- 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.
‘Biomarker levels of linoleic acid, the major dietary omega-6 PUFA, were inversely associated with the risk of incident type 2 diabetes, whereas levels of arachidonic acid were not significantly associated with risk of the disease.’
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
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.
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.
Acid Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30307-8.