ObesityOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Adding omega-3 to diet and exercise to increase weight loss

In addition to the metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s suggested there’s a weight loss-enhancing benefit to this supplement.

Researchers at The Cooper Institute, in Dallas, Texas, studied the response by a group of overweight people.

First, the details.

  • 128 people with a body mass index (BMI) between 26 (overweight) and 40 (obese) were assigned lifestyle modification (dietary and exercise) and a treatment group for 6 months.
    • Omega-3 [3 grams eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at a 5:1 ratio (EPA:DHA)]
    • Placebo capsules daily

And, the results.

  • Both groups averaged greater than 5% loss in body weight.
  • No significant differences in weight loss were observed between treatments.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Omega-3 fatty acids were not effective as an adjunct for weight loss in this otherwise healthy, overweight population.”

There are lots of benefits from omega-3, but weight loss over and above that achieved with diet and exercise doesn’t appear to be one of them.

2/27/11 20:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.