Recent 2014 WHO study revealed that 13% of the adult’s world population is obesity-stricken and 39% are overweight.
Out of which 38% of men and 40% of women are overweight.
It is much of a concern as longitudinal studies show that obese children tend to stay obese in adulthood and are more likely to suffer from non-communicable diseases – diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc.
What is fish oil?
Fish oil is an oil derived from the tissues of fish. It is a common source of omega 3-fatty acids.
The two fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in the ointo are known to be the precursor of eicosanoids (the component that can reduce inflammation).
Predatory Fishes like shark tilefish, albacore tuna and swordfish are usually a rich source of omega 3-fatty acids.
Fishes are suspected to accumulate toxins by a process known as biomagnification (increase in toxic levels in tissues of organisms at the higher level of the food chain.
Due to this the government has issued eating guidelines that limit the consumption of certain predatory fish in pregnant women.
The omega 3-fatty acid has been found effective in treating hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) and few studies also claim that its use can prevent heart strokes.
It has also been debated that cancer, anxiety and macular degeneration can be treated with its constant use but further studies need to verify them.
It also been debated that cancer, anxiety and macular degeneration can be treated with its constant use but further studies need to verify them.
Unlike predatory fishes, marine-freshwater fish are a rich source arachidonic acids. Species may vary in the amount of fatty acid from 0.7% - 15.5%.
Different organs of the same fish may have a different amount of fatty acid. It has been found that only consumption of salmonid (fatty fish) showed a significant increase in serum EPA + DHA. Hence extraction of oil from fish is necessary to claim the benefits of fish
4 Proven Awesome Benefits of fish oil for obesity
Research highlights several benefits of fish oil in obesity.
1. Fish oil reduces the accumulation of fats in the body
Animal models studies have disclosed that polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) in fish oil reduces the risk of obesity by inhibiting the accretion of body fats without affecting energy metabolism by obesity genes.
PUFA induces synthesis of triglycerides (glycerol) from fatty acids (non-glucose source) in liver which prevents the release of fatty acids.
This is known as re-esterification. This decreases excess of fats from accumulating in the body. By doing this a balance in lipid and glucose is maintained.
What does this mean? This means that consumption of PUFA found in fish oil can decrease further deposit of fats around body and can also maintain the normal lipid and glucose levels.
2. Fish oil helps breakdown fats
Animal models have significantly shown that consumption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) component in fish oil decreased the leptin levels (a hormone produced by fat cells which control metabolism, hunger, and energy expenditure).
It was found that administration of EPA suppressed the adipogenic synthesis factor ( a protein involved in deposition and accumulation of fats) and also enhanced the death (apoptosis) of the fat cells.
What does this means? This means that EPA of fish oil decreases the production of leptin levels, hence controlling the metabolism and hunger which can lead to obesity if not taken care.
3. Fish oil reduces insulin resistance and prevents abdominal obesity
Insulin resistance is when the cells in the body fail to react or respond to insulin activity. This affects glucose activity and increases fat accumulation.
Adiponectin is a protein which regulates glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown. It is secreted by adipose tissue into the plasma.
It basically prevents glucose breakdown and promotes oxidation of fatty acids.
Fish oil is a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In an animal study, adiponectin plasma level was corrected by the use of EPA.
This corrective action on adiponectin explains that EPA can reduce glucose breakdown and enhance glucose uptake from the breakdown of fatty acids.
This reflects the favorable effects of EPA on insulin resistance.
What does this means? This means that the incorporation of fish oil, help in reduction of resistance to insulin and hence prevents deposition of fatty acids in tissues.
4. Fish oil improves cholesterol levels
A long term follows up study showed that obese children have a significantly higher level of triacylglycerol, LDL-cholesterol concentrations and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations as compared to normal children of their age group.
This study suggests lipid profile an important risk factor for obesity.
A crossover study with 40 participants reflects that lipid profile abnormalities were controlled in a group given a mixture of garlic powder and fish oil for a month as compared to placebo group.
Supplementation for a period for a month resulted in the decrease in cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It also showed the trend towards an increase in High-density lipoprotein (HDL), but this result wasn’t significant.
What does this means? This means that the fish oil when given in combination with garlic powder decreases the low density lipo-protein, triglycerides and increases High density lipo-proteins. This leads to reduction in obesity related risk.
What is argan oil?
Argan oil is an oil extracted from the fruits of Argan tree (Argania spinosa).
It is one of the most important natural oils which has a long list of benefits Morocco people are enjoying the benefits of argan oil for centuries in almost every aspect of life from culinary to the industry.
The oil is rich in Vitamin E (tochopherol) and Vitamin A which provides anti-oxidant benefits. It also contains Omega-6 fatty acids, poly-phenols, and linoleic acid. These components provide head to toe benefits. It promotes healthy skin, nail, and hair.
Apart from beauty benefits it acts as Anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, antioxidant and found to reduce risk factors of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
After the world got enlightened by the life-saving benefits of the argan oil, its life got into danger.
Over exploitation of the slow growing argan trees lead Argan Forest to declare it a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998.
3 Proven Fantastic Benefits of argan oil for obesity
Argan oil is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids which aid in weight loss.
1. Argan oil reduces insulin resistance and curbs belly fat
It has been known from decades that Insulin resistance and obesity are inter-related. Controlling insulin resistance can somehow decrease the risk of obesity and other morbidities.
In an animal study, argan oil treatment declined the elevated level of insulin resistance by its anti-oxidative properties.
These anti-oxidative properties can be attributed to tochopherol components in the oil.
Saponins found in argan oil are responsible for hypoglycemic activity by inhibiting the increase in serum blood glucose levels.
What does this mean? This means that the argan oil has the potential to reduce the insulin resistance which is itself a risk factor as well as an after effect of obesity.
2. Argan oil improves metabolic health
As we already know that obesity and lipid profile are related. Increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease in high-density lipoproteins (HDL) to obesity.
A cross over study conducted on 37 human subjects to assess the improvement in Anti-oxidant, lipid status by Argan oil.
The study didn’t show a significant reduction in serum total cholesterol and oxidized LDL (ox-LDL).
The study results showed a significant reduction in triglyceride levels and total cholesterol levels. It also revealed argan oil decreased the level of low-density lipoprotein and increased the level of good cholesterol – high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
What does this means? This means that the argan oil successively reduced the triglycerides and total cholesterol values which ultimately reduced the risk of obesity.
3. Argan oil reduces fat accumulation
There are few studies related to argan oil and adiposity.
But there are few groups of scientist that believe anti-oxidant properties of the oil due to the presence of tochopherol and polyphenols which inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and enhance the reverse cholesterol transport in vivo.
What does this means? Argan oil contains antioxidants that can reduce fat deposition and assist in weight loss.
Argan oil vs. Fish Oil: Which is better for weight loss?
A study was published in the Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Journal performed on diet-induced obesity model which aimed to compare the action of fish oil and argan oil in the reduction of obesity.
The study disclosed fish oil consumption maintained insulin and lipid homeostasis, decreased fat accumulation.
Fish oil feeding prevented deposition of fat, normalized insulin responses and reduced fasting blood sugar levels.
It also brought a significant decrease in adiposity or fat tissue.
Though Argan oil feeding restored fasting blood sugar and lipid profile but fail to decrease accretion of fats and hence was not able to decrease adiposity.
Fish oil has wider availability as compared to argan oil and hence fish oil is available at a lower price than argan oil.
With clinical evidence, one can say fish oil is better than argan oil in the reduction of adiposity. However, Argan oil can prevent the risk factors to obesity like restoring insulin and cholesterol homeostasis.
Both have a different mechanism of action against obesity. It would be interesting to see which of them causes better weight loss in humans.
Given the ease of availability and comparatively affordable cost of fish oil supplements, it is recommended to opt for fish oil over argan oil for weight loss.