Posts Tagged ‘omega 6’

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 ?

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.

Scientific research reveals brain alterations linking omega 3 fish oil deficit with depression

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The link between deficits of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (AGPO-3) and the onset of depressive disorders is not new in the medical field. However, what has not been known until now is the brain mechanism by which diet can condition mental health to a certain extent. Research undertaken by scientists in Bordeaux (France) and at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and published in Nature Neuroscience, provides new clues to understanding this phenomenon.

The name of the research work, ‘Omega-3 nutritional deficiencies annul the neuronal functions of the endocannabinoid system’ describes the research findings, endocannabinoid system being linked to the onset of depressive disorders.

According to Doctor Susana Mato, researcher in the Ramón y Cajal programme, attached to the Neurosciences Department of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU and member of the Neurobiology Group, “we have observed that, in mice subjected to a diet low in omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, they have lower AGPO-3 brain levels, and this fact is associated with an alteration in the functioning of the endocannabinoid system”. More concretely, the researcher points to the confirmation of “the existence of a deficit in the signalling of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This protein — the CB1 cannabinoid receptor — has been linked, over the last decade and in various studies, to depressive disorders.”

Doctor Rafael Rodríguez-Puertas, research worker responsible for the Neurochemical and Neurodegeneration team at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU, points out that “certain forms of synaptic plasticity — a change in the efficiency of neuronal communication — measured by the brain’s endocannabinoid system, disappear specifically from certain zones of the brains of mice with AGPO-3 deficit”.

Despite several example in the scientific literature referring to the existence of a link between the low presence of AGPO-3 in the diet and depressive disorders, Susana Mato recognises that “little more is known about how modern Western diets, poor in AGPO-3, affect brain function and what might be the reason for a greater rate of depression associated with a deficit of these fatty acids”.

As doctor Rodríguez-Puertas points out, “thanks to the results of this research new possibilities are opened up for undertaking deeper research, such as how diet modifies the functioning of the brain in general and the endocannabinoid system in particular, and how this is linked to mental disorders”.

It also, “reinforces the idea that manipulating the endocannabinoid system can be useful for the treatment of depressive disorders, although the data we have up to now is very green for us to say what would be the ideal way to do so”, pointed out Dr Mato.

Collaboration amongst European researchers

The research work started with two French teams located in Bordeaux and led respectively by doctors Olivier J Manzoni and Sophie Layé. They have been working for a number of years with mice which show low levels of AGPO-3 in their brain, due to a low diet in these fatty acids.

“Dr Manzoni’s team discovered that the synaptic plasticity of the neuronal connections, which is mediated by endocannabinoids, disappears in these animals”, pointed out Dr S. Mato. To this end, in 2008, they made contact with researchers at the Faculty of Medicine at the UPV/EHU in order to obtain their collaboration in undertaking new research in order to identify possible change sin the expression and activity of the cannabinoid receptors.

In fact, in order to draw conclusions from the study, it has been necessary to employ a large number of research techniques, amongst which were “the analysis of the brain’s fatty acids, electrophysiology, autoradiography of receptors, the western blot (for quantification of proteins), the determination of levels of endocannabinoids and behaviour tests”, listed Doctor Rodríguez-Puertas. “In fact”, continued the researcher, “in our research team we are experts in the autoradiography of receptors technique and in anatomically identifying the activation of the receptors of the endocannabinoid system”.

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