Famed anti-aging expert shines bright light on value of omega-3s for weight control

by Randy Hartnell

We were amazed by what we found in Nicholas Perricone, MD's new book, titled The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet.

After four New York Times bestsellers that presented the sound science behind his widely acclaimed anti-inflammatory approach to slowing internal and external aging, he's sharpened his focus on weight control as a key requirement in any successful anti-aging strategy.

Body fat confirmed as pro-inflammatory

Coincidentally, just-released findings released by The University of Texas strengthen the link between inflammation and excess weight.  They found that human fat cells produce C-reactive protein: a molecule marker for both silent inflammation and greater risk of heart disease and stroke.  These findings support clinical results published last year by Dutch researchers, who found that, in slightly obese people, weight reduction lowered levels of molecular markers for low-grade inflammation, including CRP.

The University of Texas research confirmed that aspirin and statin drugs inhibit production of CRP from fat cells.  The researchers also gave the subjects moderate amounts of supplemental fish oil—which, in adequate doses, is known to reduce systemic inflammation.  But, as in some, but not all other studies of omega-3s and CRP levels, supplementation did not lower CRP levels like weight loss did.

Dr. Perricone presents new evidence that supports two of his key weight-control contentions:

  • Accumulation of excess weight is promoted by the inflammation-provoking effects of Americans' typically sugar- and starch-laden diets.
  • Excess weight itself is a source of systemic inflammation that accelerates aging.

Despite its solid grounding in science, the innovative physician's new book makes a clear, breezy read.  As Amazon.com reviewer Nathalie Farage put it:  “Readers will dive effortlessly into the easy-flowing chapters, from "Breaking the Inflammation-Fat Connection" to "The 10 Top Food Groups for Permanent Weight Loss" (headed up by mouthwatering wild Alaskan salmon), to Perricone's signature threefold plan, which he promises will show dramatic results in as little as 14 days.… The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet will naturally find its place on the eye-level shelf of your home library.”

Omega-3s called key to weight control

Dr. Perricone has long recommended marine omega-3s as vital anti-aging, health-promoting nutrients—and cited wild salmon as his preferred source.  Even so, we were delighted to see that these fish-derived fatty acids form the very heart of his detailed nutritional plan for healthy weight loss.

Chapter 4 is titled “The Omega-3 Weight Loss Miracle”, and his summary explanation for their weight control benefits (on page 36) affirms the scientific import of the research we presented in the June 27, 2005 issue 30 of Vital Choices (see “Exercise + Omega-3s = Perfect Weight Loss Pair”).

Given the results of this and other recent research, it is unsurprising that he lists omega-3 fish oil as “SuperStar Supplement #1” in the chapter titled “Nutritional Supplements that Facilitate Weight Loss While Maintaining Muscle Mass” (page 95).  Still, we were delighted to see Vital Choice recommended as a source of fish oil in his Resources appendix (page 234).

Wild Alaskan salmon ranked as top source of omega-3s

Dr. Perricone goes on to call wild Alaskan salmon one of the best foods for facilitating weight loss. "Treat yourself well and the weight will come off," he suggests, referring to nutritious, flavorful whole foods.  Accordingly, in the key chapter titled “10 Top Food Groups for Permanent Weight Loss", he lists wild Alaskan salmon as his “Top Choice” within the “Rich Cold-Water Fish” food group (page 44).

Three of the four “Runners-Up” he recommends in the cold-water fish category—sardines, tuna, and sablefish—will be familiar to Vital Choice customers.  (The fourth is anchovies.)   And, when discussing tuna, he recommends “…young, low-weight low-mercury Pacific albacore tuna…,” which is, of course, the only kind we offer.

Last, but not least, Vital Choice is the sole supplier listed in the Resources appendix under the heading “Wild Alaskan Salmon and Seafood; Organic Berries,” in the section on Dr. Perricone's SuperFoods (page 235).

We're glad that Dr. Perricone has found Vital Choice a reliable source of delicious, sustainably produced fish and fruits.  We try our best, and appreciate his vote of confidence.