Abstract

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 sequalae. 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