Infrequent consumption of seafood, aversion to organ meats, and over-reliance on processed omega-6 oils in foods have led to deficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids in most people today.
The seeds of grasses, with all their absorption-blocking and inflammatory effects just add to the problem.
Once grains are removed, omega-3 fatty acid absorption may improve. – Tweet this!
Intake typically remains low for most people and supplementation is necessary to achieve healthy blood levels. The omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil accelerate the clearance of fatty acids from the bloodstream and keep levels lower.
Cholesterol panels and other laboratory assessments are best avoided during weight loss and for 4 weeks after weight loss has plateaued. This is to avoid confusion, including the perplexed look of your doctor, eager to whip out the prescription pad. If a cholesterol panel was checked during active weight loss, you would see high triglyceride levels, since triglycerides transport fatty acids— a natural part of the fat mobilization process of weight loss.
There are plenty of reasons to supplement omega-3 fatty acids. – Tweet this!
Fish oil is the only reliable & sufficiently potent source of EPA & DHA. – Tweet this!
There is an abundance of clinical studies that demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids, as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) obtained from
fish oil, yield reductions in:
- Sudden cardiac death
- Heart attack
- Heart rhythm disorders
- Autoimmune inflammatory conditions (especially rheumatoid arthritis and lupus)
- A variety of cancers.
Our need for omega-3 oils reaches even further as we require them for:
- Brain development
- Protection from dementia
- Cellular signal transduction
- A multitude of other bodily functions.
While linolenic acid— found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and other sources— is biochemically an omega-3 fatty acid and is, for other reasons, a truly healthy oil, it does not yield the same benefits provided by EPA and DHA from fish and fish oil.
Krill oil, while interesting for its astaxanthin content (a carotenoid like beta-carotene), provides only a trivial amount of EPA and DHA. Krill oil is often marketed as having a more highly absorbed phospholipid form of omega-3s, which is true, but it contains so little that you’d have to consume an entire bottle every day to yield a sufficient quantity of EPA and DHA.
Recently, concerns have been raised that the widespread use of statin drugs for cholesterol reduction may impair the potential for omega-3 fatty acids to yield benefits. Statins preferentially divert fatty acid metabolism to yield higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids, such as linoleic (not to be confused with linolenic) acid, are among the essential fatty acids. But, today many people are overexposed to omega-6s due to our widespread reliance on corn, mixed vegetable, safflower, cottonseed, and other oils— a situation that amplifies the potential for inflammatory phenomena. My choice, whenever possible, is to avoid the use of statin drugs while preserving the natural health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
This quantity yields an ideal level of omega-3 fatty acids in the bloodstream (i.e., a RBC omega-3 index of 10% or greater), subdues the flood of fatty acids that occur with weight loss or after eating, provides maximal protection from cardiovascular disease, dementia, and yields anti-inflammatory benefits. On their own, the EPA and DHA of fish provide plenty of benefits. But in the context of all combined Wheat Belly Total Health strategies, they yield extravagant, synergistic benefits. This is why I stress over and over and over again that each and every component of the Wheat Belly program needs to be included and we never cherry-pick among the strategies.
Yours in grainless health,
Dr. William Davis