Study Suggests Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Levels of Hormone Tied to Insulin Sensitivity
Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a recent study.
Fish oil supplements, also called omega 3 fatty acid capsules, raise levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream.
Adiponectin is an important hormone that has beneficial effects on metabolic processes like glucose regulation and the modulation of inflammation. In long-term human studies, higher levels of adiponectin are associated with lower risks of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
“While prior animal studies found fish oil increased circulating adiponectin, whether similar effects apply in humans is not established,” said the study’s lead author, Jason Wu, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health.
By reviewing evidence from 14 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, the researchers found that fish oil supplementation may moderately increase blood level of adiponectin in humans, and these results support potential benefits of fish oil consumption on glucose control and fat cell metabolism.”
The findings quantify the potential impact of fish oil on adiponectin level, and highlight the need to further investigate populations that may particularly benefit from fish oil supplementation.
The above story is based on the May 22, 2013 news release by Endocrine Society.
The research has been published online before print in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM):
Wu JHY, Cahill LE, Mozaffarian D. Effect of Fish Oil on Circulating Adiponectin: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. JCEM. May 23, 2013, doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3899