Omega 3's

Author: Eric E. Noreen, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate
In recent years there has been a big push to try and decrease the amount fat in our diets. While it is true that there are definite healthbenefits to decreasing the intake of saturated and trans fatty acids, increasing your intake of some fats, specifically omega 3 fatty acids, is actually healthy for you. The omega 3 fatty acids, which are found mainly in deepwater fish and flaxseeds, have been shown to help prevent a variety of diseases ranging from heart disease, to many types of cancers and hypertension to name just a few. In addition, the omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties (especially when they replace vegetable oils which are made up of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids) and therefore can help reduce the symptoms of many ailments that have an inflammation component to them. Perhaps even more exciting are the results of my research, which
shows that increasing the intake of omega 3 fatty acids can actually lead to fat loss. In addition to simply providing us with calories, it is becoming apparent that omega 3 fatty acids are actually able to send signals to our body to increase the production of our fat burning machinery.

In addition to increasing our ability to burn fat, omega 3 fatty acids will also increase our resting metabolic rate, allowing us to burn more calories in a day. Even better yet, it looks like omega 3 fatty acids may increase lean muscle mass - without any exercise. While this research is still in its infancy, it is sure to change how we look at fats in the future.

Eric E. Noreen, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate
Exercise Nutrition Research Laboratory
2235 3M Centre
The University of Western Ontario
519-661-2111 ext. 88164