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Use Omega-3s in Fish Oil Not Drugs to Fight Inflammation

March 30, 2005 | 24,918 views

Inflammation

Relying on natural sources, rather than drugs, has been proven to be the safest, effective way to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, according to scientists. In fact, it was discovered that a diet high in oily fish might be the most beneficial, as a key anti-inflammatory fat in humans is derived from a fatty acid found in fish oil.

The anti-inflammatory fats are resolvins, specifically made from the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish. Through studies, scientists found resolvins control inflammation by:

  • Stopping the passage of inflammatory cells to inflammation sites
  • Turning on other inflammatory cells

However, one form of resolvins in particular, known as E1, is thought to play a critical role in inflammation.

COX-2 Inhibitors' Influence On E1

One upside to the study was that it highlighted the dangerous COX-2 inhibitors, a class of anti-inflammatory drugs associated with increased cardiovascular risks. Scientists suspect that taking COX-2 inhibitors, though involved in producing the beneficial E1 resolvin, may actually disrupt the body's ability to synthesize the fat. Therefore, the very drugs designed to reduce inflammation have been found to prohibit one of the body's most prominent methods for tackling the same feat.

Thus, based on these findings, it is recommended people suffering from arthritis should eat two to three portions of oily fish a week, or take 1,500 mg of fish oil capsules each day.

Journal of Experimental Medicine March 2005;201(5):713-722

BBC News March 13, 2005

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

 

Yes folks, you can change the oil in your diet and have a radical improvement in the amount of inflammation that is present.

Many of you have heard of GLA (gamma linolenic acid). It is typically found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. It is also widely promoted. One of the primary ways it works is by the conversion of the GLA into the potent anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E-1. Many people use borage oil as a source of GLA as it is far less expensive. I have always recommended evening primrose oil rather than borage oil as it seemed to work far better.

I recently learned that the reason evening primrose oil works better is that far higher levels of the GLA in evening primrose oil are converted into prostaglandin E1 than that in borage oil. So if you struggle with inflammatory conditions please consider trying a healthy dose of evening primrose oil. You can use as much as 5,000 mg per day.

The next issue you will want to address is not adding an oil in your diet but actually taking some oils out. Of course we all know that trans fat should be avoided, but most of us are seriously confused about "healthy" vegetable oils. Most of us don't appreciate that we have a major surplus of omega-6 fats in our diet that distorts the sensitive omega 3:6 ratio and can cause serious health problems.

Around 1900, Americans only had less than a pound of processed vegetable oil per year. Last year we had over 80 pounds per year. This is quite a radical difference. We simply were not designed to have these high levels of vegetable fats in our diet. There is a major confusion around PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). Fish oil is a PUFA that is nearly deficient in all of us, but the omega-6 vegetable oil fats are used in serious excess and need to be avoided by most of us. That would include oils like safflower and sesame oils.

Canola oil should be avoided for other reasons.

Krill Oils

Krill oil has a long history of being effectively used to fight inflammation.

It does such things as:

  • Suppressing T-cell activation and proliferation
  • Maintaining T-cell homeostasis through the contraction of populations of activated T cells
  • Reduction of inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids
  • Promotion of apoptosis

But Wait ... A Safe Source of Fish?

As I mentioned above, while fish would be an excellent omega-3 source, mercury levels in almost all fish have now hit dangerously high levels across the world, and the risk of this mercury to your health now outweighs the fish's omega-3 benefits.

However, after searching for a safe source of fish you can eat without having to worry about mercury levels and added toxins, I finally discovered one: Vital Choice Alaskan Wild Red Salmon. I had the salmon, which are harvested in Alaskan waters, tested through an independent lab and it was found to contain less than .1ppm of mercury. I also tasted it in a variety of recipes, and I can now confidently and enthusiastically recommend this source to you!

Related Articles:

Fish Oil More Useful for Treating Inflammation Than Flax Seed Oil

Fish & Cod Liver Oil--Not Flax--Lower Inflammation


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