WHAT IS OMEGA-3?
Omega-3 are the essential fatty acids
known as the super-unsaturates. They are a family of essential
nutrients which when present in the diet over a long period of time, may have
thousands of times the power of aspirin to stop the inflammatory reactions
responsible for arthritis, migraines, colitis, and other similar ailments.
When added to the diet as a supplement
they have the ability to not only lower cholesterol and triglycerides, but also
to minimize the tendency of blood cells to clot - Omega 3 blocks formation of a
substance called thromboxane, which is known as a blood clotting agent. The New
England Journal Of Medicine reported that Dr. Howard Knapp of Vanderbilt
University was able to reduce by half the levels of thromboxane in volunteers
taking fish oil supplements.
In addition, Omega-3 are the basic
building blocks for nerve tissue and brain cells.
It is concentrated throughout the food
chain, but is most abundant in the oils of cold water fish such as salmon,
sardines, herring, cod and mackerel. One of its characteristics is its tendency
to spoil rapidly. This is one of the reasons that the American food industry
has come up with so many ways to get this family of chemicals out of the food
chain available to humans. It is available from other sources than cold water
fish, but our food industry has largely destroyed the small amount available
from these sources, and overbalanced us with Omega-6 fatty acids, leading to a
very dangerous imbalance. If you are buying Omega-3 in capsule form try to get
a brand with the fish oil coming from heads and skins, with no fish liver oil.
Fish liver oil, in addition to containing a rich source of Omega-3, also is
very rich in vitamin A - which makes it quite possible to have a vitamin A
overdose if many capsules are being taken every day. In addition, fish livers
tend to collect toxins in the environment like mercury and arsenic. A good
product will get its fish oil from heads and skins from an unpolluted
environment, and will do toxicity checks on every batch to make sure the
product is safe. The product should also contain at least 25 I.U. of vitamin E
in the capsule to keep the fatty acids from going rancid and becoming toxic
WHAT IT DOES
Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful
inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism in the human body. Some of these
arachidonates, including some prostaglandins, are very powerful negative agents
which the body synthesizes in response to various stressors. The main raw
material for arachidonate synthesis comes directly from linoleic acid found in
seed oils such as corn, cottonseed, sesame, safflower, sunflower and partially
hydrogenated soybean oil.
The diseases in which arachidonates have
been implicated are:
- Allergic Reactions
- Coronary Thrombosis
- Bronchial Asthma
- Kidney Dialysis
A lack of Omega-3 fatty acids in early
life during myelin sheath formation may predispose the individual to multiple
sclerosis in later life. The myelin sheath is the gossamer membrane insulating
material surrounding nerve tissue. Deprivation of Omega-3 fatty acids to an
infant during the critical myelin sheath growth period may weaken the nerve
structures. Later viral infections could result in slow deterioration may years
In studies with capuchin monkeys they were
fed a diet many Americans believe is healthy - rich in corn oil
polyunsaturates and almost completely lacking in Omega-3. After 2
months on this diet all monkeys started to suffer skin lesions and to develop
dry, scaly skin patches. Their fur thinned out and large, bald areas were
obvious. Two of the animals became so stressed by this diet that they
self-mutilated their bodies due to maddening rash in their genital and perineal
areas. They gnawed and scratched at their sensitive parts until this compulsion
caused open, festering wounds. They were then put to sleep. Another one
developed rickets and was also destroyed. Autopsies on these three found large
fat globules in the liver and kidneys and lack of mature lymphocytes in the
spleen lymph nodes as well as in the lymphatic tissue of the colon and ileum.
The surviving monkeys were given a high Omega-3 diet for 56 diets before being
terminated and autopsied. These showed none of the fatty globules in tissue;
the adrenal glands were normal, and the skin had regained its original texture.
WHAT OMEGA-3 CAN DO FOR YOU
- Lower triglycerides in the blood.
- Lower low density cholesterol in the blood.
- Greatly reduce risk of heart disease.
- Aid in regulation of blood sugar levels.
- Reduce rate of inflammatory diseases like arthritis and
- Reduces platelet stickiness and therefore
reduces the tendency towards atherosclerosis - the clogging up of the arteries
with cholesterol plaque.
- Inhibits tumor growth and lowers risk of cancer.
FOOD SOURCES OF E.P.A
Cold water fish such as: