Not just a fishy tale . . .
Fish oil transforms fat storage cells into fat burning cells, helping to make weight loss easier.
Fish oil supplementation transforms your metabolism in several ways, making it easier to lose weight and keep it off. Research published in the journal Scientific Reports and conducted at Kyoto University has shown that fish oil activates receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, and induces storage cells to metabolize fat.
Not all the fat cells on your body are the same. White fat cells store fat in order to maintain an energy supply, whereas brown cells burn fat to maintain a stable body temperature. Babies have a lot of brown fat cells on their body, but sadly these cells decrease in number as we reach adulthood. Recently a third type of fat cell has been discovered: beige cells! These cells actually function a lot like the good brown cells. Unfortunately, their numbers decline as we approach middle age, but there are ways of increasing them.
Here is a quote from senior author of the study, Teruo Kawada: "We knew from previous research that fish oil has tremendous health benefits, including the prevention of fat accumulation. We tested whether fish oil and an increase in beige cells could be related." The researchers fed a group of mice fatty food, and another group fatty food with the addition of fish oil. The mice that ate food with fish oil gained 5 to 10 percent less weight and 15 to 25 percent less fat than those who weren't given fish oil. The group given fish oil developed more beige fat cells on their body.
This is very interesting and very relevant for most people. The amount of omega 3 fats in our food has declined in recent years due to modern agricultural methods - fish is farmed and poultry and livestock are largely fed grains (causing the meat to be low in omega 3 fats). If you don't regularly eat oily fish like sardines, wild salmon, mackerel or herrings, you may benefit from a fish oil supplement or vegan DHA.
Minji Kim, Tsuyoshi Goto, Rina Yu, Kunitoshi Uchida, Makoto Tominaga, Yuriko Kano, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Teruo Kawada. Fish oil intake induces UCP1 upregulation in brown and white adipose tissue via the sympathetic nervous system. Scientific Reports, 2015; 5: 18013 DOI: 10.1038/srep18013