If you have been fighting a weight problem all your life, you might be surprised to learn that some people have the opposite problem. People who are naturally "scrawny," and people who have devastating diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and Parkinson's disease sometimes need to gain weight. Whether you are dieting to lose weight or dieting to gain weight, fish oil can help. Here are three reasons why.
- Fish oil fights inflammation. - Inflammation explains an important aspect of the relationship between fish oil and weight loss. If you are overweight, inflammatory hormones trap fluid in and around your fat cells.. They also send out a signal to white blood cells to invade your fat cells, where small, winding blood vessels trap them.
The combination of fluid and white blood cells can comprise as much as 1/3 of the weight of your belly fat. If you are suffering a wasting disease, inflammation can break down muscle tissue.
Your surviving muscle tissue can only absorb new amino acids and glucose to repair itself if you are able to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein at the same meal. And if you are sick to your stomach all the time, that can be hard to do.
Fish oil won't help you with all your digestive issues, but it may slow down the rate at which muscle tissue breaks down.. In both of these conditions, there are some inflammatory hormones that are actually increased by consuming certain n-3 fatty acids.
The n-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, however, are anti-inflammatory whether you are trying to lose weight or trying to gain weight, and help in both conditions.
- Fish oil helps regulate adiponectin. - Another connection between fish oil and weight loss is the regulation of appetite through the regulation of a hormone called adiponectin.
Adiponectin is an important hormone most people have never heard of. Adiponectin is made by the adipose, or fat tissue to send a signal to the brain when fat cells are full. The adiponectin signal tells the brain you don't need to eat so you won't feel as hungry.
The brains of obese people, however, become insensitive to adiponectin. And the bodies of people suffering severe underweight can't make adiponectin fast enough to have enough appetite. Fish oil helps both kinds of people make the right amount of adiponectin at the right time to keep appetite and the body's needs in balance.
- Fish oil reduces the production of triacylglycerol. - A third connection between fish oil and weight loss is regulating the way your body makes fat. Triacylglycerol is the "fat" made from excess sugar in the diet. The more of this fat your body makes, the more the cells that store it become resistant to insulin.
Insulin resistance is a downward spiral that leads to obesity. When cells become insulin resistant, sugar stays in the bloodstream. It's the job of the pancreas to keep blood sugar levels normal, so it makes more insulin to try to get blood sugar levels down. This forces sugar into cells, but they protect themselves against receiving more sugar by becoming even more of the receptor sites on their surfaces where insulin can move sugar into the cell.
Cells do not, however, shut down receptors that allow insulin to store fat into cells. The result is that insulin people get fatter and fatter as their blood sugar levels go higher and higher. Many eventually develop diabetes. Fish oil can help interrupt this cycle in people who are prone to weight gain. You still need to find a way to eat less, but fish oil can help you avoid a downward spiral into obesity and diabetes.
Fish oil can stop the inflammation that keeps you too fat - or keeps you too thin
Fish oil can stop the inflammation that keeps you too fat - or keeps you too thin. It can help you achieve a normal appetite that makes dieting easier. And it can slam the brakes on the process of insulin resistance that makes you fatter and fatter. Adding fish oil to your weight control program can be exactly what you need to make all your efforts pay off by helping you achieve the right weight for good.
- Krebs JD, et al. Additive benefits of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and weight-loss in the management of cardiovascular disease risk in overweight hyperinsulinaemic women.International Journal of Obesity. 2006;30:1535-1544. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803309.
- Kriketos AD, et al. Role of weight loss and polyunsaturated fatty acids in improving metabolic fitness in moderately obese, moderately hypertensive subjects. Journal of Hypertension.2001;19:1745-1754. Doi: 10.1097/00004872-200110000-00007.