Omega 3 Supplements for Weight Loss? What My Research Uncovered.

April 12, 2011

I’ve recently read some conflicting advice on Omega 3 supplements in regard to weight loss. Studies have shown that fish oils and other Omega 3 supplements do promote weight loss, but are these supplements healthy? How much is healthy? How much do you need to lose weight? Do you need to even include these in your diet? So time for a little research.

omega 3 supplements for weight loss

[Most people think of “fish oil” as the best source of Omega 3. Through research, I have found that this is simply not the case.]

I’m Going to Try and Simplify This As Much As Possible

My goal is to make this easy to read and grasp. When things get too technical, I tend to skim. I don’t think any of us needs to understand every little thing about Omega 3’s…and that isn’t the goal here. I simply want to address this supplement in regards to weight loss, the proper dose, etc.

How Do Omega 3 Supplements Aid in Fat Loss?

Omega 3 supplements simply reduce your insulin levels throughout the day. When insulin levels are high, you can’t use fat for fuel. When insulin levels are high, your HGH levels are low. You want HGH to be high and insulin levels to be low…and Omega 3 supplements make that happen. Keeping insulin stable is also key in avoiding adult onset diabetes…it is a good idea in general. Fish oil also directly increases the oxidation of fat within fat cells.

How Much to Take for Weight Loss?

This is where things aren’t as clear. It looks like we are after 1.5 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day. So that works out to roughly 7,000-10,000 mg’s of Omega 3 per day! Completely excessive in my opinion. The only time I recommend such a heavy dose would be 2-3 weeks before a vacation. In my opinion taking this much year round is probably excessive.

Most Sources of Omega 3’s Have High Levels of Mercury

Most Omega 3 supplements come from fish and ingesting these fish oils daily can build up to a toxic level of mercury. You don’t want to become lean and toxic. So what do you do?

Krill Oil is the Best Source of Omega 3

Krill are tiny deepwater crustaceans that are completely free of unhealthy toxins and pollution commonly found in regular fish oil. Doctors in Japan have now switched their patients from regular fish oil to krill oil.

Other Reasons to Take Krill Oil Over Fish Oil?

  • 47 times the antioxidant power of regular fish oil.
  • 500% better absorption by your body than regular fish oil, according to U.S. Government National Institutes Of Health.
  • A recent study at McGill University, showed that krill oil increased good cholesterol 10 times better than fish oil.
  • The same study showed that it dropped 16 times more bad cholesterol than fish oil.

I’m Taking Krill Oil Daily & I’m Going to Force My Girlfriend

My girlfriend isn’t someone who enjoys taking supplements, but I’m sold on krill oil. I have recently begun taking this brand of Krill Oil, because they have stringent manufacturing and testing processes in place…plus I already take their multivitamin and BCAA’s. You can go with other brands, but do some research on the company first. These guys also have a good free report if you want to dig deep into Omega 3’s: What Your Doctor Never Told You About Fish Oil.

Do You Need Omega 3 Supplements to Get Really Lean?

Absolutely not….this supplement will just help you reach your goals a little faster. After all of this research, I’ve decided that I like Omega 3 supplements for their health benefits. They can be helpful as a weight loss aid, but taking 7,000-10,000mg a day can get spendy. My plan is to take 1,000-2,000mg per day for the powerful anti-oxidant effects (supposedly the antioxidant power of krill oil is 297 times greater than vitamin A or vitamin E).

Summary: Several articles I read claimed that the weight loss effects of Omega 3 supplementation weren’t extremely impressive. The true benefit is long term health…and the best source is krill oil. If you do want to use as a weight loss aid, aim for 7,000mg-10,000mg per day (aiming for 1.5 grams total of EPA + DHA). Don’t go above this amount, because it can thin the blood to unsafe levels.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

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Michelle April 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Hey! Other good sources of omega fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseeds (I like to put that on my oatmeal or cereal!), flaxseed oil….

Kel via Durbrow Personal Training May 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

I take 1000 mg of flaxseed oil each day, and I swear it helps my sore muscles bounce back easier. After working out with Callie from http://ultimateathleticfitness.com/, I was FEELING THE BURN 1-2 days after the crazy workouts…and I don’t like the idea of taking pain medication very often-cramps and headaches only! But I’ve really felt the difference and am glad its apart of my overall nutrition plan! Thanks for th all the info!

John May 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

I am doing about 4000mg of fish oil a day. I know that John Beradi recommends one gram per percent body fat per day up to 30 grams!

personal trainer May 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

That would be great to believe that Omega3 helps with weight loss. It is well known that Omega3 has a positive effect on many health problems including sicknesses such as cancer, cardiovascular diseasesimmune and neurological problems or some of inflammations. So maybe it is a high time to start taking some also when trying to lose weight?

Jamie J May 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for the info. I’m going to do some more research into krill oil.

Mark's Fat Burning Food and Fitness Blog May 25, 2011 at 6:34 am

Rusty,

Omega 3 can be pretty important for fat burning, especially when the body’s stores are depleted.

Some authorities recommend going as high as 45 gram pd for a while, and then taper down to about 10 a day …

BTW, I just wrote a post on menn.is about sleep, weight loss and the fact that sex can help with both, and it’s gone through the roof!
It’s true, sex sells !;-)

Mark

Andreas Schumacher June 6, 2011 at 5:23 am

I would not take more than 10 Grams a day. You may go up to 30 Grams for 3 weeks, only if you have joint, inflammatory problems etc.

Sincerely

Andreas

Gabriel Martinez NYC Personal Trainer June 22, 2011 at 4:52 am

As an NYC Personal Trainer I personally recommend the use of fish oil for joint pain inflammation and fat loss. But I had no idea that Krill oil was that much more beneficial than regular omega 3.

Andreas June 27, 2011 at 4:25 am

Hi Gabriel,

everything is more beneficial when changed every 2-4 weeks. I would switch between krill oil and fish oil !

Nutreas Whey Protein
http://www.nutreas.de/shop/de/whey-protein.html

Healthy Waist July 13, 2011 at 3:42 am

Interesting post Rusty. I’ll gonna try fish oil and Krill oil in my daily diet soon, and I hope I can see noticeable difference, especially in the joints. Well hopefully. 🙂 I want to mix them up a bit as well as the amount of exercise.

Richard July 19, 2011 at 12:30 am

i just bought a massive bottle of fish oil.
I will definitely have to do some more reading on krill oil now – though

UK Supplement Reviews August 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

The benefits of fish oil and krill oil are numerous. Most people are already aware of the anti-inflammatory properties, but its good to draw attention to other benefits such as fat loss!

EZBEAUTIFULSKIN August 25, 2011 at 2:41 am

Really wonderful research and the important of fish and oil are great. But we have to concern about it.

cycling to lose weight August 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

It’s good that someone finds the time to do some decent research into the matter rather than the usual rumour dropping.

Ab Rocket Twister Reviews September 1, 2011 at 4:34 am

I believe that omega 3 is very important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and for good overall health.

Cheap Floor Lamps September 1, 2011 at 4:37 am

I want to make sure that I have a balanced diet and supplement my nutrional intake with omega3. I want to maintain a healthy heart…

Bob @ healthymeansyou.com September 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I’ve been taking borage, flaxseed and fish oil all in one for few months now. I’m really not sure if it helped me a lot but I have been getting leaner.

Well… I am on a 5,6 days per week workout routine plus a well balanced diet so I really don’t know if the fish oil helps me or not but I’ll take it anyways because there’s just so much research done about it.

Great post as always Rusty,

Bob

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Exercises On Abs November 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

I think that Omega three is the must have in diet.. Fish oil is a little better, but you can use flax seed also..

uswebauthority November 10, 2011 at 1:43 am

I think if we need have balance diet we need Omega three . Everytime we must eat good food and all for our better life.

Tim @ Behind The Workout November 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

Awesome article Rusty. I made a link to this article when I talked about supplements in my recent post.

Coach Calorie December 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I think one of the mains reasons omega 3 supplements aid in weight loss is because they provide essential fats that the body cannot produce. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients that are ESSENTIAL, it will continue to send out hunger signals for you to eat until it receives what it needs. Supplementing your intake gives your body what it needs, and therefor, your body will be less likely to force you to eat.

Robin H December 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

Chris Kresser (who seems to be a pretty smart dude) has written a very interesting article about how taking a lot of fish oil can be bad in the long run, because omega-3 fat has problems of its own. Most studies on fish oil supplementation are relatively short, and the only really long one (more than four years) showed an increase in heart disease and sudden death.

Kresser feels that “the best approach is to dramatically reduce intake of omega-6 fat, found in industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods, and then eat a nutrient-dense, whole-foods based diet that includes fatty fish, shellfish and organ meats.” Though he is not totally against some omega-3 supplementation either.

Here’s the link: when-it-comes-to-fish-oil-more-is-not-better

Because it’s a difficult task to reduce omega-6 fats to the level we probably should, I take a big swig of highly concentrated fish oil (the more concentrated, the less mercury, due to distillation processes) every few days. But the less I dine out, and the more I can control my omega-6 intake, the less I supplement. I also eat sardines about 3 times a week.

sharon April 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

How many pills of prograde EFA icon should I take everyday??? I need to know!!!!! And do they only sell this item online? Are there any store that have them?

[email protected] April 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

Please help me lose weight and eat less.

i am 55 years old.

Kiko Rex June 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Eh, not at all a fan of the whole “supplements game.” However, I am a huge advocate for increasing omega 3s from my various readings from great researchers like William E.M. Lands and Stephen Guyenet. That said, simply eating fish and seafood, particularly fatty fish like salmon, is in my opinion a fine way to get the omega 3s one needs; both without spending a mint on supplements that one can’t be sure of the source (fish is fish; not much to hide, there) or having to worry about mercury (the selenium content in seafood is most often more-than-adequate to detoxify any mercury). It’s a shame when people feel they have to turn to some supplements factory to get what they can naturally get from *chewing*. Fish and other seafood can be done-up in various tasty ways- don’t think the same can be said about these hard-to-store and none-too-appetizing fish oil supplements, krill or otherwise.

zaini June 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

good information about omega-3 supplements for losing weight . obesity is one cause of diabetes i think if you want to get rid of diabetes then first control your weight then do other efforts. omega-3 are helpful for losing weight as it increases body metabolic rate .

m.c. July 31, 2012 at 6:16 am

If you decide to take an omega supplement please make sure it’s in a liquid from, much more effective! I mix it in a little juice shake and drink fast…no problem. Best quality brand I found was super EFA by GENESTRA!
Great anit-aging too!!!

Josh Stout August 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

If you want to try a source of omega 3’s that doesn’t come with all of the problems that fish oil brings along( besides the fact that it is disgusting) Give Mila a try it is a blend of 8 different chia seeds that deliver over 3000mg omega’s per serving and it is a WHOLE RAW FOOD not a processed supplement so your body recognizes it and can put it to work!

Emmy Jerde October 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hello Rusty,

Thanks for your article on Omega 3’s. Another source of Omega 3’s are Grass Fat dairy and meat products included in your diet. Great Plains Buffalo ground meat contains 3x the omega 3 content per serving than the leading grass fed meat products. 1 serving of Great Plains Buffalo = 1,000mg Omega 3’s. Grass Fat meat is a local, sustainable way to get Omega 3’s.

Thanks again!

Emmy Jerde
605.580.5976
GreatPlainsBuffalo.com

omega juicer review September 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her
ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic
but I had to tell someone!

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