WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Intake of linoleic acid (LA) is inversely associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

Geng Zong, Ph.D., from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, and colleagues used data from 83,648 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS; 1980-2012), 88,610 women from NHSII (1991-2013), and 41,771 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2012) to examine the association between intakes of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and type 2 diabetes risk. There were 18,442 type 2 diabetes cases during 4.93 million person-years of follow-up.

Dietary n-6 PUFAs accounted for an average of 4.4 percent to 6.8 percent of total energy and consisted primarily of linoleic acid (at least 98 percent). When extreme n-6 PUFA quintiles (highest versus lowest) were compared in multivariate-adjusted models, the hazard ratio for type 2 diabetes risk was 0.91 (Ptrend = 0.002) for total n-6 PUFAs and 0.92 (Ptrend = 0.01) for LA. In a model allowing for isocaloric substitution, type 2 diabetes risk was 14 percent lower when LA isocalorically replaced saturated fats (5 percent of energy; P = 0.002), 17 percent lower when substituting for trans fats (2 percent energy; P < 0.0001), and 9 percent lower when substituting for carbohydrates (5 percent energy; P = 0.047). There was no impact on diabetes risk when n-3 PUFAs or monounsaturated fats were replaced with LA.

“Our study provides additional evidence that LA intake is inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, especially when replacing saturated fatty acids, trans fats, or carbohydrates,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to Unilever, and one disclosed ties to the California Walnut Commission.

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