Fish oil capsules won’t help boost weight loss if one is already dieting and exercising.
There is evidence from animal studies that omega-3 fatty acids promote weight loss while studies in people have had mixed results.
Because fish oil has many other potential health benefits, including cutting cholesterol, improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing blood pressure, weight-loss programmes associated with the use of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids seemed appropriate, Health News reported.
To investigate whether fish oil enhanced the results of a diet and exercise regime, researchers randomly assigned 128 sedentary overweight or obese men and women in America to take five fish oil capsules (providing a total of three grams of omega-3 fatty acids) or five placebo capsules every day for 24 weeks.
Participants were also instructed to do 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise and 20 to 30 minutes of strength exercises at least twice a week.
It was found that the people in the omega-3 group lost 5.2 kilograms, or about 11.5 pounds, on average, compared to 5.8 kilograms (nearly 13 pounds) for the placebo group, not a statistically significant difference.
People in both groups lost more than five percent of their body weight that was enough to produce health benefits.
At the end of the study, no difference was found between the two groups in measures of heart disease risk, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
However, omega-3 blood levels in the fish oil group increased to a level previously found to have a positive cardiovascular effect.
Whereas one may not enhance weight loss by taking supplements with this level of omega-3 fatty acids, the protective cardiovascular effect is still important.