Health and Nutrition

July 29, 2006

Australian study finds fish oil helps weight loss

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 5:02 pm

Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:02 PM ET

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Fatty acids, which are found in fish, can help in weight loss when combined with moderate exercise, an Australian study found.

The University of South Australia study found that daily doses of fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids helped obese people burn off excess weight.

“The omega-3 found in fish oil increases fat-burning ability by improving the flow of blood to muscles during exercise,” university researcher Alison Hill told Reuters.

The university’s study monitored 68 overweight and obese people, divided into four groups, over three months.

One group took small daily doses of fish oil and another was given sunflower oil with no other alteration to their normal diet. Both groups undertook moderate exercise programs of a 45-minute walk or run three times a week. Another two groups received either fish oil or sunflower oil but did no exercise.

The study found that those who took the fish oil doses and exercised lost an average of 2 kg (4.5 lb.) over the three months.

The groups that took sunflower oil, which does not contain omega-3 fatty acids, and exercised did not lose any weight. The two groups that did not exercise also lost no weight, the study found.

“We were very surprised to see it was so effective, especially since these people were still eating whatever they wanted,” Hill said.

A six-year study by the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found last year that omega-3 fatty acids helped boost brain functioning as well as cut the risk of stroke. It also helped protect the brain as people age, the Chicago study found.

Hill said future studies were planned that would take place over longer periods and with increased exercise.

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