Dr. Seuss may have seemed a little obsessed with fish in his classic story, but he was on to something. Many experts are touting fish oil as the single most important supplement, whether you’re young or old, sedentary or active, trying to get lean or add muscle tissue. Here are some of fish oil’s benefits.
• It helps fight disease.
Fish oil reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The two types of omega-3s in fish oil are docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. These healthy fats produce anti-inflammatory hormones, combating the systemic inflammation that can lead to chronic disease.
• It helps build muscle mass.
While creatine, arginine and protein shakes are foundational mass-gaining supplements, fish oil provides the assist. It helps enlarge muscle cells and increases the concentration of protein within them and helps muscles use insulin and amino acids for better muscle protein synthesis. In other words, fish oil acts like a muscle-building driver — just like your pre- and postworkout shakes.
• It helps burn body fat.
How can fat burn fat? Fish oil helps increase metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more calories. In addition, fish oil helps the body preferentially burn body fat for fuel rather than sourcing it from other places, like muscle tissue. It does this by stimulating genes that increase the body’s ability to burn body fat while silencing genes that increase fat production and storage.