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D.iet & H.ealth : B.ody W.eight Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00

Fish oil helps weight loss
By David Liu, Ph.D.
Jul 29, 2006, 00:46

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July 28 ( - Obese and overweight people often complain that physical exercise can't help them lose weight. A new Australian study found that in addition to physical exercise, people need to add fish oil to their diet to burn off excess weight.

The study, led by researchers from the University of South Australia found daily intake of fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids helped obese people lose weight.

In the study, one group of participants were assigned small daily doses of fish oil and another sunflower oil as control, but nothing else in the diets of participants in both groups were changed. Both groups were asked to do a 45-minute walk or run three times a week.

Another two groups also followed the same supplementation, but they were not asked to do any exercise, according to the researchers.

The group of participants who both took fish oil and did physical exercise lost an average 4.5 lbs. during the three-month study.

All other three groups did not lose any weight, indicating that both physical exercise and intake fish oil are important for weight loss.

The researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids increase fat-burning ability by improving the blood flow to muscles during exercise.

Another possibility is that weight loss resulted from the increased ratio of omega-3 to omega 6 fatty acids. A high ratio is believed to be beneficial, probably protective against diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and cancer, as many studies observed.

Most Americans take too much omega-6 fatty acids from some vegetable oil such corn oil while intake of omega 3 is too low, resulting in a low ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.

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