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Syracuse Chiropractor | Syracuse chiropractic care | NY | The Truth About Fish Oil: Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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The Truth About Fish Oil: Omega 3 Fatty Acids
 

 

The Truth about Fish Oil

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

 

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1999 noted that prescription NSAIDs for rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis alone conservatively accounted for a minimum of 16,500 fatal bleeding deaths per year in the US, which is the 15th leading cause of death in the US.

Most cox-enzyme inhibiting pain drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit both cox-1 and cox-2 enzymes. However, blocking the cox-1 enzyme resulted in significant bleeding problems.  The blocking of the cox-2 enzyme is what was responsible for pain reduction.

Wolfe MM, David R. Lichtenstein DR, Singh G; Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs; New England Journal of Medicine; Volume 340 Number 24; June 17, 1999; pp. 1888-1899.

 

A non-drug approach to pain management is imperative, as reported by Dr. Joseph Maroon, neurosurgeon and specialist in degenerative spine disease at the University of Pittsburgh.  A non-drug alternative to the treatment of chronic spine pain was recommended at the 73rd meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.  Omega-3 fatty acids were recommended as they block the cox-2 enzyme responsible for pain.

Omega-3 research by Dr. Maroon was published in the medical journal Surgical Neurology in April 2006.  Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to NSAIDs for discogenic pain.  The use of NSAIDs is associated with “extreme complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, and even deaths.”  “An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil.”  At an average of 75 days on fish oil, 59% discontinued taking their prescription NSAIDs for pain and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil.  “There were no significant side effects reported.”  “Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain.”  “Omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain.”

Maroon, J.C., Bost, J.W. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surgical Neurology, 65(4). 326-31.

 

Key Points about Fish Oil Supplements from the American Family Physician:

  • Reduces risk for sudden death
  • Reduces all-cause mortality
  • Modest effect on lowering blood pressure in patients with hypertension
  • Reduces morning stiffness and number of tender, swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lowers serum triglyceride levels

 

Covington, M. (2004). Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Family Physicians, 70(1). 133-140. Retrieved from http://www.fishcapsule.com/docs/133-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids.pdf

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) Dose Recommendations:

Children:

The DHA should be greater than the EPA (2.6/1) **Tuna oil has a 4/1 ratio**

900 mg of EPA + DHA per day

Adults:

Has an ideal ratio of ALA, EPA, DHA, and GLA; EPA should be double DHA 

3,000 mg of EPA + DHA per day

Nutri-West. (n.d.). Supplements That Everyone Should Take “Every Day All People”. Retrieved from http://danmurphydc.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Supplements-For-All.pdf

 

For cardiac health:

Approximately 1,000 mg of EPA plus DHA daily

For lowering triglycerides:

2,000-4,000 mg of EPA plus DHA daily

For rheumatoid arthritis:

≥3,000 mg of EPA plus DHA daily

Covington, M. (2004). Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Family Physicians, 70(1). 133-140. Retrieved from http://www.fishcapsule.com/docs/133-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids.pdf

 

Omega-3 Oils:

  • Fish oil **highest level of Omega-3’s compared to the other oils**
  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Soybean oil

 

Foods with Omega-3’s:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts (walnuts and soybeans)
  • Fish     
  • Beans

 

Covington, M. (2004). Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Family Physicians, 70(1). 133-140. Retrieved from http://www.fishcapsule.com/docs/133-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids.pdf

 

Omega-3’s Provide Nutritional support for a multitude of health categories, including:

 

  • chronic pain/swelling; inflammation
  • cardiovascular
  • normal brain and nervous system development/function
  • immunoregulation
  • disc herniation
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • insulin sensitivity
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Colitis
  • anti-aging
  • cholesterol
  • triglycerides
  • plaque formation
  • MS
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • kidney function
  • vaccination

 

Murphy, D. Omega-3 Fish Oil-For Adults. NutriWest. Retrieved from http://www.nutriwest.com/articles/Complete%20Omega%203%20fact%20sheet.pdf

 
 
 
Syracuse Chiropractor | The Truth About Fish Oil: Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Dr. Carrie Goettsch is a Syracuse Chiropractor.