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Effect of dietary fish oil on body fat mass and basal fat oxidation in healthy adults


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the substitution of fish oil for visible fats in a control diet (52% carbohydrates, 16% protein, 32% fat; P:S 0.2) influences body fat mass and substrate oxidation in healthy adults. DESIGN: Six volunteers (5 men; 23±2 y; BMI: 21.9±1.6) were fed a control diet (C) ad libitum during a period of three weeks and, 10–12 weeks later, the same diet where 6 g/d of visible fat were replaced by 6 g/d of fish oil (FO) for another three weeks. RESULTS: Energy intakes (IKA-calorimeter) were unchanged. Body fat mass (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) decreased with FO (−0.88±0.16 vs−0.3±0.34 kg; FO vs C; P<0.05). When adjusted for lean body mass (Ancova), resting metabolic rate (indirect calorimetry) was unchanged. Basal respiratory quotient decreased with FO (0.815±0.02 vs 0.834±0.02; P<0.05) and basal lipid oxidation increased with FO (1.06±0.17 vs 0.87±0.13 mg kg−1 min−1; P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Dietary FO reduces body fat mass and stimulates lipid oxidation in healthy adults.

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Correspondence to C Couet.

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Couet, C., Delarue, J., Ritz, P. et al. Effect of dietary fish oil on body fat mass and basal fat oxidation in healthy adults. Int J Obes 21, 637–643 (1997).

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  • n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • fish oil
  • energy metabolism
  • body composition
  • resting metabolic rate
  • human

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