When we talk about metabolism it’s usually in conjunction with diet. You’ll often hear people blaming their ‘slow’ metabolism if they can’t lose weight, with others praising their ‘fast’ metabolism for keeping them in shape. While it is true that the speed of a metabolism varies from person to person, it’s purpose - to convert food into energy - is the same for everybody. Our metabolisms are actually responsible for keeping our bodies alive and our organs functioning normally, such as breathing and repairing cells.1
What factors affect metabolism?
The speed of a metabolism can be affected by age, gender, size, genes and even lifestyle. For instance, muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. As a result, it’s believed that men have faster metabolisms than women as they tend to have less body fat and more muscle mass2. As we get older, however, it’s not uncommon for a metabolism to slow down as body composition changes. In general, body fat increases and lean mass and bone mineral density decrease3. It is for this reason that staying active as we age is so important. Adults over 65 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, every week. On top of this they should focus on strength exercises that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)4.
The B vitamin family - thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12) – help maintain healthy thyroid function5. The thyroid plays an important part in regulating the metabolism through releasing hormones but if too much or too little is released it can affect the rate at which your metabolism works6. Therefore, ensuring your B vitamins are topped up is important to its normal function.
All eight vitamins are water soluble, meaning any excess B vitamins are excreted from the body daily and must be replenished on a regular basis. While you should get enough from a healthy, balanced diet, you can find essential B vitamins in a multi-supplement like Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman. This specially designed blend includes a combination of natural source marine oil with Omega-3 plus essential multivitamins and minerals, including B2, B6, and biotin.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Unlike other fats, the body can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so we need to get them from our diet. A healthy diet should include at least two portions (1 portion = 140g) of fish a week, including one of oily fish. In addition, cod liver oil is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids - DHA and EPA - which helps to maintain the body’s metabolism and circulation as well as helps to maintain overall health. DHA and EPA are found in cell membranes throughout the body and help contribute to the normal function of the heart.
There are a number of products claiming to boost metabolism naturally – but most have little to no evidence to support them. But the key to maintaining a healthy metabolism is through a healthy diet and exercise as it will help our bodies get rid of fat and increase our muscle mass.