Last month I wrote about the importance of certain essential fats and set about busting some fat myths. If you missed that article, you can access it here. This month I wanted to elaborate more on this important subject, because it links in with some exciting news. We have all heard of the omega 3 fats and their benefits, and the general opinion in standard nutritional circles today is that you need to take fish oils to achieve this. On pages 56 and 57 of The Fatigue Solution, I discuss “fish food”. Sounds awful doesn’t it? But bear with me here. What is it that the fish are eating that makes their bodies high in the important omega fatty acids? Yes, you’ve guessed it – marine algae. Let’s look at some of the benefits of this genuine superfood.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are often cited as being the beneficial components of fish oil, yet they actually originate in algae (mainly DHA). These are omega 3 fats. Humans ideally should have the omega 3 fats in a ratio of 1:1 with the omega 6, but this ratio is often skewed and suboptimal due to poor eating habits, diets high in sugar, processed vegetable fats etc. Omega 3 fats from algae are beneficial for:
Nervous system function
Memory and concentration
What about flax?
Flax seeds are a good source of omega 3, but this is mainly in the form of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) rather than EPA and DHA, and conversion rates to EPA tend to be poor. Conversion is also inhibited by:
High amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar in the diet
A high blood sugar level
Altered micronutrient status
Too little zinc, magnesium, calcium, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin B3, and vitamin B6
Too much vitamin A, copper
Imbalanced fatty acid ratios (too much omega-6)
A high alcohol intake
Sex (women seem to convert ALA to EPA better than men)
Advancing age (older people don’t convert ALA to EPA as well as they did in their youth)
What about the other omegas?
We have heard of omega 3 and 6, but they’re not the only ones that have nutritional benefits. There is increasing research indicating that omegas 5, 7 and 9 should not be overlooked.
A unique essential fatty acid obtained from the seed of the pomegranate, Omega 5 is the only known botanical form of Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLnA), and one of the most potent antioxidants known to modern science. Its antioxidant activity is at least six times that of grape seed extract. It is a high-energy molecule that interferes with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes that cause disease. It can mimic the behavior of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, but without the side effects.
Omega 5 helps to repair damaged cells, and also controls and regulates glucose transport at the cell membrane level. It also has significant benefits for the protection of the human electromagnetic field. This is a subject I wrote about in chapter 10 of The Fatigue Solution, in which I explain how modern life is interfering with our innate micro-electrical potential and sapping our energy levels in the process.
The best plant source of this relatively rare oil is the Sea Buckthorn. Eastern medicinal systems have long relied on Sea Buckthorn omega 7 to relieve ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. This is because the large amounts of omega 7 build up the inner lining of the stomach and intestines, protecting them from damage. Sea Buckthorn oil also has beauty benefits. Used both topically and by mouth, the omega 7 content helps to tackle sun damage, wrinkles, premature ageing and even certain medical conditions affecting the skin, such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.
Omega 9 fats are classified as “non-essential” since the body can make them, but if the diet is poor and there are incorrect levels of 3 and 6, then we can suffer with levels which are lower than ideal. Omega 9 fatty acids are associated with improved arterial health and immune function.
So as you can see, there’s more to it than just omega 3…
So on to the good news. For the past 2 months I have been trialling an all-new omega blend which includes omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9, and I have to say it is brilliant. All the perceived benefits of fish-derived oils, none of the disadvantages. Email me pronto for more information – very limited stocks of this revolutionary supplement are currently available on pre-release.