In my previous columns, I covered information on various topics; but this piece is different. I am going to cut straight to the point and tell you that Fish oil is the key to fat loss and muscle growth. By the end of this short column, you will know what kind and how much to supplement. Fish oil provides essential fats, which are Omega-3 fatty acids. Much like essential amino acids, essential fats cannot be produced within the body and therefore must be consumed. The body uses fish oil’s fat to build up a lipid outer layer of the cell, which protects the cell. Therefore, the body does not turn fish oil into fat. The protective cell lipid layer, which is made up of whatever fat you eat, is a critical component to fat loss, creating a healthy omega-3 outer layer results in a superior activity of insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is a key factor in fat loss. When the cell receptors are more sensitive to insulin, due to the healthy omega-3 lipid layer, the body is then less likely to store glucose as fat. Instead, the cells utilize it as energy. Insulin’s purpose, once in the bound form, is to shuttle carbohydrates to muscles to be stored and used for energy later. By reducing your carbohydrate levels and supplementing with fish oil, one can significantly reduce their body fat levels while increasing their lean mass levels; after all, fish oil is anabolic. Fish oil decreases cortisol and inflammation, and by doing so, it turns the body anabolic. In fact, the NCAA banned the distribution of fish oil by major institutions because it provides athletes with distinct advantages. This fact alone should disclose the power of fish oil, but we will continue. What is cortisol? Cortisol is a hormone that is elevated due to stress. It is linked to fat gain and decreased mood while inhibiting protein synthesis. Inflammation is similar to cortisol, but it has the added bonus of causing joint pain and immune system degradation. Fish oil counters all of this and allows the body to grow. Does this one supplement sound too good to be true? Yes, but it’s not, so try it. A common question I receive is, “How many grams per day should I take?” Most studies have their participants ingest 4 grams total per day, which has proven very successful for fat loss. However, some studies have shown more rapid fat loss with higher dosages, even as high as 1 gram of omega-3 fat per one percent of your body fat percentage per day. A high number, but one that has proven successful for rapid fat loss. I usually prescribe to my clients anywhere from 4-8 grams of fish oil per day on an individual basis. I also recommend that their diets consist mainly of omega-3 fat from grass-fed organic meat or flaxseed. Our society is an omega-6 dominant society, which is not as healthy as omega-3. Omega-6 comes from plants rather than marine life. Disclaimer: Be wary of just any old fish oil. You know the saying, “You get what you pay for?” Well, this is a true statement for fish oil. Major brands typically sell you polluted fish oil with limited amounts of EPA and DHA. Choose brands that source their oil from wild cold water fish. This form of fish oil is usually in triglyceride form rather than ethyl ester form, which has higher bio-availability.