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USDA Study Sheds Light On How Some Omega-3s Protect Against Diabetes, Liver Disease

October 8, 2010: 10:12 AM EST

The positive health effects of omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fish and fish oil supplements are well known. Now new studies in mice by a USDA research team at UC-Davis have found out how. Researchers evaluated the interactivity between fatty acids DHA, EPA and CLA in fifty laboratory mice over eight weeks. DHA protected the animals from damaging side effects of CLA, including insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. EPA, however, provided only partial protection. The researchers said their findings support the call for larger studies in humans, because past research has been inconclusive about the interaction of various omega-3s. Insights into treatment of people using omega-3s may lead to new ways to delay or eliminate the onset of diabetes, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Marcia Wood, "Got Fish? Nutrition Studies Explore Health Benefits", News release, USDA Agricultural Research Magazine, October 08, 2010, © USDA
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