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Fish oil capsules reduce fat rolls

If you give women 3 g of fish oil daily in capsule form, the fat around their middle shrinks. Researchers at Inserm in France discovered this when they did a two-month-long experiment with thirty women who had diabetes-2.

Fish oil & weight loss
Fish oil capsules reduce fat rolls
Fatty acids derived from fish delay the growth of fat cells. If you take fish oil capsules or eat fish often while dieting, your weight loss will progress more quickly. Weight loss through exercise also goes faster if you increase the amount of fish oil you take. The effect occurs because fish fatty acids enhance fat burning in the muscles.

Many of the positive results obtained with fish fatty acids by other researchers were the result of high doses, however. The French researchers decided to see whether a more modest amount of supplement around 3 g of fish oil per day would have an effect. This amounts to three large capsules per day. In the experiment, the three capsules that the test subjects took provided a daily dose of 1.8 g of n 3-fatty acids. [1.1 g EPA en 0.7 g DHA.]

Half of the women were given fish oil capsules. The other half got a placebo.

The effects of the pills are shown below. NS = not statistically significant. Where figures appear in the table the effect was significant.

Fish oil capsules reduce fat rolls

Fish oil capsules reduce fat rolls

The fish oil capsule users lost an average of one kilogram; the placebo group remained the same weight. The effect was not statistically significant. But the total fat mass of the fish-oil users decreased, and that effect was statistically significant.

The decrease in fat is especially noticeable in the trunk.

Mechanistic speculations
The researchers were particularly interested in sensitivity to insulin. That did not change, but taking fish oil supplements seems to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Taking a supplement halved the amount of the 'heart attack protein' PAI-1 in the blood. The higher the level of PAI-1 in your blood, the greater the chance of your having a heart attack. In the placebo group the concentration of PAI-1 increased from 16.9 to 19.2 IE per milliliter, whereas in the fish oil group the concentration decreased from 18.9 to 9.5 IE per milliliter.

The supplement reduced the activity of inflammatory genes in the women's fat cells, the researchers discovered. According to the French, this molecular effect is the cause of the health effects that were observed.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1670-9.

Fish oil supplement can make you fitter, slimmer and more muscular 05.02.2016
Your body burns more calories after a meal with fish oil 06.03.2012
Six weeks of fish oil: lose a pound of fat and gain a pound of lean body mass 12.11.2010

Weight Loss
Fish Oil

Optimal fish oil dose depends on body weight
If for any reason you use fish oil and discover that it's not working after a couple of weeks, it may be because you're overweight.

Fish oil increases insulin sensitivity only when combined with exercise
Some studies show that fish oil protects humans against type-2 diabetes, others show that a diet that is rich in fish fatty acids actually raises the chance of diabetes developing.

Omega-3 fatty acids a bit more effective when taken with lecithin
Lecithin improves the uptake of omega-3 fatty acids.