Fish oil

(Known as Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Omega-3 fatty acids, Fish oil)

tickEssential Fatty Acid
tickControls appetite
tickAids definition & fat loss
tickHormone control
tickAids health
tickSupports the immune system
How does it work?
Fish oil contains the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). Studies show that fish oil can reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the incidence of strokes, and improve some measures of depressiob. Some studies also show that fish oil may speed up weight loss.
Who is it used for?
Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids as much as it needs vitamins. They are essential to life, and everyone should get some form of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.
How does it work?
According to most studies, fish or fish oil can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke [2, 3]. There are several mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effect of fish oil, including a drop in high triglyceride levels, raising HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, "thinning" the blood, lowering levels of homocysteine, and possibly reducing blood pressure [1].

Fish oil has also been shown to improve some of the symptoms of depression. In a four-week trial that looked at the effect of fish oil in 20 subjects with depression (who were taking standard antidepressants), three weeks of supplementation was enough to improve the level of depression [4]. Six of 10 participants given fish oil, but only one of 10 given placebo, showed at least a 50% reduction in depression scores by the end of the trial.

Fish oil can also stimulate the oxidation (or the "burning") of fat. When six grams of fish oil replaced six grams of visible fat in the diet for a three-week period, the rate at which fat was being burned for energy increased by approximately 25% [5].

Further evidence to show the effect of fish oil on weight loss comes from a research group based in the Czech Republic [6]. A group of 20 severely obese women were randomly assigned to a very low-calorie diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids or with placebo. Weight loss was approximately 25% greater in subjects using fish oil (7.6 kilograms) compared with subjects receiving placebo (6.1 kilograms).
How do I use it?
In order to match the dosage used in several major studies, you should take enough fish oil to supply 1-2 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids daily.
What results can I expect?
Fish oil can improve general health, improve your mental state and help you lose weight faster.
What can it be combined with?
Because fish oil has a mild "blood-thinning" effect, it should not be combined with powerful blood-thinning medications, except on the advice of a doctor. However, fish oil does not seem to cause bleeding problems when it is taken by itself, or even with aspirin. Anyone using cod liver oil as their source of omega-3 fatty acids should be careful not to exceed the safe maximum intake of vitamin A and vitamin D. These vitamins are fat soluble, which means that excess amounts tend to build up in your body.

1. Montori VM, Farmer A, Wollan PC, Dinneen SF. (2000). Fish oil supplementation in type 2 diabetes: a quantitative systematic review. Diabetes Care, 23, 1407-1415
2. Bucher HC, Hengstler P, Schindler C, Meier G. (2002). N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Medicine, 112, 298-304
3. Iso H, Rexrode KM, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Colditz GA, Speizer FE, Hennekens CH, Willett WC. (2001). Intake of fish and omega-3 fatty acids and risk of stroke in women. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 304-312
4. Nemets B, Stahl Z, Belmaker RH. (2002). Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 477-479
5. Couet C, Delarue J, Ritz P, Antoine JM, Lamisse F. (1997). Effect of dietary fish oil on body fat mass and basal fat oxidation in healthy adults. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 21, 637-643
6. 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. (2005). The influence of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and very low calorie diet (VLCD) during a short-term weight reducing regimen on weight loss and serum fatty acid composition in severely obese women. Physiology Research, 26

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