Health Benefits of Fish Oil

If you are overweight, diabetic  or have other health problems that create inflammatory conditions in your body you might be interested in some new research on fish oil which has shown exactly how fish oil reduces inflammation.

Researchers are so excited that eventually a drug might be developed to mimic what fish oil does.

Here’s what happens in your body:

  • We have cells that are similar to hungry pacmen. These are called macrophages and they work to keep your body clean by eating up dead cells and invading bacteria.
  • As part of the body’s defense system macrophages secrete proteins called cytokines
  • Some cytokines cause inflammation in order to destroy harmful invaders and dead cells.

The problem is:

  • Obese fat tissue contains many macrophages which secretes a lot of cytokines.
  • Too many cytokines can cause problems including insulin resistance and chronic inflammation
  • Insulin resistance leads to diabetes
  • Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease

Here’s how fish oil works:

  • Fish oil contains essential fatty acids DHA and EPA
  • DHA and EPA turns on a cell receptor that turns off inflammation
  • This receptor is called GPR120.
  • GPR120 is found only in macrophages in mature fat cells that cause inflammation

Food for thought:

Eating fish twice a week is a good way to include DHA and EPA (go for wild caught)

Herring, salmon, tuna, anchovies, lake trout, stripped seabass

Fish oil supplements

May be beneficial.  Choose wisely.  Look for one of a pharmaceutical grade which contains no pollutants contaminants, additives or preservatives. (Vitamin E as a preservative is fine).

If you are overweight,

begin to take measures to get to a healthy weight – especially if you have diabetes or insulin resistance

The information contained in this post can be found at:

Fishing Out a Sensor for Anti-inflammatory Oils

Cell, Volume 142, Issue 5, 3 September 2010, Pages 672-674

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