; -1641.6+/-1034.3 vs 446.6+/-905.1). Considering the 75th percentile of n-6/n-3 ratio (5.82) the results on insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion and disposition index were confirmed, while, in this more extreme situation, n-3 fatty acid supplementation induced a significant deterioration of K(G)-value (p=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

In healthy individuals a moderate supplementation of fish oil does not affect insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, beta-cell function or glucose tolerance. The same is true even when the habitual dietary intake of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids is taken into account.

PMID:
17127043
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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