There are a number of “health” supplements being thrown at you from every which way, promising to be the solution to all of your problems. It can be hard to determine which are glorified sugar pills and which are actually worth your money.
If you’ve been looking into dietary supplements, you may have seen omega-3s being touted as an effective weight-loss method. In this post, we will take a look at omega-3s and weight loss, leaving out the flashy promises and focusing on the facts.
Where do omega-3s come from?
Omega-3s are a naturally occurring substance found in foods such as fish and flaxseed. One of its most commonly found forms is fish oil supplements.
There are many different types of omega-3 fatty acids, however, the two main types are:
- Essential omega-3 fatty acids: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the only essential omega-3 fatty acid. It can be found in foods such as walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: The two most common are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Typically, they are found in fatty fish, fish oil, other seafood, algae, and algae oil.
We cannot produce these essential fatty acids on our own, so it is important that we get them in our diet.
According to the National Institutes of Health, omega-3s are important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body. Additionally, they provide calories to give your body energy and have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.
Can omega-3 help you lose weight?
Although studies show that there are some health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, current research suggests that there is not a definitive correlation between omega-3s and weight loss.
In most cases, researchers have failed to find solid research that supplements have a positive effect on one’s weight loss journey. Quite often, this is because weight loss diets and exercise were the main contributors to aid weight loss.
However, this doesn’t mean that omega-3 supplements are entirely useless. These healthy fats can lead to:
- Reduced triglyceride (blood fat) levels
- Reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including stiffness and joint pain
- Lower levels of depression
- Lessened asthma symptoms due to lowered inflammation, a key component in asthma
- Improved mental focus and reduced symptoms of ADHD
- Protection against Alzheimer’s disease
Omega-3s and Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric patients should always consult with their surgeon prior to taking any new supplements. However, the benefits of omega-3s are not lost on those who have undergone weight loss surgery. To learn more about omega-3s and bariatric surgery, check out our blog post on the subject.
WeightWise works day and night to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible. Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact us or attend one of our free informational seminars. We look forward to supporting you!