More Proof Good Fats Help You Drop The Pounds

An interesting study may explain why a low-fat diet may not be the best answer to help you lose extra pounds, particularly the old fat stored around your body's peripheral tissues: Belly, backside and thighs. Seems the fat stored in those areas can't be burned efficiently unless new fat is eaten or generated in the liver.

Researchers developed genetically engineered mice missing an important fat-synthesizing enzyme so they could not produce new fatty acids in the liver. Because liver fatty acids are vital for maintaining normal blood sugar, fat and cholesterol metabolism, these mice must take in dietary fat to remain healthy. When these genetically-altered mice were placed on a no-fat diet, they developed fatty liver disease (their livers filled quickly with fat) and suffered from low sugar levels. And because their livers were unable to burn the old fat, extra pounds accumulated.

Both conditions were reversed, however, when researchers modified their diets to include fat. In fact, on a normal diet, the modified mice were no different than normal ones in terms of body weight, body fat, metabolic rate and food intake. Scientists also found the effect of added dietary fat could be duplicated when the mice were treated with a drug that activates the PPAR-alpha found in all mammals and central to metabolic processes that extract energy from dietary components like carbohydrates and fats.

Not so surprisingly, dieters who want to lose fat stored in peripheral tissues, according to the lead researcher, may find it useful to consume small amounts of dietary fats, such as fish oils, that might more effectively activate PPAR-alpha and fat burning pathways through the liver.

The trick, however, is to find a high-quality fish or cod liver oil. That's why I urge you to review this recent study about boosting your moods and health to learn how to choose the best kind for you and your family.

Science Blog May 9, 2005

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