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!