Posts Tagged ‘best omega 3’

Omega 3 : omega 6 – the rise of chronic disease and illness

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

The human body can synthesise all fatty acids with the exception of omega3 and omega 6 . They are known as essential fatty acids or EFA’S they are the building blocks of cell membranes – brain tissue and nerve tissue – they are essential for the functioning of every cell in your body .They help protect against chronic health conditions and disease , they repair degenerative cells and ensure that the body is fuelled properly . The ideal scenario would be to have a ratio of 1:1 omega 6 : omega 3 this however as we shall see is not the case and the actual ratio in UK , USA , UAE and countries following a westernised diet maybe as much as 25 : 1 omega 6 : omega 3 .

To put this in perspective taking breast cancer as an example studies have shown that an excessive food based intake of Omega – 6( linoleic acid ) is linked to some forms of breast cancer , in subjects whose breast tissue contains high levels of omega-3 they appear to be less prone to this form of cancer which affects 1 in 8 women.

In order to maintain levels of these very important EFA’s you have to take them from food sources – what has happened in the last Century is that there has been an increase in the consumption of Omega 6 (linoleic acid) and a decrease in consumption of Omega 3 ( alpha linoleic acid )

Fats can be divided into two groups saturated and unsaturated fatty acids . Saturated fats are from animals sources , unsaturated fats are your omega 3 , omega 6 and omega 9 . Omega 9 is also known as Oleic acid .

Omega 6 is converted in your body into arachodonic acid (AA) Omega 3 is converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA ) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) the secret to good health is to have a balance between the omega 6 and omega 3 . Unfortunately in our modern diet we consume too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 and it is this inbalance that has resulted in so many of the health problems affecting the population . Part of the problem is the intense farming methods and what we feed animals on as well as that a lot of fish in fish farms are fed an artificial diet so the farmed fish contains less omega 3 than wild cold water fish which feeds on krill . The most common source s of omega 6 in our modern diet is sunflower oil , corn oil , groundnut oil , hemp , safflower and soya oils . These oils are used extensively in the modern food industry just look at the labels of the food you buy – bread , pizza, margarines , ready meals .

A diet high in omega 6 is one that is pro inflammatory – this is due to the fact your body produces more prostaglandins which promote inflammation – inflammation is what precedes disease and many diseases are aggrevated by inflammation ie arthritis , type 2 diabetes , IBD , psoriasis etc . With the western diet showing a ratio of around 25: 1 omega 6 (pro inflammatory ) : omega 3 (anti inflammatory ) it is easy to see what has gone wrong and why we have the increase in so many chronic conditions .

The simple solution is obviously to increase intake of the anti inflammatory omega 3 – EPA and DHA and decrease intake of the pro inflammatory omega 6 sunflower oils , corn oil etc . Very often the simplest way is for most people is to take an omega3 supplement however due to the clever marketing of the companies finding the right supplement is difficult .

You need a supplement that is high in active ingredients specifically EPA which is believed to be the most potent natural anti inflammatory . Takeomega3 has 800mg EPA per capsule which is far in excess of any other omega3 product on shelf – surprisingly the brands advertising 1000mg omega3 are only 30% active ingredients and the other 70% is fat which you dont need !! ., TakeOmega 3 is 90% active ingredients. Research has shown that for an omega3 supplement to be effective it needs to be 80% active ingredients none of the brands on UK shelves offer this . They label highest concentration , pure omega3 , 1000mg omega3 but at the end of the day they are lowin the active ingredients and as a result are not effective . Why waste money on a product that could be as much as 80% fat that you dont need ?

Risk of SSRI / Anti Depressants during pregnancy is there a link to Autism ? Are there alternatives ?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A new study has suggested that women who take SSRI’s during pregnancy may be putting their unborn child at risk of developmental problems . This latest research has raised questions about the impact of SSRI’s during pregnancy . As you will see from other research omega 3 EPA has been found to be as effective as  SSRI’S  ie Prozac  in the treatment of  medium to severe depression – DHA in similar studies has not been effective .TakeOmega3 offers the highest concentration of EPA  available and at 85% concentrate it means highest purity with 750mg EPA per capsule – no other product offers the purity of TakeOmega3 . As well as that it is the only brand used by  certain NHS Psychotherapy services , obviously under no circumstances should anyone currently on SSRI’s stop taking them however if you are concerned you should consult your GP to discuss any concerns you may have .

So what is an SSRI
SSRI’s is the shortened form of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Many of the SSRIs have become common household names, such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).
In the study scientists treated more than 200 rats with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram during key stages of brain development.
A study by researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco shows that rats given a popularly prescribed antidepressant during development exhibit brain abnormalities and behaviors characteristic of autism spectrum disorders.

The findings suggest that taking a certain class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRIs – during pregnancy might be one factor contributing to a dramatic rise in these developmental disorders in children.

“We saw behaviors in the treated rats and neurological problems that indicate their brains are not properly conducting and processing information,” said Dr. Rick C.S. Lin, professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at UMMC and principal investigator on the study.

“However, based on this study alone it would be premature to conclude that a pregnant mother should stop taking SSRIs. A pregnant mother may do more harm to her baby through untreated depression than by taking prescribed SSRIs. This study is a starting point and a lot more research needs to be done.”

The study appears online Oct. 24, 2011 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at www.pnas.org.

The researchers treated more than 200 rats with the SSRI citalopram during key stages of brain development. Rats are born at an earlier developmental stage than humans, equivalent to the end of the sixth month of fetal development in humans.

Most rats received treatment for two weeks, beginning eight days post birth, a neurodevelopment period equivalent to the third trimester and early infancy in humans.

In contrast with control-group rats, the investigators found the treated populations were uninterested in play when young and displayed poor social behaviors as adults. The treated rats also showed abnormal responses to changes in their environment. For example, they froze at the sound of a novel tone and showed little interest in exploring new toys.

“These results demonstrate that rat pups, when exposed perinatally to SSRIs, exhibit behavioral traits often seen in ASD,” said Dr. Kimberly Simpson, the paper’s first author and UMMC associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences.

Those behaviors occurred more often – and sometimes exclusively – in the treated male rats than in treated females. Similarly, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is diagnosed more often in males.

Of numerous SSRIs available, the researchers chose citalopram because it is one of the most specific in targeting the serotonin system with little overlap on other neurotransmitters.

Michael Merzenich, UCSF professor of otolaryngology and physiology, analyzed the rats’ primary auditory cortices using electrophysiologic techniques. In the treated, month-old rats Merzenich found functional abnormalities consistent with ASD.

“What we see in this experiment is a strong impact on the auditory cortex. These animals are not maturing in the normal, progressive way, and those differences are substantial,” said Merzenich, a senior author on the paper. “The cortex is sluggish and represents sounds with low accuracy. The listening cortex is delayed in development and is impaired into adulthood.”

Delayed development of the representation of aural speech is a hallmark of ASD in children, Merzenich said. It contributes to these children’s struggles with language and reading.

Another brain abnormality common in ASD is a thinner corpus callosum, particularly in the forward third of the structure. Like a massive nerve-fiber bridge, the corpus callosum connects the brain’s two halves and transmits electrical signals between them. It also plays a key part in higher intellectual function, said Dr. Ian Paul, UMMC professor of psychiatry and human behavior.

“This nerve fiber tract was disrupted in the same way in these rats’ brains,” he said.

Many callosal axons in the treated rats had abnormal or missing myelin sheathing, a coating necessary for proper neuroconductivity. Omega3 especially EPA is believed to be critical with regards the myelin sheaths ,Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances.
The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, the impulses slow down.It is believed the omega3 active ingredients ie EPA not only acts as an anti inflammatory but also helps repair damage to the brain by promoting neuronal growth.

“Without that myelin wrapping the signal slows or doesn’t get through at all. The abnormalities in these rats would suggest the left and right sides of their brains are not communicating properly,” said Paul, a senior co-author on the paper.

Lin said the researchers analyzed multiple aspects – behavior, pathology, brain morphology, neurochemistry and neurophysiology – to conduct a broad survey and get a sense of structural and functional abnormalities.

A $1.3 million grant to Lin from the National Institute of Mental Health funded the study.

The study in rats follows an epidemiologic study in humans, published in July in the Archives of General Psychiatry. That investigation found that children of mothers who took SSRIs during the year prior to giving birth ran twice the normal risk of developing autism.

“While one must always be cautious extrapolating from medication effects in rats to medication effects in people, these new results suggest an opportunity to study the mechanisms by which antidepressants influence brain and behavioral development,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the NIMH. “These studies will help to balance the mental health needs of pregnant mothers with possible increased risk to their offspring.”

The incidence of pregnant women taking SSRIs has grown from about .5 percent in 1985 when the first one came on the market to nearly 10 percent today, Paul said.

Autism was initially described in 1943 and through the next decades the parameters expanded. In 1996, the rate of incidence was less than 1 in 1,000 births and by 2007 it reached about 1 in 200. The rates of incidence of ASD have roughly doubled every three-to-five years to 1 in 91 currently, he said.

“The diagnosis has widened with the awareness that it’s a spectrum disorder that encompasses a whole range of communication problems, but that doesn’t account for all the increase by any means,” Paul said.

Merzenich said a genetic component for autism risk is found in certain families, more strongly expressed in some members than in others.

“Genetic weakness can put a child at risk for autism origin,” he said. The neurological distortions attributable to SSRIs plausibly add to the child’s neurological burdens. We think that SSRIs may thereby increase the risks of ASD. In any event, further study in child populations should determine if this is or is not the case.”

Lin cautioned that pregnant women shouldn’t quit taking prescribed antidepressants based solely on the study’s results.

“In this study we eliminated as many external factors as possible. But real-life situations are much more complex,” he said.

Stress hormones – which affect the same neurological systems as SSRIs – can also be detrimental to a developing baby, Simpson said, indicating another significant difference between the laboratory study and real-life situations.

“We intentionally looked for treatment effects in groups of rats that were considered normal at the beginning of the study and were birthed from normal mothers. The effects of SSRIs on babies carried by depressed mothers are not known,” she said.

Lin also emphasized the findings call for more study of SSRIs, particularly in humans.

“We need to know which one causes minimal damage but also at what dose, for how long and at what points in pregnancy. So basically, we still have a lot to learn,” he said.
He credited a multidisciplinary team of investigators for the work.
“This kind of work could never have been done in one lab,” Lin said. “It’s absolutely the result of a team approach that took people in pediatrics, pharmacology, neurobiology and anatomical sciences, psychiatry, physiology and otolaryngology.”

Omega 3 fish oil EPA linked to reduce incidence of endometriosis

Sunday, July 17th, 2011
The study — which is the largest to have investigated the link between diet and endometriosis risk and the first prospective study to identify a modifiable risk factor for the condition — found that while the total amount of fat in the diet did not matter, the type of fat did. Women who ate the highest amount of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis than those who ate the least and that those who ate the most trans fats had a 48% increased risk, compared with those who ate the least.
The findings from 70,709 American nurses followed for 12 years, published online in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, not only suggest that diet may be important in the development of endometriosis, but they also provide more evidence that a low fat diet is not necessarily the healthiest and further bolster the case for eliminating trans fats from the food supply, said the study’s leader, Dr. Stacey Missmer, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
“Millions of women worldwide suffer from endometriosis. Many women have been searching for something they can actually do for themselves, or their daughters, to reduce the risk of developing the disease, and these findings suggest that dietary changes may be something they can do. The results need to be confirmed by further research, but this study gives us a strong indication that we’re on the right track in identifying food rich in Omega-3 oils as protective for endometriosis and trans fats as detrimental,” Dr. Missmer added.
What is endometriosis  What are symptoms of endometrioisis
Endometriosis occurs when pieces of the womb lining, or endometrium, is found outside the womb. This tissue behaves in the same way as it does in the womb — growing during the menstrual cycle in response to oestrogen in anticipation of an egg being fertilized and shedding as blood when there’s no pregnancy. However, when it grows outside the womb, it is trapped and cannot leave the body as menstruation. Some women experience no symptoms, but for many it is very incapacitating, causing severe pain. The tissue can also stick to other organs, sometimes leading to infertility. It afflicts about 10% of women. The cause is poorly understood and there is no cure. Symptoms are traditionally treated with pain medication, hormone drugs or surgery.
In the study, the researchers collected information from 1989 to 2001 on 70,709 women enrolled in the U.S. Nurses Health Study cohort. They used three food-frequency questionnaires spaced at four-year intervals to record the women’s usual dietary habits over the preceding year. They categorized consumption of the various types of dietary fat into five levels and related that information to later confirmed diagnoses of endometriosis. A total of 1,199 women were diagnosed with the disease by the end of the study. The results were adjusted to eliminate any influence on the findings from factors such as total calorie intake, body mass index, number of children borne and race.
Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids are found mostly in oily fish. They have been linked to reduced heart disease risk. In the study, the highest contributor was mayonnaise and full-fat salad dressing, followed by fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
Trans fats are artificially produced through hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into solid fat. Used in thousands of processed foods, from snacks to ready-meals, they have already been linked to increased heart disease risk. Some countries and municipalities have banned them. The major sources of trans fats in this study were fried restaurant foods, margarine and crackers.
“Women tend to go to the Internet in particular to look for something they can do. The majority of the dietary recommendations they find there are the ones prescribed for heart health, but until now, those had not been evaluated specifically for endometriosis,” Dr. Missmer said. “This gives them information that is more tailored and provides evidence for another disease where it is the type of fat in the diet, rather than the total amount, that is important.”
Besides confirming the finding, a next step could be to investigate whether dietary intervention that reduces trans fats and increases Omega-3 oils can alleviate symptoms in women who already have endometriosis, Dr. Missmer added.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Omega 3 fish oil may reduce depression symptoms in the elderly

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Daily omega-3 supplements may reduce the occurrence of the symptoms of depression in elderly women, says a new study from Italy that adds to the ongoing debate over omega-3 and mood.

Statistically and clinically significant – Harry Rice, PhD

Statistically and clinically significant – Harry Rice, PhD

According to findings published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, depressed women who received daily supplements containing 2.5 grams of omega-3 experienced significant reductions in their symptoms.

In addition, researchers from the University of Pavia also report that omega-3 supplements providing a daily EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) dose of 1.67 grams and a daily DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) dose of 0.83 grams reported improvements in the ‘quality of life’.

“This [quality of life] observation has never been achieved before and it appears of great value from the clinical point of view, due to the importance of these aspects in the elderly population,” wrote the researchers.

“The concept of quality of life is defined as a perceived global satisfaction and satisfaction within a number of key domains, with special emphasis on well-being.

“Therefore, the amelioration of quality of life in depressed elderly patients after supplementation with omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is an important .finding,” they added.a joint Anglo-Iranian study reported that depression ratings were cut by 50 per cent following daily one gram supplements of EPA, an effect similar to that obtained by the antidepressant drug fluoxetine, according to findings published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

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