Omega 6 and Inflammation Podcast

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This week’s podcast is a little diddy on omega 6 fatty acids – continuing our conversation from yesterday’s post on the subject.

It reinforces why accumulating a lot of omega 6 in our tissues may be a really, really big deal with all kinds of negative repurcussions. Complete with brief impersonation of Dr. Barry Sears for your entertainment. Enjoy!

18 Comments

  1. Hey Matt,nice podcast.Just a question…why not just mega dose omega3 like Sears says.It seems like best way as you can eat what you want in regards to meat choices.

    When Sears comes out with this omega6 test he will probably sell crazy amounts of omega3 to all his customers. :)

    Reply
  2. As Bill Lands talks about in the lecture I linked to the other day (in David Brown's guest post), when omega 6 tissue concentration becomes extremely high, omega 3 is very ineffective at that point.

    Plus, polyunsaturated fats in general should not be consumed in large quantity. They do a lot of oxidative damage, and there are negatives to taking a lot of omega 3 just as there is a negative to getting too much omega 6. The smart person's approach is to reduce 6 and consume the appropriate, but small amount of omega 3. Plus, good quality fish oil is very expensive and tastes gnar.

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  3. Hey Matt,

    Excellent brief outline on O3:06. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on two related questions:

    1) Dosing. Both Sears and Wolf recommend quite a high dose, in the range of 0.5-1.0g EPA/DHA per 10lbs BW; this is, on average, twice the dose that most studies have used in positive outcomes on lipid profiles and cardiovascular effects. Both state that the low end if for healthy folks, while the high end for obese or folks with ongoing chronic disease processes. On the low end of that dose, (0.5g/10lbs), a 170lbs male would be at 8.5g of EPA/DHA per day.

    2) Sears is fairly adamant about adding in GLA (anti-inflammatory O6) to control delta-5-desaturase; he likens taking just fish oil as "two steps forward, one step back". Thoughts?

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  4. Sears goes into great detail about the unreliability of using GLA to get the desired effects though. Says eating a bowl of oatmeal from time to time is enough to get the desired effects from GLA.

    I do follow Sears's logic on dosing heavy at first and then tapering down. Say 5-10g per day. But as far as day to day life is concerned, and for the non health obsessive, greater steps can be made by reducing omega 6. I would love to check out Bill Lands program that he can use to predict omega 6:3 ratios given the amount of each respective fatty acid in the diet. He claims it is frighteningly precise. Very cool.

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  5. Okay, okay I'm cutting back on the nuts. They are just such convenient snacking. Fewer nuts – more lamb! Which really is no sacrifice.

    The Pangaia mac nuts are delicious. You can't order over the internet but have to actually call (you know, with the telephone) to get them, but the Pangaia folks are so nice.

    Love the 180 Approved Loot. I just put the knife & the rondeau on my amazon wish list. I've been trying to figure out what kind of pan/pot you were using in the 180 Kitchen posts. Thanks!

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  6. A shout out in the podcast!

    Booyah!

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  7. I think I'll give cutting back on the omega-6s a whirl. I get unpleasant side-effects from heavy omega-3 supplementation. Fish oil bugs my gut. Plant based omega-3 blurs my vision and makes me sunburn easily. (Might also be true for fish oil, but somewhat less so.)

    Question: has anyone else noticed vision problems from high omega-3?

    As for fructose vs. omega-3 being worse, I think back on my long ago experiments with a mostly raw diet. I was mainly eating raw fruits, cooked beef, raw vegetables, and some sprouts. This was a fairly high fructose, but low omega 6 diet. Lost 30 pounds on it; was "ripped to shreads."

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  8. First, thanks so much for bashing both evil villains, o-6 and o-3.

    Comparing o-3 to soy seems odd to me. Are there any measurable benefits in soy consumption? And no, cholesterol reduction does not fit into this category.

    It seems to be a different story for o-3. Here you have benefits if a) you look at it short-term and b) you are constantly poisoning yourself with truckloads of o-6. Yes, it is anti-inflammatory (at least in the short-term) but only so by blocking conversion of o-6. At the same time you also get lots of damage. Poor liver, poor mitochondria, poor pancreatic beta cells, poor… But well, who needs these anyways?

    It's like trying to escape the devil by diving into the deep blue sea.

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  9. I hate to be pesky about Brian Peskin, but an analysis of his views on omega 6 and 3 would really fit this discussion. He gives a lot of science in his lecture on youtube at the 2008Boulderfest part 1-5. He's totally against fish oil and DHA supplements, but considers the right type and proportion of omega 6 and 3's to be a near miracle food for heart disease and cancer. He claims many doctors and athletes are getting great results following his advice. I'd really like to read an evaluation of Peskin by Matt and others on this site. Doug N

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  10. Carl-

    Noted. Even Lustig does not compare the fructose in fruit to refined fructose, and I would definitely agree with that mindset.

    Doug-

    Thanks for being pesky about Peskin. I watched the presentation. Lots of good points. I've always been hesitant about coming out and saying that omega 6 is bad news b/c I've always been a firm believer that quality was the greater issue… that it was the solvent-extracted and oxidized vegetable oil that needed to be displaced, and that there was no reason to be phobic about good quality omega 6 from whole, fresh nuts, seeds, and animal fat. Peskin's presentation once again strengthens that viewpoint, which is great. The simpler the path to being healthy, the better. I hope he's right, and that meticulously counting PUFA is unnecessary.

    Then again, I am a little leery of Peskin. He believes and promotes many fallacies as well, such as heating pufa's forming trans fats (false) and carbohdyrates causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc. (false). So I know his "science" is only as good as his interpretation and knowledge of it.

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  11. "Comparing o-3 to soy seems odd to me. Are there any measurable benefits in soy consumption? And no, cholesterol reduction does not fit into this category."

    The point was that a few years ago soy was added to tons of products because of the supposed health benefits. Women at my co-op scarf down soy like its going out of style because the phytoestrogens are supposed to be helpful to ease the symptoms of menopause. While soy has all kinds of negatives, there are plenty of people who see this as a supplemental benefit. The problem with this kind supplementation is it almost as bad as putting flouride in the drinking water. You assume that everyone needs it and they all need the same amount. When flax oils are added to as many products as soy, I'm sure we will find out that they have as many negatives. By then the snake oil salesmen will have made their money off of it and the new neutraceutical will be on the shelves taking space away from real food.

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  12. What is the difference between fructose as in fructose, fructose as in saccharose, fructose as in HFCS and fructose as in fruits?

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  13. No difference really. Indistinguishable. Fructose is fructose. But it's a quantity thing. Fruits are not causal of health problems in the same way as products with refined sugars. Comparing fructose in fruit combined with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, etc. and soft drinks combined with caffeine, coloring, etc. and no nutrients is a huge mistake. One I hope never to make.

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  14. They do sell fructose made from sugar as a sweetener, so since it is extracted from the fruit it is just like HFCS right? My diabetic grandma used to use fructose in her coffee instead of sugar cause it didn't raise her insulin as much.
    My cousin used to buy fructose instead of sugar because she said that it was supposed to be healthier. I didn't know anything about it at the time but I thought that was kind of strange. Then I asked her how much it cost and turns out it cost 6 time more than plain white sugar, and then I realized that it indeed was way healthier…for the pockets of whoever was selling it.

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  15. No difference really. Indistinguishable. Fructose is fructose. But it's a quantity thing. Fruits are not causal of health problems in the same way as products with refined sugars. Comparing fructose in fruit combined with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, etc. and soft drinks combined with caffeine, coloring, etc. and no nutrients is a huge mistake. One I hope never to make.

    Reply
  16. I guess that means leave the canola oil alone. Even though it has a 22:11 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 acids. My family just bought it because of some NPR radio suggestion. I have bought both sardines and chia seeds and have been favoring occasionally eating a can of sardines instead of chia seeds because for some reason they make my eyes dilate (don’t know why.) But, sardines sometimes weirdly give me chest pain after I eat them and I’m 25. What oil do you recommend to cook with?

    Reply
    • Coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee. Those are generally the best oils. Macadamia nut oil is great if you can find it. I hear high oleic sunflower oil is good too.

      I had lots of chest pain issues that I have resolved. Pay attention to what causes it to elevate. Pork, fish, and dairy seem to be the biggest aggravators.

      Reply
  17. Thanks, that’s very helpful!

    Reply

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