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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Jun;17(6):1337-41. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013000542. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Total n-3 fatty acid and SFA intakes in relation to insulin resistance in a Canadian First Nation at risk for the development of type 2 diabetes.

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1 Social Epidemiology and Evaluation Research Group, Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Population Health, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, City East Campus, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.



The present study sought to investigate the associations of total n-3 fatty acid and SFA intakes with insulin resistance in a Canadian First Nation sample at risk for type 2 diabetes.


Fasting values for glucose and insulin were used to estimate insulin resistance by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Intakes of n-3 fatty acids and SFA were computed from dietary food and drink data obtained using 3 d food records. Associations between HOMA-IR and dietary n-3 and SFA consumption were tested using linear regression models accounting for age, sex, community, education, physical activity, waist circumference, fibre, protein and carbohydrate intakes, and HDL-cholesterol and TAG concentrations.


Rural Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada.


On-reserve First Nation individuals (Interior Salishan) aged 18 years and over, recruited for community-based diabetes screening and determined to be normoglycaemic (n 126).


HOMA-IR was negatively associated with dietary n-3 fatty acid intake (β = -0·22; 95 % CI -0·39, -0·04; P = 0·016) and positively associated with dietary SFA intake (β = 0·34; 95 % CI 0·15, 0·53; P = 0·0 0 1).


Intake of dietary n-3 fatty acids may be protective against whereas SFA intake may promote insulin resistance in this high-risk Canadian First Nation sample. Reduced dietary SFA intake and greater n-3 fatty acid intake may assist the prevention of glycaemic disease among First Nations peoples. More rigorous, controlled trials are required to test whether dietary supplementation with n-3 fatty acids in natural or supplement-based form might reduce diabetes risk in high-risk aboriginal groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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