Fish oil, rich in omega-3s, has a host of benefits. It can stave off dementia, protect you from heart disease, and lower blood fat. Now add fat-conversion to the list.
A new study found that fish oil, rich in omega-3s, turned "bad" white-fat cells into "healthy" beige-colored ones. The difference you ask? White cells store fat as a way to conserve energy; beige cells burn the fat so our body temperature stays constant. As we get older, our beige cells dwindle. And because we aren't burning it off, the fat just accumulates--for years. (They don't call it middle-age spread for nothing.)
Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan fed mice (who, like humans, have white and beige cells) a high-fat diet; one group got fish oil along with the food, another did not. The mice who got fish oil gained less weight (about 10 percent less)--and a whopping 25 percent less body fat than the mice who didn't.
Even more astonishing, white cells in their bodies were converted into fat-burning beige ones. Researchers think the omega-3s activate receptors in our digestive system responsible for the transformation.
The best way to get omega-3s is to eat fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, twice a week. Or take a supplement, which is more palatable than a spoonful of cod liver oil!
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