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Fish Oil Weight Loss

Fish oil is simply oil that has been extracted from the tissues of oily fish.

Fish oil is healthy because it contains large amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid. Fish accumulate these fatty acids by eating microalgae or by eating prey fish that eat microalgae.

In your body, these omega-3 fatty acids serve as precursors to substances (known as eiconsanoids ) that reduce inflammation. Although they are essential to good health our bodies cannot make these fatty acids, so we need to obtain them through our diet.

In addition to its many other health benefits, studies show that fish oil benefits those trying to lose weight as well as those trying to keep the weight off. Fish oil appears to achieve this effect by several mechanisms. These include:
  • Increased Satiety. One of the ways fish oil benefits those trying to lose weight is by increasing satiety. In one study that demonstrated this effect, volunteers who took fish oil supplements (1300 mg/day) while following a weight loss program felt fuller longer than those who didnít take supplements.

    In this 8-week study researchers measured the appetites of volunteers who took fish oil pills and those who didnít. They found that those who took fish oil pills had less hunger both immediately and 120 minutes after a test dinner. They also found that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were less hungry than those with lower levels.

  • Increased Fat Oxidation and Reduced Fat Synthesis. In addition to reducing appetite, fish oil pills appear to enhance weight loss by increasing fat oxidation or ďburningĒ. In one study volunteers who took fish oil pills while following a reduced calorie diet had a significantly higher production of ketone bodies than those following the same diet who did not take fish oil supplements, indicating they were burning more fat.

    Volunteers taking fish oil pills in this study also had a significant decrease in their blood triglyceride levels. which was thought to be due to reduced fat synthesis.

  • Increased Weight Loss In Response To Exercise. In addition to increasing satiety and fat oxidation in those following a weight loss diet, a recent study conducted at the University of South Australia showed that fish oil benefits those trying to lose weight by increasing the amount of weight lost in response to exercise.

    In this study, researchers showed that those who exercised and took fish oil not only lost an average of 4.5 pounds over 3 months without altering their diet, but lost significantly more weight than those who exercised the same amount but didnít take fish oil pills.

    While the mechanism for this additional weight loss is not known, because fish oil is known to increase the compliance of blood vessels, the researchers speculated that it may have been due to increased blood flow to the exercised muscles.

  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity and Decreased Fasting Insulin Levels. Supplementing ones diet with omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil pills has been shown to improve insulin resistance and to decrease fasting insulin levels.

    Because insulin inhibits the breakdown of fat and stimulates fat synthesis, decreasing fasting insulin levels facilitates weight loss and inhibits weight gain.

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