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We have talked a lot about the many health benefits associated with omega 3 fats, in particular the most common ones EPA and DHA. They protect against heart disease, have anti-inflammatory effects, and decrease risk for cancer. A new study shows that omega 3 fat supplementation enhances weight loss and improves fat metabolism. The study involved subjects who were counseled to follow a low calorie diet and were then randomized into an omega 3 supplement group (2.8 g/day) or a placebo group. The study focused on the short-term responses, including if the omega 3 fats actually get incorporated into the membranes. The omega 3 supplemented group had greater circulating concentration of EPA and DHA in blood lipids, and this led to greater weight loss compared to placebo. In addition, omega 3 supplementation was associated with increased fat oxidation and reduced fat synthesis. These findings support the use of omega 3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA, in promoting favorable effects on fat metabolism and weight loss during dieting.

Kunesova M, Braunerova R, Hlavaty P, Tvrzicka E, Stankova B, Skrha J, Hilgertova J, Hill M, Kopecky J, Wagenknecht M, Hainer V, Matoulek M, Parizkova J, Zak A, Svacina S. The influence of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and very low calorie diet during a short-term weight reducing regimen on weight loss and serum fatty acid composition in severely obese women. Physiol Res. 2006;55(1):63-72. Epub 2005 Apr 26.