Fish oils have been promoted as a potential cure for virtually all diseases. Some members of the medical community have inferred that most ailments can be healed by manipulating the ratios between the EPA and the DHA.
For those of us interested in positively and optimally altering body composition and maximizing our training efforts, fish oils offer sixteen possible advantages:
1. Has positive effects on any disease known to man. According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, fish oils have been shown to have medical applications in the treatment of extremely wide variety of ailments including hyperlipidemia, hypertriglyceridemia, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias hypertension, stroke, bipolar disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, Behcet’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome. Fish oils are also used orally for weight loss, asthma, cancer, painful menses, lung diseases, hay fever, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, albuminuria associated with diabetic neuropathy, restenosis after angioplasty, miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm labor, and intrauterine growth retardation. Fish oils are used for systemic lupus erythematosus, cystic fibrosis, gingivitis, renal impairment associated with cirrhosis, hyperglycemia associated with type 2 diabetes and claudication. Fish oils are also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and dyspraxia.
2. Cell membrane health. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), insure that cell membranes remain healthy. This means that the membranes are flexible and contain larger numbers of insulin receptors that are more receptive and responsive to circulating insulin. This results in decreased fat storage in the adipocytes (fat cells).
3. Fish oils turn on the lipolytic genes. That means that the genes responsible for burning fat are activated, which means there is an increased utilization of fat stores from the adipocytes.
4. Fish oils turn off the lipogenic genes. That means that the fat storage genes are turned off.
5. Fish oils diminish C-reactive proteins. This a newly identified risk factor associated with various inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and diabetes. The DHA fraction of the fish oil seems to be one most responsible for that protective effect. DHA also has best ability to reduce blood pressure.
6. Reduced inflammation from physical training. EPA has the greatest effect on reducing inflammation through its downstream metabolites known as resolvins. Resolvins may be the key to the beneficial actions of fish oil in human diseases.
7. Pain management from the reduced inflammation. While fish oils reduce pain and inflammation themselves, they are also displacing other more pro-inflammatory fats out of the cell membranes, having an additive effect. When people improve their omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, they report a noticeable improvement in pain.
8. Increased focus in training. EPA regulates blood supply to the brain which is essential in maintaining focus in weight training sessions. DHA is important in brain membranes, memory and cognitive function.
9. Fish oils increase serotonin levels(th ehappy neurotransmitter).Therefore, fish oils will decrease incidence of depression, anxiety, panic attack and reduce carbohydrate cravings.
10. Fish oils will improve your cardiovascular risk profile. Fish Oils will lower VLDL, triglycerides, homocysteine, fibrinogen and increase HDL levels. Combining fish oils with plant sterols will improve lipid levels even more than either alone.
11. Fish oils can also decrease blood pressure by several mechanisms. These include increases in the vasodilatory compound, nitric oxide, reducing vascular inflammation, blocking the constrictive elements in the vascular wall such as the calcium channels reducing blood viscosity, and inhibiting a blood vessel constrictor (thromboxane). Lipoprotein (a) is another CVD predictor that can be lowered by fish oils (a 19% reduction was seen with natural, stable fish oils and just 4% with a highly purified fish oil).
12. Fish oils are a great stress fighter .Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids inhibits the adrenal activation of steroids, aldosterone , epinephrine and norepinephrine ( catecholamines) elicited by a mental stress, apparently through effects exerted at the level of the central nervous system. Therefore, for the same amount of stress, one will produce fewer stress hormones if consuming fish oils on a regular basis.
13. Fish oils turn on the carnitine enzymes. These are the enzymes responsible for the burning of body fat.
14. Fish oils mitigate insulin response. This means that your blood sugar won’t rise as quickly and sugar is less likely to go to your fat cells.
15. Fish oils reduce arterial stiffness and increase vasodilation. This benefit, which is good for both heart health and athletic performance, has been shown to take effect in 4 hours or less.
16. Very easy compliance. Taking fish oil on a regular basis is something very easy for people to do. Nearly all obese people are depressed, so for them to take fish oil, because it raises serotonin, could be their first essential step towards a lean healthy body.
Copyright ©2010 Charles Poliquin