A diet high in omega-6 fat has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, an Australian led global study shows.
Lead author Dr Jason Wu, from 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.”
The research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology examined data from 20 studies involving 39,740 adults from 10 countries.
People with the highest blood level of linoleic acid, the major omega-6 fat, were 35 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future than those who had the least amount.
The omega-6 biomarker arachidonic acid was not significantly associated with either higher or lower risk of diabetes.
“Some scientists have theorised that omega-6 is harmful to health,” said Dr Wu.
“But based on this large global study, we have demonstrated little evidence for harms, and indeed found that the major omega-6 fat is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”