Fatty Acids Increase Energy, Maximise Protein Synthesis & Improve Body Composition

On Feb 8th the ISSN published a study on how Omega 3 fatty acids (fa’s) impact on body composition. Like many studies before, the results were positive with this particular group of researchers suggesting that the consumption of approx 4g of fish oil per day providing 1.86 and 1.50g of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) respectively can 1.) Reduce inflammation within joints, arteries and muscle tissue 2.) Maintain the integrity of your joints 3.) Increase insulin sensitivity 4.) Promote the release of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and perhaps most notably…5.) Increase the uptake of Glucose, fatty acids and amino acids into the muscle, meaning less of it is stored as adiposity (fat).


mTOR is a target for the antibiotic Rapamycin which plays a key role in immune response, and more recently has been linked with many other physiological components including PROTEIN SYNTHESIS. The activation of mTOR signalling is via the consistent intake of amino acids, insulin and growth factors, but interestingly is impaired by a total calorie and nutrient deficit!

Where do essential fatty acids come in?

Basically mTOR regulates muscle protein synthesis, mTOR synthesis is activated by insulin, and insulin production and sensitivity is improved by Omega 3 fatty acids. In a study by Smith et al (2011), they found that the anabolic (growth) response to insulin and amino acids was better in those who had also taken 1.86g of EPA and 1.50g of DHA.

Implication on body composition

The consumption of long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of insulin pathways which in turn increases mTOR activity, protein synthesis and thus muscle development. Therefore by increasing the insulin response and sensitivity, our bodies absorb more glucose and fatty acids into the muscle for restoration and energy instead of storing it as adiposity (fat) around our mid-section (for example) (Tsitouras et al, 2008).

So if you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to get an omega oil such as Optimum Health Omega Oil Blend into your life!


Smith, G., Atherton, P., Reeds, D., Mohammed, B., Rankin, D., Rennie, M., & Mittendorfer, B. (2011a). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperaminoacidemiahyperinsulinemia in health young and middle aged men and women. Clinical Science (London), 121, 267.

Tsitouras, P., Gucciardo, F., Salbe, A., Heward, C., & Harman, S. (2008). High omega-3 fat intakes improves insulin sensitivity and reduces CRP and IL6, but does not affect other endocrine axes in healthy older adults. Hormonal Metabolism Research, 40, 199.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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