Friday, December 9, 2011

Fish Oil and Weight Loss – Should You Be Skeptical? by Laurel Cohen

A lot of people have questioned the validity of the purported connection between fish oil and weight loss, and who could blame them for being skeptical. Most of the dietary supplements intended to help folks drop down in weight don’t work, and this has been proven time and time again. Besides, omega 3 fatty acids have been claimed to do so many miraculous things, there is no way it can all be true.

The fact is that there is scientific evidence that backs up every claim about the effectiveness of these essential nutrients, when it comes to the prevention and treatment of all manner of inflammatory disease. With all of this evidence supporting the positive claims about omega 3 fatty acids, why would you even doubt that they could do more for you? Let’s look at the evidence that supports omega 3 fatty acids as a weight loss tool.

The first study that we’ll site when it comes to fish oil and weight loss was conducted at the University of Georgia. What this study concluded was that establishing high levels of DHA omega fatty acid aided in halting the conversion of what are known as pre-fat cells into fat cells by causing them to perish. The loss of these cells makes a remarkable difference in the amount f fat one accumulates over time.

Scientist in Japan conducted study of two groups of obesity prone mice. They fed these mice high fat diets, and one group was given omega 3 DHA fish oil supplements, while the other was not. By the end of the study, the scientists concluded that the group that was receiving the omega 3 fatty acid supplements metabolized far more fat than the non-supplemented group did, and therefore gained less weight.

Other results that have been verified during these fish oil and weight loss seem to support earlier findings that omega 3 fatty acids have a significant affect on the cardiovascular system, and the entire body. Those in the groups that were given fish oil supplements experience reduced blood pressure, slowed heart rates, and significantly lower triglyceride levels. Evidence shows that people that ingest omega 3 fatty acid supplements regularly also suffer a lower risk of plaque building on the artery walls.

Exercise plays a key role in the connection between fish oil and weight loss, and it has been found that people that exercised regularly and took fish oil lost more weight than those that used exercise alone. Like exercise, omega 3 fatty acids have a positive affect on mood related disorders such as depression. It seems that people suffering from these types of disorders typically have low levels of omega 3s.

What is the worst thing that could happen if you explored the connection between fish oil and weight loss? Even if you didn’t lose as much weight as you would like, you would still benefit physically and mentally from supplementing your diet with omega 3 fatty acids. It seems to me that ANY weight you lost would just be a bonus.