|Can phospholipid-bound N-3s as in krill ward off the fat gain on a bulk?|
You learn from me, I learn from you
Now, I guess some of you are similarly fed up with those rodent studies like I am, but bear with me folks, Roy did in fact shoot the bulls-eye with this one (not sure if you realized that Roy, but you did ;-) After all, there was a certain twist to this study. A twist you have actually read about on the suppversity roughly 7 month ago, in a post with the suggestive title "Phospholipid or Triglyceride? What's in Your Fish Oil Caps? Only Phospholipid Based DHA+EPA Reduces Fat Cell Growth & Elevated Insulin Levels Despite Obesogenic Diet" (read more). Both studies, the one at hand, which was published only a couple of days ago in Nutrition & Metabolism, as well as the "old" study by Rossmeisel et al. (read up on the results), dealt with the difference between the "real-rodent-world" differences between triglyceride and phospholipid based n3-PUFAs.
Why are you talking about "n-3 PUFAs" and not simply about fish oil? There are actually two reasons, I am trying to avoid the term "fish oil" in this context. Firstly, real fish has both, triglycerides which make up >90% of the fat in fatty fish like salmon & co. And secondly, the way fish oil supplements are produced usually removes the last phospholipid fractions leaving you with nothing but the triglycerides (another reason to stick to fish as an animal, instead of fish as a gelatine cap ;-)Rossmeisel et al. have already been able to show that the phospholipid-bound n-3 PUFAs (DHA and EPA) posses physiological effects the cheap triglycerides don't have to offer: They decrease the size of the fat cells and thus provide a structural advantage, the common triglyceride-bound forms of DHA and EPA do not have to offer.
Why is a smaller adipocyte size significant?
|Remember the post on choline as part of a weight loss stack (read more)? Guess what: Choline is also part of most phospholipids.|
In a hypercaloric diet scenario, as the one in the study at hand, a decreased adipocyte size may yet well be considered the structural foundation of reduced baseline inflammation. after all, the size or you could as well say the filling level o the fat cells is directly associated with the amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines they release (Skurk. 2007).
For those of you who are in fact dabbling with high levels of fat-induced inflammation (these are often the skinny fat guys and girls), this alone would therefore warrant the investment in Krill instead of fish oil, if you can't or don't want to get your dietary phospholipids from fresh fish. The new findings the study by Manar Awada and his (or her?) colleagues from the CarMeN Laboratory in Lyon, France, brings to the table are yet probably a more convincing argument for the majority of physical culturists:
Phospholipid-base N3-PUFAs reduce will cut body fat even on a HFD diet
Yep, that's right. If the results of the Awada study translate 1:1 from you rodents to physical culturists, you could in fact up your caloric intake by 50% and still lose 14% body fat compared to following a "species-appropiate diet" (in the case of a rodent that's obviously a high carb diet, with a macronutrient ratio of 19.1% protein, 57.6 carbohydrates and12.8% fat in it).
|Figure 1: Energy intake and body composition (left) and lipid, glucose, insulin and leptin levels (right); data expressed relative to values from the regular low-fat chow group (Awada. 2013)|
What are the underlying mechanisms, here?
|Krill protein offers non-negligible health benefits, as well (learn more).|
Against that background, it's well-worth to take a final look at those cellular parameters that may provide some clues on what it is that makes the phospholipid forms of DHA and EPA so superior compared to their conventional triglyceride counterparts.
Aside from a highly more pronounced increase in intra-cellular vitamin E (2.8x higher than HFD alone and 1.5x higher than HFD + triglyceride-bound omega-3s), there were yet unfortunately no statistically significant inter-group differences. Even in conjunction with the (probably related) yet statistically non-significant difference in markers of lipid peroxidation (4HHE 104, 89, 128nM and 4HNE 13, 6, 9nM in high fat, high fat + PL and high fat + TG, respectively), this is simply not enough to gain insight into the underlying mechanisms which lead to these highly desirable anti-obesity effects. So that we will, for better or worse, have to contend ourselves with the scientists' own conclusion that "further research is required to better understand the mechanism of action of PL carrier".
So unless you happen to have a cheap source of the purified omega-3 phospholipids the scientists used in their study, it will probably be more prudent to wait for the third SuppVersity post on this matter and invest the buckloads of money this will save you into fresh fish fillets.
- Awada M, Meynier A, Soulage CO, Hadji L, Géloën A, Viau M, Ribourg L, Benoit B, Debard C, Guichardant M, Lagarde M, Genot C, Michalski MC. n-3 PUFA added to high-fat diets affect differently adiposity and inflammation when carried by phospholipids or triacylglycerols in mice. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Feb 15;10(1):23.
- Mai J, Shimp J, Weihrauch J, Kinsella JE. Lipids Of Fish Fillets: Changes Following Cooking By Different Methods. Journal Of Food Science. 1978; 43: 1669–1674.
- Skurk T, Alberti-Huber C, Herder C, Hauner H. Relationship between adipocyte size and adipokine expression and secretion. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Mar;92(3):1023-33.