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Too much fish oils wreak havoc in your body

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It is taken as a fact by almost everyone (this includes nutritionist and naturopaths) that omega 3 is essential for good health. But is this really so? How much do we need then? Who says it isnt just a marketing stunt? Almost every product these says is enhanced with omega; omega 3 enhanced, eggs, yogurt, margarine. Its still claimed that 'saturated fats are bad for you', but know we now better. Lets be sceptical and look at all the research that's been done on fish oil and omega 3.

What is assumed at this time?

Even the Weston Price Foundation, which I hold very high, acknowledges the EFA claims. Mary Enig, PhD, has pointed out numerous studies showing the need for omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in mammalians. A 2005 study has shown evidence that gamma-linolenic acid, GLA, a product of omega-6, has been shown to inhibit the breast cancer promoting gene of Her2/neu.

more: http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html#poly

It is generally claimed that:

  • Omega 3 reduces the risk of heart disease by providing a slippery protective coat on the walls of the arteries, thus inhibiting plaque from sticking to arterial walls.
  • Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
  • Omega 3 helps prevent cancer from growing by blocking cells that nourish the cancer.
  • Omega 3 is effective in helping decrease the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks over time. Regular consumption of fish or fish oil supplements have positive long-term effects on brain chemistry.

But what is known about the effect of long term omega 3 fish oils ingestion?

Im still looking into this all, as I (just like the majority of people) never doubted the health benefits of omega 3, but now I think and read about it, im not so sure anymore. We know that too much PUFA's are bad for your health and contributes to heart disease. Omega 3 is a super poly unsaturated fat. Highly instable and extremely susceptibile to oxidation. How can this be good for your body? Oxidation and free radicals are contributors to cancer and heart diseases.

The other side

Biologist Ray Peat, PhD, has pointed out flaws in the studies purportedly showing the need for n-3 and n-6 fats. He notes that so-called EFA deficiencies have sometimes been reversed by adding B vitamins or a fat-free liver extract to the diet. In his view, 'the optional dietary level of the "essential fatty acids" might be close to zero, if other dietary factors were also optimized.'

He suggests that the term essential fatty acid is a misnomer and that the human body can make eicosanoid-equivalents from Mead acid, an omega-9 fatty acid.

Possible negative effects of omega 3 fish oils:

  • Poly unsaturated fats interfere with proper thyroid function
According to Dr. Ray Peat, the fattening effect of polyunsaturated oils (primarily soy and corn) is due to the presence of Linoleic and linolenic acids, long-chain fatty acids, which have an anti-thyroid effect. Peat says:

Linoleic and linolenic acids, the "essential fatty acids," and other polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are now fed to pigs to fatten them, in the form of corn and soy beans, cause the animals' fat to be chemically equivalent to vegetable oil. In the late 1940s, chemical toxins were used to suppress the thyroid function of pigs, to make them get fatter while consuming less food. When that was found to be carcinogenic, it was then found that corn and soy beans had the same antithyroid effect, causing the animals to be fattened at low cost. The animals' fat becomes chemically similar to the fats in their food, causing it to be equally toxic, and equally fattening.

Of course in the 1940s the fat from pigs (lard) was highly desirable, as were most saturated fats. Today, saturated fats are fed to pigs to keep them lean, while most people buy polyunsaturated soy and corn oils in the grocery stores as their primary cooking oil! So we have a population now characterized by lean pigs and obese people…

more: http://www.coconutdiet.com/thyroid_health....getableoils.htm

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I've often wondered about this myself, mostly about PUFAs being so unstable oxidatively. I didn't know that about b vitamins though.

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This is a really interesting debate and personally I don't really know what the answer is.

But I think one of the main problems is anything in supplement form is going to be a bit risky and could lead to problems that would not be present if you are only eating whole foods.

If you are going to supplement with omega-3s, I think you should get regular blood tests to make sure you aren't overdosing.

The safest forms of omega-3 are always going to be from whole foods like low-mercury fish, grassfed beef, etc.

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I'm looking into the possibility of having similar symptoms to Lupus or a mild form of Lupus itself. I've had bad health issues for a long time. If it is true that Omega-3's suppress the immune system, then if I do get a diagnosis for Lupus, suppressing the immune system in my case would be a good thing, right? I take Omega-3 supps in 1000mg caps 2x's a day.

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No, no, no.

Omega-3's do depress the immune system somewhat (in fact, that's one of the ways they help acne), but you would need A LOT of it in order for it to have any huge effect. Your omega-3:omega-6 ratio would have to be at about 1:1 before your immunity really suffered.

Omega-3s do not cause a deficiency of Vitamin E. Please note that most fish oil supplements are actually fortified with Vitamin E in order to prevent oxidation.

Which brings me to my next point. Green tea is susceptible to oxidation. Does that mean it's bad for you? I would hope not, considering how much of it Asian populations drink. Also, the logic is flawed here: we know for fact that most Westerners are deficient in omega-3s, and yet if it was bad for us, then it wouldn't be an essential nutrient at all?

Also, your thyroid diseasae argument is completely void. Trust me, I'll be getting to that later. It deserves its own post.

Anyway, I'm sure omega-3s can't be all perfect, so I'd be perfectly happy to see an unbiased argument. It's simply absurd to deny all of the positive effects omega-3s have displayed in countless studies, not to mention in real life situations when people have increased their intake of them.

As a finishing note: free radicals are not direct causes of cancer and heart disease, at least not in the sense that I think you think.

Edit: one more thing.

If you want to read up the profound health benefits omega-3s have on us, please look up "The Anti-Inflammation Zone" on Google books. It will give you a free preview that is very helpful. I just finished reading the entire book.

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You can also take a look at Bruce posts on AV-skeptics. I have actually changed my diet a bit since reading about all of this. Im eating less chicken and pork and focusing more on beef and lamb.

But I still take my cod liver oil. Some sources(WAPF for one) claim that the fat souluble vitamins in CLO offer protection from the increased oxidation. I don't know really.

What I do know for sure is that I will not touch vegetable oils(except maybe coconut) with a stick.

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We have dealt with this before.

Ray Peat claims that you can substitue mead acid for n-3 and n-6 and still be in health.

There are problem thoughs. When Ray used to wrist on sci.med.nutrition he kepts saying that the side effects of such choices are very dry skin, very dry lips, very dry eyes and very coarse hair.

He explained a lot of unnatural ways he used to prevent the dryness using products and such.

He also failed to respond to a simple question that lot of use were asking him "how can you avoid n-3 and n-6 if they're everywhere?". In fact given the tiny amount we need it's just impossible to avoid these substances.

Sounds like another case in which an harmfull excess is lumped together and arbitrarily with a normal intake. When we had a discussion about PUFA I and others look at studies and found out that there's no evidence that a normal PUFA intake increases oxidative stress and in vivo oxidation. Sounded like a in vitro hypothesis proved wrong by real life facts. Indeed in spite of the theorical discourses about saturated fat being stable and PUFA being unstable there's no proof that an intake of PUFA from avocados, olive, nuts, seeds, fish increases in any way the oxidative stress and damage or have any measurable negative effect on free radicals levels.

Excess PUFA is not a good idea and in fact an excess of omega-3 could be fathal and lead to failer to cicatrize wounds and roptures. But lumping excesses with normal intakes just don't work, after all I just read of a girl who died from drinking too much water.

The best proof is on the populations who are healthier than us.

We know that they're all of kind from very high meat eaters to very high fish eaters to nut based diets and plant based diet to fats based diets. They're all healthy and there's no way to derive a significant difference in their overall health and longevity due to their diet.

And the reason is simple: the differences in their diets are irrelevant, it's what they have in common that makes them uniformely health.

And what they have in common? They don't eat processed foods, they eat fresh nourishing foods, they eat when hungry, they are physical active. The body is just too smart to be so easily affected by whatever food and the mead acid thing is just unnatural cause we people are born to eat whatever fresh and unrefined food we see in front of us and not to deal with calculation of X amount of PUFA and avoidance of that because it contains that fat.

If we were really so dependent on such micromanaging of every dietary factor and we were so affected by the lack of precision in our nutrition we would have all extincted a lot of years ago.

Peat is a nutritional reductionist while I'm a nutritional holist.

I'm more interested in the globality of a diet because you can see that there are certain criteria that we must follow strictly but AN AWFUL LOT OF ROOM for individualization, different foods, variety and lack of precision. On the other hand when we become nutritional reductionists we suddenly realize that every reductionist theory contradicts another reductionist theory. In this case such reductionist theory contradict the fact that we're alive and that there are dozen on healthy populations whose diet patterns have been studied and are known not to be so strict.

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the logic is flawed here: we know for fact that most Westerners are deficient in omega-3s, and yet if it was bad for us, then it wouldn't be an essential nutrient at all?

Also, your thyroid diseasae argument is completely void. Trust me, I'll be getting to that later. It deserves its own post.

Anyway, I'm sure omega-3s can't be all perfect, so I'd be perfectly happy to see an unbiased argument. It's simply absurd to deny all of the positive effects omega-3s have displayed in countless studies, not to mention in real life situations when people have increased their intake of them.

As a finishing note: free radicals are not direct causes of cancer and heart disease, at least not in the sense that I think you think.

Edit: one more thing.

If you want to read up the profound health benefits omega-3s have on us, please look up "The Anti-Inflammation Zone" on Google books. It will give you a free preview that is very helpful. I just finished reading the entire book.

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Ya thats true, but with modern technology and knowledge we are able to compose our ideal diet and lifestyle, so we can be even healthier than the healthiest populations. But yeah I agree, if you stick to natural foods you will be fine.

Got one box of fish oil capsules left, think I'll finish it slowly, like 4 caps per week and then never again.

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