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I need to better understand omega 3s

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  • I need to better understand omega 3s

    I understand the basics of omega 3s/6s and the need for more 3s over 6s but I don't really understand:

    Omega functions
    What foods are naturally high in 3s
    What my rations should be

    Can anyone clue me in?

  • #2
    Foods high in omega 3's would be all fish.

    High in omega 6's vegetable oils, nuts, etc

    The importance is to maintain a good ratio of 3's to 6's

    Ideally you would want to consume more 3's than 6's. So you try to get as close as possible to a 1:1 ratio.

    The ratio for some foods is higher than others. I know nuts can have a really unbalanced ratio, leaning alot more towards the 6's.

    Those are just the basics.
    "I know what my body needs and what it can handle. There's no better way to achieve my goal than what im doing now. If my regimen leads to my death, be it in six days or six months...I will die fullfiled. The outcome is irrelavent so long as i steer towards my fate. If death is to be my prize, i welcome it with open arms."

    "A pound of meat a day keeps the doctor away"


    • #3
      I knew fish were high...and we don't eat enough. What about veggies?


      • #4
        I think that a lot of people don't really understand (myself included) the functions of Omega 3s. My understanding is that more and more of the diseases of civilization are being linked to inflammation, and inflammation is being linked to O3/O6 ratios. Don't know if that's what you meant, but it may help to give you some search terms.


        • #5
          I am looking into the Omega Rx Zone. I know many of you have read it and implemented changes. Those of you that have, do you notice a significant difference?


          • #6
            is fish the only source of omega 3's?


            • #7
              OK I did a little web surfing and can be more precise in my question....

              My vit D (4k IU) has 115 mg omega 3s, and I only take that 3x per week due to my frequent sun exposure.

              I eat no hydrogenated oils. I consume spinach, kale as well as a leafy green salad daily, handful of nuts a couple times a week (walnuts or almonds mostly).

              I will make the effort to add canned tuna 1x per week and wild salmon 1x....should I add shrimp 1x or more salmon?

              Any input on adjustments?


              • #8
                Okay then I'll try to keep it concise.

                Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids meaning that they have multiple double-bonds that are not saturated with hydrogen atoms (like saturated fat is saturated with hydrogen atoms). This makes them more likely to serve special functions in the body that monounsaturated and saturated fats can't. Relevant to our health this means eicosanoid production. Eicosanoids are signaling molecules that activate the immune response, they're like the spies in the warzone of our bodies. The inflammatory eicosanoids are produced from omega 6 and the anti-inflammatory ones are produced by omega 3. Our bodies can't really regulate the production of eicosanoids so whatever you eat is going to be reflected in the cellular inflammatory interplay. In the past we would eat meat with a good ratio, vegetables, some nuts maybe and some fish/brains so it balanced out nicely. Unfortunately modern agricultural practices have made non-fish consuming diets devoid of omega 3 and high in omega 6 (and you would need to be eating lots of fish to catch up so we like grass-fed animals and fish oil). The idea is that when there is an inflammatory response we should have enough anti-inflammatory molecules to counteract and "turn off" the inflammatory ones and that means having a similar amount of each in our tissues. This means eating a good ratio because whatever we eat is going to be reflected in the tissues.

                The "parent" fatty acids linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) must be converted to highly unsaturated fatty acids GLA and AA (arachidonic acid) for omega 6s and EPA and DHA for omega 3s. DHA produces anti-inflammatory molecules, EPA tends to produce ones that aren't so inflammatory and block out the inflammatory AA to a degree. GLA is made from omega 6 in small quantities but it is anti-inflammatory. Linoleic acid is found in plants and is the one we get TONS of through nuts, seeds, and most importantly, industrial seed oils and a little will be used to make anti-inflammatory GLA but most is going to end up as arachidonic acid and then produce inflammatory molecules. Arachidonic acid is found in animals and eggs and is a little tougher to go over-board with but conventional farming produces animals with a lot of it (mainly poultry) so most of us have adopted a love affair with beef because it's low in omega 6 no matter what it's fed. Pasture-raised hens, eggs and pork are probably better than conventional. All in all it's not a big deal because it takes a lot more animal to equal the same omega 6 from indsutrial seed oils (save for olive oil maybe). ALA is the "parent" omega 3 but the conversion to the useful ones EPA and DHA is terrible so it's not a good source. We need EPA and DHA from oily fish (tuna isn't all that good for this. I like salmon), fish oil, and grass-fed animals to be truly healthy.

                Eating a 1:1 ratio would be great...if we were born yesterday but we have years off too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 so we should ideally be dosing with lots of omega 3 for a time until the ratio in the tissues is corrected. It's probably a good idea to get a tissue test, but if you don't feel like it I say go hard on the omega 3 for a few weeks and reduce the omega 6 and then after you notice health improvements go to a good ratio. Essentially we're not going to want to eat tons of omega 6 and tons of omega 3 because the unsaturated nature of them make them liable to produce reactive oxygen species and to peroxidize in the tissues so the absolute ideal is a little bit of omega 3 and 6 in a good ratio and a lot of saturated fat to protect the tissue.

                Best thing a person can do is nutritionfacts the food they eat to see what they're getting, add it all up and try to manipulate the ratios. Fish oil will probably be needed at least in the beginning.

                That's pretty much the basics. it would be awesome if Grokologist or another person who really knows their stuff chimed in. I may have asserted a thing or two that isn't 100% accurate.
                Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


                • #9
                  so what i'm gathering from this is that Fish is the only real source of omega 3's? Also for those supplementing with fish oil how much are you taking in daily?


                  • #10
                    go hard on the omega 3 for a few weeks and reduce the omega 6 and then after you notice health improvements go to a good ratio.
                    I just got my omega's in the mail and I'm a little confused about how to go about figuring out how much I should be taking. Everything I keep seeing gives recommendations for those who are still eating non grass fed AND vegetable oils. Other than a crap weekend just past, I've dropped grains, sugars, and vegetable oils. At the moment, I can't afford to buy grass fed or pastured meats. I drink raw milk and eat fresh pastured eggs though.

                    What would you all recommend for a diet that looks like that? What would be a good dosage for those first few weeks? I suspect that I'm dealing with quite a bit of inflammation at the moment. (allergies and daily headaches from them, joints hurting)?


                    • #11
                      What a coinkidink! I just bought some O3 Fishoil (in softgels, they were buy one get one free and I couldn't pass it up), and I'm not sure how much of it I should take a day. Two capsules contain 2400mg and it's recommending 2 - 4 capsules a day. Should I go with that or what?
                      PB Stats:
                      Started 5/10/10
                      Starting Weight: 215
                      Current Weight (1/25/11): 180
                      Goal Weight: 160


                      • #12
                        To find out how much one should take is going to depend on the ratio within our tissues, which can only be truly known by a lab test. Since that isn't the most practical thing to do for everyone another method would be to estimate one's daily ratio for the previous few months and try to tip the scales as best you can. So if I took in an average of 3g more omega 6 than 3 for the last little while I would do very well in taking 3g more 3 than for the next little while. So omega 6 consumption determines omega 3 consumption but we definitely don't want to be taking inhuman amounts of fish oil to match inhuman amounts of omega 6 so bringing omega 6 down is important too. Eating salmon frequently is of course a great idea but some more fish oil will probably needed. When the tissue ratio is normalized a 1:1 ratio is probably best.
                        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


                        • #13
                          For how much to take, go here:


                          Yes, it's bound to be fairly high, but believe me when I say that it's worth it. I've felt WORLDS better since upping my fish oil intake drastically.


                          • #14
                            Check out the graph titled "Omega-3's vanish in the feedlot". When cattle go from grass to feedlot, they go from a high omega-3, low omega-6 diet to a high omega-6, low omega-3 diet. Assuming that humans would see a similar rate of replacement in the adipose tissue of stored ratios of omega-3 and omega-6, that would give you a guideline (the sweet spot being around 50-80 days) for how long to minimize omega-6 and mazimize omega-3 to bring your body back in-line.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Funkadelic Flash View Post
                              For how much to take, go here:


                              Yes, it's bound to be fairly high, but believe me when I say that it's worth it. I've felt WORLDS better since upping my fish oil intake drastically.
                              drastically to how many? ive megadosed before (15-20g a day) and i think I felt a difference, but I also started getting a nosebleed once in a while and my blood got really thin. at work they had a blood drive and I filled up the bag twice as fast as my coworker did. also when i got small cuts they would bleed a little bit longer. I think i noticed an improvement in body composition and workouts were a little easier. its hard to tell with something like that.