Intake of Fish and n-3 Fatty Acids and Future Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Inkyung Baik, Robert D. Abbott, J. David Curb, Chol Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whether or not fish and n-3 fatty acid intake is associated with the metabolic syndrome risk has not been carefully evaluated. This study investigated the effect of fish and n-3 fatty acid intake on the incidence of metabolic syndrome and on the individual risk factors for the syndrome. Methods: A population-based prospective cohort study included 3,504 male and female Koreans aged 40 to 69 years from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study. At the beginning of follow-up, all individuals were free of metabolic syndrome and known cardiovascular disease. Each participant completed a food frequency questionnaire. Incident cases of metabolic syndrome were identified by biennial health examinations during a follow-up period between April 17, 2003, and November 17, 2006. Pooled logistic regression analysis was applied to obtain an odds ratio (OR) of metabolic syndrome with its 95% confidence interval (CI) for fish or n-3 fatty acid intake. Results: After controlling for potential cardiovascular risk factors, multivariate OR for metabolic syndrome was 0.43 (95% CI 0.23 to 0.83) for men who ate fish daily when compared with those eating fish less than once a week. Similarly, metabolic syndrome risk was halved for men in the top decile of n-3 fatty acid intake when compared with those in the bottom decile (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.99). In particular, fish intake was significantly associated with triglyceride level and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level among the metabolic syndrome components. For women, apparent associations were not observed between fish intake or n-3 fatty acid intake and metabolic syndrome risk. Conclusions: In a prospective study, high consumption of fish and n-3 fatty acids was significantly associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome among men, but not among women. Whether or not encouraging fish intake can help prevent the development of metabolic syndrome warrants further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1026
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FUNDING/SUPPORT: This work was supported by the new faculty research program 2009 of Kookmin University , Seoul, Korea, and by a grant from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (budgets 2001-347-6111-221 , 2002-347-6111-221 , 2003-347-6111-221 , 2004-347-6111-213 , 2005-347-2400-2440-215 , and 2006-347-2400-2440-215 ).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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