You already know the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. It plays a crucial role in brain function and normal growth. It’s also known for its potential of reducing the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acid is found in fish oil and here’s more reason to consume more of it. A recent study says fish oil may help control body weight.
Published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Kyoto University have found that fish oil can transform fat-storing cells to fat-burning cells which may reduce weight gain in middle age.
There are different types of fat tissues each with a different function. “White” fat cells store fat for use as an energy supply. “Brown” cells burn fat to regulate body heat and maintain a stable body temperature. “Beige” cells, only recently discovered, also functions like brown cells and is found in humans and mice. Both brown cells and beige cells decrease in number as people approach middle age. But still, white cells continue to store and accumulate fat.
“We knew from previous research that fish oil has tremendous health benefits, including the prevention of fat accumulation,” says senior author Teruo Kawada. “We tested whether fish oil and an increase in beige cells could be related.”
For the study, researchers took mice and divided them into two groups: both were given fatty food as a diet but one of the groups was also fed fish oil additives. Results showed that the mice who had fish oil additives gained 5-10% less weight and 15-25% less fat compared to the mice that were not given fish oil.
Weight gain, particularly obesity, is becoming a problem in parts of the world. It’s even present in kids with 42 million children overweight or obese in 2013, according to the World Health Organization. Excessive weight gain can also be a hindrance to pregnancy. It can lead to an ovulation resistance, estrogen imbalance and insulin resistance which cause problems in fertility. Keep healthy by eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise.
Source: Dec. 17, 2015. "Fish oil helps transform fat cells from storage to burning". eurekalert.org