Fatty Acids in Cooking Oil, Nuts Can Reduce Diabetes Risk

Fatty Acids in Cooking Oil, Nuts Can Reduce Diabetes Risk

by Julia Samuel on Oct 14 2017 10:25 AM
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  • Total PUFA consumption (predominantly linoleic acid) improves both glycaemia and insulin resistance.
  • High linoleic acid levels associated with a 43% lower relative risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Conversely, the precursor of linolenic acid called, arachidonic acid was not associated with diabetes risk.
Eating a diet rich in poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Omega-6, is found in bean and seed oils such as soybean and sunflower oils and in nuts. Linoleic acid which is formed from arachidonic acid through diet and cannot be synthesized in the body. Dietary intake of omega-6 fats indicates linoleic acid levels in the body.

Individuals who had the highest blood level of linoleic acid, the major omega-6 fat, were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future than those who had the least amount.

Lead author Dr Jason Wu, of The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, said: "Our findings suggest that a simple change in diet might protect people from developing type 2 diabetes which has reached alarming levels around the world."

"This is striking evidence," said senior author and Professor Dariush Mozaffarian, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. "The people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat. Yet those who had the highest levels of blood omega-6 markers had a much lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes."

Association between linoleic acid and arachidonic acid biomarkers and the risk of type 2 diabetes Analysis of individual-level data from 20 prospective cohort studies was assessed to find the association between levels of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid biomarkers and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes.

Data from 366 703 person-years of follow-up of more than 39 000 adults without type 2 diabetes at baseline showed a linear inverse association between levels of the biomarker linoleic acid and the incidence of type 2 diabetes, with similar findings across different lipid compartments. Conversely, overall levels of the biomarker arachidonic acid were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes.

Significant Finding

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is escalating rapidly around the world, so identification of dietary and other modifiable risk factors for the prevention of the disease is of clinical, scientific, and public health importance.

Several dietary guidelines recommend increased linoleic acid consumption to improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular risk. The recent analysis provides novel findings that, when combined with in-vitro experimental and shorter-term interventions for metabolic risk factors, linoleic acid has an additional role for prevention of type 2 diabetes in healthy populations.

Linoleic Acid Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Dietary PUFAs (predominantly linoleic acid) improved glycemia, insulin resistance, and insulin secretion capacity, compared with carbohydrate, saturated fat.
  • Linoleic acid-rich vegetable oil reduced markers of inflammation, visceral fat deposition, and hepatic steatosis.
  • Dietary linoleic acid intake correlates with levels of circulating and tissue linoleic acid as the body does not synthesize linoleic acid, the biomarker-based findings extend and expand these previous results by providing evidence that linoleic acid might have long-term benefits for preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • The findings support clinical recommendations to increase dietary intake of linoleic acid-rich vegetable oils.
Linoleic acid is not formed in the body and can only be obtained from the diet. US dietary guidelines recommend between 5-10 percent of energy should be derived from polyunsaturated fats which are rich in nuts, cooking oil made from seed and nuts. Increasing the intake poses no risk and can potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  1. Jason H.Y.Wu et al., Omega-6 fatty acid biomarkers and incident type 2 diabetes: pooled analysis of individual-level data for 39 740 adults from 20 prospective cohort studies, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology (2017)