Most Americans are overweight, defined as having a body mass index above 25. One of the reasons that’s an issue is that being overweight is associated with increased inflammation, and increased inflammation gets your body into all sorts of trouble. Luckily, omega-3s may help. A study published last fall found that taking an omega-3 supplement supported a balanced inflammation response in overweight women.*
During the study, which was published in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 59 overweight women (average age 47) ate a calorie-restricted diet and took either an omega-3 supplement (containing 1.8 g DHA plus EPA) or a placebo every day for three months. At the beginning and end of the study, researchers took blood samples and measured markers of inflammation, as well as triglycerides and insulin.
Women in both groups lost weight and experienced reductions in fat mass and BMI in response to the low-calorie diet. Not surprisingly, the volunteers taking the omega-3 supplement had higher levels of EPA and DHA in their systems than those taking the placebo. In addition, they had and were better able to maintain triglycerides and insulin within a normal range.*
Inflammation is a double-edged sword. A little bit for a short amount of time is healthy; a lot for a long time is not. Having an appropriate inflammation response pattern is associated with good heart, metabolic, and overall health — which is especially important for heavier folks.* The trick is having the right inflammation response in the right circumstance, and this study indicates omega-3s may help with that.*
You can get omega-3s from fatty fish such as salmon, cod, mackerel, and tuna, as well as from vegetarian sources such as walnuts and flax seeds. Fish oil and flax oil supplements are also a convenient option for optimizing your omega-3 intake.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.
 Polus A, et al. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2016 Nov;186(11):1746-55.