Omega-3 fatty acids help lower risk of diabetes and improve good cholesterol
In one study, researchers measured the diets of 43,176 Chinese men and women, aged 45 to 74, who did not have a chronic disease.

After nine years of follow-up, those who consumed the most alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid—were 21 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who consumed the least ALA.

In a study from Harvard University, Boston, scientists measured blood plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids in 3,088 men and women, average age 75. Those with the highest concentrations of EPA, DHA or ALA were less likely to have type 2 diabetes.

In another study, 167 healthy men and women with cholesterol scores of at least 200, who had never taken cholesterol-lowering drugs, took 1 gram of fish oil per day, or a placebo. After six months, while the placebo group had not improved, those in the omega-3 group had higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides.

Researchers then fed participants a high-fat meal. While there was no change for placebo, those in the omega-3 group had several signs of greater insulin sensitivity, increasing the ability of the body to absorb, use, and store glucose.

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