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Saturday, July 9, 2011

nutrition 4: The Importance of Supplementing the Standard American Diet with Omega-3 Acids

I've started eating omega-3 eggs in addition to my fat-free dairy.

Animal fat from typically grain-fed animals is saturated with omega-6 E(ssential)F(atty)A(cid)s1. Wikipedia says with citations:
"Some medical research suggests that excessive levels of certain n−6 fatty acids, relative to certain n−3 (Omega-3) fatty acids, may increase the probability of a number of diseases.
Modern Western diets typically have ratios of n−6 to n−3 in excess of 10 to 1, some as high as 30 to 1. The optimal ratio is thought to be 4 to 1 or lower.
Excess n−6 fats interfere with the health benefits of n−3 fats, in part because they compete for the same rate-limiting enzymes. A high proportion of n−6 to n−3 fat in the diet shifts the physiological state in the tissues toward the pathogenesis of many diseases: prothrombotic, proinflammatory and proconstrictive.
Chronic excessive production of n−6 eicosanoids is associated with heart attacks, thrombotic stroke, arrhythmia, arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammation, mood disorders, obesity, and cancer"

When it comes to sources of omega-6 EFAs, corn and soy are big offenders. Hempseed and flaxseed oils are the best whole food source of omega-3 EFAs, but fish and algal omega-3 supplements are far more potent. I recommend Bluebonnet's brain formula for a pure and potent source (the fish oil is 'molecularly distilled' to remove contaminants) - the algal sources are pure but cost more for the same omega-3 content. Udo's, especially with their DHA blend, and Douglas Labs also make excellent omega-3 supplements.

1http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15013

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