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Omega-3s Linked to Improvement of Metabolic Syndrome

Omega-3 fatty acids come in many forms and have numerous health benefits, ranging from cardiovascular health to brain health to bone health. Now they are being linked to improving some of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome in obese people. The specific improvements seen in the study participants were reduced over activity in the endocannabinoid system, lower triglyceride levels, and improved waist/hip ratios.

Endocannabinoids are lipid signaling molecules that contribute to appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. Chronic elevation of endocannabinoid levels may contribute to metabolic disorders.

Participants in the study include 17 obese adult men. Over the course of 24 weeks, six of the men were given a placebo while the other 11 took 4 grams of omega-3’s in the form of krill powder daily.

At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group had a 21% reduction in triglyceride levels, as well as a positive impact on three different endocannibinoids. The endocannibinoid anandaminde, which is elevated in obese people, had an 84% decrease.

The researchers also noted a decrease in waist/hip ratio and visceral fat/skeletal muscle mass ratio in the supplement group, although there was no change in body weight.

Researchers from around the world conducted the Aker BioMarine funded study. It was published on May 27, 2013, in Lipids in Health and Disease.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

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