Fish oil helps burn fat

Fish oil helps burn fat

Fish are an important part of a healthy diet because of their high levels of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which have antioxidant and heart health benefits.

New research from Kyoto University shows that fish oil helps burn fat by converting fat-storage cells to fat-burning cells.

The research team explains that fish oil activates receptors in the digestive tract, fires the sympathetic nervous system, and induces storage cells to burn fat.

As explained in the study abstract:

Fat tissues don’t all store fat. So-called “white” cells store fat in order to maintain energy supply, while “brown” cells metabolize fat to maintain a stable body temperature. Brown cells are abundant in babies but decrease in number with maturity into adulthood.

A third type of fat cell — “beige” cells — has recently been found in humans and mice, and has been shown to function much like brown cells. Beige cells also reduce in number as people approach middle age; without these metabolizing cells, fat continues accumulating for decades without ever being used.

The researchers looked at whether certain types of foods could increase the number of beige cells.

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.”

The research team fed one group of mice with fatty food, and the other groups with fish oil additives. The mice that ate fish oil gained 5-10 percent less weight and 15-25 percent less fat than those that did not consume the oil.

They also found that beige cells were transformed from white cells when the sympathetic nervous system was activated, meaning that some cells gained the ability to metabolize.

People have long said that food from Japan and the Mediterranean contributes to longevity, but why these cuisines are beneficial was up for debate,” adds Kawada. “Now we have better insight into why that may be.”

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1. “Fish Oil Helps Burn Fat by Transforming Fat-storage Cells into Fat-burning Cells.” Kyoto University. Kyoto University, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2015.

2. “Fish Oil Intake Induces UCP1 Upregulation in Brown and White Adipose Tissue via the Sympathetic Nervous System.” Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2015.
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