I’ve blogged extensively on research showing that fish oil can help many different things—from your heart to your joint pain. Now a new study suggests that the relationship between fish oil and exercise may be more beneficial than we knew. Let me explain.
Why Is Fish Oil a Big Deal?
Fish oil contains omega fatty acids. These are usually broken down into two components, one called DHA and the other called EPA. DHA is believed to be better at helping the brain while EPA may be better for joints. Prior studies have suggested that fish oil may do the following:
- Reduce hardening of the arteries
- Help stroke victims recover
- Turn bad inflammation into better healing
- Make you a more efficient athlete
- Reduce your heart risk
Taking Good Fish Oil Is Critical
The stuff you buy at Costco or Walgreens by the huge tub isn’t likely getting the job done. What we’re talking about here is high-quality fish oil that’s concentrated and processed the right way. Here’s more information on fish-oil quality:
- Seventy percent of cheap fish-oil brands don’t show omega-3 amounts on the label (click here for the “rip-off” list).
- The cheap fish oil is not the natural form (click here to find out how you can tell the difference).
- How much good fish oil should you be taking?
The New Study and Fish Oil and Exercise
The new study looked at 36 patients and randomized them to take either milk with animal fat or milk supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. All of the heavier patients with metabolic syndrome (prediabetic) were then placed in a rigorous six-month exercise program. After that, various blood tests were run. Insulin sensitivity (measured by intravenous glucose-tolerance test) was improved by 32% in the fish oil group. In addition, the serum concentration of C-reactive protein (which measures bad inflammation) and high-density lipoprotein (which is also known as “good cholesterol”) were improved by 32% and 10% respectively. Basically, the fish oil group had better markers showing an improvement in prediabetes as a result of the exercise than the group that didn’t take the fish oil.
The upshot? Fish oil has some interesting studies showing some really amazing benefits. This most recent research points in the direction that good fish oil and exercise together may well give your exercise a bigger punch!