For those of us interested in positively and optimally altering body composition and maximizing our training efforts, fish oils offer thirteen possible advantages:
1. Cell membrane health: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), ensure that cell membranes remain healthy. The membranes are flexible and contain larger numbers of insulin receptors that are more receptive and responsive to circulating insulin. This results in decreased fat storage in the adipocytes (fat cells)
2. Fish oils turn on the lipolytic genes (fat burning genes)
3. Fish oils turn off the lipogenic genes (fat storage genes),
4.Fish oils diminish C-reactive proteins, a newly identified risk factor associated with various inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and diabetes. The D.H.A. fraction of the fish oil seems to be one most responsible for that protective effect. DHA also has best ability to reduce blood pressure.
5. Increase utilization of fat stores from the adipocytes.
6. Preferential utilization for energy production once stored in the Adipocytes.
7. Reduced inflammation from physical training.
8. Pain management from the reduced inflammation.
9. EPA regulates blood supply to the brain that is essential in maintaining focus in weight training sessions. DHA is important in brain membranes, memory and cognitive function.
10. Fish oils increase serotonin levels (the happy neurotransmitter). Therefore, fish oils will decrease incidence of depression, anxiety, panic attack and reduce carbohydrate cravings.
11. Fish oils will improve your cardio-vascular risk profile by lowering VLDL, triglycerides, homocysteine, fibrinogen and increasing HDL levels. Combining fish oils with plant sterols will improve lipid levels even more than either, alone.
12. Fish oils can also decrease blood pressure by several mechanisms.
These include increases in the vasodilatory compound, nitric oxide, reducing vascular inflammation, blocking the constrictive elements in the vascular wall such as the calcium channels reducing blood viscosity, and inhibiting a blood vessel constrictor (thromboxane). Lipoprotein (a) is another CVD predictor that can be lowered by fish oils (a 19% reduction was seen with natural, stable fish oils and just 4% with a highly purified fish oil).
13. Fish oils are a great stress fighter. Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids inhibits the adrenal activation of steroids, aldosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine (catecholamines) elicited by a mental stress, apparently through effects exerted at the level of the central nervous system.
Therefore, for the same amount of stress, one will produce fewer stress hormones if consuming fish oils on a regular basis.
Any of these reasons make the case for fish oils in your supplementary diet. Take some today!