How Fish Oil Rescues Metabolism from Obesity

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

DHA in particular, and fish oil in general, have been shown to have a powerful influence on the health and well-being of your stored fat, as well as other aspects of metabolism such as insulin resistance.  In a study working with obese leptin lacking mice1, researchers demonstrated the precise novel ways in which fish oil can protect against obesity—even in an animal that had no choice but to become obese.

The fish oil raised the level of adiponectin in the white adipose tissue, which helped calm down inflammation within stored fat.  This study demonstrated that adiponectin also prevents insulin resistance and diabetes by improving how the liver can process sugar.

Collectively, these benefits resulted in a decline of excess fat building up in the liver – preventing the very serious metabolic problem of fatty liver known as NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis).  It is important to understand that this protection occurred in an animal that literally had no choice but to become diseased from obesity; fish oil stopped the process of disease progression.  This is a rather amazing study.

Additionally, the researchers discovered that fish oil was further metabolized into novel metabolic signaling compounds called protectins and resolvins, which were involved in many of the protective benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids.  This is an interesting new area of research.

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Fish Oil, Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Fatty Liver  Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.  Ana González-Périz, Raquel Horrillo, Natàlia Ferré, Karsten Gronert, Baiyan Dong, Eva Morán-Salvador, Esther Titos, Marcos Martínez-Clemente, Marta López-Parra, Vicente Arroyo, and Joan Clària .

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