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Last Updated on February 23, 2021

How Fish Oil Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

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How Fish Oil Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

Do you want to lose weight? If so, doing something as simple as taking a fish oil supplement can help you lose a few extra pounds each month. Unlike most weight loss supplements that usually contain caffeine and other stimulants, it doesn’t make you feel jittery and nervous. Your energy levels will never come crashing down a couple hours after taking it either.

Unlike weight loss supplements your overall health will benefit from fish oil. In addition to helping you lose weight, taking fish oil every day can help your brain, heart, and joints health. No weight loss supplement on the market can make these claims.

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In this article I list and explain 4 different ways fish oil supplements can help you lose weight. After reading them you will see how this inexpensive and popular product can give your weight loss program — and overall health — a boost.

  1. Fish Oil Enables You Lose Fat and Build Muscle. Simply popping a couple of fish oil capsules daily can help you lose fat and build muscle. All you need to do is take enough every day. The study I review below reveals just how much. In this study, subjects took about 2 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) every day for 6 weeks. At the end of the study they lost more than 2 lbs. of body fat. The subjects also gained about 1 pound. What’s really cool about this is that they didn’t exercise, change their diet, or do anything else to lose weight. All it took was taking a couple of high dose fish oil capsules every day.
  2. Fish Oil Supplements Decrease Your Appetite. If you want to stay full longer between meals, popping a couple of fish oil capsules after you eat may help. In one study, women who did this stayed full longer after their meal and ate less overall. Over time, this will help you lose weight without feeling hungry and suffering with the hunger pangs that occur when we diet. The most likely reason fish oil helps you stay full is that it is able to regulate the release of a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate your appetite and mood. This effect is also what gives fish oil its antidepressant benefits.
  3. Fish Oil Makes Your Diet and Weight Loss Workout Program More Effective. Taking a fish oil supplement can make your diet and exercise program more effective too. In one study, subjects taking fish oil lost more weight than those taking a placebo supplement. Both groups followed a diet that had them eating less and also had them working out several times a week.
  4. Fish Oil Helps Minimizes Fat Storage. One study shows that fish oil supplements can minimize the risk that the food you eat is stored as fat. This is because it increases something called insulin sensitivity. Keeping the cells of your body sensitive to insulin is key to losing weight and staying healthy. The reason it’s so important is that the more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the less likely it is that the food you eat will be stored as fat.

What to Look for When Buying Fish Oil

When you’re shopping for a fish oil supplement, make sure you buy one that’s guaranteed to be free of impurities and potentially harmful substances like heavy metals and pesticides. The supplement you choose should also state on its label that it is concentrated. This means you’ll get the most possible Omega 3 fatty acids per serving. A good product will contain at least 750 mg of the EPA and DHA, the Omega 3s that give fish oil its benefits per capsule.

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What to Expect When You Take Fish Oil

Research shows that taking 2-3 grams of fish oil daily can help you lose about 2 pounds a month. While this isn’t a lot, it adds up over time. It also doesn’t require any extra effort and costs very little. Following a diet that eliminates processed foods and simple sugars and performing a proven and effective weight loss workout 3-5 days a week will enable you to lose weight even faster.

Determining Your Daily Fish Oil Dose

Figuring out how much fish oil is in every capsule you take is easy. All you need to do is look at the Supplement Facts label on the product’s bottle. In this panel look for the amounts of DHA and EPA in every serving.

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I like to think of taking fish oil for weight loss as a bonus. You lose a few extra pounds you wouldn’t have otherwise, and get lots of other health related benefits too. Given that there are no side effects and minimal risk for a healthy person to take fish oil, it’s definitely a winning proposition.

References

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  1. Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74.
  2. Noreen E, Sass M, Crowe M, Pabon V, Brandauer J. Averill L. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:31.
  3. Parra D, Ramel A, Bandarra N, Kiely M, Martínez JA, Thorsdottir I. A diet rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss. Appetite. 2008 Nov;51(3):676-80.
  4. Ramel A, Martinéz A, Kiely M, Morais G, Bandarra NM, Thorsdottir I. Beneficial effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids included in an energy-restricted diet on insulin resistance in overweight and obese European young adults. Diabetologia. 2008 Jul;51(7):1261-8.
  5. Thorsdottir I, Tomasson H, Gunnarsdottir I, Gisladottir E, Kiely M, Parra MD, Bandarra NM, Schaafsma G, Martinéz JA. Randomized trial of weight-loss-diets for young adults varying in fish and fish oil content. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Oct;31(10):1560-6.

Featured photo credit: Anshu A via unsplash.com

More by this author

Curt Pedersen

Curt is the founder of Stayfitcentral.com, a blog that helps you build the body you deserve.

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss for Beginners (A How-to Guide) How Fish Oil Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight How to Build Muscle Fast: 5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks 3 Weight Loss Hacks to Help You Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Weeks Hack Your Weight Loss Workout – Lose Weight In 15 Minutes a Day

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Published on October 19, 2021

13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

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13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

Fish oils are great sources of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Omega fats are essential, meaning that they can’t be synthesized in your body and have to be eaten in your diet. Omega-3 is synthesized by microalgae—not by fish—but accumulates in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain. Oily fish contains about 30% fat in their tissues, and this is where the omega fatty acids are found. There are many claims about omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils. But what is the evidence of the real benefits of fish oil for men and women? Can fish oils really improve your brain health, reduce your cholesterol, or help your heart?

Learn about the role of omega-3 as signaling molecules, in cell membranes, arthritis, and even eye disease. Find out the main benefits of fish oil for men and women and how to get enough.

What Are Omega Fatty Acids?

There are two types of fats or fatty acids that are essential and can’t be produced in our bodies: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 can be broken down into three main forms: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oils contain DHA and EPA omega fatty acids and are a good source of these essential fats.

13 Benefits of Fish Oil (Omega Fatty Acids)

There are several different health benefits of omega fatty acids. Below are the 13 most common fish oil benefits for men and women.

1. Structural Role in Cells

Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids have an important structural role, as they are needed for cell membranes. You have an estimated 724 trillion cells in your body, and that is a lot of cell membranes to keep healthy.

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2. Energy Source

Both omega-3 and -6 are sources of energy, just like any other fat source. This means they can be used alongside energy from carbohydrates to power your body, providing energy for essential functions and exercise.

3. Signaling Molecules

Omega fatty acids are used to form signaling molecules called eicosanoids, comprised of prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes that have extremely important functions within our bodies.

Prostaglandins

There are many different prostaglandins with wide-ranging roles, such as the sensation of pain, inflammation, regulation of pregnancy and birth, control of blood pressure, secretion of stomach acid, contraction, and relaxation of smooth muscle.

Thromboxanes

Thromboxanes regulate blood clotting by causing constriction of blood vessels and the aggregation of platelets (so they stick together), which are early steps in blood clotting.

Leukotrienes

Leukotrienes are involved in immune function by attracting immune cells, such as neutrophils, to sites of inflammation. They also constrict bronchioles in the lungs and make capillary walls permeable.

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4. Prevent Heart Diseases

Cardiovascular events are diseases related to blood vessels, such as clots, rhythm problems, and heart attacks. Studies have found that ALA may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.[1][2]

5. Decrease Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Triglycerides are part of your cholesterol profile. Higher levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between omega-3 and triglyceride levels.[3] This means that an increased intake of omega-3 led to a decrease in triglycerides and that higher doses of omega-3 led to a greater effect. This effect was stronger in people who already had raised triglycerides.

One of the ways of decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease is by lowering your cholesterol. One study found that EPA and DHA decreased triglycerides by about 15% and reduced the risk of coronary artery death and coronary events, which are illnesses of arteries supplying the heart.

6. Improve Brain Health

A grouped meta-analysis has not found any link between omega 3 and dementia, but more information is needed to see if omega-3 can prevent cognitive decline. Learn more about this here: How Fish Oil Boosts Your Mental Clarity And Brain Power

7. Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Omega-3 supplements have been found to benefit the clinical outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis and may even delay the need for medications.[4][5]

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8. Decrease Progression of Osteoarthritis

A large prospective study in patients with wear and tear (osteoarthritis OA) found that a higher intake of total and saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of worsening OA, whereas a higher intake of unsaturated fats was associated with decreased progression of OA measured via X-rays.[6]

The current opinion is that the metabolic products of omega-3 fatty acids are less inflammatory than those produced from omega6 fatty acids. Western diets are associated with an imbalance of omega-3 and -6 such that instead of levels of omega-3 being higher than omega-6, the reverse is more commonly seen.

9. Prevent Autoimmune Diseases

There is also limited evidence that omega-3 supplementation may benefit people with other types of autoimmune arthropathies like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but more research is needed.

10. Good For Eye Health

The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye, and although it is tiny—only about 5mm across—it has a very important role in vision. It is responsible for our central vision, most of our color vision, and the fine detail of what we see. Getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.[7][8]

11. Boost Your Mood

It is suggested that omega-3 may play a role in the prevention and treatment of depression. However, meta-analyses of the data have not confirmed clear benefits. Instead, more research looking at the effect of supplementing omega-3 in people with depression is needed.[9]

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12. Lower Blood Pressure

The evidence of the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids on high blood pressure (hypertension) is mixed with large-scale studies showing either no effect or a small reduction in risk of hypertension.[10][11] Omega-3 fats do have other health benefits, though. They are unlikely to do harm and are easily incorporated into your diet by eating oily fish twice a week and seeds, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and nuts.

13. Help With Fertility

Omega-3 appears to have a role in a healthy gamete (eggs and sperm) formation with consumption associated with increased probability of pregnancy and live birth rate.[12][13][14]

Where Are Omega Fatty Acids Found?

If you are allergic to fish or don’t eat it, how can you get enough omega-3? There are other sources of ALA is found in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in oily fish, fish oils, and krill oils. DHA and EPA are synthesized by microalgae, not by the fish, but they accumulate in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain.

Final Thoughts

While there is evidence of the benefits for eye health, arthritis, improved cholesterol, and heart health, evidence to support the benefits of fish oil in helping high blood pressure, protecting brain health, and preventing dementia are less convincing.

Studies have found a “whole food effect” where eating oily fish appears to be more beneficial than supplementing with a fish or cod liver oil. There are also other plant-based sources of omega-3. Although some of these studies suggest that the more omega-3 the better, there is a limit to the recommended dose of supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.

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Omega-3 supplements may interfere with warfarin, due to its anti-platelet role in clotting, so it’s best to check with your doctor before starting a supplement.

Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel via unsplash.com

Reference

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