To evaluate the effect of a moderate dose of fish oil on glycemic control and in vivo insulin action in type 2 diabetic men with elevated plasma triacylglycerols and to determine the effect of the same treatment on gene expression of GLUT4, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) in the abdominal adipose tissue.


A total of 12 type 2 diabetic men were randomly allocated to 2 months of 6 g daily of either fish oil or sunflower oil, separated by a 2- month washout interval, in a double-blind crossover design.


For glucose metabolism, 2 months of fish oil supplementation compared with sunflower oil led to similar fasting plasma insulin, glucose, and HbA1c. Basal hepatic glucose production did not increase after fish oil. There was no difference in insulin suppression of hepatic glucose production nor in insulin stimulation of whole-body glucose disposal measured by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Fish oil did not ameliorate the low mRNA level of GLUT4 in adipose tissue of these patients. For lipid profile, fish oil lowered plasma triacylglycerol more than sunflower oil (P < 0.05) and tended to increase the amount of mRNA of both LPL and HSL in adipose tissue.


A moderate dose of fish oil did not lead to deleterious effects on glycemic control or whole-body insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic men, with preserved triacylglycerol- lowering capacities.

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