Many people who begin to use higher grade edible omega oils are amazed at the difference in their skin. They find that their skin feels creamy, supple, soft, and lovely to the touch. Hard skin, greasy pores, zits, bumps and acne disappear. These are the most obvious changes that many people notice on using good oils along with balanced nutrition. They also get an enhanced feeling of well-being.
No one wants to look older than his or her age. But if your skin is full of premature sags and wrinkles, you cannot avoid it. You may not think of your skin as an organ. It is actually the largest organ in your body. Your skin has an extremely critical role to play, as it provides a barrier against a very hostile environment that includes bacteria, fungi, and perpetual oxidation caused by the sun. Furthermore, aging is an important factor in the appearance of autoimmune disease. The immune system may be suppressed or weakened as a result of factors such as over-indulgence of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, drugs, sugars and of course poor diet and lack of sleep.
Your skins appearance is a window to the internal state of your body. As you know, when you look good, it is usually when you are feeling strong and healthy. When your skin has a rosy glow, this means that good blood circulation is occurring within the skin and probably through the rest of your body. On the one hand, you often know you are getting sick when you see pallor to your skin, indicative of poor blood flow. You can bet that the rest of your body is not too far behind.
One unmistakable sign of aging is the formation of wrinkles. Scientifically speaking, wrinkles are caused by the cross-linking of collagen fibers in the skin, and the cross-linking can be accelerated by inflammation caused by the constant exposure to the sun. The most effective way to reduce wrinkle formation (other that staying completely out of the sun) is to reduce Arachidonic acid (omega 6) levels in the skin, thus decreasing the potential for the production of pro-inflammatory "bad" eicosanoids (PGE2 series).
An even more powerful approach to preventing wrinkles is to increase the levels of "good" eicosanoids (PGE3 series) by increasing your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids. Due to their powerful anti-inflammatory actions, these good eicosanoids will do far more to reduce the inflammatory process that leads to wrinkles, than all the fruit acids and vitamin E creams you can possibly rub on your skin. This is because "good" eicosanoids are both very powerful vasodilators which increase blood flow to make your skin healthier. Increased blood therefore increases your production of the key structural proteins of the skin-collagen and elastin as you age. These structural proteins give your skin it's firmness and elasticity. As the production of collagen and elastin decreases with aging, you skin starts to droop and sag. In order to keep collagen and elastin at increasing levels, you need to increase the blood flow to your skin, since that stimulates the enzymes that produce these structural proteins. With improved blood flow and decreased inflammation, you skin will look years younger.
Aids or acquired immune-deficiency-syndrome results from a shutdown of the immune system. Note that the name indicates that the condition is not genetic but acquired due to non-genetic (environmental) causes. Hence they should respond to environmental interventions that include changes in both nutrition and lifestyle. The consumption of Seal Oil and Omega 3's per day along with a complete program of large doses of all other essential nutrients, many in supplement form, appear to be successfully prolonging survival. The exact mechanism of Seal Oil's action is not yet clear but answers may be found in it's ability to increase oxidation, increase peroxidation (which kills cancer cells and infectious microorganisms), develop cell membrane functions and form prostaglandins.
Allergies are the bodies abnormal sensitivities to certain substances, a person can be allergic to just about anything ie. dust, food, and medications etc. When our bodies are nutrient deficient, we need to replenish our bodies with a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6's, to increase the intake of good oils, Omega 3 and proteins.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a major component of fish oils and seal oil, is the most important fatty acid in the brain and retina and makes up more than 30% of the structural lipid (fat) in neurons. There is ample evidence that a deficiency of DHA is associated with depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dementia. Clinical studies have shown that an increased intake of DHA may benefit patients with dyslexia and Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers at Boston University and Tufts University School of Medicine now report that they have found a clear association between low blood levels (in the phosphatidylcholine fraction of serum) of DHA and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Their study involved 1188 elderly Americans (mean age of 75 years) who had blood samples drawn and analyzed for DHA in 1985. 16 of the participants were clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the time of blood sampling. The researchers noted that 11 of the 16 (69%) had lower DHA levels. The remaining 1172 participants were followed for 10 years. Again the researchers noted that participants with DHA levels in the lower half of the distribution had a 67% greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers suggest that maintaining adequate levels of DHA through the consumption of fish oil, seal oil or dietary supplements rich in DHA may be particularly important for the elderly.
A team of British and Greek medical researchers report that fish oil supplementation is highly beneficial for angina patients.
METHODS: Their study involved 39 patients (37 men and 2 women) with stable angina pectoris who had experienced at least 6 angina attacks in the 2 weeks prior to the start of the trial. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 10 grams of fish oil (providing 1.8 g eicosapentaenoic acid and 1.2 g docosahexaenoic acid) every day or 10 grams of olive oil daily. The daily supplements were supplied in the form of 5 identical looking capsules. The trial lasted for a total of 12 weeks and the patients were evaluated at baseline and after 8 and 12 weeks of supplementation.
RESULTS: By the end of the 12 weeks the number of weekly angina attacks had decreased by 41% in the fish oil group with no change observed in the olive oil group. The use of nitroglycerin (glycerol trinitrate) tablets decreased by 38% in the fish oil group and also decreased slightly (not statistically significant) in the olive oil group. Exercise tolerance, as measured on a treadmill, increased by 22.6% in the fish oil group, but no change was observed in the olive oil group. The blood level (fasting) of triglycerides decreased by 22% eight weeks into the test in the fish oil group, but then tended to approach pre-trial levels again by the 12th week. No statistically significant changes in blood coagulation parameters were observed in either group.
CONCLUSIONS: The researchers conclude that low-dose fish oil supplementation may benefit patients with coronary artery disease.
Long before it emerged as a possible remedy for heart disease, fish oil was used to treat arthritis. Maurice Stansby, veteran fish-oil researcher and scientific consultant to the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, uncovered documents indicating that, in the late 1700's, personnel from a hospital in Manchester, England, routinely dosed arthritis patients with cod-liver-oil supplements to help their "squeaky joints." Stansby surmises that the fish-oil tradition was lost to history because it was so unpalatable - the only time patients would take their tonic was when it was forced upon them by attendants. No wonder, when cod-liver oil of the day was extracted from rotten fish livers!
Interests in treating arthritis patients with fish oil was rekindled by the finding that manipulating fatty acids in the diets of arthritic animals was beneficial. A link with fish oil was also suspected because of evidence that leukotrienes and thromboxane (a product of prostaglandins) are involved in the kinds of inflammatory reactions causing the painful symptoms of arthritis. Accordingly, Harvard researchers decided to test out the effects of fish oil in people who have rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that can be severely disabling. Richard Sperling, M.D., and his coworkers found a lowering of inflammatory biochemical, along with a decrease in joint pain and tenderness, in rheumatoid arthritis patients who took fish-oil supplements. Although the results are considered preliminary since no control group was involved, Dr. Sperling thinks that fish oils have the potential to act as anti-inflammatory drugs.
Support for Dr. Sperling's hunch comes from research conducted at Albany Medical College, in New York. Joel Kremer, M.D., found "modest" improvements in some symptoms of rheumatoid-arthritis patients who were on fish-oil capsules compared to a group of similar patients who did not take the supplements. The problem with this study is that the patients who took the capsules were also on a special diet, making it difficult to know whether fish oil or something about the diet was responsible. In a more recent study, Dr. Kremer placed people with rheumatoid arthritis on fish-oil supplements, but no special diet. Compared to a period of time in which they took a placebo (an inert supplement, often called a "sugar pill"), the fish-oil takers suffered significantly less joint tenderness and reported less fatigue. It's important to note that, although there appeared to be overall improvement in other symptoms of arthritis such as duration of morning stiffness and joint swelling, the effects of fish-oil supplements were not as definite.
Thus, fish oil cannot be viewed as any sort of a panacea for arthritis sufferers. Furthermore, the small amount of research that has been conducted in this area has involved large amounts of fish oil. Dr. Dreamer's patients, for example, took 10 to 15 fish oil capsules a day-surely a pharmaceutical dose. He issues words of caution when it comes to taking fish-oil supplements. But he does recommend that people who have arthritis eat more fish. At the very least a fish-rich diet can help keep weight down-an important move to minimize stress on weight-bearing arthritic joints.
Anyone who struggles with asthma is all too familiar with the breathlessness, wheezing and coughing brought on by an attack. Since these aversive symptoms appear to be caused largely by leukotrienes, the search is on for remedies that will antagonize leukotriene synthesis. Enter another potential use for marine oil - in one study, large doses brought about the formation of less aggravating leukotrienes in asthmatics. But Walter C. Pickett, Ph.D., senior research biochemist at Lederle Laboratories in New York, who was involved in this research, notes that it is not yet known whether the change in leukotrienes helps alleviate asthma symptoms. One expert speculates that Eskimos may have a low incidence of asthma because they have hefty amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets continuously from birth. Possibly, marine oils have an impact in the early stages of asthma - before asthmatics are sensitized to substances that bring on attacks. Dr. Pickett agrees it's conceivable that eating fair amounts of fish starting early in life may influence the later development of asthma.
Dr.Garth Mulvad and Dr. Henning Pederson of the Department of Medicine, Dronning Ingrid's Hospital in Norway recently wrote:
"...the International Arteriosclerosis Project... is a project supervised by experts at the Louisiana State University of New Orleans, USA. Among other things, they, "... studied the coronary arteries of the hearts of 23,000 deceased persons from 16 different countries. It is in the coronary arteries that the fatal blood clots form. The provisional results show that arteriosclerosis is far less widespread among the Inuit than elsewhere in the world...a seventy year old who has lived on the traditional diet of seal and whale has coronary arteries that are just as elastic as a twenty year old Dane."
An atopic disease is a form of allergy where the hypersensitivity reaction occurs at a location different from the initial contact point between the body and the offending agent (allergen). For example, food taken by mouth may cause an allergic skin reaction - atopic dermatitis. The incidence of atopic diseases such as dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma is rising in industrialized countries and now affects about 20% of the population.
A team of researchers from the University of Turku and Tufts University in Boston now report that the increase in atopic diseases is closely tied in with an increase in the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) which have pushed the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids) fatty acids in the diet to an unfavorably high level (10:1 or higher). An increasing dietary intake of linoleic acid has been linked to a rise in atopic diseases in both Germany and Japan. A recent study of Finnish and Swedish school children found that children with a high ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid to linoleic acid had a lower prevalence of atopic diseases while children with allergies tended to have a lower level of docosahexaenoic acid in their blood.
The researchers point out that the metabolic products (Eicosanoids) of omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation while the metabolites of omega-3 acids dampens inflammation. They also point to several clinical trials, which have shown that supplementation with fish oil, or alpha-linolenic acid can reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and asthma. They conclude that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils and alpha-linolenic acid) may alleviate atopic diseases caused by an excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids.
It is estimated that 3-5% of the school-age population in the United States suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prominent symptoms of this disorder are a poor attention span, inability to complete tasks, hyperactivity, and a tendency to interrupt others. Almost one quarter of children with ADHD also suffer from one or more specific learning disabilities in math, spelling or reading.
A study first reported in 1995-linked ADHD to a deficiency of certain long-chain fatty acids. These acids (arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids) are all metabolites of the two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Researchers at Purdue University are now leaning towards the conclusion that a sub clinical deficiency in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is responsible for the abnormal behavior of children with ADHD. They point out that supplementation with a long-chain omega-6 fatty acid (evening primrose oil) has been unsuccessful in ameliorating ADHD and believe this is because ADHD-children need more omega-3 acids rather than more omega-6 acids. The researchers also found that children with ADHD were breast fed less often as infants than were children without ADHD. Breast milk is an excellent source of DHA. A study is now underway to investigate the effect of oral supplementation with DHA on the behavior of ADHD-children.
Previous studies link alteration in Omega 3 PUFA levels to psychiatric diseases, such as depression schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Indeed, patients with schizophrenia or ADHD share poor communication skills and other behaviors with autism. For example polydipsia (excessive thirst) is a hallmark of autism, ADHD and essential fatty acid deficiency. On the other hand, Omega 3 PUFA levels differed markedly between autism and mentally retarded children. Levels of alpha-linolenic acid, the precursor for Omega 3 PUFA were not statistically different however DHA and total Omega 3 PUFA levels were 23 and 20 % lower respectively in autistic compared to mentally retarded children. Moreover the Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio increased by 25% among Autistic Children. Nevertheless the study offers the first evidence that children with autism show lipid abnormalities.
Autoimmune disorders, in which the immune system begins attacking the body as if it were a foreign invader, can also be alleviated with marine oil Omega 3 fatty acid.
Multiple Sclerosis is one autoimmune disorder that can be positively affected by high-dose marine oil. Lupus, a life threatening autoimmune disorder that causes kidney failure, has also been shown to be positively affected by high doses of marine oil. In animal studies using rats that were bred to develop lupus, significant increases in their life spans are observed if their standard diet is supplemented by high dose marine oil.
IgA nephropathy is another inflammatory condition that attacks the kidneys. The disease, which is a major cause of kidney failure, has been found to be alleviated with marine oil. Long-term studies with marine oil indicate a dramatic reduction in the development of kidney failure in these patients compared with those taking placebo. Here, high-dose marine oil is acting not only as a modulator of eicosanoids, but likely also as an inhibitor of the release of various inflammatory cytokines.