Omega Fatty Acids and Obesity

Contributed by Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS


As contemporary research has essentially proven, it isn’t dietary fat that makes us fat. Fat is an integral part of our diets, and it helps us absorb vitamins, support brain development, and regulate immune responses. Adequate amounts of “healthy” fats, those essential fatty acids, are vitally important for optimum health. Additionally, there is mounting evidence that these specific lipids can also be important in our weight management efforts.

In the last four decades, as rates of obesity have skyrocketed, the consumption of total fat, saturated, fat, and fat as a percentage of our total caloric intake has actually decreased. We have previously focused on the importance of essential fatty acids and maintaining a proper ratio of omega-3-to omega-6 fatty acids in our diet for overall wellness, but a recent review suggests that this ratio may also be vitally important in weight management.While it is often suggested that a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids is ideal, the typical contemporary “Western Diet” is characterized by ratios as high as 1:20.

The review looked at how this ratio influences several different effects of body fat gain, such as adipogenesis (the process by which cells become fat cells), lipid homeostasis, and immune response. What researchers determined is that improving the omega-3 to omega-6 balance through supplementation of specific omega-3s (EPA and DHA) may in fact have positive effects regarding healthy weight management by decreasing leptin (the “satiety” hormone) resistance and positively influencing energy homeostasis. While further research is required to fully understand the mechanisms behind the effects, it appears that a high omega-3 fatty acid intake may help to decrease the risk for weight gain.

Along with helping to regulate several bodily functions and counter oxidative stress, omega-3 fatty acids may support healthy weight management. To assist progress towards your health goals, limit consumption of vegetable oils, don’t forget to include at least one serving of fatty fish in your diet weekly, and supplement daily with xEO Mega®.*  


doTERRA Science blog articles are based on a variety of scientific sources. Many of the referenced studies are preliminary and further research is needed to gain greater understanding of the findings. Some articles offer multiple views on general health topics and are not the official position of doTERRA. Consult your healthcare provider before making changes to diet or exercise.

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