Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- 02-01-2007, 05:58 PM
Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
At the office today, the doc showed me this great bit of information I personally found interesting. Hopefully some of you out there feel the same.
Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease.
We recommend eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
To learn about omega-3 levels for different types of fish — as well as mercury levels, which can be a concern — see our Encyclopedia entry on Fish, Levels of Mercury and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
We also recommend eating tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, and their oils. These contain alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which can become omega-3 fatty acid in the body. The extent of this modification is modest and controversial, however. More studies are needed to show a cause-and-effect relationship between alpha-linolenic acid and heart disease.
The table below is a good guide to use for consuming omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary of Recommendations for Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake
Patients without documented coronary heart disease (CHD) = Eat a variety of (preferably fatty) fish at least twice a week. Include oils and foods rich in alpha-linolenic acid (flaxseed, canola and soybean oils; flaxseed and walnuts).
Patients with documented CHD = Consume about 1 g of EPA+DHA per day, preferably from fatty fish. EPA+DHA in capsule form could be considered in consultation with the physician.
Patients who need to lower triglycerides = 2 to 4 grams of EPA+DHA per day provided as capsules under a physician’s care.
Patients taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from capsules should do so only under a physician’s care. High intakes could cause excessive bleeding in some people.
In 1996 the American Heart Association released its Science Advisory, “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Lipids and Coronary Heart Disease.” Since then important new findings have been reported about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease. These include evidence from randomized, controlled clinical trials. New information has emerged about how omega-3 fatty acids affect heart function (including antiarrhythmic effects), hemodynamics (cardiac mechanics) and arterial endothelial function. These findings are outlined in our November 2002 Scientific Statement, “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease.”
The ways that omega-3 fatty acids reduce CVD risk are still being studied. However, research has shown that they
decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
decrease triglyceride levels
decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
lower blood pressure (slightly)
What do epidemiological and observational studies show?
Epidemiologic and clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce CVD incidence. Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids from plants and marine sources.
The ideal amount to take isn’t clear. Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that taking EPA+DHA ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces deaths from heart disease and all causes. For alpha-linolenic acid, a total intake of 1.5–3 grams per day seems beneficial.
Randomized clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce cardiovascular events (death, non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes). They can also slow the progression of atherosclerosis in coronary patients. However, more studies are needed to confirm and further define the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for preventing a first or subsequent cardiovascular event. For example, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trials are needed to document the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in high-risk patients (those with type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and smokers) and coronary patients on drug therapy. Mechanistic studies on their apparent effects on sudden death also are needed.
Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake through foods is preferable. However, coronary artery disease patients may not be able to get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about taking a supplement. Supplements also could help people with high triglycerides, who need even larger doses. The availability of high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, free of contaminants, is an important prerequisite to their use.
Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- 02-12-2007, 08:56 AM
Hey guys, this posting says 3 grams of fish oils a day is the "safe" dosage. How much are you guys taking?
am taking about 6 grams a day, and I really like its effect on my mood. 3 grams doesn't seem to do the trick for me.
02-12-2007, 11:24 AM
damn...6 grams.....whew....is there any fish oil supps out there that i dont have to take like 30 of them a day to get that much???
02-12-2007, 11:27 AM
In a recent study looking at soy's affect on reproductive health in healthy males, men given 40 mg of soy isoflavones daily for 2 months (there are 20 mg of isoflavones in 1 cup of soy milk; 38 mg in 1/2 cup of tofu), there were no effects on serum sex hormones, testicular volume, or semen quality. This was deemed the first study to examine the effects of a phytoestrogen supplement on reproductive health in males. (Mitchell et al., Clinical Science 100(6):613-618, 2001 June)
I believe in fact, I read somewhere that phytoestrogens have very weak estrogen-like activity but can also act like anti-estrogens, reducing the effects of naturally-produced estrogen. Phytoestrogens can inhibit the body’s production of certain hormones that are linked to cancer development as well.
Hopefully I can get someone to clear this up..
02-12-2007, 11:48 AM
02-13-2007, 08:25 PM
02-14-2007, 06:38 PM
Interesting, now I'll have to avoid soy products, I used to use soy milk for cereal a long time ago. So is flax seed is bad to use then?
02-16-2007, 05:53 AM
Hey I don't want to create any contreversey or anything, but I recall reading somewhere advice that suggests men avoid flax seeds, because they contain phytoestrogens. It is probably just some rogue alarmist looking for attention, can someone clear this up for me?
02-16-2007, 10:33 AM
02-16-2007, 10:45 AM
02-16-2007, 11:01 AM
02-16-2007, 11:42 AM
New FDA Soy Website
David B. Haytowitz of the Agricultural Research Services (ARS), in Beltsville, Md., part of USDA.
Haytowitz participated in creating the site (http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcom.../isoflav.html), which lists a total of 128 foods. Federal nutritionists spent one year on the project, combing through scientific literature to derive the amounts of isoflavones, compounds familiar to health store habitues such as daidzein, genistein and glycitein, in various foods. In addition, food scientist Patricia A. Murphy of Iowa State University in Ames, analyzed samples of various new food products like vegetarian hot dogs and hamburgers to measure their isoflavones.
Federal interest in quantifying the health benefits of soy products has increased with the release last November of a proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule to allow food manufacturers to make health claims on soy-related products.
"The agency has tentatively concluded that, based on the totality of publicly available scientific evidence, soy protein included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease," according to an FDA notice in the Federal Register. Foods like soybeans, chickpeas and tofu would gain new labels touting their health benefits under this rule. The agency is still working on the final wording of its manufacturer guidance, according to Susan M. Pilch, of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
The Web site contains two sets of tables detailing the amounts of isoflavones in the various foods. For scientists, the site offers connections to two lengthy lists of references for the analysis. Researchers can also download a complete copy of the database to their computers from the ARS.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautiously endorsed women using soy products as an alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy in its guidebook, "Managing Menopause." The Washington D.C.-based organization noted that research has found a 45 percent
reduction in hot flashes among women who took daily soy protein supplements.
The new Web site represents an effort by federal nutritionists to raise awareness of more recently discovered nutrients in the human diet, according to Haytowitz. A related site on his agencies' web page looks at carotenoids, compounds associated with Vitamin A. Future sites are planned to
list nutrients in teas, onions and red wine. "We're just getting to the point where we can see the physiological effects of these new compounds," said Haytowitz.
The FDA soy rule can be found at Federal Register (1998; 63: 62977-63015)
02-16-2007, 11:45 AM
Editor’s note: Nexus magazine ran a sensational article about the “dangers” of soy. This is Dr. Steven Chaney’s response. Dr. Chaney is a professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bio-Physics, and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has run an internationally recognized cancer research program at that Institution for 28 years. For many years he has also taught nutrition to medical students.
Dear Dr. Falentin,
The source that you sent me to (NEXUS: Home Page) is hardly a
credible information source. I checked out not only the article that you
sent me (which was incredibly one sided) but also the magazine's main web
site. When you look at the kind of articles the magazine publishes, it puts
their article on soy in perspective. This is an organization that sees UFOs
and government conspiracies everywhere! I would just make the following
1) Much of the negative information was on soy beans themselves and not
textured soy protein or other processed soy products, so it is completely
2) I am aware of a few negative reports concerning soy phytoestrogens.
However, those are based primarily on cell culture and animal experiments.
Any good scientist will tell you that those experiments have only a 10%
chance of proving true in humans. We don't discount those experiments, but
rather use them as a basis for designing human clinical trials that will
definatively test the hypotheses that they have raised. If they are
confirmed in clinical trials, then it would be appropriate to change current
recommendations - not before.
3) Those reports should be compared with the literally hundreds of clinical
studies showing the safety and health benefits of soy as part of a healthy
diet. The FDA's recommendation for use of soy protein speaks for itself. If
anyone tries to tell you that the FDA is conspiring with industry to promote
one product over another, they are probably trying to sell you something.
4) I have also been following the research with Dr. Bounous' whey protein
product. That resarch is in the very early stages yet. One particular
concern that I have at present is that all of the research has been done by
Dr. Bounous - and he is the one who holds the patent on the product. Past
experience warns me that his findings may not hold up when evaluated by
independent laboratories. Until independent research confirms his findings I
remain very skeptical. I also suspect that the company marketing his
products is likely to run into problems with the FDA in this country. They
are making drug-like claims. You can't do that with a food.
I hope this is helpful.
Dr. Stephen G. Chaney
02-16-2007, 12:23 PM
02-16-2007, 06:14 PM
My honest opinion is that if soy DOES indeed alter estrogen levels or what not in men, it's so minute it's not even noteworthy. There was a study completed not to long ago on the efficacy of both whey & soy as far as their muscle building properties go and in conclusion, both whey & soy were equivalent in the opportunities both provided for muscle building.
There's too much conflicting evidence on both sides to say certain. You might not recommend soy for men cause of 1/2 the studies and research out there but there is another 1/2 out there that proves otherwise and I'm sure they're not all funded by Archer Daniels Midland.
To each his own.
02-16-2007, 06:55 PM
02-16-2007, 08:04 PM
my 2 cents
Eat a cup of brocolli a day and it helps reduce estrogyn in the body and helps with muscle growth
02-16-2007, 09:20 PM
02-16-2007, 10:40 PM
I'm not here to argue, bash or get bashed. Discussion over as far as soy goes, let's keep it moving.
02-17-2007, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the compliments on my....debating style? I always try to be as diplomatic as possible not to mention I'll never forget this member's sig I saw on another board:
Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics: win or lose, you're still a retard.
I thought it was pretty funny myself but on another note, I did have a question. Typically I'm not a big fan of dairy milk but when I do drink it, I try to stick to organic skim milk for the low saturated fat content.Have you ever tried any other types of milk that you can personally recommend me aside from dairy?
02-18-2007, 09:28 AM
Anything, that antagonizes estrogen receptors is estrogenic case closed final decree!
The only marketable thing about soy is that it is so cheap to produce that they could give it away and still make a profit!!!
You are spot on with Archer Daniel Midland, everything that is wrong with modern agriculture can be found in the minutes of ADM corporate agenda meeting
02-18-2007, 12:49 PM
02-18-2007, 12:54 PM
John Pinder - he might not be a "BB'er but he is indeed a lifter". I DID mean to say that but looking back @ my post I realize I failed to. My apologies. There are soy supplements out there that ARE complete in their amino acid profiles last I remember as well...
02-19-2007, 12:04 AM
02-19-2007, 05:12 AM
02-19-2007, 09:08 AM
I use GLA, I was under the impression that GLA helps produce the good eicosanoids .
Gamma-Linolenic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[/QUOTE]However, a lack of GLA can occur when people grow older and their bodies become unable to produce it in sufficient quantities, or due to specific dietary deficiencies.[QUOTE]
From GLA, the body forms dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). This is one of the body's three sources of eicosanoids (along with AA and EPA.) DGLA is the precursor of the prostaglandin PGH1, which in turn forms PGE1 and the thromboxane TXA1. PGE1 has a role in regulation of immune system function and is used as the medicine alprostadil. TXA1 modulates the pro-inflammatory properties of the thromboxane TXA2.
Unlike AA and EPA, DGLA cannot yield leukotrienes. However it can inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes from AA, (Belch and Hill, 2000).
Although GLA is an ω-6 fatty acid (which are generally pro-inflammatory) it has anti-inflammatory properties; see discussion at Essential fatty acid interactions - The paradox of dietary GLA.
02-19-2007, 12:33 PM
02-19-2007, 05:48 PM
We drink almond milk YUMMY!!!! THere is also almond cheese that is good. I have a child that can't handle milk, makes him a spaz same as sugar. And with the olive oil some can't handle the high heat I cook with grape seed oil YUMMY too.
02-19-2007, 06:35 PM
02-19-2007, 06:36 PM
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