T Nation

Critical Fish Oil Questions

My sister recently went to the doctor for a physical, and was referred to a nutritionist to help her lose weight. Prior to visiting the nutritionist, I had my sister taking 6 grams of fish oil a day to help her with weight loss. The nutritionist, to my immense shock, told my sister that while fish oil was good for the heart, it did nothing for weight loss.

She stated that all studies that had demonstrated that it aided in weight loss were paid for by companies marketing fish oil. I have researched many studies by way of google, but these studies do not state who paid for the research. Could anyone direct me to a resource gives that information on both a study and the parties that financed it? Or cite specific studies that prove fish oil aids in weight loss, that we know for a fact were not funded by companies trying to sell something? Another concern this nutritionist raised was potential toxicity of fish oil due to mercury/fish controversy. Is there any data on that?

While I can’t help you with your first part of your question regarding the studies, I can say that if one is using a quality fish oil supplement it is most likely to have been purified of contaminants, mercury included. Eating fish would more likely to result in contaminants being ingested, rather than fish oil supplementation.

its only toxic if its unpure. a reputable company would never jeopardize its business by having high mercury levels in their fish oil. your more likely to accumalate more mercury in your system from eating canned tuna. i haven’t researched about the weight loss, but think about it, if your on a higher good fat diet and protein, with lower carbs your going to lose more weight than if you just ate a balanced diet to maintain.

I am still floored that a nutritionist would tell someone that fish oil is not useful for weight loss. And get this: her argument that fish oil would not be helpful for fat loss was that fish oil is in itself fat. This professional is obviously completely oblivious to the difference between good fats and bad.

the DHA and EPA in fish oil actually doesn’t promote leanness from what i know, its actually the ALA from like flax oil or walnuts thats the primary omega 3 in terms of fat loss.

i always thought

fish oil was for heart and joints

flax oil was for staying lean and shit

very simplistic of me, and most likely wrong but maaaaybe im right with the fat thing

[quote]Jprocrastinator wrote:
I am still floored that a nutritionist would tell someone that fish oil is not useful for weight loss. And get this: her argument that fish oil would not be helpful for fat loss was that fish oil is in itself fat. This professional is obviously completely oblivious to the difference between good fats and bad.[/quote]

If you think this way thoroughly the nutritionist has a point. EFA’s still contain 9kcal per gram. You need to have a caloric deficit to lose bodyfat. Good or bad, fat is still 9kcal per gram and it’s damm easy to overeat on fats.

[quote]sawadeekrob wrote:
Jprocrastinator wrote:
I am still floored that a nutritionist would tell someone that fish oil is not useful for weight loss. And get this: her argument that fish oil would not be helpful for fat loss was that fish oil is in itself fat. This professional is obviously completely oblivious to the difference between good fats and bad.

If you think this way thoroughly the nutritionist has a point. EFA’s still contain 9kcal per gram. You need to have a caloric deficit to lose bodyfat. Good or bad, fat is still 9kcal per gram and it’s damm easy to overeat on fats.
[/quote]

True, BUT fats keep me way fuller than carbs. I’m ADing, and I’m fine on say 2500 KCal during week (cutting) but I can suck down 4000 KCal on carbup Saturday no problem either. Theres a physiological reason for this that I simply cannot remember.

[quote]Jprocrastinator wrote:
I am still floored that a nutritionist would tell someone that fish oil is not useful for weight loss. And get this: her argument that fish oil would not be helpful for fat loss was that fish oil is in itself fat. This professional is obviously completely oblivious to the difference between good fats and bad.[/quote]

I hate to be the one to break it to you but… Most registered dietitians and nutritionists are working with 15 year old, out-dated information. they work with a low fat diet etc.

They mostly do not keep up with modern research. They are just some person that went in and go their degree and probably has a shitty GPA. Why would they read new articles when it just tells them they are wrong and that the old low fat shit is out to lunch? Just like many doctors that still do shit “the old way” and proceed to fuck up minor surgery.

If you want some unbiased studies then go for the ones that are from public universities.

Also if you get small fish (mackerel, sardine and anchovy) oil then you will have no problems with mercury.

Bottom line:

Your sis’s nutritionist is dumber than paint, just like my sisters nutritionist

Getting her john berardis PN would be 10x as good at 0.12 the cost.

I now want to hit someone after having read this. Hopefully some nutritionist will walk along.

-chris

[quote]schultzie wrote:
the DHA and EPA in fish oil actually doesn’t promote leanness from what i know, its actually the ALA from like flax oil or walnuts thats the primary omega 3 in terms of fat loss.

i always thought

fish oil was for heart and joints

flax oil was for staying lean and shit

very simplistic of me, and most likely wrong but maaaaybe im right with the fat thing[/quote]

Actually no. EPA is linked (not just associated) with the activation of fat metabolising pathways AND the oxidation of stored fat. Pum med that shit if you like. After that the paleo argument’s for omega 3’s and leanness, amongst other things, are numerous.

So yeah, love ya, but no. Use both oils but know that fish oil is only proven unhelpful in about 1% of cases, and those cases are hemophilia and drug induced blood thinning as far as I have seen/heard.

-chris

[quote]sawadeekrob wrote:
Jprocrastinator wrote:
I am still floored that a nutritionist would tell someone that fish oil is not useful for weight loss. And get this: her argument that fish oil would not be helpful for fat loss was that fish oil is in itself fat. This professional is obviously completely oblivious to the difference between good fats and bad.

If you think this way thoroughly the nutritionist has a point. EFA’s still contain 9kcal per gram. You need to have a caloric deficit to lose bodyfat. Good or bad, fat is still 9kcal per gram and it’s damm easy to overeat on fats.
[/quote]

Ever wonder why people cut cals and fats and keep getting fatter? EVer wonder how they make foods “low cal!” “low fat!”? Add sugar. only comes in at 4.2 cal/g. too bad it creates frantic insulin activation and keeps you hungrier than shit.

So if you have to cut fish oil because it has too many calories then I suggest that person look at what comprises his or her other food cals.

For most people a change in macros can create more change than a cut in cals. I have only ever had to cut cals to get below normal levels of bf. You can low carb and carb cycle your way down to a healthy level easy. Fuck even the zone will work in this case and there’s lots of fat in the zone.

-chris

[quote]Avocado wrote:
I hate to be the one to break it to you but… Most registered dietitians and nutritionists are working with 15 year old, out-dated information. they work with a low fat diet etc.

They mostly do not keep up with modern research. They are just some person that went in and go their degree and probably has a shitty GPA. Why would they read new articles when it just tells them they are wrong and that the old low fat shit is out to lunch? Just like many doctors that still do shit “the old way” and proceed to fuck up minor surgery.

I now want to hit someone after having read this. Hopefully some nutritionist will walk along.

-chris[/quote]

Totally true. Plus, nutritionists/dietitians can risk losing their license if they disagree with the party line. Why jeopardize their job?

Avacado, I vote we go start a guerrilla war against these people. We can drop bacon and spareribs on their offices.

It floors me how many personal trainiers and nutritionists know absolutely nothing. I see so many trainers putting people on bosu balls for strength and building muscle. Ridiculous.

[quote]tykraus7 wrote:
It floors me how many personal trainiers and nutritionists know absolutely nothing. I see so many trainers putting people on bosu balls for strength and building muscle. Ridiculous.[/quote]

If i ever become a PT, first thing i would do is get their medical history, interms of heart problems and stuff thats important to know before you push them, physcial pain and shit.

then we would talk about the basic movements of the human body
then we would talk about diet

then i would teach them to press, pull, squat, and dead with no weight to get the mobility and flexibility

then after that shit is established we would work a program specific to their goals (ie fat loss = complexes, weight gain = 5x3/5x5 something like that)

i dunno yet, i really want to be a personal trainer but i still have to learn a few things about how to not push people too far to keep them coming back, and how to meet individuals needs and stuff.

[quote]Avocado wrote:
schultzie wrote:
the DHA and EPA in fish oil actually doesn’t promote leanness from what i know, its actually the ALA from like flax oil or walnuts thats the primary omega 3 in terms of fat loss.

i always thought

fish oil was for heart and joints

flax oil was for staying lean and shit

very simplistic of me, and most likely wrong but maaaaybe im right with the fat thing

Actually no. EPA is linked (not just associated) with the activation of fat metabolising pathways AND the oxidation of stored fat. Pum med that shit if you like. After that the paleo argument’s for omega 3’s and leanness, amongst other things, are numerous.

So yeah, love ya, but no. Use both oils but know that fish oil is only proven unhelpful in about 1% of cases, and those cases are hemophilia and drug induced blood thinning as far as I have seen/heard.

-chris[/quote]

i stand corrected

[quote]schultzie wrote:
tykraus7 wrote:
It floors me how many personal trainiers and nutritionists know absolutely nothing. I see so many trainers putting people on bosu balls for strength and building muscle. Ridiculous.

If i ever become a PT, first thing i would do is get their medical history, interms of heart problems and stuff thats important to know before you push them, physcial pain and shit.

then we would talk about the basic movements of the human body
then we would talk about diet

then i would teach them to press, pull, squat, and dead with no weight to get the mobility and flexibility

then after that shit is established we would work a program specific to their goals (ie fat loss = complexes, weight gain = 5x3/5x5 something like that)

i dunno yet, i really want to be a personal trainer but i still have to learn a few things about how to not push people too far to keep them coming back, and how to meet individuals needs and stuff.

[/quote]

Yeah I really want to as well. None of this “low fat diet” and bosu ball for strength shit either. People think that if you eat fat you will get fat. Depends what kind of fat as well as other nutrients.

To give you an idea about personal training…

[quote]schultzie wrote:
If i ever become a PT, first thing i would do is get their medical history, interms of heart problems and stuff thats important to know before you push them, physcial pain and shit.

[/quote]This is required of all clients prior to beginning training, as it reduces negligence lawsuits.[quote]

then we would talk about the basic movements of the human body
then we would talk about diet

[/quote]Many gyms include a movement analysis in their initial fitness assessment prior to beginning personal training. Not all gyms do this, not do many personal trainers, but more people are starting to include some form of this. However, many gyms restrict dietary advice to clients unless you are a certified nutritionist, and even then they typically have a nutritionist on staff so the clients can spend even more money by talking with them instead of the trainers. It’s dumb, but that’s reality.[quote]

then i would teach them to press, pull, squat, and dead with no weight to get the mobility and flexibility

[/quote]Many people won’t be able to or won’t want to deadlift, squat, or bench press with a barbell, especially since the majority of clients are overweight, middle-aged females. Besides, it will take 4-8 weeks to gain general strength and coordination from isolation and machine work before they can even attempt compound movements, at least in extremely sedentary individuals. There are still a lot of clients that are already physically active, in which case this step takes about a week. Think of it more as an ongoing process rather than a distinct phase.[quote]

then after that shit is established we would work a program specific to their goals (ie fat loss = complexes, weight gain = 5x3/5x5 something like that)

[/quote]
Most clients will begin with you as previously sedentary, meaning you won’t be doing anything below ten reps for quite some time as their body won’t be able to handle it. Even for those who are already physically active, they likely won’t be used to lifting below ten reps, maybe eight if you’re lucky. It will take a training phase in itself just to condition them to lift weights in the five and three rep range. A lot of clients won’t like lifting heavy all the time, though surprisingly a lot do. It’s nice, but it still takes time to work up to that level, and most clients being middle-aged won’t be able to handle intense lifting programs for long periods of time.

I’m not trying to turn you off of personal training, or say that it sucks. I’m just saying that most of what you listed above is done in the first couple weeks and the majority of training is more providing motivation and simple programming for your clients. Only a small percentage of your clients will need anything beyond a beginner or intermediate level.

[quote]schultzie wrote:

flax oil was for staying lean and shit

[/quote]

Flax oil may be benificial for staying lean but I don’t know about the second part of that statement unless you are suggesting that the lubrication helps.

[quote]BlackFlagDk wrote:
its only toxic if its unpure. a reputable company would never jeopardize its business by having high mercury levels in their fish oil.[/quote]

I think it’s important to point out that the supplement industry has a hell of a lot of disreputable manufacturers and vendors. Would you put it past the people who still sell snake oils like bee pollen to sell low-grade ocean salmon oil?

Schwarzenegger, it seems that being a PT is much easier than i thought, doesn’t motivate me less but it just means that i can give less to people and they’ll still be happy

I’m taking Olympian Labs - Omega 3 fish oil, and on the bottle it says “We test for Mecury & toxic Minerals”