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Fish Oil Reduces Body Fat And Improves Several Health Markers

Fish oil, or often referred to as omega 3 fats, have been shown to improve several indices of cardiovascular health and other health-related risk factors especially inflammatory markers. However, the effects on body composition have not been investigated thoroughly. Australian researchers tested the effects of a fish oil supplement to improve fat loss and risk factors of heart disease. In addition, they examined if exercise augmented the effects of fish oil on body composition. Overweight subjects consumed fish oil or a sunflower oil placebo for 12 weeks. The dose was 6 g of oil (1.9 g of omega 3 fats) per day. Each group was split into two more groups: one that exercised 3 times per week and the other continued their normal level of activity. These investigators noted significant effects of exercise and fish oil alone on fat loss, and the combination of both interventions led to the greatest decrease in body fat (almost 4 pounds in 12 weeks). In addition, fish oil supplementation decreased blood triglycerides, increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and improved the functioning of blood vessels. Consuming fish oil daily without any other changes in diet is an easy and highly effective strategy to maximize fat loss and health responses to an exercise training program.

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.