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Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 279–288 | Cite as

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Charlotte Jeppesen
  • Katja Schiller
  • Matthias B. Schulze
Issues in the Nutritional Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity (E Mayer-Davis, Section Editor)

Abstract

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are of particular interest in the nutritional therapy for diabetes, given their potential role in several pathophysiological processes related to cardiovascular disease. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial for improving lipid profiles in healthy individuals and among type 2 diabetic patients: Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids lowers triglycerides and VLDL-cholesterol. However, they might also increase LDL-cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are, from the latest evidence, not related to mortality and cardiovascular disease. Similarly, glucose control and hypertension, as well as risk of microvascular complications, seem unaffected by omega-3 supplementation. Most studies involved mainly patients with type 2 diabetes, and future research needs to focus on the type 1 diabetic patient. Also, the role of omega-6 fatty acids remains largely unknown.

Keywords

Type 2 diabetes Omega-3 fatty acids Omega-6 fatty acids Cardiovascular disease Mortality Microvascular complications Intermediate outcomes 

Abbreviations

FA

fatty acids

EPA

eicosapentaenoic acid

DHA

docosahexaenoic acid

ALA

α- linoleic acid

PUFA

polyunsaturated fatty acids

T1D

type 1 diabetes

T2DM

type 2 diabetes

CVD

cardiovascular disease

MI

Myocardial infarction

CHD

coronary heart disease

TIA

transient ischemic attack

DN

Diabetic nephropathy

GFR

glomerular filtration rate

LDL

low density lipoprotein

VLDL

very low density lipoprotein

HDL

high density lipoprotein

IMT

Carotid intima-media thickness

ESRD

End-stage renal disease

UPE

urinary protein excretion

Notes

Acknowledgment

The study was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD eV) and a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG, SCHU 1516/5-1).

Disclosure

No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Jeppesen
    • 1
  • Katja Schiller
    • 1
  • Matthias B. Schulze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular EpidemiologyGerman Institute of Human NutritionNuthetalGermany

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