The benefits of eating oily fish have been promoted for quite a while now, however introducing it into the diet is not for everyone. Fish oil supplementation is one way of getting the benefits of oily fish, without the bones & scales!
Fish oil will help you lose body fat, providing you with essential fatty acids due to the Omega-3 content. These fatty acids are used by the body to build optimal cellular lipid layer, which is the fat layer surrounding cells known as the Lipid Bilayer. This cell layer can effect metabolism and the activity of insulin, improving your overall insulin sensitivity.
Fish oil also has a beneficial effect on cortisol, making it not only anti-catabolic, but also anabolic. Fish oil enhances the mTOR pathway that produces muscle growth.
The anti-inflammatory benefits of fish oil are well documented, something that is important for those that are looking to be lean and healthy (and who doesn’t?) Anything that causes an inflammatory response in the body such cortisol, can cause a protein degradation effect which can cause a loss of muscle tissue. Fish oil is an powerful anti-inflammatory and can produce a more favourable inflammatory status in the body. This in turn will speed up detoxification, improve cellular health, provide a better environment for muscle growth and fat loss and decrease inflammatory hormones such as cortisol.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity & Metabolism
Cellular lipid layers produced from fish oil improves insulin sensitivity due to its increased binding ability to insulin. Once insulin is bound, it is used to shuttle glucose from the diet into muscles to be stored ready for energy expenditure. Any insulin not stored in the muscle can continue to circulate in the blood stream and be potentially stored as fat. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) insure that cell membranes remain healthy by ensuring cell membrane flexibility and a larger number of insulin receptors. This is why it is essential that your fish oil supplement contains a good amount of the above. EPA and DHA have different roles in the body. Dr Carrie Ruxton, nutritionist for the Health Supplements Information Service, says: “Studies suggest DHA is more important for the brain, retina and infant development, while EPA is more important for vascular health. The difficulty we have in the UK is that two-thirds of people don’t eat oily fish,’ she says. ‘The main source of long chain omega-3s in the diet is oily fish, and if we can’t get them from that, we need to consider a supplement to top up our diet.’
As well as weight loss and favourable body composition changes, fish oil has also been shown to have medical applications in an extremely wide range of ailments including stroke, bipolar disorder, psoriasis, hay fever, crohns disease, ulcerative colitis and hypertension!
Fish oils also turn lipolytic genes and switch off lipogenic genes. This means that the genes responsible for fat burning are activated, whereas the genes responsible for fat storage are switched off. Fish oil also diminishes C-Reactive proteins. These are proteins that are linked to coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, angina and stroke.
Above all this, fish oil has been shown to increase serotonin levels, happy feeling neurotransmitters, decreasing incidents of depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Lastly, fish oil has been shown to reduce interlukin-1 beta production, reducing joint stiffness and pain in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.