Research: GRAY and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 240


GRAY and COLLEAGUES,  (1)1] Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, QLD, Australia [2] Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD, Australia [3] School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia reviewed data regarding omega-3 fatty acids effects on hormones adiponectin and leptin and weight management.


An increase in adiposity is associated with altered levels of biologically active proteins. These include the hormones adiponectin and leptin. The marked change in circulating concentrations of these hormones in obesity has been associated with the development of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.


Variations in dietary lipid consumption have also been shown to impact obesity. Specifically, omega-3 fatty acids have been correlated with the prevention of obesity and subsequent development of chronic disease sequelae. This review explores animal and human data relating to the effects of omega-3 fatty acids (marine lipids) on adiponectin and leptin, considering plausible mechanisms and potential implications for obesity management.


Current evidence suggests a positive, dose-dependent relationship between omega-3 fatty acid intake and circulating levels of adiponectin. In obese subjects, this may translate into a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. In non-obese subjects, omega-3 is observed to decrease circulating levels of leptin; however, omega-3-associated increases in leptin levels have been observed in obese subjects.


This may pose benefits in the prevention of weight regain in these subjects following calorie restriction.


Gray B(1), Steyn F, Davies PS, Vitetta L. Omega-3 fatty acids: a review of the effects on adiponectin and leptin and potential implications for obesity management. Eur J Clin Nutr. 67(12):1234-42. Dec 2013. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.197. Epub Oct 16 2013.

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