A recent study suggests that fish intake may modestly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Harvard researchers examined the dietary habits of over 195,000 study participants over the course of at least 14 years. Increasing consumption of fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (mostly from fish) was linked to a higher onset of type 2 diabetes—up to 24% higher comparing the lowest with the highest consumers.
This is a preliminary research finding and requires validation by other studies. The study authors write:
Given the beneficial effects of LCFA [long-chain fatty acids] intake on many cardiovascular disease risk factors, the clinical relevance of this relation and its possible mechanisms require further investigation.
At this point, I believe that the benefits of reasonable omega-3 fatty acid and fish consumption outweight the possible risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Steve Parker, M.D.
References: Kaushik, M., et al. Long-chain omega-3 atty acids, fish intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90 (2009): 613-620.