Posts Tagged ‘essential fatty acids type 2 diabetes’

Omega-3 key in reducing diabetes and heart disease

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Omega-3 key in reducing diabetes and heart disease
Omega-3 can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease especially as people age, says Massey University nutrition professor Bernhard Breier, co-author of a new international study.

Professor Breier, who leads an international research team, says omega-3s are especially beneficial for health in ageing because they improve carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

His research found a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids helps to burn metabolic fuels (glucose and fat) better, and can regulate energy storage across different tissues. This is despite genetic factors that predispose some people to gain weight more easily, making them potentially more susceptible to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

“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,” says Professor Breier, Chair of Human Nutrition at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Albany.

He says omega-3 fatty acids have been found to stimulate the process known as the insulin signalling cascade, which improves how blood sugar is used in the body. Researchers from Germany, Australia and New Zealand carried out tests on mice, examining the effects of feeding omega-3 rich diets to two groups with distinct, genetically determined traits to model different body types and metabolic responses of humans. One group developed obesity more easily and the second was a leaner variety.

When scientists measured changes to the metabolic responses, results showed the omega-3 rich diet reduced cholesterol and improved insulin action and fat metabolism in both groups of mice. However, the obesity prone mice responded less well than the leaner variety, drawing attention to genetically determined pathways that contribute to obesity.

Professor Breier says this study has shown for the first time that the insulin signalling cascade becomes more active with dietary omega-3 fatty acids. “The omega-3 fatty acids in our diet can help how energy in our body is used.”

Thousands of studies have been done on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, with indications it may be beneficial in a range of conditions, from arthritis to heart disease. Professor Breier says this study, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, is the first to provide direct evidence of its role in specific metabolic processes of how blood sugar and fat in our bodies are used.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health but the human body cannot make them, unlike other types of fats. Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, as well as walnuts, eggs and flaxseed, and have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke as well as playing protective roles for healthy bones and healthy muscle.

The research findings coincide with a recent report from the Ministry of Health’s 2008-2009 diet and nutrition survey, which shows the obesity epidemic in New Zealand has surged in recent years. It reveals 28 per cent of men are obese, compared with 17 per cent at the time of the last survey in 1997. For women, the rate had increased from 21 per cent to 28 per cent. Among Måori, the survey found that 40.7 per cent of men and 48.1 per cent of women were obese.

Professor Breier says the statistics are alarming, and reinforce the need for strong public health programmes to encourage people to eat healthier food and get more exercise to prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Link to Professor Breier’s paper: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/8/1/56

Omega 3 fish oil may help activate anti-diabetic genes

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Fish oils may help to activate anti-diabetic genes

Polyunsaturated fatty acid fish oils may activate genes that regulate fat cell differentiation and glucose homeostasis, according to new research on mice.

The new study published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests supplementation with omega3 fish oil activates the transcription factor PPARγ, increasing regulation of adipocytes and helps to maintain glucose homeostasis.

“We demonstrated that adipogenic genes and glucose metabolism genes were elevated in PPARγ transgenic mice when fed fish oil. This transgenic mouse model provided direct evidence to demonstrate omega 3 , especially EPA  regulate glucose homeostasis through interaction with PPARγ,” wrote the researchers, led by Dr Yu-Hsiang Yu from the National Taiwan University

Vital roles

Peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is considered an important transcription factor in regulating fat cell (adipocyte) differentiation, and is also known to play a vital role in maintaining glucose homeostasis. The transcription factor is a target for many anti-diabetic drugs as activation promotes glucose dispersal.

Activation of PPARγ occurs through the binding of specific ligand molecules; however, polyunsaturated fatty acids such as arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are also known to have a high binding affinity for PPARγ.

Previous studies suggest that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and their metabolites are able to regulate PPARγ activity, demonstrating that DHA treatment increases PPARγ-responsive gene expression in a cell model.

However, most research demonstrating PPARγ activity uses in vitro cell models and there is currently no direct evidence available to demonstrate that polyunsaturated fatty acids are able to activate PPARγ in vivo.

The authors said the current experiment was designed to determine the potential for PUFA, particularly EPA and DHA, to activate the function of PPARγ in vivo.

Wild-type and transgenic mice – with over expressed PPARγ –were supplemented with either fish oil or PPARγ ligands (rosiglitazone) for four months to investigate whether fish oils have similar effects to true PPARγ ligands in vivo.

Results

Dietary rosiglitazone fed mice had a significantly lower feed intake, but had no significant effect on body weight or fat pad weigh, whereas fish oil supplementation did not significantly decrease feed intake, but significantly decreased body and fat pad weight, found the researchers.

Dr. Yu and colleagues reported that adipogenic genes (LPL, FAT, SREBP-1c and FAS) were markedly up-regulated by rosiglitazone supplementation. Fish oil supplementation increased LPL and FAT, but not SREBP-1c or FAS; however, stained muscle sections indicated no lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle.

Researchers noted that transgenic mice fed a fish oil supplementation had increased expression of adipogenic and glucose uptake genes, leading to reduced plasma glucose concentration.

Natural regulator

The authors suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, may serve as a natural regulator of glucose uptake in vivo, stating that such effects are mainly mediated through PPARγ activation.

“Our data demonstrated that the PPARγ-regulated glucose metabolism genes, GLUT-4 and ADN were dramatically increased in skeletal muscle of PPARγ transgenic mice when fed rosiglitazone or fish oil, suggesting activation … by either ligand,” concluded the authors.

Source: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

“The function of porcine PPARγ and dietary fish oil effect on the expression of lipid and glucose metabolism related genes”

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