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Author Topic: Omega - 3 help  (Read 4196 times)

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Offline bmancanfly

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  • Posts: 592
  • Medicare For All !
Omega - 3 help
« on: October 25, 2009, 04:51:52 PM »
Does it matter whether the omega -3 comes from Flaxseed oil or fish oil?  And what would be the appropriate dose for someone with HIV.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline Nestor

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  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 06:47:49 PM »

Hi, I"m no expert, but I think as far as omega-3 goes, flax seed and fish oil are both good.  (Fish oil and especially cod liver oil are good, of course, for many other things than omega-3, however.)  The important thing about omega-3 is not the absolute quantity but the proportion of omega-3 to omega-6 in our diet.  The healthy proportion should be something like 1 part omega-3 to two parts omega-6.  In a natural, traditional diet, most of us could have gotten a good balance simply from eating regular food, but today, with the ubiquity of refined vegetable oils and the stuff that has been done to almost all our food, it is much harder to get a good balance.  For example, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, says:

"Organic eggs from hens allowed to feed on insects and green plants can contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the beneficial ratio of approximately one-to-one, but commercial supermarket eggs from hens fed mostly grain can contain as much as nineteen times more omega-6 than omega-3."  (remember that the next time someone sniffs at the idea of spending an extra dollar on free-range eggs!)

The results of a deficiency in omega-3 can include "increased tendency to form blood clots and to inflammation, high blood pressure, irritation of the digestive tract, depressed immune function, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer, and weight gain."

This being the case, it is a good idea to add things like flax, fish, and fish oil to our diet.  I have a half-teaspoon of fermented cod-liver-oil every day, I eat a fatty fish like tuna, herring, sardines or salmon at least once a week, preferably twice, and periodically I sprinkly ground flax seeds on something I eat.  I do not like the taste of flax seed oil very much, and it goes rancid quickly so it is important to store in the refrigerator and to use relatively quickly.  Fallon and Enig recommend making salad dressing with 1/2 cup of olive oil (omega-6) and one tablespoon of flax oil--that should give a good proportion. 

It is important not to overdo it, since too much omega-3 would be as problematic as too little.

Finally, remember that whole flax seeds pass through the digestive tract unscathed, so to get any benefit from the seeds they must be ground. 

Hope this helps!
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,399
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 12:10:30 AM »
The maximum daily amount of fish oil people can take without side effects, my doctor told me, is 6,000 mgs (or 6 grams if you are so inclined.)

More than that and you risk some intestinal involvement, he said.

The amount of Omega 3 fatty acids found fish oil is usually greater than can be obtained from flax seed, although both are good.

Are you trying to lessen you lipids?

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline elf

  • Member
  • Posts: 613
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 07:43:08 PM »
Omega-3 supplements make your triglycerides  go down, but they can make your LDL cholesterol go up, just in my case.  :(  ???

My triglycerides and total cholesterol jumped after I started taking meds, but my LDL cholesterol was fine.
After 6 months of taking omega-3 (3-4 g per day), my triglycerides went down (to normal), my total cholesterol stayed high, but LDL level increased to HIGH (5.1 mmol/L or 198 g/L).  :-\

Offline GNYC09

  • Member
  • Posts: 702
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 11:53:10 PM »
Fish oil is supposed to be easier for your body to digest than flaxseed oil.  I personally alternate between the two + regularly eat omega-rich foods like low-mercury fish, nuts like walnuts and lots of olive oil.

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 06:02:18 PM »

Let me follow up a little on what I said before.  Cod liver oil is so much richer than any other fish oil, in so many great things, such as vitamin A, vitamin D--but that only if it's natural and unprocessed--DHA etc, that it would almost be silly to use any kind of fish oil other than cod liver oil. 

In my own case, the results in terms of cholesterol are dramatic.  Since I've been getting regular blood work done, I've had two periods of clo use and two periods of non-use.  In both the periods of use my "good cholesterol" has been much higher than in the periods of non-use.  My doctor actually called my attention to this both times: "Your 'good' cholesterol is much better than before," she said.  As for reducing depression, that would be much harder to measure, but I do think I see a difference in terms of not having much particularly severe depression while using clo. 

HOWEVER, to get back to omega-3s, a good, traditional, often fermented cod liver oil is so concentrated that one only needs half a teaspoon to one teaspoon a day, and in fact much more than that would run the risk of giving an overdose of vitamin A or vitamin D or both.  I do know people who take two teaspoons a day, but that is the absolute maximum, and something one would work one's way up to.  It would also be completely inappropriate for someone who got a lot of summer or tropical sun and therefore already got lots of vitamin D.

Now, half a teaspoon or even a whole teaspoon a day is hardly likely to make a huge difference in the proportion of omega-3s to omega-6s in your diet.  Therefore, for omega-3s, a daily tablespoon or so of flax seed oil (or flax seed oil mixed with borage oil, which gives GLA) is a good supplement in addition to the clo. 

One mistake I made for a long time was to assume that ground flax seeds would be equivalent to flax seed oil.  Of course, they are mostly fiber, with only a little bit of oil; they are not a replacement for the oil. 

How important this is depends on your diet.  If you eat a standard american diet you probably are getting far too little omega-3.  If you eat lots of wild fish, grass-fed beef, eggs from truly free-range hens, and walnuts, then you're probably doing okay already and only need a little bit of supplementation. 

What are your concerns?  What do you want omega-3 to do? 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline madbrain

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    • My personal site
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 10:21:15 PM »
Nestor,

Let me follow up a little on what I said before.  Cod liver oil is so much richer than any other fish oil, in so many great things, such as vitamin A, vitamin D--but that only if it's natural and unprocessed--DHA etc, that it would almost be silly to use any kind of fish oil other than cod liver oil. 

Vitamin A can actually be quite toxic in excess. I was warned by my doc not to take supplemental vitamin A.  If you look at most cod liver oil supplements, they have too much Vitamin A in comparison with vitamin D and EPA/DHA. You can actually boy some "low vitamin A" cod-liver oil supplements to get around this problem, like this one : http://www.iherb.com/Carlson-Labs-Cod-Liver-Oil-Low-Vitamin-A-1000-mg-150-Soft-Gels/9464?at=0 . Regular cod liver oil is there http://www.iherb.com/Carlson-Labs-Cod-Liver-Oil-Super-1000-mg-250-Softgels/2782?at=0 and has too much vitamin A.

Quote
HOWEVER, to get back to omega-3s, a good, traditional, often fermented cod liver oil is so concentrated that one only needs half a teaspoon to one teaspoon a day, and in fact much more than that would run the risk of giving an overdose of vitamin A or vitamin D or both.  I do know people who take two teaspoons a day, but that is the absolute maximum, and something one would work one's way up to.  It would also be completely inappropriate for someone who got a lot of summer or tropical sun and therefore already got lots of vitamin D.

Indeed. But it's actually very hard to overdose on vitamin D, and easier to do on vitamin A. It's better to take pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene) which will only be converted to vitamin A by your body as needed.

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2009, 02:20:59 PM »

Hi Madbrain,

The Weston Price Association, whose advice I have followed in taking cod liver oil say, just as you do, that Vitamin A and Vitamin D need to be balanced and that too much Vitamin A in proportion to Vitamin D is a bad idea.  However, where you recommend a cod liver oil low in vitamin A, they recommend one high in Vitamin D.  The latter sounds like a far better idea to me, considering how many of us are deficient in Vitamin D, especially in winter.   

Secondly, traditional, naturally produced cod liver oil is naturally high in Vitamin D.  It is modern processing and refining--particularly the de-odorization stage--which strips it of its Vitamin D. 

The studies which showed toxicity in Vitamin A were done using synthetic Vitamin A.  As we have seen in the case of selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D2, and so many other nutrients, things that are beneficial in their natural form can become toxic in a synthetic form.  We simply cannot keep talking about synthetic vitamin 'supplements" as if they were the same thing that occurs in food naturally. 

Natural Vitamin A is toxic in the quantities present in something like a polar bear's or a seal's or even a sled dog's liver, which is why arctic explorers have been killed by eating those organs.  The idea that the far smaller quantities present in a spoon of clo doesn't make sense in light of the far higher amount of Vitamin A present in traditional diets.  For example, according to nutritiondata.com, one 68 gram slice of beef liver has 21568 IU, or 431% of the DV of Vitamin A.  Yet liver plays a large role in the diets of most traditional people, and even older Americans can remember when weekly liver was a standard part of the diet, at the same time that cod liver oil was a popular supplement.  Predatory animals eat mainly the organ meats of their prey, and tigers in captivity would not mate until it was figured out that lack of organ meats was the problem. 

It simply does not sound reasonable to suppose that a toxic habit could have prevailed for so long without anyone's having figured out about it.  I myself eat liver regularly, in addition to a daily teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil.  Besides far higher "good" cholesterol, good general health, and ameliorated depression, I have shown no signs of Vitamin A toxicity. 

The following page discusses the Weston Price Foundation's views on cod liver oil:

http://www.siteground217.com/~westonap/Cod-Liver-Oil/

It contains links to several articles of interest, including a consideration of the vitamin A question and a very detailed description of the manufacture of cold liver oil, including a discussion of how modern processing robs clo of its Vitamin D. 


Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,399
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 12:03:28 PM »
There is a difference between cod liver oil and fish oil, as was pointed out.

The main difference is the amount of vitamin A that is contained in cod liver oil.

It is very easy to overdose on vitamin A, so caution should be exercised.

source:  http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/ds/dsCodLiverOil.php

I find that plain, old fish oil supplements works fine for me.

HUGS,

Mark

Edited to fix the link, I hope.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 11:14:58 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 09:21:45 PM »
This thread and the one about Shark Liver Oil seem to be cross-polinating; Living just posted, to that one, this important article about Vitamin D.  

http://www.natap.org/2004/HIV/101804_03.htm

As for the article to which Aztecan linked, both claims--that there is a danger of vitamin A overdose and that the liver is potentially a harbor for toxins--receive exhaustive discussion and response in the articles to which I had already linked.  So are the many reasons why cod liver oil is superior to ordinary fish oil.  

Edit: That link seems not to be working.  Here is the corrected link: 

http://www.westonaprice.org/Cod-Liver-Oil/

Of the several articles there,  this:

http://www.westonaprice.org/December-2008-Update-on-Cod-Liver-Oil.html

responds to the concerns most succinctly.  The response to Dr. Mercola:

http://www.westonaprice.org/A-Response-to-Dr.-Joe-Mercola-on-Cod-Liver-Oil.html

 is a far more detailed exploration of the debate. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 09:47:32 PM by Nestor »
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,399
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 11:32:59 AM »
While I appreciate your devotion to cod liver oil Nestor, I view a holistic approach to health care with a somewhat jaundiced eye.

The site you reference is operated by two people, one a nutritionist, who also advocate the consumption of raw milk products, a real issue for people with HIV. From what I can discern, neither of those who operate the site are medical doctors, which also makes me question their claims.

While cod liver oil may be beneficial, I would still exercise caution because of the high retinol content. If you use it, it should be with full knowledge of your doctor, who could perform tests to ensure you aren't getting too much of a good thing, so to speak.

Just my 2 worth.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline darkerpozz

  • Member
  • Posts: 140
  • I'll be with you in a sec...
Re: Omega - 3 help
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 04:45:30 AM »
Ooooh,
my two cents on the subject is to watch the burping cause my God you will throw up a little in your mouth with the aftertaste, make sure you watch the backtaste........

 


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