Why Your Omega 3 source might not work !

We know it, and there’s no reason to debate it – Omega 3 is good for you. Yet could it be that some sources of Omega 3 is better then others, and could it be that some supplement companies lie about the dosage of Omega 3 that you need to consume ?

I started asking these questions after noticing that most people who are using regular fish oil or plant based Omega 3 products was not in the right Omega 3 to 6 balance, when tested. What’s even more interesting is that switching from one product to another could actually remove their chronic pain, and other inflammatory markers, that was not removed on their previous product.

So could it be that Omega 3 is not just Omega 3 ? The answer is YES !

Lets start out with plant based Omega 3 vs. fish oil. The vegan community has over the years hyped flaxseed & chased as the ultimate source of Omega 3 that is going to save the oceans and make us healthy at the same time. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fatty acids we need in our bodies are EPA & DHA. Plantbased Omega 3 is in the form of alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) which must first be converted to Stearidonic Acid and Eicosatetraenoic acid before it ends up in the form of EPA and DHA that we need. Studies have shown that women converts aprox. 5% and men far less.

That way having a primary Omega 3 source from plant based Omega 3 source is no way near sufficient in balancing your Omega 3/6 ratio, and as such plant based Omega 3 intake becomes highly inflammatory.

But even for those using a fishoil based Omega 3 product there’s problems – and most likely they are not doing you any good.

When I made the post that you can see on the right hand side of this article – I caused an uproar. People started commenting that it’s to much and I was overdosing.

this only proves the ignorance that surrounds the general public about how much Omega 3 we should take. If 2o ml. of Omega 3 would cause an overdose then we should be seeing inuits, who’s diet was mostly seafood, die like flies from an Omega 3 overdose. That was not what was found, the Inuits lived longer and had less lifestyle diseases as the western world.

First off – ditch the recommended daily dosage on 99,9% of fishoil products. 1-3 capsules per day won’t take you anywhere. It’s a sales trick made up by the supplement industry because they believe that the impact it makes on your wallet is more important to you then wheter it works. In other words, if you can be convinced that you do something good for your health without paying to much for it, they believe that it’s easier to sell the product.

The reason why we need to take fish oil in a g/kg body weight ratio is because the goal is to get rid of inflammation and restore the Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance as closely to 1:1 as we can. Hence you also need to take fish oil in a ratio equivalent to your Omega 6 intake. This goes hans in hand with a study published earlier this year that clearly concluded that trials on Omega 3 that is aiming at a biological effect should use a weight based dosage rather then an age based dosage.

So how much Omega 3 should you take ? In the book The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf recommends 1 gram of EPA/DHA per 10 lbs. of body weight for sick, overweight and highly inflamed people. For lean, muscular athlets he recommends 0,25-0,5 gr. EPA/DHA per 10 lbs bodyweight.

That’s probably cutting it a bit high – but that again depends on the quality of your fish oil, and that’s where we go with our 3rd and last point of why your Omega 3 source might not work for you.

in a review study published in Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2015 Dr. Paul Clayton and Szabolcs Lady asked the question why some fish oils appear to work better then others in scientific studies.

The scientists points to the purification process as the culpit. They reference a study made by The University of tromsø that has shown that the purification process (which due to the build up of toxic waste in our oceans unfortunately has to be done) also removes trace ingredients in fish, such as algal-derived lipophilic polyphenols.

The argument is that for fish oil to continue to be effective we need to add those lipophilic polyphenols back into the oil.

The problem is – most fish oil supplements has been enhanced with vitamin E as an antioxidant to protect it from oxidation during the long process it takes for the body to accumulate the fatty acids. However vitamin E alone is not an effective antioxidant for protecting fish oil. The result of such products would therefore be that most of the Omega 3 is not accumulated and some of it would turn rancid through the process.

One way to add these lipophilic polyphenols is to add olive oil made from unripe olives, and thus bring fish oil back to the composition it has from nature’s hand.

If you do this then I would say you do not need as high as dosage as Robb Wolff describes – the fish oil that I shoed in my post is about 5 grams which is good for my body weight and with a quality polyphenol rich fish oil I would say that most people are good at around 2-5 grams of EPA and DHA.

To my knowledge though, there’s less then a handful of companies out there who actually do this to their fish oil. The product that I use and recommend Balance Oil does contain these polyphenol high olive oil and with this product the recommended dosage is 0,15 ml / kg body weight.

So if you are not sure if your fish oil is working for you then ask the following questions:

1). Is my Omega 3 source plant based ?

2). Is my dosage high enough ?

3). Does my Omega 3 source contain lipophilic polyphenols ?

If any of the answers is no, then you’re most likely not experiencing optimal benefits !

Further reading and sources:

α-Linolenic acid metabolism in adult humans: the effects of gender and age on conversion to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

Body weight affects ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) accumulation in youth following supplementation in post-hoc analyses of a randomized controlled trial.

From alga to omega; have we reached peak (fish) oil?

Is your fish oil toxic ?

One of the biggest health challenges in todays modern society is maintaining optimal Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance. This is supported by science and is one of the most well documented health subjects of all times.

In Europe we consume about 15 times as much pro inflammatory Omega 6 as anti inflammatory Omega 3 – leading to a number of diseases.

There are many reasons why we don’t consume the amounts of fish any more as we used to. One of the reasons is most likely that we haven’t been growing up on fish, and if we haven’t been used to eating fish during childhood then it can take some getting used to. Another reason is that good quality non farmed fish is rather expensive in most parts of the western world, and then there’s the toxicity issue.

Sadly our oceans have never been as polluted as they are today and a huge concern is heavy metals such as Mercury and Arsenic, Cadmium, and lead or Dioxin, PCB’s and Furans, that build up in the fish and transfers to us as we eat them.

As a general guideline – the bigger the fish the higher the toxicity level. Big fish and fish who eat other fish are more likely to store toxins.

In the case of Mercury, you can assume that you are eating high amounts of Mercury by eating Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish, or King Mackerel – but also Cod should be limited.

But if we are to solve the current health crisis and get into balance then we need those Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet. this is where the fish oil supplement industry comes to our rescue. Luckily today most fish oil supplements go through a purification process, molecular distillation. Fortunately this process removes those or most of those toxic impurities.

Some manufactures however confuse freshness with purity. They claim that the shorter the route from sea to product the purer product you get. This is absolutely not true.

If you want a fish oil that is as pure as possible, guaranteed to be as free as possible from toxic waste – avoid fishoils made from Shark or Cod, and instead find an oil that is manufactured on small fish like anchovy or sardines. Not only are these small fish extremely high in Omega 3 but they also build up less toxins then their bigger counterparts, who add just a bit more toxins to their livers each time they eat another fish. This also means that the risk of toxic residues after the purification process has been done is much lower then if you buy i.e. a cod based fishoil. Another reason why anchovy and sardines are cleaner then their big brothers is that their lifespan is shorter which means that they don’t have the same time to build up toxins.

The supplement industry can be a jungle, personally I strictly and only recommend Balance Oil , which is produced on small fish and has 200.000 consumer tests to prove that it works.

Omega 3 & 6 – Is there a friend and a foe ?

In 1982 Sune K. Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelson and John R. Vane won the Nobel Prize in Physiology “for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances”.

This formed the foundation for the science of the Omega 3/6 balance. A subject that has since become one of the most thoroughly studied subjects on nutrition and physiology.

Basically the omega 3/6 balance science says that Omega 3 produces anti inflammatory eicosanoids and Omega 6 produces pro inflammatory eicosanoids. If we have to many pro inflammatory eicosanoids, then we build chronic sub clinical inflammation which creates lifestyle diseases.

Just for the record, eicosanoids are hormone like substances that performs many vital metabolic processes at the cardiovascular, immune and nervous system. The main classes of eicosanoids are prostaglandins, prostacyclins, thromboxanes, and leukotriens.

So does that mean that omega 3 is the good boy in the class and Omega 6 is the cruel bully ?

NO! We would not be able to survive without any of them. I will in this article give you 6 examples of how Omega 3 and Omega 6 work closely hand in hand to keep us alive.

1). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that promote blood fluidity, and Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promote platelet aggretion and blood clotting.

This should be spot on – blood clotting can trigger a heart attack so Omega 6 is the bad guy, right ? No because if we didn’t have the blood clotting ability to close off the wound, then we would bleed to death from just a small cut. We need our blood to have a high fluidity but we also need it to be able to clot.

2). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that cause vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels) and Omega 6 causes vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels).

If we have extreme vasoconstriction then our blood pressure goes up to the point where we could possibly die. On the other hand in the case of extreme vasodilation we would experience a drop in blood pressure, that would cause us to faint and could also be potentially lethal.

3). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that cause immunosuppretion, where as Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promotes immunity.

No, immunosuppretion does not cause Omega 3 to be todays bad boy. Because if our immune cells wasn’t kept in a strict leach then it would potentially cause the immune system to go rouge and cause auto immune diseases where the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body.

4). Omega 3 produce anti inflammatory eicosanoids, Omega 6 produce pro inflammatory eicosanoids.

The anti inflammatory eicosanoids help slow down the aging process and inflammatory degradation that is leading to a number of lifestyle diseases.

On the other hand – the pro inflammatory response is exactly what we need to fight invasion from foreign pathogens or damage to our cells – so even here, one would not work without the other.

5). Omega 3 produce pain inhibiting eicosanoids. One of many reasons why people with chronic pain often reports relief when taking fish oil in the right dosage.

Now none of us want to live in pain. So as I tell you that Omega 6 produce pain transmitting eicosanoids you’d probably say that you only want the Omega 3’s. Right ? Well wrong again, without the eicosanoids that comes from Omega 6 you would not be able to feel the pain that alert you when you place your hand on a hot stow or when you get an injury that demands immediate attention.

6). Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promotes cell proliferation, the process that makes it possible for our cells to renew themselves. On the other hand if we did not have the cell proliferation inhibiting eicosanoids from Omega 3 then huge threats like tumors would be able to grow uncontrolled and rapidly.

So you see we need both Omega 3 and Omega 6’s. The logic question to ask now is, in that case – why does science keep telling us to eat more Omega 3 and not Omega 6 ?

The answer to this is simply that we generally get way to much Omega 6 from our modern diet. After Ancel Keys managed to get his falsified theory that fats are dangerous published, has the food industry replaced the saturated fats with vegetable oils, which means that today we find Omega 6’s in almost every processed food source we eat such as: cooking oils, margarine, salad dressings & mayonnaise, nuts & seeds, chips, all fried fast foods, cookies, candies, meat (because live stock today is rapidly fed on corn), poultry etc.

The problem has actually become so severe that more then 95% of the population is out of balance. Now given what we just learned about the functions of Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, balance is extremely important – and should be as close to 1:1 as possible, so they can balance each other out, and let our bodies work as the perfect machine that it is.

Reality is extremely different though. On average the europeans have a balance of 15:1 and in the USA we see an average balance of 25:1.

This means that when we produce more inflammatory eicosanoids then anti inflammatory our bodies build up chronic inflammation which results in arthritis,atherosclerosis ( leading to heart attack) obesity and a number of other lifestyle related diseases.

It means that when we produce more pain transmitting eicosanoids we get prone to chronic pain.

At this point you might want to know if you need to take an Omega 3 supplement. Especially if you have a chronic condition that is bothering you. There’s really just one way to know – take a test.

There’s a few tests out there to choose from, and they vary in price. I offer a test as well, it’s not cheap but it’s one of the most comprehensive and in-depth tests on the market. the test can be done from the comfort of your own home, and takes about 20 days to get your results. What you get is a 14 page analysis on your entire fatty acid profile including dietary advice based on your test results.

Aditional information on the test can be found here.