Advice on fish oil (omega-3 oils)
Anti-inflammatory Potential of Essential Fatty Acids
Sun, 4 May 1997 20:16:02 GMT
I recently, quite by accident, made a discovery that I want to tell you
Tired of eating so many almonds, I began to eat pecans. In fact, I was
eating quite a bit of them. It soon dawned on me that when I did, I
began to experience tremendous energy bursts. So I started to look
into what the cause might be. It led me to consider the possibility
that pecans had higher levels of Omega-3 oils than almonds (they do). I
considered this because I remembered how good I felt while in Mexico
eating large quantities of fish (fish also has high levels of Omega-3
oils. While I was in Mexico, my skin (I suffer from acne and eczema)
I started to do some reading and discovered a lot of information about
how omega-3 oils (found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and a variety of
other oils like soybean and walnut in lessor concentrations) are highly
implicated for having anti-inflammatory effects (and in general, tend to
be missing from our modern diets).
I began to take fish-oil supplements and immediately and dramatically,
(like, the next day) began to have the best bowel movements I've ever
experienced in my life. Solid, formed and coiled. Previously, my more
normal stool were still sticky and often "ribbon-like." My energy
remains high and my skin has become smoother. I was amazed to notice my
skin was actually healing within one day. Usually if I get an acne
breakout, it stays with me for weeks. The breakouts I had now healed
within two days. The eczema goes away completely. It comes back if I
miss taking the fish-oil (or flaxseed oil, which I am also trying out to
see which one works better for me). Also, I just had a mentrual period
and didn't have any of the fatigue I usually have, which I believe is
due to the increase of beneficial prostaglandins from the oil.
I felt compelled to share my experience with the list, even though I am
still in the "we will see" phase of excitement about it. I hardly get
my hopes up about anything until I've my results are conclusive over a
long period of time. I am enclosing some info I found and typed in, so
you can read some of the research I've found on this subject. If anyone
else has had experience with using omega-3 oils or wants to communicate
with me about it, I would be greatly open to it.
From "Omega-3 Oils," by Donald Rudin, MD and Clara Felix, page 67.
In one study, doctors in Bologna and Turin, Italy, gave fish-oil
capsules three times a day for one year to thirty-nine Crohn's patients
who had been in remission for about eight months. A similar control
group of thirty-nine patients received capsules that contained neutral
oils. The fish-oil capsules were specially formulated to reduce fishy
odor and to improve absorption of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. Reducing the
odor was important, because until the trial was over, neither the
doctors nor the patients knew which patients had gotten which oils.
After a year of ingesting 2.7 grams of EPA and DHA every day,
twenty-three of the patients who received the fish oils were still in
remission. By contrast, only eleven of the thirty-nine control patients
stayed in remission.
In Crohn's disease, bowel tissue contains abnormally high levels of
inflammation-producing, "bad" prostaglandins from Omega-6 ARA. In the
patients taking the shish oil whose illness remained in remission, red
blood cell levels of ARA plunged, while levels of Omega-3 EPA and DHA
rose greatly. In general, laboratory tests indicated that inflammation
decreased in the fish oil patients, but increased in the control
Ulcerative Colitis is another chronic inflammatory disease, usually of
the large intestine, in which ulceration and erosion of the bowel tissue
cause severe diarrhea and loss of blood, as well as weakness and weight
loss. As in Crohn's disease, bowel tissue shows high levels of "bad,"
ARA-produced prostaglandins. The worse the symptoms, the higher the
levels of these trouble-making prostaglandins. In one study, conducted
by William Stenson of Washington University School of medicine, twenty
four patients with active ulcerative colitis who took fish-oil capsules
for four months showed a big drop in "bad" prostalandins. These
patients also showed bowel tissue healing and reduced rectal bleeding,
and they gained badly needed weighcapsulescapusles contained 5.4 grams
of EPA and DHA. Moreover, seven patients who were also getting
prednisteroid steriod drug, were able to cut their dosages in half.
New Study Finds Fish Oil Helpful in Crohn's Disease
A fascinating report appearing in the June 13, 1996 issue of the New
England Journal of Medicine found fish oil preparation to be useful in
Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is a condition characterized by
recurrent episodes of inflammation of the intestine. This disease may
be serious, and at times patients may require surgery to remove those
parts of the intestine most severely inflamed. Typically Crohn's disease
is episodic. This means that patients may experience "flare-ups" during
which time their disease is active, as well as relatively symptom free
periods during which time digestive function is fairly normal.
This recent study looked at 78 patients with Crohn's disease. One group
received nine fish oil capsules each day or a placebo. Among the group
of patients receiving the fish oil, 28% had relapses during the one year
study. In contrast, in the group receiving the placebo, 69% experienced
It has long been known that foods like fish oil, rich in the omega-3
essential fatty acids, have significant anti-inflammatory activity. The
omega-3 essential fatty acids produce a specific type of chemical in the
body called prostaglandins, which serve as one of the body's main
mediators of inflammation.
The richest plant source of omega-3 essential fatty acids is flaxseed
oil. Flaxseed oil has long been recommended in a variety of inflammatory
conditions including those of the intestine, arthritis, various skin
conditions, and even brain inflammatory problems like multiple
sclerosis. Many patients taking flaxseed oil have noted improved nail
strength, reduced cravings for fatty foods, and improved texture of skin
and hair. The typical adult dosage is 1 tablespoon of cold pressed fresh
flaxseed oil each day.
EFA FUNCTIONS IN BODY--
--1.EFAs are precursors of several important regulatory molecules such
as prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes in the body.
Prostaglandin E1, in particular has a wide range of desirable effects
including reduction of inflammation, lowering blood pressure and
inhibiting platelet aggregation.--
--1.EFAs are involved in transportation and metabolism of cholesterol.
EFAs disperses cholesterol and makes it more soluble so that the body is
able to get rid of it. EFAs also have the ability to inhibit the
synthesis of LDL the bad cholesterol in our body.--
--1.EFAs are required for every single cell in the body to function
effectively. The cell membrane must compose of certain level of EFAs for
proper cell structure and integrity.--
Fish Oil is the oil extracted from the flesh of cold water fish. These
are fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herrings and
anchovies. Fish oil is a rich source of the omega-3 essential fatty
acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA). Both EPA and DHA are normal constituents of some human tissues,
including brain cells, retina, adrenals and sex organs - all the most
active tissues in the human body. They also help keep the arteries
clean. Fish oil has been shown in studies to lower serum triglyceride
levels and reduce the thrombotic tendency of blood by reducing platelet
stickiness. Recent studies have also shown that in psoriasis, fish oil
significantly improves this skin condition. Fish Oil should not be
confused with cod liver oil which is the oil extracted from the liver of
the fish. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fatty acids and contains
significant levels of vitamins A and D.
EFAs are required for the normal membrane structure, cell structure of
the nerves and for normal nerve functions. EFAs are also of major
importance in the central nervous system. Reduced amount of EFAs in the
red blood cell wall makes the blood cell rigid. This in turn results in
a reduction in the supply of oxygen and nutrients that can be
transported by the red blood cell to the nerves. The reduced volume of
oxygen and nutrients would impair nerve functions. Studies have shown
that GLA is able to prevent or reverse neuropathy (damage to the
nerves) because direct supply of GLA results in an improvement in nerve
blood flow. It is interesting to note that lipids make up 20 % of the
brain and is important for eye function.
Ref: Horrobin; Rev. Contemp. Pharmaco. 1990; 14
Re: Anti-inflammatory Potential of Essential Fatty Acids
Wed, 7 May 1997 21:11:36 GMT
Dear Denise and the group,
In Denmark, a scientific research has kind of "proved" to us Danes that Omega-3
oils have an anti-inflammatory effect. I once put excerpts of an article which
stated this (in Danish) on the URL
Re: Anti-inflammatory Potential of Essential Fatty Acids
Thu, 8 May 1997 9:38:17 GMT
Dear Mik and group.
Hi from Ireland,
I have a particular interest in Omega oils as I use them in the
treatment of an inflammatory kidney disease, which my sons
Age 13 and 16 and I have, its called IgA Nephropathy (IgAN)
along with Celiac Disease (CD) and Dermatitis Herpetiformes (DH)
IgAN is a Circulating Immune-Complex Mediated Disease.
Also known as a Type of hypersensitivity or allergy.
I thought you and others on the list might be interested in some of
the information I have collected, it is importance to get the balance
of Omega-3 to Omega-6 right if you are going to take it to reduce
This information might make you think twice about using to much
Omega-6 in your diet. Research into disease, shows that a higher
serum level of Omega-6 fatty acids may in fact be very bad for you.
Omega-3 ( n-3 ) Not Omega-6 ( n-6 )
Is now being used in the treatment of Inflammatory Disease, Heart
Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Ulcerative Colitis,
IgA Nephropathy ( kidney disease ), Epilepsy and Behcet's Disease
and Others with some success, research is still ongoing.
Studies in progress include a larger, long-term studty in lupus nephritis
and dosing studies in diabetic nephropathy and hemodialysis.
There are 2 main Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's):
Omega-6 and Omega-3.
These EFA's cannot be interconverted.
That is, Omega-6 cannot be made into Omega-3
And Omega-3 cannot be made into Omega-6.
Therefore we need both Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs in our diet.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils are two essential fatty acids that
together: --form the membrane of every one of the billions of cells in
our bodies; --control the way cholesterol works in our system; --make
up a very large part of the brain's active tissue; --are the only fats
that become prostaglandins which play key roles in regulating the
cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and reproductive functions;
inflammation and healing; functioning of the brain; and body heat and
calorie burning (weight loss).
(This information is from the Canadian Grain Commission Crop Bulletin
No. 182, ISSN 0836, and The Flax Council of Canada:)
Some of the problems of deficiency are:
Growth retardation, Weakness, Fatigue, Impaired vision, learning ability
Motor incoordination,Tingling sensations in arms and legs and
Symptoms that respond remarkably well to LNA supplementation
High triglycerides (fat) in the blood, High blood pressure, Sticky
platelets, Tissue inflammation, Edema, Dry skin, Mental
deterioration, Low metabolic rate and some kinds of immune
All Hydrogenated products should be stopped, while using EFA.
No other oil is needed as the body makes all the other's
ie Lauric and Oleic etc from the Omega 3 and 6 oils.
It is only in the last 20 years, that we have come to understand that
dietary EFAs are so important to our health.. Researchers now believe
that the increasing rates of Heart Disease, Alcoholism, Depression,
Hypertension, ( to name but a few ) seen in America and Europe
over the last 100 years, may, in part, be due to a significant shift in
the ratio of:
Omega-6 (arachidonic acid, linoleic acid) fatty acids
Omega-3(docosahexaenoic acid, linolenic acid) fatty acids in our diet.
1) Omega-3 fat is also known as alpha-linolenic acid or n-3.
The Omega-3 fatty acids are:
Linolenic, eicosapentaenoic - EPA
Docosahexaenoic acids - DHA
2) Omega-6 fat is also known as alpha- linoleic acid or n-6
( Linoleic acid (LA) is the major essential fatty acid.)
The body converts linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid: GLA.
The human race evolved on a diet having a ratio of about 1:1
of these acids.
The ratio of Omega 6 ( linoleic acid ) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic
acid ) is now between 10:1 and 25:1. The recommended level is 5:1.
People who are treating an inflammatory disease with EFA's
Acording to research, should take a much higher dose of
Omega-3 to Omega-6.
A ratio of perhaps 5:1 infavour of Omega 3.
We are taking 12 grams of Omega-3 a day in the treatment of our
kidney disease, some other's are taking up to 18 grams in the
treatment of their inflammatory problems. This should not be
undertaken without a doctors approvel.
Researchers speculate that coronary heart disease is strongly
associated with a low intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
They discovered that men with coronary heart disease
tended to have a higher serum level of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-6 (Linoleic acid )is the major PUFA in most seed,
vegetable oils and sunflower oil.
This is converted to Arachidonic Acid within our body.
Borage oil is a source high in polyunsaturated fatty acids
(PUFA) .ie. Omega-6. So is evening primrose oil.
Borage oil is particularly rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
It also has 25% more GLA than evening primrose oil.
It is not difficult to maintain a diet high in Omega-6 fatty acids.
Some experts consider that we have a diet which is already to high.
Omega-6 linoleic acid is in vegetable seed oils (safflower oil, sunflower
oil, corn oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, almond oil, and olive oil), and
commercial spreads which are labeled polyunsaturated. I don't think we
have to be concerned about a lack of n-6 in our diet.
On the other hand, Omega-3 supplementation has been implicated
in the lowering of lipid levels and a reduction in atherosclerotic
vascular events in man. Fish oil, and its principal constituents,
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) possess
both anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic properties. These
omega-3 fatty acids inhibit inflammatory prostaglandin and leukotriene
production by displacing the arachidonic acid ( found in Omega-6 )
substrate from cell membranes and compete with the arachidonic acid
for cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes. This competition results
in a shift towards the production of non-inflammatory series-3
prostaglandins and series-5 leukotrienes. Which lowers inflammation,
throughout the body including, in our case the Kidneys. It seems to me
that a diet high in Omega-3 and low in Omega-6 is perhaps the right
2. Food sources of omega-3 FA include canola and soybean oils,
flaxseed, fatty fish (such as herring, mackerel, salmon and trout),
fish oils and fish oil concentrates, flaxseed, provide an alternative
dietary source of omega-3
Being highly unsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids are susceptible to
peroxidation but adequate vitamin E intake might prevent oxidative
changes. Food sources of vitamin E are, vegetable oils and almonds. In
other words a small amount of Omega-6
If one were to take flaxseed ( which has the richest natural source of
lignans) in place of Fish Oils one would not have to worry about the
Vit E, as Lignans are believed to posess anti-oxidative properties
and would thus inhibit lipid peroxidation as well as retard
oxidation-induced inflammatory responses.
On the issue of fishoils V flaxoil, in terms of the serum levels
of the beneficial ingredients.
It apparently matters little which you take to attain these
levels. For instance one can take flax seed oil but the dose required
to attain the same seerum levels is about three times that of fish
Bits of the information, I have, which may be of interest.
Health News Naturally is copyright1996 by Keats Publishing, Inc.
Osteoporosis affects both men and women. Although we normally
think of osteoporosis as a women's disease, one in four hip fractures
occur in men. The following thus applies to both men and women.
Dietary calcium has one of two fates. Either it is absorbed into
the bloodstream for potential utilization by bone, or it is
excreted in feces. Fecal excretion of dietary calcium runs a wide
range from 20 to 80 percent of ingested calcium. Obviously, the
more calcium that moves out of the GI tract into the blood-stream,
the more beneficial the effect. When calcium is absorbed into the
blood it again has one of two fates. Either it is deposited in
bone, or it is excreted by kidneys and urination. Here, both
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent osteoporosis each in a
Omega-6 fatty acids (GLA) seem to improve calcium absorption from
the gastrointestinal tract. This is the first important step in
ensuring strong bones. Calcium needs to be absorbed from dietary
calcium in the GI tract into the bloodstream for it to be
accessible in building strong bones. On the other hand, arachidonic
acid (AA), an essential fatty acid derived only from meat and dairy
fats, speeds up urinary calcium excretion. Omega-3 EFAs, mainly
from fish oils, are antagonistic to arachidonic acid and
metabolites made from arachidonic acid. It is therefore no surprise
that the Omega-3 EFAs prevent calcium excretion, thus insuring
Flax or Fish oil in the diet promotes health
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. A high intake of fish oils, notably
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is beneficial in the fight against
heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and
ulcerative colitis. Now researchers at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
have discovered that the blood and cell membrane content of EPA can
be markedly increased by consuming a diet high in alpha- linolenic
acid ( Omega-3 ) and low in linoleic acid ( Omega-6 )
Fatty acids influence immune system
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK. It is generally accepted that a low-fat diet
which is low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated fats is
healthy and lowers the risk of heart disease. Now researchers at
the University of Copenhagen Warn that certain polyunsaturated
fatty acids (PUFAs) (Omega 6 ) may have a detrimental effect on the
immune system especially among older people. The researchers
concluded that a diet high in omega- 6 PUFAs, especially linoleic
acid, impair immune system function.
They found no detrimental effects of omega-3 fatty acids
such as alpha-linolenic acid (found in flax oil). The researchers
speculate that prostaglandin E2, which is produced from omega-6
PUFAs, is the link between the decreased immune function response
and dietary fat type. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol.
59, March 1994, pp. 572-77
Omega-3 fatty acids help protect against heart disease
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. Researchers at the Veterans Affairs
Medical Center report that docosapentaenoic acid and
docosahexaenoic acid (a main component of fish oil) provide
significant protection against the development of coronary heart
disease (CHD). Their study involved over 6,000 middle-aged men.
Came across this on the very-low-fat FAQ page.
Grams of Omega -3 - fatty acid in 100 grams of oil.
menhaden oil 21.7
concentrated fish oil 29.4
Stress and the protein/fat connection:
Behcet's Disease: Immune Process and the Potential Impact of
Dealing with stress in a positive way has everything to do with the
protein/fat connection. Our life energy flows within this union. As we
go into stressful situations, our need for balanced protein/EFA
nutrients increase. And to metabolize them, our need for the other
essential nutrients increases also. In our busy, fast moving society,
stress comes from many directions. Our bodies are uniquely designed to
deal with large amounts of stress, and normally maintains a reservoir
of potential energy for such times. In dealing with prolonged, high
stress situations, however, sometimes that reserve of energy runs out.
During such times, we may look in all the wrong places to find answers
for our inability to cope and should be looking inside ourselves
rather than outside ourselves for answers. It just never occurs to us
that the symptoms may be caused by an internal chemical imbalance. As
I stated at the beginning of this page, most of us already get plenty
of protein. But we do have a great need to get our requirement of
essential fatty acids. There practical ways of obtaining and using
those EFAs we must have.
References are available for all the information on this page.
If you would like more information, please e-mail me.
I hope you found something of interest in this post.
So if you love your fish.
I think it would be safe to say Happy Eating.
Helen, Here in sunny green Ireland.
Re: Anti-inflammatory Potential of Essential Fatty Acids
Thu, 8 May 1997 15:49:16 GMT
I too have eaten Omega-3 oils and whithin one week felt a definite
improvement. I think they work. Another side affect seems to be that
they releive me of most of the pain I experience with bm's (when they're
almost normal), because of 50 percent og my colon is stiff - due to
extensive scarring of the wall.
BTW - Mik, thanks for all the info you you give out. I found both the
SCD and Omega-3 oils because of your articles in the "Collitis Crohn"
Kris Denmark, Europe.
Omega 3 oil
Not all fatty acids are bad for the body. In fact, there are at least two essential fatty acids that the body needs all the time and cannot manufacture. They are: Alpha-linoleic Acid, LNA, known as Omega 3 oil, and Linoleic Acid, LA, known as Omega 6 oil.
These fatty acids are needed for the manufacture of cell membranes, hormones and nerve coverings in the body. Although other fats that enter the body are used for their energy content, Omega 3 and Omega 6 are saved and only used for the manufacture of hormones and in the structure of all of the membranes inside and covering the cell. In treatment of the diseases that are produced by the damage to the nerve covering, the regular intake of these essential fatty acids is a must.
(Excerpt from the book by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj: " Your body's many cries for water", page 131)
1997, 154 pages.
Published by The Therapist Ltd, ISBN: 1 899398 35 X, 9.95 pounds sterling.
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 97 10:50:51 CST
From: email@example.com (Ted Kyle)
Subject: Re: Personal Diet Questions (FISH OIL STUFF)
the fish oil studies (the randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover)
that have i read have reported D in about 10% of patients, but the effective dose
is much much higher than the twice daily discusssed below. the range i have
seen reported as theraputic is about 4.5 grams of EPA (12-18 capsules daily)
the brand most used in studies has been either MAX-EPA or an enterically coated
capsule (not avaiable yet). i have also read where a woman having negative reaction
to predisone was given i.v. EPA and it allowed her to rapidly wean herself from
the steriod, and in her case the oral EPA did not work, so the stuff does not
work in all cases, and some people have D, but some do get relief.
so if you are looking for a benefit in fish oil 1000mg twice daily seems
too little to have any positive effect. i myself have used EPA to combat
severe consitpation, which is my particular IBD problem, i know i
have taken enough when the stool floats, which for me is about 10 1000mg
capsules a day. after i lost my excess weight (low carb diet)
i no longer need the fish oil on a daily basis, but i still use it