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Scientific reports

Higher omega-3 index is associated with increased insulin sensitivity and more favourable metabolic profile in middle-aged overweight men.


PMID 25331725

Abstract

We assessed whether omega-3 index (red blood cell concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) was associated with insulin sensitivity and other metabolic outcomes in 47 overweight men aged 46.5 ± 5.1 years. Participants were assessed twice, 16 weeks apart. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the Matsuda method from an oral glucose tolerance test. Linear associations were examined; stratified analyses were carried out with participants separated according to the omega-3 index: lower tertiles (LOI; n = 31) and highest tertile (HOI; n = 16). Increasing omega-3 index was correlated with higher insulin sensitivity (r = 0.23; p = 0.025), higher disposition index (r = 0.20; p = 0.054), and lower CRP concentrations (r = -0.39; p < 0.0001). Insulin sensitivity was 43% higher in HOI than in LOI men (Matsuda index 6.83 vs 4.78; p = 0.009). Similarly, HOI men had disposition index that was 70% higher (p = 0.013) and fasting insulin concentrations 25% lower (p = 0.038). HOI men displayed lower nocturnal systolic blood pressure (-6.0 mmHg; p = 0.025) and greater systolic blood pressure dip (14.7 vs 10.8%; p = 0.039). Men in the HOI group also had lower concentrations of CRP (41% lower; p = 0.033) and free fatty acids (21% lower, p = 0.024). In conclusion, higher omega-3 index is associated with increased insulin sensitivity and a more favourable metabolic profile in middle-aged overweight men.