The basics about fish oil:

First of all, we need to know that fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fishes. When we talk about fish oil, it actually contains omega 3-fatty acids and comprises of the following two main components:

  • EPA: Eicosapentanoic acid
  • DHA: docosahexanoic acid

Fish oil is mainly obtained by consuming fish or by taking fish oil supplements. Some examples of fish that contains a high amount of fish oil includes:

  • Mackarel
  • Salmon
  • Cod Liver
  • Tuna
  • Herring

Fish oil is well known to decrease the amount of triglycerides within our body. It could be prescribed by your physician and coupled with lifestyle changes and diet to reduce the amount of triglyceride in your body. In addition, you may also hear people talking about fish oil effects in lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases. In addition, there are some research indicating fish oil being helpful against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and also used for optical issues such as dry eyes and glaucoma.

So basically, how does fish oil works to provide us with so many benefits?

It is explained that fish oil helps reduce swelling and pain, it also helps decrease the possibility of blood clotting, hence decreasing the risk of a heart attack. A study by two Danish scientists, compared diets between Eskimos and Danish people living in Greensland. What was discovered was that the Eskimos had a much lower rate of coronary heart diseases and this was due to the Eskimo’s diet that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. It was later shown that omega 3- fatty acids have anti-arrhythmic, anti-thrombotic, and anti-platelet properties, which pointed towards the potential use to prevent heart diseases.

How much fish do I have to eat to see a benefit?!

Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be made in our body, therefore, it is recommended to consume at least 2 servings of fish rich in fish oil each week. An alternative is to be taking concentrated Omega-3 fatty acid capsules or pills as a form of supplement. You should aim to have at least a daily dose of 750mg of EPA and DHA.

How does Omega 3 fatty acid help with losing weight?

In a study by EE Noreen et al, published in the Journal of the international Society of Sports Nutrition, the group set out to determine the effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and cortisol (stress hormone) production in healthy individuals.

They found that with supplemental fish oil intake, the individuals had increased their lean mass and decreased their fat mass, and these findings correlated well with the reduction of cortisol production in the individuals.

In a separate study, it was also found that fish oil can increase insulin sensitivity, this is crucial because it will cause your body to be less likely to store the food you eat as fat.

Therefore, aiming to supplement your resistance exercise workout routine with omega-3 fatty acids will likely help with your goal to lose weight and sustain the weight that you manage to lose.

Please feel free to leave me comments and queries below or by e-mailing me at merrell@sustainableweightlosshabits.com

Sources:

Noreen E, Sass M, Crowe M, Pabon V, Brandauer J. Averill L. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:31.

Ramel A, Martinéz A, Kiely M, Morais G, Bandarra NM, Thorsdottir I. Beneficial effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids included in an energy-restricted diet on insulin resistance in overweight and obese European young adults. Diabetologia. 2008 Jul;51(7):1261-8.

6 Comments

  1. cristina

    Reply

    i knew is helpful fish oil but i never knew so many details 🙂 Stress hormone, metabolism, heat diseases….all these:)
    Thanks for sharing such informative post and I have a question. Do you think is better to take the fish oil benefits from natural sources like tuna, salmon or pills?Which is a more efficient way?
    Thanks again and I really enjoyed reading, was an interesting article:)
    have a nice hay,
    Cristina

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi Christina,

      Thanks for the comments and the queries. With regards to which I feel is better, I would have to say both are equally beneficial. It boils down to the consumer on whether you are able to consistently consume a sufficient amount of fish oil (DHA/EPA) on a daily basis, if able to, that is great; if not, perhaps going with supplements might be the better option.

      Have a good weekend ahead!

      Cheers,

      M

  2. Simon

    Reply

    That was super informative for sure – cheers.

    Fish oil is widely used as well as flaxseed one, but I personally prefer fish as a source of healthy fats. I liked the fact that you mentioned the blood lressure lowering benefits of Omega 3’s – they are a great weapon against blood clots as well.

    Now the weight loss aspect is another great feature of it, clearly aiding anyone interested in losing that lard. Yet without any reasonbale diet it would be foolish to rely solely on fish oil for fat loss.

    And supplementation seems like the best option when it comes to gettinf enough EPA and DHA. What brands do you recommend?

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi Simon,

      Absolutely agree with the comments you have added, with regards to the recommended brands, I have tried the GNC triple strength fish oil and another by Nutrilite. These both have good source an amount of fish oils present.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Merrell

  3. RN Didi

    Reply

    Great article about fish oil. I was wondering, which one is better? Taking fish oil as a supplement or eating 2 weekly doses of fish? I’m so concerned with the heavy metals found in fish, the type of fish to choose from (farmed vs wild-caught), but at the same time, how much do you really absorb from a supplement? Can it truly replace the actual fish?

    Thanks for replying!

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi RN Didi,

      Thanks for the comment and query, it is always better to eat from natural sources. The absorption of natural triglyceride oils (natural food sources but with the fear of added mercury as you pointed out?) will always be better than purified triglyceride sources (supplements). However, there are plus and minuses, based on my lifestyle, I do not eat as much healthily cooked fish on a weekly basis and therefore would stick with the convenience of supplements. 

      So in a nutshell, can supplements truly replace the actual fish? In terms of absorption shared above, perhaps. But you may have to take more supplements to equal the amount from a natural source.

      Hope this helps and keep the queries coming. 

      Speak soon,

      Merrell

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