Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Diabetes Care. 2009 Nov;32(11):2021-6. doi: 10.2337/dc09-1042. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Eating fish and risk of type 2 diabetes: A population-based, prospective follow-up study.

Author information

  • 1Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands. truus.vanwoudenbergh@wur.nl



To investigate the relation between total fish, type of fish (lean and fatty), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in a population-based cohort.


The analysis included 4,472 Dutch participants aged >or=55 years without diabetes at baseline. Dietary intake was assessed with a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Hazard ratios (relative risk [RR]) with 95% CIs were used to examine risk associations adjusted for age, sex, lifestyle, and nutritional factors.


After 15 years of follow-up, 463 participants developed type 2 diabetes. Median fish intake, mainly lean fish (81%), was 10 g/day. Total fish intake was associated positively with risk of type 2 diabetes; the RR was 1.32 (95% CI 1.02-1.70) in the highest total fish group (>or=28 g/day) compared with that for non-fish eaters (P(trend) = 0.04). Correspondingly, lean fish intake tended to be associated positively with type 2 diabetes (RR highest group [>or=23 g/day] 1.30 [95% CI 1.01-1.68]; P(trend) = 0.06), but fatty fish was not. No association was observed between EPA and DHA intake and type 2 diabetes (RR highest group [>or=149.4 mg/day] 1.22 [0.97-1.53]). With additional adjustment for intake of selenium, cholesterol, and vitamin D, this RR decreased to 1.05 (0.80-1.38; P(trend) = 0.77).


The findings do not support a beneficial effect of total fish, type of fish, or EPA and DHA intake on the risk of type 2 diabetes. Alternatively, other dietary components, such as selenium, and unmeasured contaminants present in fish might explain our results.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Write to the Help Desk