Send to

Choose Destination
Med Hypotheses. 1987 Nov;24(3):243-8.

The role of omega 3 fatty acids on insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.

Author information

V.A. Medical Center, Reno, Nevada 89520.


Carbohydrate intolerance is positively correlated with animal fat consumption and is more common in beef eating populations. In contrast, individuals consuming diets comprised of polyunsaturated fats have a lower incidence of diabetes mellitus. This is especially apparent in the Eskimos living in Alaska and Greenland whose diet is highly enriched with omega 3 fatty acids. It is hypothesized that dietary enrichment with omega 3 fatty acids increases the incorporation of these fatty acids into the beta cell phospholipid membrane thus enhancing insulin secretion. It is also proposed that similar changes occur in the phospholipid membrane composition of peripheral cells. These changes in the membrane phospholipids would then theoretically increase both insulin receptor binding affinity and sensitivity, thus enhancing glucose transport across their membranes. Augmented insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity induced by chronic omega 3 fatty acid ingestion would positively influence carbohydrate metabolism and improve glucose homeostasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center