Sea Fish Consumption is Associated with Lower Risk of Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Study

Research Article

Int J Nutr Sci. 2021; 6(4): 1060.

Sea Fish Consumption is Associated with Lower Risk of Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Study

Shrabanti Pyne¹, Supriya Bhowmik¹, Pinku Pal¹, Jhuma Bhattacharya¹, Sunirmal Giri², Jayasree Laha¹ and Koushik Das³*

1Research Center (Applied and Natural Sciences), Department of Nutrition, Raja Narendra Lal Khan Women’s College (Autonomous), Midnapore, Pin-721102, West Bengal, India

2Department of Zoology, Belda College, Belda, Pin-721424, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India

3Department of Nutrition, Belda College, Belda, Pin-721424, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India

*Corresponding author: Koushik Das, Department of Nutrition, Belda College, Belda, 721424, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India; Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Received: August 19, 2021; Accepted: September 24, 2021; Published: October 01, 2021


The present study aimed to highlight the fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels among Sea Fish-Eaters (SFE) and Freshwater Fish-Eaters (FWFE) to establish the percentage of the existence of T2DM. The study was carried out among the sea fish-eaters both male and female (n=124) belonging to the community of Ramnagar block, Purba Medinipur district, and fresh water fish eaters (n=124) belonging to the community of Kotulpur block, Bankura district West Bengal, India. We collected data by directly interacting with the locals regarding the type of fish consumption for one week and correlated this with their fasting and postprandial blood glucose level measured using a glucometer. Among the SFE and FWFE participants the mean age of male and female is respectively 48.27±1.26 (n=30, 24.4%), 47.68±1.09 (n=40, 32.5%) and 56.09±1.23 (n=94, 94%), 52.33±1.06 (n=84, 67.5%).The mean fasting blood glucose level among female FWFE (121.41mg/dl) was significantly higher (P <0.05) than female SFE (91.36mg/dl). The mean postprandial blood glucose level among female FWFE (196.13mg/dl) were also significantly higher (P <0.05) than female SFE (140.05mg/dl). This study found that people who consume freshwater fish have a higher risk of T2DM than sea fish eaters. However, it remains unclear whether consumption of sea fish itself has a protective effect on T2DM or not we were not able to take a protective lifestyle into account in this study. To gather these findings we have to examine many other aspects.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus; Sea fish; Fresh water fish; Blood sugar


IDF: International Diabetes Federation; T2DM: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; WHO: World Health Organization; PUFA: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid; DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid; DPA: Docosapentaenoic Acid; EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid; STEPS: STEP Wise Approach to Surveillance; WC: Waist Circumference; HC: Hip Circumference; FBG: Fasting Blood Glucose; PPBG: Postprandial Blood Glucose; SE: Standard Error; SFE: Sea Fish-Eaters; FWFE: Freshwater Fish-Eaters


According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), globally the number of people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has risen rapidly from 425 million in 2017 to 463 million in 2019. It has also been estimated that the global burden of T2DM will further increase to more than 700 million by 2045. Globally, the prevalence of diabetes are found in the population is 8.9%. In India, the number of people with T2DM has drastically increased from 26 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2016. World Health Organization (WHO) ranked diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death in 2016 and estimated that 1 in 11 adults (20-79 years) has diabetes, 1 in 13 adults (20-79 years) has impaired glucose intolerance. Further WHO estimated that 2 out 3 people with diabetes live in urban areas [1-3]. T2DM is the most disastrous chronic metabolic disease characterized by a persistent state of hyperglycemia, inducing metabolic alteration, cell death, vascular complications, nephropathy, retinopathy, foot ulcer, endothelial dysfunction, dyslipidemia, an increase of oxidative stress, and severe inflammation resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates [4-7]. According to the estimation made by several studies in India that, for a low-income family with an adult suffering from diabetes, as much as 25% of family income could be devoted to diabetes care. The costs of diabetes affect everyone, everywhere, but is not the only crisis or financial problem. It also causes pain, anxiety, inconvenience, and generally lower quality of life [8]. International dietary recommendations suggest that regular fish consumption provides high-quality protein as well as essential nutrients useful for health and these benefits are the main drives for the population to buy fish [9-11]. Fish adds great nutritional value to the diet due to its content of long-chain omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), such as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA), and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), which are highly valued for their prophylactic and therapeutic properties in nutritional and health fields [12]. While fish, particularly oily fish, is generally considered to be an important part of a healthy diet and lowers the risk of diabetes [13,14]. This study aimed to identify associations between sea fish consumption and freshwater fish consumption concerning T2DM, with particular emphasis on detecting possible differences between sea fish eaters and freshwater fish eaters [15,16].

Materials and Methods

Study design and subjects

From November to December 2019, a population-based cross-sectional survey was carried out including the sea fish-eater community of Ramnagar (21°39’16.70”N, 87°29’19.94”E), Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal, India, and freshwater fish-eater community of Kotulpur (22°59’12.91”N, 87°32’34.81”E), Bankura, West Bengal, India (Figure 1). The study was conducted by the declaration of Helsinki, and all procedures were approved by the ethics committee of Raja Narendra Lal Khan Women’s College (Autonomous). All participants (age ranging from 21 to 60 years) signed informed consent before data collection. Subjects with serious comorbid diseases like severe infection, stroke, myocardial infarction, major surgery, malabsorption, history of using drugs significantly affecting glucose metabolism (glucocorticoids, oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel or high dose estrogen, phenytoin, and high dose thiazide diuretics, etc.) and pregnant women were excluded for the study. We collected data by directly interacting with locals regarding types of fish consumption for a week and collected fasting and postprandial blood glucose by glucometer. Sea fish eaters consume mainly Panna microdon (Bleeker, 1849), the local name ‘volavetki’; Coilia dussumieri (Valenciennes, 1848) local name ‘ruli’; Opisthopterus tardoore (Cuvier, 1829) local name ‘tapra’; Trichiurus lepturus (Linnaeus, 1758) local name ‘rupapatia’; Setipinna phasa (Hamilton, 1822) local name ‘phansa’ and fresh water fish eating section mainly consume and Labeo bata (Hamilton,1822), local name ‘bata’; Opisthopterus tardoore (Cuvier,1829), local name ‘folui’; Amblypharyngodon mola (Hamilton, 1822), local name ‘mourala’; Labeo rohita (Hamilton, 1822) local name ‘ruhu’; Catla catla (Hamilton, 1822) local name ‘katla’ [17,18]. The sample for participants was obtained by using a formula with the following parameters: 8.9% prevalence of diabetes (P), 5% margin of error (E), and a standard normal deviation (Z) of 1.96 [19].