Small amounts of this health supplement can increase an athlete’s resting energy expenditure rate surprisingly.
Time to add another benefit to the long list of benefits already attributed to fish oil, or more precisely, omega-3 fatty acids It is very abundant in many cold water fish.
So far, the list has included cardiovascular benefits, reduced inflammation, better reproductive health (including bigger, “better” balls), helping depressedimprove cognitive impairment, and even improve athletic performance as it increases the functional capacity of muscle cells.
There is even evidence that fish oil can help treat almost any disease that affects the human body. Go ahead and Google “fish oil” and the name of any human condition or disease you can think of. I’ve tried this many times, and this is the rare case where I don’t get what I’ve researched.
For example, I just tried a product that I think will finally beat fish oil: corn. Yes, it’s like “I have bad feet, my corns hurt, and most importantly I’m late for work.” It turns out that fish oil can even help them.
So it shouldn’t surprise you when I tell you that fish oil has now been found to increase resting energy expenditure in athletes by more than 10%. That’s right, taking fish oil can help athletes burn calories — and more calories — even as athletes sit in their rooms admiring their reflection on all the medals and trophies.
I’ll keep it short. Tabriz University of Medicine, Iran. Thirty-six professional athletes were divided into two equal groups. One group was given two fish oil capsules per day for 3 weeks, while the other group was forced to take a placebo.
After 3 weeks, the athletes who took the fish oil were found to burn 220 more calories (kcal) while resting than before the study began. This translates to a 10.67% increase in their basal metabolic rate. placebo group? Not that much. As expected, their metabolic rates did not change.
Other fish oil studies, primarily using mouse models (mice or rats), have found that EPA/DHA (the two main omega-3 fatty acids) supplements increase resting energy expenditure by accelerating fatty acid oxidation, which is the scientific term for body breakdown The process by which fat is used for energy.
However, the Iranian group suspected that fish oil, in addition to increasing fatty acid oxidation, upregulated the expression of a process called PPAR-γ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) mRNA.
PPAR-γ activates genes that regulate fatty acid storage and glucose metabolism. It also increases insulin sensitivity by enhancing the storage of fatty acids in fat cells. It does this by convincing fat cells to release adiponectin, a protein hormone closely related to regulating glucose levels.
PPAR-gamma is also known to increase mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, so those little cellular powerhouses use the fat in your body to generate more energy. One of the main promoters of oxidation in mitochondria is a substance called UCP2, which is classified as an “uncoupling protein,” an energy transporter found in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Regardless, this study found that fish oil increased UCP2 mRNA expression levels by 3.85-fold.
In short, fish oil kicks up the genes for PPAR-gamma and UCP2, which increases energy expenditure.
One potential downside of elevated PPAR-γ levels, at least if you’re interested in losing body fat, is that it’s also associated with increased appetite (although it’s also been shown to reduce appetite in other studies – see graph) ). This is exactly what they found in this study. Athletes taking fish oil reported increased hunger, especially for sweets.
That’s probably why omega-3-rich herring and sardines are often served à la carte. Well, maybe not.
There’s one thing I didn’t mention about this study: fish oil dosage.
Surprisingly, only a small amount of fish oil is needed (at least compared to some other studies) to increase resting energy expenditure by 10.67% – just 2 grams per day, of which only 600 mg is EPA and DHA (360 mg of the former and the latter at 240 mg).
I was surprised because usually larger doses of omega-3 fatty acids are needed to achieve other beneficial effects.For example, most studies show cardiovascular benefits Doses of EPA and DHA derived from fish oil range from 2400 to 3200 mg. In fact, most of the time when studies fail to show positive effects of fish oil, underdosing is to blame.
You see this in real life too. Most people just follow the directions on the label, and if the label says to take one capsule per day, they can be seriously under-dosing.
As an example, the Kirkland brand of fish oil available at Costco contains only 250 mg of EPA and DHA per serving, which may meet your minimum daily omega-3 fatty acid needs without compromising any of the therapeutic, Restorative or metabolic changes.
Another reason why some fish oil studies have been unsuccessful may have to do with the use of highly peroxidative capsules, or “spoilage” in layman’s terms, which is common in the fish oil industry.
If the “chain of command” is compromised (oil is exposed to excess heat or oxygen, but not for short periods of time), free radicals attack the fatty acids, rendering them ineffective at best and harmful to the human body at worst (higher rates of conditions such as heart disease and dementia).
But, surprisingly, the Iranian study showed exciting results with ducks just taking a sip of fish oil, which apparently doesn’t contain high levels of peroxidized fatty acids (otherwise it wouldn’t work). I suspect that using higher doses of fish oil may further increase athletes’ resting energy expenditure, but I have no evidence for this.
Still, I believe in the high dose theory, and it has certainly been confirmed in other studies on other diseases.These higher dosages along with the peroxidation issue is why I’m pushing Biotest flameout® too difficult
The total content of Flameout® is 3,080 mg. EPA and DHA per serving. It’s also purified by molecular distillation and rigorously tested for PCBs, dioxins, mercury, and other heavy metal contaminants, making it on par with prescription fish oils. It’s also manufactured and handled in kid’s gloves so there are no peroxidation issues.
So, if you’re interested in investigating whether fish oil causes your resting energy expenditure to increase, go ahead and try the low dose the Iranians used in their study, but I think you’re more likely to see results if you use a higher dose , highly purified flameout®.