Fish Oil and Weight Loss

November 18, 2011 · 1 comment

This is a guest post by Betsy.

Fish oil, a nutrient found in seafood, contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states provide benefits for a healthy heart. Studies, though, indicate that fish oil also provides help for those trying to lose weight.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are classified as Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). These fats cannot be produced by the body and it requires ingestion for body to use it. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids also fall under polyunsaturated fatty acid or PUFA, which is the good fat. Good sources of PUFAs are oils from fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil and canola oil. EFAs are required for the production of the eicosanoids, which are hormones responsible for regulating the major body functions such as digestion, insulin production and the storage of fat.

Fish oil provides many health benefits, with a bonus linkage to weight loss. Taking a high-quality fish oil is important to prevent from consuming rancid oil or mercury-laden fish oil. Taking the recommended dosage as a supplement will help with weight loss.

Omega-3 is recommended for heart health to help lower cholesterol and decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil contains the fatty acids essential for brain development and preventing depression. Fish oil also boosts the immune system, aids in proper functioning of the nervous system and helps against dry eyes. The Omega 3 fatty acid in fish oil reduces the risk of developing arthritis. Fish oil is also great for maintaining healthy, acne-free skin and shiny hair.

Benefit in Weight Loss

Research indicates that fish-oil consumption and exercise leads to more weight loss than consuming other fats and exercising. Some research also shows that fish oil might stop the body from synthesizing fat.

A study at the University of South Australia has found that taking omega-3 fish oil combined with moderate aerobic exercise enhances weight loss. This study lasted for 12 weeks and the researchers gave a group of obese adults, daily dose of omega-3 fish oil and supervised a moderate aerobic exercise three times a week. The researches compared the results of this group with the control group that were not given omega-3 fish oil and did not have any consistent exercise regime. The group that had the omega-3 fish oil lost significantly more weight, particularly from the abdominal region, than the people who had not been given the omega-3 fish oil and exercise. The study concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil boost weight loss when combined with exercise and a calorie controlled diet. The researchers concluded that fish oil increased the elasticity of blood vessel walls, which in turn improved the flow of blood to muscles during exercise. The increased blood flow contributed to accelerated fat loss.

The study group also had lower insulin by 50 percent. This may be the key reason as to why omega 3 fish oil had a positive impact on fat metabolism. Insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage and inhibits growth hormone. High levels of insulin make it less likely for your body to use stored fat as a fuel source. The drop in insulin levels when subjects used the fish oil would have allowed more fat to be used for energy.

Sources of fish oil

The best source of fish oil is found naturally in seafood. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines are great sources of fish oil. Fish oil can also be consumed as a supplement. The Omega-3 from the actual fish is more beneficial than the pill.

One thing to remember when taking fish oils, is that it decreases blood clotting. Therefore, it is not advisable to take fish oil supplements before surgeries. While fish oil has good weight-loss benefits, just consuming fish oil alone is not enough. A proper weight-loss plan requires a well-balanced diet and sufficient exercise.

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{ 1 comment }

Coach Calorie November 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I personally use Carlson’s Cod Liver oil in lemon flavor. I find it too hard to swallow all the pills necessary to get just a simple tablespoon of Carlson’s. Might want to check it out.

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