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The Benefits of Fish Oil

August 2, 2010

It’s obvious that diet is responsible for many of our chronic health issues, particularly the epidemic of diabetes and obesity. This issue deals with the quantity of food we eat on a daily basis. The human body is a ruthless computer, and essentially, 3,200 calories more than we expend adds a pound to our body weight. We lose weight by consuming 3,200 calories less than we expend. Simple. Yes. Complex, we don’t know half the truth yet.

My pitching coach mentor, Tom House, is absolutely convinced of the benefits of taking fish oil supplements for pitchers. He spoke about this at a clinic I attended with by boys. This piece of information put me into research mode. I agree with Dr. House. Here are my observations.

1.            It is entirely likely that we have an overbalance of Omega 6 fatty acids in our body due to our use of certain oils heavy with Omega 6, the change in how we grow plant foods and raise our animal foods, and a large reduction in the Omega 3 oils we consume. Apparently we have gone from an evolutionary ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids that were essentially equal to a ratio now of as much as 20:1 Omega 6/Omega 3. The research under way tends to assess many of our chronic health issues to a reduction of Omega 3 fatty acids in our diets.”Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Antioxidants in Edible Wild Plants.” Consuming more Omega 3 fatty acids through fish oil is one way to reduce this imbalance.

2.            Increased Omega 3 consumption has been associated with improved response to heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, arthritis and asthma. “The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases.” But where we used to get a significant amount of our Omega 3 oils from meat, fish and plants, the modern methods of farming and ranching (land and water) do not produce a similar amount of Omega 3. Wintun Ranch. Apparently a diet higher in organic foods and meat raised on natural plants foods provide some benefit.

3.            Increased Omega 3 consumption is also demonstrating good results in children with symptoms of ADD or ADHD, in one study comparable to Ritalin. (Mail Online) Fish oil supplementation has also demonstrated significant improvements in academic achievement in at least one study.

Fish…down under

Young research scientist Natalie Sinn appears to have a very promising future.

The University of South Australia Ph.D. candidate recently won a prestigious Australian science award for leading a placebo controlled, double blind intervention study. Sinn and her team enrolled more than 130 children, aged 7 to 12, who were all diagnosed with ADHD.

STUDY ABSTRACT

· For 30 weeks, about half the group received 3 grams per day of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 from fish oil and omega-6 from evening primrose oil), along with a multivitamin (including vitamin E) and mineral supplement

· Half the group received a placebo for 15 weeks, then began receiving the same supplementation as the intervention group for the remaining 15 weeks

· At 15 weeks, and again at 30 weeks, parents were asked to complete Connor’s Parent Rating Scales, a method that judges ADHD severity with 14 assessment scales

· After the first 15 weeks, parents of children in the intervention group reported significantly higher improvements compared to reports from placebo group parents

· Areas of improvements included inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, behavioral problems and cognitive problems

· After 30 weeks, the original intervention group continued to improve their scores significantly in 10 out of 14 scales, while the original placebo group showed a marked improvement in scores as well.

Overall, the vocabulary of the children also improved over 30 weeks. Sinn told Nutra Ingredients that previous fish oil studies showed improved reading ability in children with learning difficulties. Sinn also noted that there is currently no evidence that ADHD medications provide benefits beyond four weeks, “whereas, in the present trial, symptoms continued to improve after 15 weeks of supplementation.”

As we pursue our Restoration to Health Initiative at Chugachmiut, information like this will likely prove very beneficial to our efforts. Take a look for yourself. There is a lot of information on the Internet.

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