What is fish oil?
Just oil from the tissue of fatty fish. It contains omega 3 fatty acids called EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). These are essential to the human diet and the human body does not produce them naturally.
Here are 7 major benefits:
- Decrease incidence of depression and anxiety
- Reduce stress response
- Decrease body insulin response to food
- Assist in activating fat burning genes
- Assist muscle protein protein synthesis
- Decrease triglyceride levels
- Decrease blood pressure
Fish oil can really help with overall body composition. If you’re a woman with over 25% body fat then fish oil may help you lose fat faster while helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
How does it work?
The omega 3 fatty acid exerts its influence on the outside of the membrane of your cells in your body.
I read about a great analogy recently regarding this scenario by an American expert called John Leyva:
Imagine that your cell membrane is a large party tent with a number of entrances into and out of the tent. Some doors only allow protein and insulin to move pass through them. The fats that you then eat will make up the composition of the cell membrane, whether they are saturated (beef fat, butter, lard, cocoa butter), omega 6 (wholegrains, cereals, breads, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, margarine) or omega 3.
Now for years the healthy ratio of Omega 6 fats to Omega 3 fats in the human body was 1.5 to 1. Due to an overconsumption of processed foods in the western diet these days the ratio is closer to 20 to 1. This altered ratio causes an increase in cellular inflammation markers. This in turn causes the pathogenesis of many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
In simple terms this means that those doors to the tent are closed or certainly restricted to the things that the cell needs most. It also means that the waste that should be leaving the cells hangs around longer (like a drunk party guest).This isn’t good.
To get your Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio back to a sensible level all you need to do is cut down on processed foods and increase fish consumption (or take a good quality omega 3 supplement).
What to look for?
I have tried lots of different omega 3s trying to get the balance right between good, high amount of both DHA and EPA and a competitive price. To give you a guide an optimum amount of DHA and EPA combined that should be consumed each day to help aid fat loss needs to be between 2-3 grams.
Not all are the same.
If you look at a store bought (Holland and Barrett or Tesco) omega 3 supplement then most will have a combined amount of 0.25 – 0.30 grams of DHA and EPA. This would mean consuming at least 10 capsules per day to get the required amount which is just stupid.
Those that contain higher amounts tend to cost more – some as high as £35 for 90 capsules. I have found one that is available through Amazon which costs around £10 for 90 and contains 0.55 grams of DHA/EPA so consuming 4 capsules per day will have the desired effect on fat loss.
Here is the link to the ones that I now use and recommend to others with happens to have a discount (at time of writing).
So, just to summarise look for good, high amounts of EPA and DHA in your omega 3 supplement to help with your overall ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, get your cells working more efficiently, igniting your fat burning genes and improving your body composition.