Fish Oil Supplements

Discussion in 'Anything and Everything about dietary supplements' started by JimmyV, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. restless

    restless New Member

    I personally don't trust fish oils that are packed in plastic containers. I don't know the actual rate at which oxidation of the fatty acids occurs but if they're packed in air permeable package and inside air permeable capsules, it will happen to some degree.

    If you go down the eating fish route I suggest sardines, and also that you start eating some nuts. Walnuts are very high in O3.
  2. Well, the capsules are air tight. It took a bit of force with a knife to actually split it open. I'm assuming the jar is sealed from the factory, so that is air tight until I opened it up...assuming the quality control is good with the manufacturer, of course.
    I do eat a lot of tuna, which probably helps out, and I might start eating walnuts. Would they contain EPA and DHA, just like fish oil does?

  3. restless

    restless New Member

    Actually, you're missing the point. Plastic itself is air permeable, so it doesn't matter how tight it is.

    I read somewere that 7 walnuts have around 2 gr of omega 3, or something like that. I'm not sure about the exact amount but a search in the USDA nutrient database will surely clarify that.
  4. anoopbal

    anoopbal New Member

    There is been only one study showing a slight increase in bleeding times when the participants took more than 20 gms of omega -3 fatty acids per day.And thsi study was done 20 yrs back, and at that time the purification process were not upto the current standards.A more recnt study using 18 gms of omega -3 in cancer patients found no increase in bleeding time.Inyet another studywith Alzheimers paients no increase in bleeding times were found.In short, there is isnt enough evidence to show that omega-3 intake reduces clotting time.
    Also the immune suppression effect of omega -3 is considered to be due to decrease in the enzyme activity which produces GLA.And this can be avoided by taking primerose or borage oil.Some of the fish oil supplements already have these, like alpha omega M3
  5. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    This is what my earlier comments about bleeding time and immune function were based on.

    1. Bleeding time,

    “In the GRAS affirmation review for menhaden oil, FDA reviewed the available evidence that noted changes in bleeding times associated with the use of EPA and DHA and concluded that there is no significant risk for increased bleeding time beyond the normal range, provided consumption of fish oils is limited to 3 grams or less per person per day of EPA and DHA (62 Fed. Reg. at 30,753). Therefore, provided that daily intakes of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from conventional foods and dietary supplements do not exceed 3 g/p/d, FDA believes that the use of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement will not pose a health risk to the general population.” (Christine J. Lewis, Ph.D. Director Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition)

    2. Immune response,

    “Because EPA and DHA appear to inhibit a number of immune cell functions when evaluated in vitro and in animal and human models, concerns have recently been raised that increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids could lead to suppression of immune and inflammation responses, and consequently, to decreased resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to opportunistic bacteria. These studies, which have been limited to in vitro studies, animal studies, and small studies in humans require additional information to determine whether there is an effect of omega-3 fatty acids on immune function that would raise safety concerns, especially in populations with diminished immune function, e.g., the elderly and people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) at intakes less than 3 grams/day.” (Christine J. Lewis, Ph.D. Director Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition)
  6. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x New Member

    most plant omega-3 sources do NOT contain any significant amount of EPA or DHA. only ALA, which must be converted to DHA/EPA, a process that is apparently not too efficient.
  7. restless

    restless New Member

    You are correct, it seems someone lied to me. Still, nothing wrong with eating some walnuts.
  8. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    I take about 1 tsp of flax oil a day which is equivalent to around 2.5-3g O3. I also down some raw nuts (almonds, walnuts). Are my bases covered for the most part?
  9. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x New Member

    flax is a good source of O3 because it's cheap, but it's still a plant source w/o any DHA/EPA. from what i've been reading lately, it takes nearly 20g of ALA for the body to make just one gram of DHA. anyone know for sure?

    almonds contain healthy monounsaturated (omega-9) fats, like olives, peanuts, pecans and avocados, but contain little or no omega-3.
  10. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    Hmm. Now you have me thinking. Should I change my EFA strategy to include Cod Liver Oil then and toss my flax? I know that EFA's are tricky and I know that most EFA's in pill form are rancid before they hit store shelves. What to do?? [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    ALA will (in a person with a normal diet) only get converted into EPA, and even this rate is lowered. IF you have a diet with absolutely NO long chain EPA/DHA, the conversion is higher and DHA levels will change.
  12. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x New Member

    i came across this dilemma myself... fish oil is quite a bit more expensive. if you're on a budget, i'm guessing one might get by on plenty of flax, walnuts, and some actual (fatty) fish a couple times a week. not sure though. i'm paranoid now and i've decided to play it safe and splurge for the fish oils.
  13. As Aaron said, the conversion of ALA to EPA is low, to DHA next to nil:

    Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Jan;77(1):226-33 Related Articles, Links

    Supplementing lactating women with flaxseed oil does not increase docosahexaenoic acid in their milk.

    Francois CA, Connor SL, Bolewicz LC, Connor WE.

    BACKGROUND: Flaxseed oil is a rich source of 18:3n-3 (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), which is ultimately converted to 22:6n-3 (docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA), a fatty acid important for the development of the infant brain and retina. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of flaxseed oil supplementation on the breast-milk, plasma, and erythrocyte contents of DHA and other n-3 fatty acids in lactating women. DESIGN: Seven women took 20 g flaxseed oil (10.7 g ALA) daily for 4 wk. Breast-milk and blood samples were collected weekly before, during, and after supplementation and were analyzed for fatty acid composition. RESULTS: Breast milk, plasma, and erythrocyte ALA increased significantly over time (P < 0.001) and after 2 and 4 wk of supplementation (P < 0.05). Over time, 20:5n-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA) increased significantly in breast milk (P = 0.004) and in plasma (P < 0.001). In addition, plasma EPA increased significantly (P < 0.05) after 2 and 4 wk of supplementation. There were significant increases over time in breast-milk 22:5n-3 (docosapentaenoic acid, or DPA) (P < 0.02), plasma DPA (P < 0.001), and erythrocyte DPA (P < 0.01). No significant changes were observed in breast-milk, plasma, or erythrocyte DHA contents after flaxseed oil supplementation. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary flaxseed oil increased the breast-milk, plasma, and erythrocyte contents of the n-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DPA but had no effect on breast-milk, plasma, or erythrocyte DHA contents.

    But I'm not so sure, with the immune suppressive effect of fish oil, IF they are supplemented with vitamin e (tocopherol needs increase with polyunsaturates).

    Eur J Clin Invest 2000 Mar;30(3):260-74 Related Articles, Links

    Encapsulated fish oil enriched in alpha-tocopherol alters plasma phospholipid and mononuclear cell fatty acid compositions but not mononuclear cell functions.

    Yaqoob P, Pala HS, Cortina-Borja M, Newsholme EA, Calder PC.

    BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported that dietary fish oil (FO) supplementation alters cytokine production and other functional activities of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). However, few of these studies have been placebo controlled and few have related the functional changes to alterations in PBMC fatty acid composition PATIENTS AND METHODS: Healthy subjects supplemented their diets with 9 g day-1 of encapsulated placebo oil (3 : 1 mix of coconut and soybean oils), olive oil (OO), safflower oil (SO), evening primrose oil (EPO) or FO [providing 2.1 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus 1.1 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day] for 12 weeks; the capsules also provided 205 mg alpha-tocopherol per day. Blood was sampled at 4-weekly intervals and plasma and PBMC prepared. Plasma phospholipid and PBMC fatty acid composition, plasma alpha-tocopherol and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance concentrations, plasma total antioxidant capacity, the proportions of different PBMC subsets, the proportions of PBMC expressing the adhesion molecules CD2, CD11b and CD54, and PBMC functions (lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer cell activity, cytokine production) were measured. All measurements were repeated after a 'washout' period of 8 weeks. RESULTS: The placebo, OO and SO capsules had no effect on plasma phospholipid or PBMC fatty acid composition. The proportion of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid in plasma phospholipids was elevated in subjects taking EPO and was decreased in subjects taking FO. There was no appearance of gamma-linolenic acid in the plasma phospholipids or PBMC in subjects taking EPO. There was a marked increase in the proportion of EPA in the plasma phospholipids (10-fold) and PBMC (four-fold) of subjects taking FO supplements; this increase was maximal after 4 weeks of supplementation. There was an increase in the proportion of DHA in plasma phospholipids and PBMC, and an approximately 20% decrease in the proportion of arachidonic acid in plasma phospholipids and PBMC, during FO supplementation. Plasma concentrations of alpha-tocopherol were significantly elevated during supplementation in all subjects and returned to baseline values after the washout period. There were no effects of supplementation with any of the capsules on total plasma antioxidant activity or plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances or on the proportion of different PBMC subsets, on the proportion of PBMC expressing adhesion molecules, on natural killer cell activity, on the proliferation of mitogen-stimulated whole blood cultures or PBMC, or on the ex vivo production of a range of cytokines by whole blood cultures or PBMC cultures stimulated by either concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide. CONCLUSION: Supplementation of the diet with 3.2 g EPA plus DHA per day markedly alters plasma phospholipid and PBMC fatty acid compositions. The lack of effect of FO upon PBMC functions may relate to the level of alpha-tocopherol included in the supplements.
  14. Par Deus

    Par Deus New Member

    I came across another study that found ALA to be 1/7 as efficacious as EPA (I believe) at promoting EPA "incorporation" is how they put it (would assume it means that which escapes oxidation or incorporation into phospholipids.

    I have completely dropped flax for fish oil, other than a bit in MRP's.

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