Feeding obese mice omega-3 fatty acids reduced inflammation that can lead to diabetes, a new study finds.
Fish oil supplements that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most popular dietary supplements in the United States. While omega-3 fatty acids are widely believed to be beneficial, exactly how they work hasn't been well understood, said study co-author Saswata Talukdar, a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, San Diego.
By studying fat tissue in the mice consuming fish oil, researchers found omega-3 fatty acids seem to act on a particular receptor on cells, GPR120, which, when activated, blocks inflammatory processes.
Chronic inflammation can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
Therefore, "if we can fix the inflammation part, it's possible that we could prevent insulin resistance or even ameliorate diabetes," Talukdar explained.
The study was published in the Sept. 3 issue of the journal Cell...