In addition to its other health-promoting properties, fish oil can have an impact on weight loss as well. In a study involving 75 overweight volunteers with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, results indicate that both fish oil supplementation and regular exercise may reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular disease risk factors.
For 12 weeks, subjects were randomly assigned to one of four intervention groups. The first group only took 6 grams of fish oil per day (providing 320 mg of DHA/EPA per each 1,000 mg softgel). The second group took 6 grams of fish oil per day and walked 45 minutes three days per week at 75% of their maximal heart rate. The third group took a placebo only. The fourth group took a placebo and walked 45 minutes three days per week at 75% of their maximal heart rate.
At the end of the study, results showed the fish oil only group lowered triglycerides 14%, increased HDL “good” cholesterol 10%, reduced body fat and improved endothelium-dependent arterial vasodilation. Exercise improved small arterial compliance and reduced body fat.
Thus, fish oil and exercise together both reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. Increasing your intake of fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) could be a useful addition to exercise programs aimed at improving body composition and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk.