Fish oil may help you get luscious locks, reduce inflammation, fight depression and make you smarter—and now new research suggests it can also help you ditch the belly fat. In a recent Japanese study, two groups of mice were fed a high-fat diet. One group, however, also consumed fish oil. The results revealed that the latter group gained significantly less weight and fat, had lower insulin levels and a hotter core temperature. The researchers concluded that this may be due to an increase in brown fat, AKA the good type of fat that helps you burn calories.
Here’s how it works: Fish oil activates a protein called UCP1, which signals to brown fat to start turning up the heat. The scientists not only found higher levels of this protein in the mice that consumed fish oil, but they found UCP1 in their white fat tissue, suggesting that the fish oil may have been turning the bad fat into good. According to Dr. Majid Fotuhi, medical director of NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center in Virginia, “This provides scientific evidence that fish oil can activate brown adipose tissue to burn fat and help with weight loss.”
But before you go running out to the nearest drug store to stock up on the fishy oil, keep in mind that so far these findings only hold true for mice. Whether or not the same holds true for humans is TBD. For now, check out theses 25 Ways to Lose Weight in 5 Seconds.