Experts in Prescription Drug Withdrawal
Omega 3 vs Omega 6
Over the course of human evolution a dramatic shift has occurred in our consumption of Omega 3 versus Omega 6 and this trend is contributing, more than any other dietary factor, to an epidemic of modern diseases.
Throughout millions of years of human development our diets were abundant in fish, marine life and grass fed meats, while low in seed oils. Fish and grass fed meats are high in Omega 3 long chain fatty acids DHA and EPA, while seeds and seed oils are high in Omega 6. Nature provided a natural growing cycle, as the green plants of spring are rich in Omega-3 while the fall brings harvested seeds high in Omega-6. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors had a ratio of 1:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6 and inflammatory diseases were nonexistent. Our bodies need both Omega 3 and Omega 6, but they must be balanced and in near equal ratios for optimal health.
Since the onset of the industrial revolution (approximately 140 years) and due to the advent of modern vegetable oils and the increase of cereal grains as feed for domestic livestock, Omega 6 has become the predominant fat consumed by humans. Grain fed livestock altered the fatty acid profile of meats from Omega 3 to high Omega 6 (organic meats retain their Omega 3 profile). Commercial meats combined with processed foods have altered the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 to approximately 1:20 and climbing for the vast majority in North America.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 compete for the same enzymes and transport systems to produce biochemicals in our body. With equal ratios of Omega 3 and Omega 6 the fatty acids remained balanced. But with Omega 6 being consumed twenty times more than Omega 3, the critical Omega 3s are being pushed from the cells, along with their anti-inflammatory qualities. Omega 6 is pro-inflammation so it is no surprise that inflammatory diseases are skyrocketing.
Inflammatory Diseases Include:
Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, psoriatic)
Type 2 diabetes
Some psychiatric disorders
Irritable bowel and inflammatory bowel disease
The global market for over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs yields billions for the pharmaceutical industry. Yet Omega 3 fatty acids are naturally converted in the body to prostaglandins (PG1, PG2, PG3) and both PG1 and PG3 have anti-inflammatory qualities. Numerous studies have established that Omega-3s demonstrate a significant anti-inflammatory and pain relief effect. The UC San Diego School of Medicine found that “Omega 3 fatty acids switch on the macrophage receptor, killing the inflammatory response.”
A diet low in Omega 3 fatty acids and predominantly prepared with soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn or cottonseed oil fuels an inflammatory storm even though one may be eating what they think is a ‘healthy’ diet.
Researchers have found that diets high in Omega 6 fatty acids but low in Omega 3 increase the risk of mental health problems including depression and dementia as well as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Increasing Omega 3 fatty acids may improve:
Brain function health (including supporting memory)
Heart Health including blood pressure regulation support
Joint and inflammation response
Immune system support
Digestion and IBS support
Diabetes and/or Insulin regulation support
Nervous system health
Peripheral nerve function & recovery support
How Omega 3 works in the Body
The brain contains neurons (cells that transmit messages throughout the brain and body) and the membrane or walls around these neurons consist of ‘good’ fat. The membranes require flexibility to allow vital molecules to pass through, allowing neurons to communicate properly. Numerous factors including diets high in cholesterol and unhealthy fats cause these membranes to stiffen and become less pliable, thereby restricting molecule movement. This can result in mood imbalances, difficulty learning or recalling information, and a decrease in brain function.
Restoring flexibility to cell membranes can be achieved through Omega 3 supplementation, thus allowing the free-flow of vital molecules within the brain, increasing cell communication and brain health.
Omega 3 also benefits the body as a blood cleanser, making the blood less sticky and more fluid, improving overall circulation and heart health, managing inflammation while improving every cell in the body.
There are three major Omega 3s and each has distinct health benefits:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) significant research shows that it supports heart health.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) benefits the brain (memory and cognitive health), eye and heart health throughout life. Significant research confirms that all age groups benefit from daily consumption of DHA.
- ALA (alpha linolenic acid) provides a source of energy but to date there are no independent benefits of ALA for eye development, the brain, heart or other functions within the body.
Omega 3 also blocks excess inflammation through powerful chemicals called prostaglandins, which are natural firefighters and race to put out the flames of tissue breakdown and inflammation before it becomes systemic.
How the Inflammation Response Works
Inflammation is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms and can cause swelling, redness, pain and the production of heat. The body has three lines of defense against infection:
1. The physical barrier of the skin and epithelial cells
2. The inflammatory response
3. The Immune response
The inflammatory response will always react the same and flood an injured area with chemical messengers that cause the blood vessels to swell so that the white cells can have easy access.
While there may be an infection or injury that begins the attack, high Omega 6 consumption (relative to low Omega 3) causes a systemic inflammation message that sounds constant alarms in the body. The result is that surrounding tissue is damaged. Remember, Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory while Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory.
When an infection or attack is present in the body, the immune system triggers the production of Prostaglandin II to produce an inflammatory response that sends white blood cells to quarantine the infection.
Then the immune system triggers the production of Prostaglandin I to suppress inflammation and begin the healing process.
Inflammation is an important response to prevent an infection or swelling from spreading to nearby tissues and organs. The problem occurs when the inflammation response is left unchecked. Too much inflammation actually harms the nearby tissues and organs.
Omega-3 is a critical component in the production of Prostaglandin I (anti-inflammatory), while Omega-6 is a necessary component in the production of Prostaglandin II (pro-inflammatory).
And again, an imbalance of Omega 6 creates a pro-inflammatory environment within the body.
Degenerative diseases that involve an imbalance of fats prematurely kill nearly 2/3 of people living in industrialized, affluent countries, and 68% die from three conditions that directly involve fatty degeneration: Cardiovascular Disease 43.8%, Cancer 22.4% and Diabetes 1.8%.
Throughout history humans have ingested an approximately equal proportion (1:1 ratio) of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are deemed essential nutrients as they are not synthesized by the body and must be ingested directly in foods or by dietary supplements.
Examples of inflammatory diseases are Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Gout, Lupus and IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). While controlling inflammatory diseases it is critical to make dietary changes that includes anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.
We Eat A Lot of Food:
An average American eats 2-3 pounds of food per day, which equates to 600 pounds a year and nearly 20 tons over our lifetime.
Food can be used to minimize the effects of aging, but we must rethink our approach, treating the body with healthy food; taking only what we need and taking it with care.
As we age our body matures and our metabolic rate decreases. Therefore we require less food yet our bodies still must have enough nutrients for your body to maintain optimal function.
Too Much Food
Overindulging in food produces excess oxidation, increasing fat storage, excessive insulin and a sugar imbalance. Eating too much can occur in one huge meal during the day or overindulging throughout the day. The results are the same – rapid aging.
The reverse is also true. By limiting the amount of calories consumed at any given time can also have a rejuvenating effect.
In many controlled animal studies, lowering caloric intake led to a more functional life with less chronic disease. This doesn’t mean to starve oneself. Okinawanas (Japan) eat three times more vegetables, two times more fish and 1/3 fewer calories that the standard Japanese diet and yet Okinawanas have 4 times more centurians per 100,000 people than standard Japan.
Again, lowering caloric intake does not mean starving, it means eating more vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins spread throughout the day in small meals that regularly burn the metabolic furnace.
Ghrelin is a hormone secreted by the stomach and released when the body is hungry. It has been linked to overeating. 30 years ago the obesity rate in the U.S. was 15%. Today it is 34.3%, not including another 32.7% that are overweight.
The hormone Peptide YY3-36, which is also produced in the stomach, blunts the effects of Ghrelin. Eating smaller meals throughout the day stimulates the secretion of Peptide YY3-36, which in turn reduces Ghrelin secretion and keeps hunger at a minimum.
Sugar increases Ghrelin levels and in turn increases appetite. This is also true for processed foods, corn products and junk food - all increase Ghrelin, thus stimulating appetite. Protein, on the other hand, suppresses Ghrelin production, as do Omega 3 fatty acids.
Importance of Eating Regularly
Eating regular, balanced meals is critical for metabolic health, weight control and energy. Many eat only one meal during the day, which has dangerous health consequences. Consuming large, infrequent meals taxes the body’s metabolic system, promoting high cholesterol, more oxidative stress and insulin resistance.
Glucose is a sugar found in the blood and is the food for the brain. Food is broken down into glucose and is absorbed into the bloodstream to be carried to every cell in the body. The unused glucose is stored in the liver as Glucogen.
When glucose in the bloodstream increases after eating, the pancreas is signaled to release a hormone called insulin along with digestive enzymes, but it is the insulin that the cells used to absorb the glucose, bringing the levels of sugar in the blood back to normal. If too much insulin is produced the levels of glucose leaving the blood are higher than amounts coming in causing low blood sugar. If low blood sugar persists the brain does not get the energy it needs nor does the body. The body will adjust to constant low blood sugar by breaking down muscle to feed protein to the brain cells, and the body is fed by breaking down fat.
A diet and lifestyle high in refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, emotional stress or a combination of these factors can cause reactive hypoglycemia (continual low blood sugar). Consistently high sugar intakes spike insulin levels, but eating only one large meal a day also triggers a large insulin release to control the blood sugar release. Constant high releases of insulin overtaxes the pancreas, which begins to secrete lessening amounts of insulin. Insulin is required for the metabolism of sugar and fat, and when the body becomes resistant to insulin it means it can no longer use its own insulin properly for digestion. Insulin resistance can lead to Type II diabetes.
Insulin, Glucagon, Glucogen
The two hormones we must keep in check are insulin and glucagon, both are released by the pancreas in response to different foods.
Eating carbohydrates raises blood sugar and stimulates the release of insulin, which in turn tells the body to store glucose for future use. The body creates glycogen (strings of glucose molecules) and stores it in the liver and muscles.
Only the glucogen that is stored in the liver can be re-circulated, keeping adequate supplies of glucose going to the brain. But the liver’s capacity for storage is limited, depleting within 10-12 hours, and must be continually replenished. 58% of protein and 10% of healthy fats are converted into glycogen by the body, so carbohydrates are not the only way to replenish our reserves.
Glucagon (not Glycogen) has the opposite effect on insulin and tells the body to increase blood sugar. Glucagon is the mobilization hormone.
The problem comes when excess carbohydrates are consumed as the liver and muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen. An overage tells the body to create another storage form, fat. Insulin then tells your body to not only store new fat, but also not to release any previously stored fat. Remember, insulin is the storage hormone.
Small, healthy meals eaten throughout the day provide a balance in our blood sugar, metabolism, energy and storage systems. Eating less frequently increases blood insulin causing fat to be stored rather than digested.
Omega 3 and Insulin
Omega 3s are critical to insulin and researchers have found that dietary intake of concentrated Omega 3 resulted in improvement of all insulin resistance parameters.
Omega 3 also up-regulates the fat burning/glucogen synthesis and down-regulates fat storage. Basically essential fatty acids were shown to control gene expression by switching on key genes. Omega 3s (EPA and DHA) have anti-obesity properties. Omega 3s improve glucose metabolism and according to physiologist Fabio Cormana, MA., MS, ACE-CPT, direct our bodies to temporarily store carbohydrates as glucogen instead of body fat.
Omega 3 must be balanced with Omega 6 for the natural regulation to occur. A diet too high in Omega 6 increases systemic inflammation, which can actually lead to weight gain.
What to Eat
Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fatty acids, meaning the body does not make them and therefore they must be obtained from diet. There are few dietary sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are primarily it is obtained from cold-water fish including sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel, bluefish and cod. We are provided the two critical Omega 3 fatty acids that our bodies need from fish, Docosahexaenoic or DHA and Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
The vegetarian sources of Omega 3, including walnuts and flaxseeds, contain a precursor omega-3 called Linolenic acid or ALA, and the body must convert the ALA to EPA and DHA, but the conversion rate is low. Both EPA and DHA are the building blocks for hormones and to control blood clotting, cell growth, immune function. They are also the components of nerves and cell membranes, brain tissue and found in abundance in the eyes.
Omega-6 is available in large quantities in modern diets. It is found in seeds and nuts and the extracted oils. Vegetable oils, such as soy oil, are used in most packaged foods (snacks, cookies, crackers, etc) and fast foods. Soybean oil is so plentiful that it is estimated 20% of the American diet comes from this single source.
The ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 should be 1:1, but the modern diet is abundant in Omega-6 while consumption of fish has declined, bringing the average ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 to 1:20. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory while Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and the high intake of Omega-6 is promoting inflammatory conditions such as coronary heart disease, asthma, arthritis, some cancers, autoimmune issues and Neurodegenerative diseases.
Why Go Organic
Why are organic meat and chicken becoming so popular and why are we taking a huge risk by eating meats from conventional farmers versus organic?
Understanding the dangers of conventional meats should make everyone reconsider eating anything that isn’t grass fed and organic.
What Animals Eat Does Matter to Us
Organic meat from grass fed cows is an excellent source of CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid), a trans fatty acid that is beneficial to health. CLA has been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and research has shown that CLA may slow the growth of tumors in mammary, colon and skin tissue.
The pH level of the first chamber in a cow’s stomach begins fatty acid production, including Omega 3, Omega 6 and CLA. A cow fed its natural diet of grass and green leafy plants has a digestive system with an alkaline pH of 7, which promotes the production of high Omega 3 and CLA with low Omega 6. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and beneficial to health.
However, a cow fed a diet of mainly corn and grain has a very acidic digestive solution and combined with the starches in the corn and grain produces high levels of Omega 6 with low levels of Omega 3 and CLA. The high Omega 6 promotes inflammation and is why conventional meat is detrimental to health heart and increases cholesterol.
Organic milk is higher in beneficial fatty acids with low levels of harmful saturated fats. In addition, no hormones, antibiotics, pesticide residue or artificial ingredients have been added. Children and babies are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure and hormones due to their less-developed immune system and brains that are still growing.
Chickens and turkeys in their natural environment eat seeds, insects, berries and grains. They roam free and ingest no toxic chemicals and therefore have high Omega 3 levels naturally. Conversely, mass produced eggs are 20 times higher in Omega 6 versus Omega 3. High Omega 6 increases risks of heart attacks, diseases of inflammation and poor health.
When cattle and chickens eat their natural diet and are allowed to roam free, their meat is lean, has better fatty acid ratios and less total fat.
Additives in Non-Organic Meat
Not only do conventional meats have a high Omega 6 (pro-inflammation) fatty acid profile, but what is added can also make us sick.
There are 3,000 chemical additives that are approved for use in food. Most conventional beef farms inject their meat with a solution of water, salt and sodium phosphate to add more weight, and to improve tenderness while extending shelf life. Many are injected with hydrolyzed proteins to add flavor and tenderize and according to the FDA, these hydrolyzed proteins contain MSG. But when added as part of the hydrolyzed proteins the labels do not have to state MSG as an ingredient.
Additionally in the beef industry for the past 40 years it is a common practice to administer low-level antibiotics continually to compensate for the conditions in overcrowded feed lots that promote infection and illness.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) testified before a House Committee in 2010 and stated that the antibiotic use in animal agriculture was contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans.
The FDA has approved 6 hormones (3 synthetic and 3 natural) for use in the beef industry. The synthetic are melengestrol acetate, trenbolone acetate and zeranol; the natural include estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The hormones are used to speed the growth of the animals, reducing feed costs and profit. These hormones were banned in the European Union in 1989 but are still used regularly in the United States.
However, many in the scientific community fear the added hormones are causing metabolic problems in humans, triggering early puberty in children and artificially boosting hormone levels in adults.
Organic meats use no additives, antibiotics or hormones.
Understanding Omega 3, 6, 7, 9
Many have heard the terms 'Omega 3' and 'Fatty Acids' yet do not know what a fatty acid is or why our bodies need it.
Fatty Acids are good fats that are critical for all systems of the body to function at optimal levels. This includes the respiratory system, skin, circulatory system, eyes, brain and organs. But fatty acids must be balanced for good health.
Nature provided a balance with fall seeds and nuts (high in Omega 6) and spring plants and year round marine life (loaded with Omega 3). Cattle and chickens originally grazed on grass and seeds and subsequently had a high Omega 3 profile, and this is still true with organic farming, whereas conventional beef and chickens are higher in Omega 6.
With the advent of vegetable oils and consumption of conventional meats, most people have 30 times more Omega 6 than intakes of Omega 3. It's no surprise that an estimated 175 million Americans suffer from one form of chronic illness or inflammatory disease.
There are two critical Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are considered 'essential fatty acids,' meaning the human body does not make them and therefore they must be obtained from our diet.
EPA and DHA are building blocks for hormones that control blood clotting, immune function, cell growth and cell membranes.
Omega 3s also suppress the inflammation response, and controlling inflammation is critical to prevent the development of degenerative diseases.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 have been linked to the prevention and treatment of a host of health problems including:
high blood pressure
colon, breast and prostate cancers.
Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid but most ingest too much on a regular basis, causing an extreme inflammation response in the body. Omega 6 is found in cooking oils (such as canola, corn, sunflower and soybean) and in processed foods and is pro-inflammation, meaning it promotes inflammation.
Dominant Omega 6:
- Suppresses the immune system, making us more susceptible to infection and disease.
- Promotes the formation of blood clots, which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Promotes the growth of cancer cells.
- Increases the risk of arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity.
Omega 7 is a non-essential trans-fat that is primarily found in dairy products made with whole milk or at least 2% milk fat. Sea buckthorn is a plant that grows in high-salt conditions and is the best vegetarian source of Omega 7.
Omega-7 fatty acids that accumulate in the oily glands of the hair and skin are broken down into a chemical called 2-noneal, which is the cause of the phenomenon "old people smell."
Omega 9 is classified as the most abundant fatty acid in all of nature. It is encountered in vast quantities in the modern diet and is not essential because the body can produce Omega 9 from unsaturated fat in the body.
Since Omega 9 makes up most of belly fat, it is a rare occurrence that anyone in an industrialized nation is deficient. Additionally, Omega 9 is found in chicken and turkeyas well as in avocados, canola, olive and sunflower oils.
Low Fat Diet – Scientifically Flawed
The low-fat health craze has many believing that all fats are dangerous, when in fact the human body needs fats to be healthy - but it must be the right type of fat. Healthy fats fight fatigue, improve memory and brain function while even helping to control weight.
Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats is the difference between good health versus increased illness and disease. We are thirty years into the low-fat diet craze and heart disease rates have gone up rather than down. Now many researchers and doctors are stating the low-fat recommendations were a mistake.
Fats are essential to our health. The Weston A Price Foundation has stated, “Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. Fats as part of a meal slow down absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes.”
Today's Unnatural Diet
Today, most diets in the western world are not natural, today and contain mainly cooked, processed, artificial and/or altered substances, including high amounts of refined sugars. We really cannot expect anything but illness when our diet is unnatural. This is dead food that contains zero natural fat and laboratory-made vitamins derived from coal tar.
Whole foods, unaltered and unsprayed vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and grass-fed meats are what the body needs. These are real foods.
The body needs high levels of HDL (good cholesterol) to protect against heart disease, and HDL collects LDL (bad cholesterol) and transports it to the liver for excretion. Omega 3 can elevate HDL while bad fats increase LDL.
Additionally, an imbalance in healthy versus unhealthy fats amplifies adverse cardiovascular events, increases inflammation, which causes, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, bone loss, cancer growth, depression, extended hospital stays, classroom disruptions and unproductive workplace behaviors.
The best place to start improving your health is to eliminate processed foods, refined sugar and refined flour products. Increase Omega 3 while reducing Omega 6 and experience improved health, vitality and clarity.
Understanding the Types of Fats:
Labeling alone doesn’t provide a full picture with regards to unhealthy fat content and Omega 3 versus Omega 6. The FDA allows manufacturers of any food product with less than .5 grams of trans fat to state ‘0 grams’ on their label. Many junk food manufacturers have used the clever trick of reducing the serving size to the point where they can round down to zero.
For example, a 2 Tablespoon serving of any margarine containing partially hydrogenated oils may be labeled 0 grams trans fat yet actually contain 1 gram (1000mg) of trans fat. Add this margarine to a couple pieces of toast and you have already consumed half of your daily recommendations of Omega 6, all before noon.
Unless an individual is consuming a high intake of oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, etc) or supplementing with a potent Omega 3, it is unlikely your Omega 3 to Omega 6 is balanced. A 6-ounce portion of wild Salmon has about 2 grams (2000mg) of EPA and DHA, but canned tuna only provides 500mg. Flaxseed is a good source of Omega 3s but the conversion is poor in both men and women, so using flaxseed as a sole source of fatty acids is not sufficient. While flaxseed contains approximately 2500 mgs of Omega 3 to 650 mgs of Omega 6 in its natural state, according to Artemis Simopoulos, MD, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, at best only 10% of the flaxseed you consume converts to long-chain EPA and DHA fatty acids. This lowers the available 2500mgs in flaxseed to about 250mg.
Many vegetarians or health-conscious people think that substituting grains and beans for meat, chicken or dairy will lower unhealthy fats. However, review Foods with High Omega-6 and the various Omega 3 versus Omega 6 food items and you’ll see that most beans, grains and seeds are high in Omega 6 fatty acids, not Omega 3. Without Omega 3 to balance Omega 6, you are still encouraging a pro-inflammation state even though you believe your diet is healthy.
If you want to assess your Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance, take the Omega 3 fatty acid test.
Want to enjoy more Omega 6 foods? Then increase your Omega 3s!
Different Types of Fats:
Polyunsaturated Fats - GOOD Fats
Polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group. Particularly oily seafood, including salmon, herring, sardines, fish oil.
Monounsaturated Fats - GOOD, Must balance with Omega 3
Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Omega 6 fatty acids encompassing nuts, including peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, avocado, canola and olive oil are high in MUFAs.
Saturated Fats - GOOD if Organic, BAD if Conventional - Limit Intake
Saturated fats increase total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Omega 3 - grass fed meat; Omega 6 - grain fed. Saturated fats are found in animal products (meat, dairy eggs and seafood). Some plant foods are high in saturated fats (coconut oil, palm kern oil, palm oil).
Trans Fats - BAD - Eliminate Entirely
Trans fats were created when liquid oils were ‘hydrogenated’ by science using hydrogen in the chemical chain in vegetable oil to harden into shortening and margarine and is found in many foods including fried foods, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers. Trans fats clog the arteries; are known to increase bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol; increase the risk of heart disease and can cause Type 2 diabetes.
- Are needed for a strong brain and healthy eyes
- Help to protect against memory loss and dementia
- May reduce the risk factors of heart disease, stroke and cancer
- Support a healthy pregnancy
- Help ease arthritis, joint pain and inflammatory skin issues
- Protect Organs and Bones
- Show to help improve cholesterol levels
- Required to help maintain healthy immune system
- May reduce risk of diabetes
- Are part of every cell membrane in the body
- Are required for hormone production and regulation
- Insulate nerve fibers to transmit nerve impulses
- Provide energy if blood sugar supplies are low
- Used to help manage healthy weight
- Help transport nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes
- Insulate under the skin to protect from cold and heat
- May promote healthy nerve activity
Coconut oil is 90% saturated fat, higher than butter, beef fat or even lard. While Coconut oil has numerous health benefits, high amounts of any saturated fat will increase unhealthy cholesterol which is linked to heart disease.
Coconut oil has been consumed in tropical settings for thousands of years. 2/3 of coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides, consisting of lauric acid (48%), capric acid (7%) and caprylic acid (8%). These fatty acids are extremely powerful antimicrobial agents with numerous studies validating their effectiveness against a broad range of pathologic bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts and protozoa. The Antiviral property of lauric acid was first discovered through research on the infection fighting properties of human breast milk (rich in lauric acid). Nursing mothers that include coconut oil in their diet, can triple their level of lauric. Today, in countries where coconut oil is still widely used, rates of heart and vascular disease remain low, yet this could also be attributed to healthier lifestyles in general. Coconut oil is converted by the body into the hormone pregnenolone, and has both immune stimulating and antioxidant actions. Coconut oil also promotes increased metabolism by supporting thyroid and mitochondrial function.
Omega 3 Deficiency Symptoms linked to:
- Depression. Omega 3s play a critical role in behavior and mood
- Poor absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (including D, E, K and A)
- Increased Cancer Risk.
- High Cholesterol and Heart Disease
- Increased Stroke risk.
- Obesity. Unhealthy fats cause more hunger.
Most people have checked their cholesterol, but have never considered checking their Omega 3 fatty acids. Yet this test is a predictive aspect relating to heart health.
Numerous studies correlate a low Omega 3 Index to a ten-fold higher risk of death from a sudden cardiac event.
Your total Omega 3 score is generated from the measured amount of Omega 3 in your bloodstream, described as a percentage figure. For example, if your omega 3 score is 5%, it means that 5% of the total fatty acids in your blood are made up of Omega 3 fatty acids (a group of fatty acids that includes EPA, DPA, DHA and more).
In certain populations, such as the Japanese, who consume large amounts of marine based foods, the total omega 3 score is typically over 15%. Dr. Ralph T. Holman, the grandfather of omega 3 research, pioneer of this test and inventor of the term ‘Omega 3’, has a total omega 3 score of 25% - a direct reflection of his daily intake of fish and fish oils and his avoidance of omega 6 - rich oils, which inhibit the metabolism of omega 3.
This report also includes indicators of heart health. Two common tests describe our omega 3 levels as they relate to cardiovascular health. The first is known as the Lands’ Test, named after Dr. Bill Lands who invented this test and terminology. Its technical name is the Omega 3 HUFA test - the term HUFA being an abbreviation of ‘highly unsaturated fatty acids’. These fatty acids generally form the basis for our inflammatory response system. Armed with the knowledge that the inflammatory response produced from omega 6 fatty acids is remarkably powerful (and leads to disease), and that the same response from omega 3 HUFA is less potent in terms of its anti-inflammatory effect, Dr. Lands has established that a lower Omega 6 HUFA score with a higher Omega 3 HUFA score is the ideal condition. Dr. Lands has modeled several populations, their Omega 3 HUFA score and their mortality rate from cardiovascular disease, displayed in graphic form on your personalized Omega 3 report.
Typical Americans have an Omega 3 HUFA score of 20%, which directly correlates to a high incidence of mortality from heart disease. Increasing this score to 50% results in an approximate 50% reduction in mortality, while further increasing the Omega 3 HUFA score to 70% nearly eliminates premature mortality altogether.
The final indicator of heart health as it relates to blood-based omega 3 fatty acids is the Omega 3 Index. The Omega 3 Index is the combined value of two Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) thought responsible for the main physiological effects of omega 3 in a diet. The science behind the Omega 3 Index resulted from the work of Siscovick and Albert, who examined omega 3 levels in populations and then assessed their risk of sudden death. According to Albert’s data, increasing omega 3 blood values from 3.58% to 6.76% was correlated with a 90% reduction in risk of sudden death (a type of heart attack).
Data from Siscovick’s work reported similar outcomes, further confirming the benefits of elevated blood levels of Omega 3. An American and German scientist later coined the Omega 3 Index in 2004 as a blood-based risk factor framework for projecting cardiovascular disease risks. The recommended Omega 3 Index is 8% or greater, meaning a combined percentage total of EPA and DHA greater than 8%.
If your Omega 3 numbers are low, don’t feel disappointed or alone - the vast majority of Americans have low omega 3 levels. The good news is that you can easily improve your omega 3 score by increasing your dietary intake of oily omega 3 rich fish like salmon, omega 3 eggs and other omega 3 enriched foods. Another effective way of increasing your omega 3 levels is to consume a high quality omega 3 supplement. Ideally you should strive for a daily intake of 1000mg of EPA and DHA, which equates to about 3-4 standard fish oil capsules a day. Best of luck on your quest for complete Omega 3 Health!
The co-founders of Point of Return chose the Holman Omega 3 Test because it analyzes the Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids and identifies your complete fatty acid profile. Andrea Crocker’s (POR co-founder) Holman Omega 3 test results can be found here. As you can see, Andrea’s total Omega 3 score is 16.4% and her % Omega 3 in HUFA is 59 with an Omega6/Omega3 ratio of 2.1.
Interested in getting your Omega 3 versus 6 Blood Levels Tested?
Holman Omega 3 Test
Or you can do a search online for the HUFA omega 3 and omega 6 blood level test.
The Facts on Fats
- Omega 3 vs Omega 6 - Over the course of human evolution a dramatic shift has occurred in our consumption of Omega 3 versus Omega 6 and this trend is contributing, more than any other dietary factor, to an epidemic of modern diseases... more
- Inflammatory Disease - A list of common inflammatory diseases and information on how omega 3 fatty acids can help support these and other issues... more
- Increasing Omega 3 May Improve...
- learn the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids... more
- How Omega 3 works in the body - The brain contains neurons (cells that transmit messages throughout the brain and body) and the membrane or walls around these neurons consist of ‘good’ fat. The membranes require flexibility to allow vital molecules to pass through, allowing neurons to communicate properly... more
- How the Inflammation Response Works
- Inflammation is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms and can cause swelling, redness, pain and the production of heat. The body has three lines of defense against infection... more
- The Importance of Eating Regularly -
Eating regular, balanced meals is critical for metabolic health, weight control and energy. Many people eat only one meal during the day, which can create dangerous health consequences. Consuming large, infrequent meals taxes the body’s metabolic system, promoting high cholesterol and insulin resistance... more
- What to Eat - Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fatty acids, meaning the body does not make them and therefore they must be obtained from diet. There are few dietary sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and primarily it is obtained from cold-water fish... more
- What Animals Eat Does Matter to Us
- Organic meat from grass fed cows is an excellent source of CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid), a trans fatty acid that is beneficial to health. CLA has been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and research has shown that CLA may slow the growth of tumors in mammary, colon and skin tissue... more
- Why Go Organic
- Why are organic meat and chicken becoming so popular and why are we taking a huge risk by eating meats from conventional farmers versus organic?... more
- Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 - Many have heard the terms ‘Omega 3’ and ‘Fatty Acids’ yet do not know what a fatty acid is or why our bodies need it.... more
- Low Fat Diet Scientifically Flawed
- Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats is the difference between good health versus increased illness and disease. We are thirty years into the low-fat diet craze and heart disease rates have gone up rather than down... more
- Today's Unnatural Diet - Most diets in the western world are not natural today and contain mainly cooked, processed, artificial and/or altered substances, including high amounts of refined sugars. We really cannot expect anything but illness when our diet is unnatural. ... more
- Does Your Diet Stack Up?
- More positive scores predict a higher omega 3 balance for your body. Higher negatives scores predict a higher omega 6 balance for your body... more
- Get Rid of the Bad 6 - Omega balance list based on a single score system that lists foods from Awful to Bad Effect... more
- Understanding the Different Types of Fats - Learn the differences... more
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Healthy Fats
- Coconut Oil A Healthy Fat
- Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is different from other dietary saturated fats, and has been consumed in tropical settings for thousands of years... more
- Omega 3 Deficiency Symptoms Linked to
- Measuring Your Omega 3 to Omega 6 Ratio - Many people have checked their cholesterol, but have never considered checking their Omega 3 fatty acid blood levels. Yet, now there a test that is a predictive aspect relating to heart health.... more
- Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Are needed for a strong brain and healthy eyes
- Help to protect against memory loss and dementia
- May reduce the risk factors of heart disease, stroke and cancer... more
- Depression. Omega 3s play a critical role in behavior and mood
- Poor absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (including D, E, K and A)
- Increased Cancer Risk... more
Omega Content in Oils
Omega 3 - 6 Balance Score
Data that compresses information on eleven essential fatty acids into a single score for each food item. More positive scores predict a higher omega 3 balance for your body. Higher negatives scores predict a higher omega 6 balance for your body. See how the foods you eat stack up. Source: Dr. Lands Note: Scores relate to Omega 3 versus Omega 6 balance only. Not all items are nutritious or healthy.
Cereals, grains, pasta
Dairy and eggs
Fats and oils
Fish and seafood
Fruits and juices
Lamb, veal, game
Misc. Meals from grocery store
Nuts and seed products
Sausage and lunch meats
Soups, sauces, gravies
Spices and herbs
The Worst Offenders - Omega balance list based on a single score system that lists foods from Awful to Bad Effect. A good list to refer to when trying to clean up your diet. This list WILL surprise you. view...
Source: Dr. Lands Note: Scores relate to Omega 3 versus Omega 6 balance only. Not all items are nutritious or healthy.
Take the Test
Most have checked their cholesterol, but have never considered checking their Omega 3 fatty acids. ? Now there is a test that can measure your omega 3 versus omega 6 levels in your bloodstream. What does this mean for you? It means that you can now see how you can help prevent sudden cardiac events or other health events by adjusting your diet and improving your health. View sample test.
Holman Omega 3 Test
Or you can do a search online for the HUFA omega 3 and omega 6 blood level test.
How the brain works and what it needs to be healthy. MORE...
Health & Wellness Articles:
A collection of easy-to-read articles that provide information in many categories affecting our health. MORE...
Information and the importance of Glutathione (GSH), the body master antioxidant. MORE...
- Nutritional Supplements:
More information on the nutraceuticals we offer for our programs as well as for general health. MORE...
GABA: What is GABA. GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that acts as the principal calming neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system.
Benzodiazepines work by imitating GABA’s effect, initially increasing GABA, but as tolerance to the drug occurs GABA is downregulated, decreasing available GABA. MORE...
How Sugar Affects the Body:
As soon as something sweet hits the tongue, the taste buds ignite the brain’s reward system and dopamine is unleashed. MORE...
What is GABA:
GABA is an amino acid that acts as the principal calming neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system. MORE..
What is Serotonin:
Serotonin: Serotonin (5-hydroxytrptamine, 5-HT) is a chemical and neurotransmitter found in the human body that carries signals between nerves. More...
Gluten: Most of us have been brought up to believe that grains are healthy foods. However, an increasing body of evidence indicates that grains that contain gluten might actually be harmful to our bodies and overall health. Approximately 1 in 133 people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that allows gluten to attack the small intestine. MORE...
- Information & Resources:
Your source for helpful tools and valuable information. MORE...
Prescription Drug Information:
Important and specific on drugs that everyone should know to make informed decisions. MORE...
Information on our supported approved in-home program. Specializing in antidepressant, benzodiazepine and sleeping pill withdrawal. MORE...
Download our brochure to learn more about our tapering programs. MORE...
The adrenal glands are primarily known for the production of our stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenaline, but they are literally a hormone factory that significantly affects the function of every tissue, organ and gland. MORE...
Cardiologist: Low fat Diet “Scientifically and Morally Indefensible”
Simple Aspects of Food Help Balance Omega 3 and Omega 6 Nutrients and Calories
Omega3-6 Balance Score and Volumetric Score
Your Brain on Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogentic pain.
GPR120 Receptor key to anti-inflammation
Why fish oil work swimmingly against diabetes
Anti-inflammatory Diet: How to balance omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
Coconut Oil for Heart Health, Infection Resistance and Weight Loss
*While great care has been taken in organizing and presenting the material throughout this website, please note that it is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as Medical Advice.
*Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking or stopping any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have any health problem. More...