When dieting, some dietary supplements can help you shed body fat and reduce your weight. Fish oil is one such supplement, having been found to be a rich source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which are essential to good health.
Fish oil has a powerful effect on fat metabolism and insulin levels. Insulin response is key in how our bodies use fat for fuel. Fish oil drops insulin levels in the body, allowing more fat to be used by the body for energy.
In a study published in the American Journal of Obesity, researchers sought to determine the effects of fish oil on the number of fat calories burned in a 24-hour period. Two study groups were fed the same diet, except that one group supplemented with fish oil instead of consuming fat in the form of olive oil, sunflower oil or peanut oil. The researchers found that the group supplementing with fish oil burned fat at a higher rate than subjects consuming fat in other forms.
Fish oil is even more beneficial for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program. Researchers for the University of South Australia conducted a study of 75 obese people, all of whom had heart-related health issues. The study found that the combination of fish oil and exercise reduced overall body weight and also lowered cholesterol.
The American Dietetic Association has reported that fish oil is effective in reducing fatty deposits in the arteries, reduces the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer, and helps preserve eyesight. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, fish oil can help the body to shed fat.
The most serious side effect of fish oil is mercury poisoning. In order to avoid this, purchase only fish oil that has undergone molecular distillation. Mercury poisoning is most damaging to children and women who are pregnant. The more common side effects are fishy aftertaste and gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea.