Background: Omega-3 is a supplement that promotes several health benefits. The evidence on omega-3 in weight loss or body fat mass is inconclusive. This study aimed to review the literature on studies that evaluated the effect of omega-3 supplementation and changes in weight and/or body fat mass in humans.
Methods: A systematic review, following the recommendations of PRISMA, in the databases Pubmed, Lilacs, and Scielo. Only experimental studies in humans that evaluated the effects of supplementation with omega-3 on weight loss and/or body fat mass were included.
Results: In total, 20 studies were selected, of which 11 found no effect, and the other nine find some benefits. Two studies found a reduction in individuals' body fat, and a third found these results in women and a fourth only in men. In children and adolescents, one study found a difference in weight loss between groups. Four studies reported decreased body weight in women, and in men, only one found this result.
Conclusion: To date, there is no consistency in the literature that omega-3 has benefits in weight loss or body fat mass in humans. Due to the studies' heterogeneity and inconsistency in the results, further studies on the subject are necessary.
Keywords: Body fat mass; Fish oil; Omega-3; Weight loss.
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