"Some scientists have theorised that omega-6 is harmful to health", Wu said. The experiment was conducted on 39,740 adults from ten countries to determine their levels of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, 4,347 out of which developed diabetes over time.
While we know some fats are good for us, and are essential as part of a balanced diet, did you know some can actually help prevent type 2 diabetes?
Linoleic acid is not formed in the body and so it must be obtained from the diet, with omega-6 found in bean and seed oils such as soybean and sunflower oils, and in nuts.
Some previous studies have raised concerns that omega-6 may have negative health effects, such as inflammation leading to the increased risk of chronic diseases.
"The data shows that it is likely that consuming margarines and oils rich in linoleic acid will not only reduce the incidence of heart attack it will reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes".
The results suggested that the individuals who had the highest blood level of linoleic acid, the major omega-6 fat, were 35 percent less likely to develop Type-2 diabetes in the future than those who had the least amount.
"Our findings suggest that a simple change in diet might protect people from developing type 2 diabetes which has reached alarming levels around the world", commented Dr Wu. Senior study author Dariush Mozaffarian from the Tufts University in MA stated that the people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat.
Participants were laboratory tested for levels of two key omega-6 markers - linoleic acid and arachidonic acid - at the start of the study, and also for diabetes. "The people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat".