American Diabetes Association
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Association of Oily and Nonoily Fish Consumption and Fish Oil Supplements With Incident Type 2 Diabetes: A Large Population-Based Prospective Study

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posted on 2021-01-11, 19:44 authored by Guo-Chong Chen, Rhonda Arthur, Li-Qiang Qin, Li-Hua Chen, Zhendong Mei, Yan Zheng, Yang Li, Tao Wang, Thomas E. Rohan, Qibin Qi

To evaluate associations of oily and non-oily fish consumption and fish oil supplements with incident type 2 diabetes (T2D).


We included 392,287 middle-aged and older participants (55.0% women) in the UK Biobank who were free of diabetes, major cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and had information on habitual intake of major food groups and use of fish oil supplements at baseline (2006-2010). Of these, 163,706 participated in 1-5 rounds of 24-h dietary recalls during 2009-2012.


During a median 10.1 years of follow-up, 7,262 incident cases of T2D were identified. As compared with participants who reported never consumption of oily fish, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) of T2D were 0.84 (0.78-0.91), 0.78 (0.72-0.85), and 0.78 (0.71-0.86) for those who reported <1 serving/week, weekly, and ≥2 servings/week of oily fish consumption, respectively (P-trend <0.001). Consumption of non-oily fish was not associated with risk of T2D (P-trend = 0.45). Participants who reported regular fish oil use at baseline had a 9% (95% CI: 4%-14%) lower risk of T2D as compared with non-users. Baseline regular users of fish oil who also reported fish oil use during at least one of the 24-h dietary recalls had an 18% (95% CI: 8%-27%) lower risk of T2D when compared with constant non-users.


Our findings suggest that consumption of oily fish, but not non-oily fish, was associated with a lower risk of T2D. Use of fish oil supplements, especially constant use over time, was also associated with a lower risk of T2D.


Dr. Qi was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (R01HL060712 and R01HL140976) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01DK119268 and R01DK120870).