Weight Loss and Omega-3 Fish Oil

There are over two dozen studies that suggest fish oil may play a role in weight loss.  More research is needed but much of the evidence looks promising.  We highlight a few of them below...

  • Randomized Controlled Human Study (Mori 1999)1

        • Subjects assigned to a combination of fish oil and diet lost more weight than those who were only assigned a low fat dietary regime.

        • "Incorporating a daily fish meal into a weight-loss regimen was more effective than either measure alone at improving glucose-insulin metabolism and dyslipidemia.  Cardiovascular risk is likely to be substantially reduced in overweight hypertensive patients with a weight-loss program incorporating fish meals rich in n3 fatty acids."

        • "The present study showed that the incorporation of fish into an energy-restricted, fat-reduced diet has significant beneficial effects on glucose, insulin, and lipid metabolism."

    • Randomized Placebo Controlled Human Study (Hill 2007)2

        • The combination of fish oil consumption and exercise resulted in significantly more body fat loss than by exercise alone.

        • "Both fish oil supplementation and regular exercise significantly reduced body fat, which indicates the potential benefit of a combined treatment strategy for optimizing body composition."

        • "Fish oil supplements and regular exercise both reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.  Increasing intake of Omega-3 fatty acids could be a useful adjunct to exercise programs aimed at improving body composition and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk."

    • Cross-Sectional Human Study (Micaeleff 2009)3

        • Blood tests indicated an inverse relationship between total Omega-3 levels and levels of DHA and EPA, and the subjects' BMI, waist size and hip circumference.

        • "Higher plasma levels of total Omega-3 PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are associated with a healthier BMI, waist circumference and hip circumference."

        • "Our findings suggest that Omega-3 PUFA may play an important role in weight status and abdominal adiposity."

    • Randomized Placebo Controlled Human Study (Gunnarsdottir 2008)4

      • The inclusion of lean fish, fatty fish or fish oil to a nutritionally balanced diet resulted in greater weight loss within four weeks compared with diets devoid of seafood or marine supplements.

      • "Weight-loss diet including oily fish resulted in greater TG (triglyceride) reduction than did a diet without fish or fish oil."

      • "It seems that long chain Omega-3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in combination with high quality fish proteins could be an additional means to decrease cardiovascular risk during weight loss using diets with relatively low fat content."

    Several studies show Omega-3 may play a role in helping depression. Depression and obesity are strongly correlated and studies show it is harder to lose weight when depressed.

  • University of Massachusetts Medical Center Weight Center Study (Pagoto 2007)5

        • Patients suffering from major depressive disorder and binge eating disorder were less likely to lose weight.

        • "Only 27% of patients with both MDD (major depressive disorder)and BED (binge eating disorder) achieved clinically significant weight loss compared with 67% of patients who had neither disorder."

    • Randomized Placebo Controlled Human Study (Frangou 2006)6

      • Treatment of bipolar depression with Omega-3 resulted in improved clinical outcomes compared with placebo.

      • "Adjunctive ethyl-EPA is an effective and well-tolerated intervention in bipolar depression."

      • "Our results offer optimism that ethyl-EPA represents a new generation of naturally occurring and safe psychotropic compounds."

    In addition to these promising Omega-3 studies related directly to weight loss and depression, there is a compelling case for bariatric professionals to help their overweight patients address their significant Omega-3 to Omega-6 imbalance.

    This fatty acid imalance is related to the rising rate of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory disorders in the U.S.7

    Omega-3 Fish Oil Bariatric
    Please read our summary of the scientific literature regarding Omega-3 and Cardiovascular Health.

    OMAPURE's ultra pure Omega-3 formulation has one of the highest concentrations of EPA and DHA, the main anti-inflammatory ingredients found in fish oil.

    OMAPURE offers volume discounts to bariatric professionals.



    1. Mori T, Dietary fish as a major component of a weight-loss diet.  Am J Clin Nutr 1999:70(5):817-825.
    2. Hill AM, Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(5):1267-74. 
    3. Micaleff M, Plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are negatively associated with obesity.  Br J Nutr 2009;102:1370-1374
    4. Gunnarsdottir I, Inclusion of fish or fish oil in weight-loss diets for young adults: effects on blood lipids.  Int J Obes 2008;32:1105-1112.  
    5. Pagoto S. Association of major depression and binge eating disorder with weight loss in a clinical setting.  Obesity 2007;15:2557-2559.
    6. Frangou S. Efficacy of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in bipolar depression.  Br J Psychiatry 2006;188:46-50.
    7. University of Maryland Medical Center