Fighting fire with… fat?

I’ve been saying all along that the answer to fat is more fat. And wouldn’t you know? A new study proves that I’m right… in more ways than one.

For eight weeks, researchers gave 55 severely obese (but non-diabetic) subjects either 3.36 grams of EPA and DHA daily, or a comparable amount of butterfat.

Results showed that subjects taking the omega-3 fats benefited from a decrease in the expression of fat-related inflammatory markers. Researchers also saw an increase in anti-inflammatory activity in this group’s fat tissue.

Not least of all, they observed a “striking” shift for the better in these subjects’ omega-6 to omega-3 ratio–a critical factor in the fight against chronic inflammation.

Of course, you may have already noticed the catch here. The scientists used butter (roughly one teaspoon daily) as their control. And this choice has led some experts to question whether the anti-inflammatory effect documented above isn’t really just butter’s pro-inflammatory effect in disguise.

My opinion? I highly doubt it. Butter (especially the grass-fed kind) is hardly the dietary villain it’s been made out to be. In fact, it’s a good source of vitamins A and D–which is why it’s featured in so many of my New Hamptons Health Miracle recipes.

That’s also why I’m inclined to take this study’s results at face value. If nothing else, they reinforce what we already know about the inflammation-calming power of omega-3s. And the message is an encouraging one.

Obviously, the most effective way for any obese person to beat inflammation is by losing weight. But it never hurts to have a little help…and high-quality fish oil offers that in spades.

Regardless of your size, I always recommend at least 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day.

“Long-chain n-3 PUFAs reduce adipose tissue and systemic inflammation in severely obese nondiabetic patients: a randomized controlled trial.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. First published October 3, 2012, doi: 10.3945/?ajcn.112.037432