Omega 3 Fatty Acids Needed in Higher Amounts by Overweight People

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are known to help metabolism of fat for many different reasons. They are one of the best, as well as most basic nutrients, for the support of healthy weight management.  A new study shows that they can positively influence gene signaling in individuals prone to weight gain.

There is no question that many of us have altered gene signals that help promote the storage of fat. Some of these gene signals likely had a survival advantage in past times when food was scarce, but they work against us in modern times when food is often eaten in excess. When individuals with excessive fat-storing gene signals eat too much food they are up to three times more likely to store extra calories as fat.

Researchers looking over the entire human genome have linked higher activities of various genes with obesity. Genes are not written in concrete, rather they respond to environmental variables. Indeed, the new study shows that when omega 3 fatty acids are low then obesity genes are more active in storing calories as fat and when they are higher these genes are tamped down.

While the researchers did not offer any explanation as to why omega 3 fatty acids have this effect, I will. During evolution the intake of omega 3 fatty acids typically occurred in conjunction with significant protein and oftentimes with saturated fat – meaning that true starvation was not occurring. It appears that our bodies associate omega 3 intake with a lack of starvation, thereby permitting metabolism to run faster and not store fat.

If a person eats moderate and appropriate amounts of calories, while following the Five Rules of the Leptin Diet, and increases their intake of omega 3 fatty acids (especially DHA), then they will create a metabolic environment wherein metabolism is permitted to run faster and storing calories as fat is no longer as subconsciously important. It is a way to trick your genes into weight loss.

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