Fish Oil Helps Body Burn Stored Fat

Fish oil can transform fat-storage cells into fat-burning cells, according to a new study from Kyoto University.

The findings suggest the over-the-counter supplement could help to reduce weight gain in middle age, as it activates receptors in the digestive tract and spurs the metabolism of fat.

While researchers have long known about white and brown fat - brown fat being "good" fat that helps the body to burn more calories - a third type of "beige" fat has recently been under investigation. Beige fat acts similarly to brown fat cells, and a reduction in beige fat cells is associated with body fat accumulation.

Seafood = longevity?

According to senior study author Teruo Kawada, previous research has shown the long list of health benefits associated with fish oil.

"We tested whether fish oil and an increase in beige cells could be related," Kawada said.

The team gave certain mice fatty food and other mice fatty food with fish oil additives. The mice that ate fish oil gained 5-10 percent less weight and 15-25 percent less fat than the other mice.

"People have long said that food from Japan and the Mediterranean contributes to longevity, but why these cuisines are beneficial was up for debate," Kawada concluded. "Now we have better insight into why that may be."

Source: Kyoto University

Credit: Eiri Ono/Kyoto University

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