Intake of different types of seafood and meat and risk of type 2 diabetes in women: a prospective study supported by a dietary intervention in mice

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 18;14(1):8950. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-59491-9.


Detailed knowledge regarding the associations between intake of different types of seafood and meat and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), and insight into possible mechanisms are warranted. In this study we aimed to evaluate the associations between intake of different types of seafood and meat and the subsequent risk of T2D using the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), and furthermore, by using a mouse model to gain further insight into possible molecular mechanisms contributing to the associated metabolic changes. Women in MoBa who were free of pharmacologically treated diabetes at baseline (n = 60,777) were prospectively evaluated for incident T2D, identified on the basis of medication usages > 90 days after delivery, ascertained by the Norwegian Prescription Database. Dietary intake was obtained with a validated 255-item food frequency questionnaire which assessed habitual diet during the first 4-5 months of pregnancy. Metabolic phenotypes and plasma metabolome were investigated in female mice fed isocaloric diets with different types of seafood and meat mimicking the dietary intake in the human cohort. During maximum 10-year and mean (SD) 7.2 (1.6) years follow-up time, 681 (1.1%) women developed pharmacologically treated T2D. All statistical models identified a higher risk of T2D with increased shellfish intake, whereas no associations were observed for total seafood, fatty fish, total meat and red meat in the adjusted models. In mice, the shellfish-based western diet induced reduced glucose tolerance and insulin secretion compared to the diet based on lean fish, and we identified a number of metabolites elevated in plasma from shellfish-fed mice that correlated with glucose intolerance. Mice fed a western diet based on meat also exhibited reduced glucose tolerance in comparison to lean fish fed mice, whereas mice fed fatty fish, total seafood or red meat did not differ from lean fish fed mice. We observed a diet-specific metabolic signature in plasma demonstrating five distinct metabolite profiles in mice fed shellfish, fatty fish, total seafood/lean fish, a mixed diet and meat. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that different types of seafood have different outcome on T2D risk. In women, intake of shellfish was associated with higher risk of T2D. In female mice, a shellfish enriched diet reduced glucose tolerance and altered the abundance of several distinct plasma metabolites correlating with glucose tolerance.

Keywords: BMI; Diet; Glucose tolerance; Meat; Metabolism; Metabolomics; Mice; Protein intake; Protein source; Seafood; Shellfish; Type 2 diabetes; Women.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / etiology
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Western
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Meat
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seafood


  • Glucose