Even if you don’t pay attention to the health reports in the news, chances are you’re aware of the benefits of eating fish and/or fish oil supplementation for overall wellness. Maybe you’ve heard that it improves the fullness and body of your hair, improves memory and immune system functioning, and has been touted as the miracle longevity ingredient in Asian diets. But did you know that fish oil can help you in your quest for a slimmer waist? Its true—along with the myriad health benefits, fish oil supplementation also aids in weight loss.
Burn the Fat
Fish oils contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats (good fats) that ameliorate inflammation in many areas of the body. They also have a demonstrable effect on triglycerides (bad fats), insulin resistance, and immature fat cell oxidation. So essentially, the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil help your body metabolize fat better and act as anti-inflammatory agents.
In 2007 the International Journal of Obesity published a study of over 300 subjects. Some of the subjects were given 6 grams of fish oil daily. Surprisingly, those who were fed the fish oil lost weight at a statistically faster rate, about four additional pounds over three weeks. Very recent research also indicates that in non-diabetics, fish oils can modulate the progression of insulin resistance in fat cells.
Mix with Exercise
The weight loss benefits of fish oil supplementation only increases with exercise. Fish oils also help build muscle, and muscles are metabolic factories that increases your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn to stay alive). As noted above, fish oils enhance the effect of insulin. In some cases, regular exercise and fish oil supplementation have resulted in a 26% increase!
There are several other weight loss correlations that can be drawn from fish oil supplementation. The proven positive effects on depression and thinking may make you more likely to engage in exercise or embrace the benefits. Likewise, the inflammation reducing effects may make exercise less painful and you may be more inclined to engage in it.
How Much to Take?
While people who are looking for heart protection benefits generally take 1 to 2 grams daily (1,000mg. – 2,000mg.), the dosage is much higher for weight loss benefits to emerge. Studies that specifically target weight loss effects have dosed in the 5- to 6-gram range.
A Proven Pill
In an era where there is an abundance of supplements that are readily available on the market and make all sorts of false claims, fish oils are one of the few bright spots in the nutraceutical world. With such a wealth of scientific evidence and at such a low cost per bottle, there is no reason not to make fish oil supplementation part of your daily regimen.