A new international study has found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the chances of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The research, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism and carried out by scientists at Massey University, showed that omega-3 also offers more health benefits as you become older, as they can improve carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
It was revealed that maintaining a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids means the body is better able to burn off glucose and fat, as well as regulating energy storage across different tissues. Omega-3 will do this even if there are genetic factors that predispose people to put on weight more easily, so that they are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to stimulate a process called “insulin signalling cascade”, which helps to improve the way in which blood sugar is used in the body. The research is the first to reveal that the insulin signalling cascade becomes more active with dietary omega-3 fatty acids, which can help how the body uses energy.
Co-author on the study, Bernhard Breier, commented “These findings are important because the ageing process is closely linked with a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a clustering of risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”
The study recommends strong public health programmes that encourage the healthy eating and more exercise to reduce the effects of weight gain on both diabetes and heart disease.

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