Scientists from Tehran University of Medical Sciences found people with a high intake of linoleic acid have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar. With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or resists insulin.
Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. Treatments include diet, exercise, medication, and insulin therapy.
The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Dietary intake of some PUFAs may have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and inflammation.
Previous research findings about the association between dietary PUFAs and the risk of diabetes are not consistent.
In the current study, researchers aimed to review the studies on the association between dietary linoleic acid intake, the level in the body, and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Linoleic acid is the predominant n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the Western diet and we can obtain it from vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn, and canola oils as well as nuts and seeds.
The team reviewed 23 studies that examined the links between linoleic acid intake and level in the body and the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.
These studies included nearly 300,000 people with more than 20,000 diabetes cases. All of the people had a dietary assessment and more than 80,000 people with more than 18,000 diabetes cases. All of the people had biomarker measurements.
The researchers found a high intake of linoleic acid was linked to a 6% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, each 5% increment in energy from linoleic acid intake was linked to a 10% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The team also found evidence of a linear link between linoleic acid intake and diabetes, with the lowest risk of diabetes at highest intake of linoleic acid.
In addition, a higher blood level of linoleic acid in the body was linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that a high intake of dietary linoleic acid and a higher level of linoleic acid in the body are both strongly linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
These findings support dietary recommendations to consume linoleic acid in a daily diet.
The research was published in Diabetes Care and conducted by Seyed Mohammad Mousavi et al.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that the Keto diet could benefit overweight people with type 2 diabetes, and results showing the Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
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