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Home > FATS – GOOD FOR YOU?

Dave Foreman


FATS – GOOD FOR YOU? You bet your life they are!
by Dave Foreman
Volume 7, Issue 4
- Repair And Recovery
- Homeopathy May Be The Relief You Are Looking For
- Antioxidants For Serious Health Concerns
- Acne (And Other Acne Related Skin Issues)
- Arrhythmias
- Using Tonics To Improve Your Health
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
Archives
- Herbal Pharmacist Health Update
- Smart Weight Loss Options
- Allergy Relief Alternatives
- Focus: Women's Health
- Menopause Symptom Relief
- Focus: Men's Healths
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
- Antioxidants for Blood Sugar Control
- Bone Health 101
- The Basics for Healthy Eyes
- Uterine Fibroids (revisited)
- Wait Before You Cut!

- Holiday Travel Tips
- Time for a Tune Up
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Energy: Who needs more?
- PCOS-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Heavy Legs
- Stay Hydrated this Summer
- Lower Back Problems-Sciatica
- Antioxidants for Cardiovascular Health
- Prostate Health: not just an old manís concern
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Fats? Good for you?
- Prostatitis
- Superfoods
- Timing your Training Supplements
- Juice Up Your Life with Superjuices
- Infant Corner-Homeopathy
- Foundational Health
- Top Toxins
- Fall Cleansing
- Heart Health
- Protein Recovery and Repair
- High Blood Pressure
- Tart Cherries
- Infant Corner: DHA
- Healthy Digestion: Is it possible?
- Holiday Gift Ideas
- Herbal Tea
- Tired, moody, canít sleep? It might be STRESS.
- Infant Corner: Healthy Digestion
- Healthy Aging
- Breast Cancer
- Get a Jump on the Winter Cold and Flu Season
- Children's Essentials: No-Guilt Popsicles
- Infant Corner: Breastfeeding - Energize Yourself
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Hot Health Tip: Swimmer's Ear
- Infant Corner: Teething
- Understanding Homeopathy
- Green Foods Supplements
- Amino Acids
- Dry Eyes
- Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
- Blood Sugar Control
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Blood Sugar Concerns & More
- Sciatic Issues?
- Separating Myths From The Facts About Probiotics
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Infant Corner: Cradle Cap
- Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries:
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Weight Loss
- Quick Tips For Hypertension
- New Year's Resolutions
- A Natural Approach to Ear Infections
- Unraveling The Vitamin D Story
- Infant Corner: Prenatal Care
- Protein-Hype Or Hope
- Drug-Nutrient Interactions
- PMS-Something New
- Guide To Designing Your Supplement Regimen
- Why Can't I Sleep?
- Infant Corner: Developmental Support
- Hints for a Clearer Complexion
- Dental Tips
- Infant Corner
- Breast Cancer
- Healthy Aging
- Infant health corner
- Immune Support
- Secrets of Healthy Fats Revealed
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 4
- Chia seeds part II
- Healthy fats revisited
- Prostate health
- Infant health corner
- Fish oil & coq10
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 3
- Quick Tips for Women
- Bone Health
- Skin Health
- Quick Tips for Men
- Quick Fix For Allergy Sufferers
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 2
- Beauty Sleep
- Eye Health
- Weight Loss
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You
- Holiday Digestion
- Winter Dry Skin Tips
- Alzheimer's Disease
- TMJ Syndrome
- Breast Cancer Facts
- Bone Health
- Healthy Aging
- Children's Supplements
- Chia Seed the new superfood
- Understanding Chromium
- Water perhaps the most critical nutrient
- Stress! Tips to relax
- Allergy Tips
- There's A New CoQ10 In Town
- Tired? Quick tips for getting your energy level up
- Fats: Good For You?
- Flu Season
- Go Away Aches & Pains
- Oh!!My Aching Back
- Ear Infections
- How Sporty Are You
- No Bones About It
- Nattokinase
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- IBS
- Fiber
- Skin Cancer
- Sleep Problems
- Specific Herbs For Men
- Cleansing
- Nails
- PMS
- Probiotics
- Specific Herbs for Women
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Your Breath Stinks
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS)
- Colorectal Cancer
- Uterine Fibroid
- The Eyes Have It
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-Putting Out the Fire
- Solving America's Energy Crisis
- Natural Gum Care
- Jazz Up Your Life with Juice
- Natural Relief for SAD
- Immunity Know-How
- Stop Smoking!!
- Let's Talk About Irregularity
- Free Radicals
- Asthma
- Memory Problems
- L-Carnitine
- Men's Health
- Women's Health
- The Four Pillars of Great Health
- Blood Sugar Control
- Probiotics
- Supplement Interactions
- Are You Consumer Smart?
- Digestive Blues
- Taking Control of Stress
- Heart Health
- Pycnogenol®
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Greens
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Happy (and Healthy) Trails to You!

Dave Foreman, RPh, ND is a pharmacist, Naturopathic Doctor, author, television commentator, radio host and practitioner of natural living and holistic approaches to better health. His weekly radio program is broadcast throughout North America. Dave is currently a contributing columnist for Pharmacy Today magazine and several other natural health publications.

Q: What is your most important nutrient?

I often use this question in my seminars when explaining to people the importance of taking a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.

A: The one you are missing!

Well, the same applies for EFAs. I often call EFAs the multivitamin of fats. Essential fatty acids are considered "good" fats. I consider them as important as, or maybe even more important than, vitamin and mineral supplements.These "good" fats are considered essential because our body cannot make them and therefore need to come from our diet or supplements. EFAs contribute to your health in too many ways to list here. Research with EFAs as supplements have shown to benefit most of the major diseases we face such as: heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and major skin health issues.

Signs and symptoms you may be coming up short on EFAs:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin problems
  • Poor memory (eczema, etc)
  • Heart disease
  • Poor circulation
  • Fatigue
  • Mood problems (depression,ADD, etc.)
  • Immune weakness
  • Hormone imbalances

Aside from not getting enough of these good fats in your diet, there are other factors that may contribute to a deficiency:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Consumption of Sugar
  • Saturated fats and trans-fatty acids
  • Prescription medications)
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Aging
EFA deficiency is common in the United States, particularly Omega-3 deficiency. The ideal intake ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is between 1:1 and 4:1. This means for every gram of Omega-6 you need a gram of Omega-3. Regretfully, most Americans have a ratio between 10:1 and 25:1. The imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is linked to health challenges such as heart attacks, cancer, depression,ADHD,Alzheimer's, obesity, diabetes, asthma and more.

Because the balance seems tipped in the wrong direction, I primarily recommend the use of Omega-3 fatty acids and not the blends of Omega-6 and Omega-3.

SO,WHAT ARE "OMEGA-3" AND "OMEGA-6" FATTY ACIDS?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are scientific terms for two different classifications of EFAs. These names are derived from the chemical composition of the fatty acid molecules. Omega-3 fatty acids include ALA, EPA DHA. Omega-6 fatty acids include GLA, LA, and AA. Let's take a closer look at what these fats are and what benefits they may possess.

WHICH FATS ARE ESSENTIAL?

  • Linoleic Acid (LA) (An Omega-6 Fatty Acid) is found in processed foods, margarine, and vegetable oils. LA helps improve skin conditions. It may also be partially converted to GLA in the body. The typical North American diet includes way too much LA and therefore I don't recommend supplementing with this fat.
  • Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) (An Omega-3 Fatty Acid) is found primarily in Flax seed oil. ALA helps those with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and immune function health challenges such as cancer. In some of us, the body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA.
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) (An Omega-6 Fatty Acid) is found in borage, black currant and evening primrose oils. GLA helps the body fight inflammation, reduce blood clotting, PMS and lower blood pressure. GLA has shown to help with conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, eczema and psoriasis.
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (An Omega-3 Fatty Acid) are responsible for the beneficial effects of fish oils. Research has shown that fish oils containing EPA and DHA have therapeutic benefits in areas including: rheumatoid arthritis, high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, infant brain development, and cancer the list is endless!
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA) (An Omega-6 Fatty Acid) is necessary for the infant brain development and small amounts are required for overall fetal development. However, it is not generally deemed a "good" fat, because, in excess, AA may have some harmful effects. It is also found in meat, eggs, and some shellfish.
Again, your body cannot make these fats and therefore they need to come from your diet or from a supplement. Since most of us do not consume a diet high in these fats it becomes necessary to take a dietary supplement.

WHERE DO I GET MY EFA'S?

The most popular dietary supplements for EFAs are Fish Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Borage Oil. Let's take a closer look at each one. Some of my other favorite questions are listed below with my usual short but sweet answers.

CAN'T I GET ENOUGH FROM MY DIET?

NO WAY. I joke that you would need to eat a boatload of fish to get the Omega-3 you get from a supplement. (And you would probably have heavy metal poisoning along with the fish.)

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WORK?

It depends on you and your needs. I often see results in the first few days. Digestion, absorption and dose will all play an important role in how quickly you respond. I would allow at least 90 days to fully experience the benefits of EFAs.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Possibly.The more common reactions are digestive. These are fats and therefore I recommend using a digestive enzyme that contains lipase along with your supplement(s).

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FISH OIL AND FLAX SEED OIL?

There are numerous differences (some are listed in the chart on page 6). The most significant and the reason I take a fish oil supplement is: not all of us convert ALA into EPA and DHA. For me, DHA is important. Even if the body converts the ALA to EPA, it still has to make DHA. Since we are unaware of who is able to make the conversion, I use caution and take a fish oil to assure I am getting the EPA and DHA my body needs. I truly believe the reason we face so many epidemic health challenges is the lack of these key nutrients.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING FISH OIL?

  1. Make sure your product is certified by a 3rd party lab to not contain contaminants like heavy metals or pesticides.
  2. Smell: If it smells like fish you don't want to take it. (it has oxidized)
  3. Taste: Same as above.
  4. Pre-emulsified (if digestion is a problem)
    1. Since these are fats, having them already broken down can decrease your chances of burping and other digestive issues
  5. Packaging is important:
    1. Look for UV protected bottles or packets
    2. Oils oxidize (become ineffective or bad) when exposed to light and air)

SO,WHAT DO YOU TAKE DAVE?

With regards to fish oil, I take Coromega® and my children are currently using Nordic Naturals Children's DHA. My reasoning is simple for the kids; they prefer the taste of the capsules and can swallow them with ease. I trust the quality and integrity of the company and product and have no hesitation using it with my children. As for Coromega, I find it to be the only supplement that has everything I want in a fish oil supplement. It even comes in individual serving packets so the oil stays fresh until it enters my mouth.

 
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