Omega-3 Weight Loss Link Revealed
New findings show that the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA may play an important role in weight management.
The study was published in the April 2009 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition and was conducted by researchers at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
The study included 124 people of varying weights.
Participants were classified as healthy weight, overweight or obese based on their body mass index. The breakdown of each group was:
1. Healthy weight - 21 participants (17%)
2. Overweight - 40 participants (32%)
3. Obese - 63 participants (51%)
In order to measure omega-3 weight loss potential accurately and avoid skewed results, the researchers excluded any participants already taking omega-3 supplements.
The participants fasted for at least 10 hours, and then blood samples were taken.
The researchers found that participants with higher omega-3 essential fatty acid levels tended to have healthier BMIs, a smaller waist, and a lower hip size.
Overall, they found that obese people had omega-3 levels of 4.53%, compared to 5.25% in their healthy-weight peers.
These findings support a number of previous studies which have examined the link between omega-3 consumption and weight management.
The specific mechanisms behind omega-3 weight loss benefits are still unclear but a number of previous studies highlight a few possibilities.
One study found that omega-3 essential fatty acids may boost feelings of fullness. A separate animal study found that omega-3s may increase the production of heat by burning energy (increasing the metabolic rate).
Although the science behind omega-3 weight loss benefits is still being examined, it has already been shown that these essential fatty acids can help manage blood pressure, lower the risk of cardiac death and decrease the risk of dementia.
The average American diet does not contain enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are found most abundantly in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. This makes it a good idea to consider taking an omega-3 supplement high in the fatty acids EPA and DHA.
It is important to make sure you are taking a high quality supplement certified for purity because some fish oils can contain harmful contaminants like lead and mercury.