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Old 07-16-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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why do YOU take Omega-3s? (fish oil, flax oil, etc)

I first worked in a health food store about 20 years ago, and several since then up through January of this year...
I find that I eventually "forget" why certain things are supposed to be good for you!
Especially since the last year or so, when I was working in the juice bar and wasn't out on the floor selling supplements.

Omega-3s? Anti-inflammatory...good for...ummm...buncha stuff...right? And we get too many Omega-6s, and they're bad...somehow...so we gotta take extra -3s...

Anyway, my doc recently prescribed Lovaza but didn't really explain how it would benefit me. I've done some research and have found a really motivating reason to take Omega-3s (which I will share, if it's not common knowledge).

So I'd like to know why you take them...and your understanding of how they work, if you want! Thanks!

PS...I'm also curious about Omega-6; whether we should try to get a healthy source of it, or avoid it all together? So much is made of the SAD's ratio of 3s &6s being off; but is supplementing some form(s) of Omega-6 a good idea (CLA, for example, or Udo's Oil)?

Last edited by piratejenny; 07-16-2011 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #2
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Oh, there's a thread going on the CLA issue:

Confused about CLA: good to supplement or no?
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:50 PM   #3
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hmmm...either I worded this badly or nobody found it to be an interesting topic!

I didn't mean to sound like a tease or anything...I just didn't want to ramble on like a noob about something everyone already knows...
anyway, I read that when we get too much Omega-6s and trans-fats, and don't get enough Omega-3s, our cell membranes get "tough" and impermeable. This is the basis of insulin resistance...eventually, possibly, leading to type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3s = more permeable cell membranes and better insulin sensitivity!

(or something like that...I'm not a scientist or anything )
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I know that Dr Oz is always always talking about omega 3 being good for us..
I need to add it into my daily routine.. that and vitamin D.

This is from his site.. I think it has a good explanation of why it is good for us and what foods we should be eating..

It's good for your joints, skin, vision, brain, heart, helps lower bad cholesterol levels and even boosts fertility. It's an anti-ager and an anti-inflammatory. It's found naturally in a variety of delicious foods including walnuts, salmon, tuna, olive oil and avocados. It is good for just about every part of your body..

Dr. Oz lists them as 1 of the 5 critical vitamins every woman should take, 1 of 5 daily nutrition needs and as one of the most important steps expecting mother's can take to promote their baby's healthy development. There are 3 basic forms of omega-3:

Alpha-linelenic acid (ALA) found in English walnuts and vegetable oils like flaxseed, soybean and olive which the body eventually, but in small quantities, converts to DHA.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found primarily in fish oil, this is the ultimate form of fatty acid in humans. Most people get far too little of this all-important fatty acid, especially since the conversion of ALA to DHA is slow and minimally yielding. Getting a daily dose of of DHA (600 to 1000 mg) from supplements is preferable to reap the health benefits. You have a choice of taking a fish oil supplement or one derived from algae or krill, a shrimp-like crustacean.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is also found in fish oil, so it's absorbed if you're taking a daily dose of DHA omega-3.
What to look for when buying fish oil supplements:

Fish oil supplements vary in the amounts and ratios of DHA and EPA they contain. For example, salmon oil naturally contains more DHA than EPA; a supplement derived from algae may only contain DHA. Krill oil contains significant amounts of both EPA and DHA. Read the labels and remember whatever supplement you buy, it must have at least 600 mg of DHA.
Be aware that only about one-third of the oil from fish is rich in EPA and DHA. Many supplements also contain vitamin E or other antioxidants to stabilize the oils and prevent them from becoming rancid. If you choose to buy a fish oil supplement, check the label carefully to see if it recommends refrigeration to prevent spoiling.
Most brands of fish oil have been proven safe, free of detectable traces of mercury, and do not contain unsafe levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a toxin and pollutant believed to pose various health threats. To avoid contaminants in an unrefined supplement, it's best to choose a fish oil supplement made from small, oily fish like anchovy, sardines or menhaden.
Here's how a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids can improve and protect vital aspects of your body's daily functioning:

Lubricates joints Helps provide the lubrication joints need to function at an effective level. By keeping joints lubed, you experience less grinding and less overall wear and tear - and thereby - less pain as you age.
Decreases inflammation in inflamed joints.
Fights wrinkles As we age, fat cells in our skin's third layer thin out and tend to get a bit bumpier; omega-3s help make that layer thicker and smooth. The effect? Wrinkles go away and skin becomes fuller.
Protects Vision Our eyes' retinas are a membranous structures and the whole eye is covered in a soft double layer of membranes, making your eyes' health dependent on the liver (who knew?). The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that feed and maintain those membranes. If you're deficient in DHA, it affects how we see by delaying the system that converts light into neural energy in the retina.
Pumps the heart Where to begin?! Omega-3s reduce triglycerides, stabilize your heartbeat, make platelets "less sticky" and can even lower blood pressure. The EPA you get with your daily DHA dose helps prevent artery-blocking clots. In the Iowa Nurses Study (and 3 others), 1 ounce of nuts a day decreased the incidence of heart disease between 20 and 60%.
Attacks Acne It may surprise you to know that an inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to breakout-prone skin. Trade sugar (and meat) for avocados, walnuts, salmon or trout to help control acne.
Clears Cholesterol Boosts levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and helps clear your arteries.
Boosts the Brain In keeping your arteries clear, you're immediately improving brain function. They also alter your neurotransmitters to help reduce depression.
Enhances Fertility Improves fertility rates in both males and females by improving sperm's swimming ability and the environment for implantation in women.
A Pregnancy Prerequisite Omega-3 fatty acids directly affect brain development, making it crucial for expectant mothers. Additionally, research indicates they decrease a mother's risk of depression. When the mother doesn't have enough of these essential fatty acids, the baby borrows from her. Some prenatal vitamins now include omega-3s, so be sure to check the label or grab a handful of walnuts each day.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:31 PM   #5
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I think it was in the Protein Power Lifeplan where Drs. Eades talked about the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 consumed being important, i.e. that getting too much omega 6 means needing more omega 3. Many of the polyunsaturated vegetable and nut oils touted as being healthy are high in omega 6. I like grass fed&finished beef and fermented cod liver oil as omega 3 sources.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
I think it was in the Protein Power Lifeplan where Drs. Eades talked about the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 consumed being important, i.e. that getting too much omega 6 means needing more omega 3.
That's what I mean, everybody says it's "important", but hardly anyone explains or seems to understand WHY...

(myself included, until I read about the cell membrane thing)
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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I take lots of Omega 3 because I have rosacea and celiac disease. I'm interested in its anti-inflammatory properties as well as as upping the skin repair and the absorption of other vitamins (important when you have celiac)
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:31 PM   #8
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I take fish oil because your brain is made out of DHA and I'm a person who is a very poor converter of ALA to DHA. This is because of my Norwegian genes -- my mother is Norwegian and I had so little DHA at birth that I had seizures. My son had so little DHA that he couldn't speak until he was two and a half, after massive DHA supplementation.

I cringe thinking of the harm that has happened with low fat diets given our brain and nervous systems are made of fats.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:52 AM   #9
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Kat--did your son have speech apraxia?
A friend of mine has a son with apraxia...I wonder if DHA would help...

Almost 20 years ago, I was working at a health food store and the owners were very, very vehemently anti-low-fat! For women especially. They said your nervous system is like the electrical wiring in a house, and the fat is the insulation...uninsulated wires are very dangerous!
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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They never could really diagnose what was wrong with him. He had a probable PDD-NOS diagnosis at 18 months. He also had severe Sensory Processing Disorder with a bunch of different types combined. His sensory issues went away 95% with the fish oil. He went from not being able to stand having anything on his feet and severe issues with clothes at all to being fine with virtually any shoes.

All children with speech issues should be given a trial with high doses of fish oil. Not all are responders, but for those who are, it's better than any wonder drug. My son had one word after nine months of weekly speech therapy and developmental pre-school when he was two and four months. He couldn't even say "Mama." After two weeks of fish oil, he was trying to speak in sentences. The target amount needs to be one GRAM of DHA per day. There's a good book by Jacqueline Stordy called the LCP Solution that discusses fish oil for various neurological issues.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:43 AM   #11
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Wow, thank you so much!!!
I'm chatting with my friend right now on Facebook and she has NOT tried DHA for her son...

may i ask how old your son is now, and how much he is speaking?
also, did he have a favorite DHA product? i have seen chewable gel caps and gummy worms, for example.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:02 AM   #12
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My son is going to be six in two weeks. He speaks fluently and he's way beyond age appropriate benchmarks for expressive language. He is very smart and has a lot of interests and a stellar memory. He still has some problems with receptive language, but he's getting better.

The hardest thing for him to do is listen to questions, parse the language in the question and formulate an answer and express it, something we all do almost instantaneously and without any effort at all. That is a language disorder, not a speech issue per se. But he is getting better with l-theanine supplementation, in addition to all of the other things we've done with him. He also still has some hypotonia and right side body weakness from his brush with autism. He appears to be neurotypical to virtually everybody, though. His eye contact normalized within two weeks of high DHA supplementation. He is repeating kindergarten and I'm thrilled with how he's doing since we were looking at regressive autism when he was 18 months old.

He actually will take liquid orange flavored cod liver oil by the tablespoon, thank God. Because he still need a lot. I would try the gummy fish or Nordic Naturals Children's DHA -- my daughter liked them and they are like squirty gum. But it's really important to use a high quality Norwegian fish oil because their standards for excluding toxins are 10,000 times stricter than ours in the US. Nordic Naturals and Carlson's are the two brands I'd trust the most. When a child is taking so much of it, it really has to be the highest quality and molecularly distilled from cod liver or from very small fish like herring and anchovies. Otherwise the toxic load on the fish is huge.

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Old 08-20-2011, 07:05 AM   #13
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That's really great!!! It's so amazing what the right nutrition can do!!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MauraV View Post
I take lots of Omega 3 because I have rosacea and celiac disease. I'm interested in its anti-inflammatory properties as well as as upping the skin repair and the absorption of other vitamins (important when you have celiac)
A friend of my DH and I suffered from rosacea and he started using organic oregano oil and it cleared up. He takes it in capsule form daily. Not sure how much he used when he first started but it has been several years now and there is no visible sign on his face. He would get little bumps on his nose and he said they really hurt but no longer.
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