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DPM,CWS,FCCWS
Nutraceuticals Part II: What's The Big Deal With Omega-III?
Section:  Other

Below is my part 2 posting of nutraceuticals.  This one focuses on the use of Fish Oils (Omega-3 fatty acids).

Fish oils or marine oils are lipids (fats) found in fish, particularly cold water fish like herring, kipper, mackerel, menhaden, pilchard, salmon, sardine and trout, and phytoplankton. The sources of fish oil are sardines and anchovies and independant testing companies should certify that the products manufactured to be virtually free of mercury lead, PCB and other heavy metals.

Fish oils are rich sources of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanenoic acid) are the two most studied fish oils. DHA is a necessary component of the phospholipids in human cellular membranes, especially those found in the brain and retina. Clinical studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids to help maintain healthy triglyceride levels. A strong correlation has also been shown between fish oil consumption and the ability to maintain healthy levels of  C-reactive protein. Fish oils are also important in the maintenance of normal blood flow, as they support normal fibrinogen levels (coagulation or blood clotting), which contributes to normal platelet activity.

 

EPA and DHA have several mechanisms of action to help maintain normal triglyceride and cholesterol levels, help maintain normal blood flow and pressure, and support normal platelet activity. EPA and DHA help maintain normal triglyceride levels by promoting normal lipogenesis and supporting normal fatty acid oxidation in the liver. EPA and DHA promote the normal transcription of genes coding for lipogenesis enzymes and promote the normal transportation of the regulatory enzymes of fatty acid oxidation. Activating PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor)- alpha, helps to support normal fatty acid oxidation. The promotion of normal lipogenesis is done through down-regulation of SREBP (sterol regulatory element binding protein) -1c messenger RNA.

 

EPA is the precursor to series-3 prostaglandins (PG), the series-3 thrombaxanes (TX) and the series-5 leukotrienes (LT). More specifically, EPA is a precursor to eicosanoids (TXA3 and LTB5), which promote normal platelet activity and promote normal vasodilation. These effects demonstrate EPA’s potential ability to help maintain normal blood pressure and support normal blood clotting. Fish oils inhibit the arachidonic acid synthesis of thromboxane A2, which help to promote normal platelet activity and vasodilation. Fish oil may also contribute to the normal production of prostacyclin, a prostaglandin that promotes normal vasodilation and supports normal platelet activity.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids compete metabolically with omega-6 fatty acids, found in higher amounts in typical western diets. Omega-6 fatty acids may inhibit the incorporation of omega-3 fatty acids into tissue lipids. Omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit the conversion of many omega-6 fatty acids into arachidonic acid. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, a corresponding increase of these fatty acids appears to occur in cell membranes and circulatory lipids along with a simulataneous reduction in omega-6 fatty acids.

In addition, Vitamin E should also be taken in conjunction with Omega-3 due to the inherent need for antioxidant therapy with fatty diets.

The main health benefit of supplemental vitamin E comes from its immune-boosting antioxidant activity. It is also helpful in the healing of wounds and is known to provide protection for the cardiovascular system. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful fat-soluble antioxidants in the body. In turn, vitamin E protects cell membranes from free radical damage. Vitamin E is commonly added to fish oil supplements to provide antioxidant protection of DHA and EPA

The recommended dosing that I have found in my research should be broken down like this:

Fish Body Oils:   3000 U/day
                  DHA:        500-600U/day
                  EPA:         800-900U/day
                  Other fatty acids:  250-300U/day

Vitamin E (tocopherol):  15 U/day

Hope this gives everyone a little more "FYI".....
Eric

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