Clinical trials find salmon superior to fish oil for improving dieters’ blood fat profiles
by Craig Weatherby
Last year, we reported surprising clinical results showing that people absorbed omega-3s better from whole salmon than from standard fish oil supplements.
For more on that, see “Salmon Beats Fish Oil for Absorption of Omega-3s” (This finding may or may not apply to our whole, unrefined Sockeye Salmon Oil, whose fat profile closely matches that of wild salmon).
Now, an international research team reports that – compared with people who took standard fish oil supplements – overweight people who ate salmon gained healthier blood fat profiles.
These findings fit the increasingly credible hypothesis that whole foods are generally superior to supplements. (See “Whole Foods Seen Superior to Supplements”.)
Here are the details.
Salmon worked better than fish oil for improving blood fats
Researchers from Spain, Iceland, and Ireland recruited 35 overweight or obese volunteers (Marqués M et al. 2008).
The volunteers’ average age was 33, and their average body mass index was 30.5 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2). By contrast, healthy BMIs range from 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.
The participants were placed on a specific lower-calorie, balanced diet for eight weeks, and were divided into three subgroups:
- Omega-3 fish oil supplements
- Salmon – consume 150 grams (5.4 ounces) at 3 meals per week
- Placebo capsules
Their physical and blood fat profiles were measured at the outset and again at the end of the eight weeks.
All of the participants experienced drops in total cholesterol levels.
But the people who ate salmon had better results on two fronts:
- The drop in cholesterol was greater in the salmon group.
- Levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels were unchanged in the salmon group, but they decreased in the placebo and fish oil groups.
The researchers concluded that, when eaten as part of a balanced low-calorie diet, eating whole salmon produced healthier effects on blood fat profiles than fish oil did, for unknown reasons.
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