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Anti fish oil/omega 3s but pro Evening primrose oil, any thoughts

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by heapsreal, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Heapsreal, some peoples, typically normadic or hunting societies. live on mostly meat. They are quite healthy. Meat does supply most of the nutrients we need (though some are destroyed by cooking) and often supply them in a highly bio-available form. We struggle to absorb iron from beetroot, but we have no trouble absorbing it from meat. Folic acid from supplements can accumulate and are now linked to dementia and NK cell failure. Yet the form in meat wont do this.

    Peskin makes his claims, from what I can gather (I still have not read it all) from two things:

    1. Increased omega-6s will boost blood vessel flexibility.
    2. Increased omega-6s will boost insulin responses.

    I have known both of these things since before 2001. They are correct. This is highly reductionistic though. Omega-6s are also pro-inflammatory and so might also induce heart attacks.

    Some drugs used to treat diabetes are omega-6s analogues. They are basically modified omega-6 fats. They work.

    This is a complex tale and we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle. Nutritional medicine, functional medicine, is still in its infancy. I think its the future of medicine, particular for people with chronic disease, but it is essential to apply it holistically. We need systems biology.

    If Peskin wants to prove these approaches are better for older people with signs of vascular stiffening, he can show this by a long term study of large numbers of patients. Do they survive longer from all causes, not just heart attacks and strokes? That is the outcome measure he needs.

    One of the arguments cited for Evidence Based Medicine is the failure of methodologies like Peskin is applying. Anti-arrhythmia drugs were used to control heart irregularities. These irregularities kill. The drugs work. Ergo it reduces the death rate. Not so. Deaths increased. Other factors were not taken into account - the primary outcome measure should be survival, not reduction in heart irregularities.

    Bye, Alex
    Ocean and xrayspex like this.
  2. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Fascinating thread! thanks everyone. Hmmmm, not sure what I think. What I know is that every time I have attempted to supplement with fish oils, even organic good ones like Carsons etc I feel much worse usually right away. This year I felt they increased my headaches after my eye doc rec'd them for sjogren's dry eye. I just went with my experience and ingnored all the hype and decided never again!

    But I have been using primrose eve oil at bedtime for awhile now, not sure how long, 4-12 months...its been a blurry coupla years. I thought it might slightly help me relax at bedtime, otherwise couldnt tell for sure any effect either way. More recently my doc had suggested Safflower oil as alternative and I read the new research about its positive effects with blood sugar etc and since I run hypogylcemic gave it a go, usually take a tsp or organic when wake up for last couple months and I thought it has made me more stable for the day blood sugar and energy wise. I have been suffering from a lot of headaches the last.....well really on and off for many years but usually I can associate them to something if they get severe and frequent. NOwadays I have just concluded that I am reacting to a ton of foods all the time and I can't even figure it out anymore.
    When I eliminated bananas lately out of smoothies was happy to find headaches cut back a bit, but I dont have them every day but quite often lately, i wonder if it was the oil I would get headache every day since take safflower daily.

    so Alex is Safflower just as risky as Primrose?

    I do not have good luck with most supplements, the things I take most consistently lately are probiotics and dgl licorice, stuff for gut and quercetin for sensitivities but can't tell if it helps.

    another aside Alex, since you know a lot about related mechanisms, any advice on pain relief for the headaches? advil and benadryl help some but if I do advil daily my gut goes way backwards and then i get new pains,usually in low back, tylenol and aleve do that to me too. benadryl is making me stupid but I'm desperate. claritin =horrible mood. Do you think nsaids bad with CFS? I was thinking of asking for mobic or lodine supposedly less bad than advil on gut. I get deep pain in my bones sometimes with the headaches like in spine and legs and hands and feet....thats sort of new, I havent been dx with RA just sjogrens but starting to think should rule out other autoimmune as never had specific tests for them just the one for sjogrens ssb-la.

    also someone mentioned Dr. Kruse, very interesting, seems like a character and he doesnt clean up his typos but that doesnt mean he couldnt be right on, I do suspect he is onto something with the cold temperatures being good for longevity as the minute it gets slightly warm my symptoms increase and I am miserable now, thats sort of new for me too, well lets say more in the last 1/3 of the life of my cfs/fm thing. Kruse recs hcg tho which is odd as wiki says it was just banned in Dec so not sure what to make of that.?
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi xrayspecs, I had a nice detailed reply and then my computer froze and I had to reboot. So here is the short version as I am a little busy.

    Safflower oil is better than evening primrose oil for most people, but is equally problematic for us. If its working for you then keep using it, but do be aware of the symptoms I posted earlier - pain and flu-like feelings. The safflower oil cannot be heat treated though - cold pressed is required.

    I don't know a huge amount about drugs. My background is the biochemistry not pharmacology of these pathways. I think most NSAIDS are risky for long term use. Occasional use to get over a bad patch might be OK. Given our probable deficiency in omega-6 fats the risk of stomach ulcers from NSAIDS is probably higher than for other people. Long term use at higher doses are very risky if you have ME in my opinion.

    COX-2 inhibitors are probably safer and better than regular NSAIDs for one-off use. Used regularly they will rapidly become even more dangerous however.

    Iodine is likely to help us for many reasons. Its not just about thyroid.

    The main method I use to avoid headaches, which may or may not be why I get few headaches now but it fits the chemistry, is the avoidance of meat fats, egg yolks and organ meats.

    Safflower oil and other omega-6s are probably best absorbed slowly. A sudden increase is the most risky way. When I was testing fats in the early 90s I mashed some potato and added them to the cold potato. Every hour or so I had a spoonfull. This spread the dose out over the day instead of all at once.

    Treating headaches is a specialist topic and not exactly my area. I do know that it depends very much on the type of headache.

    Bye, Alex
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  4. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    hey thanks alex I really appreciate your info and sorry you lost the work of the first longer one! I think I will cut back the safflowr and then pay more attention to adding it in more slowly like you said and spread out, its so hard sometimes for me to tell what i am reacting to unless its obvious and immediate.
    I do have a referal at headache clinic but have been doubtful about going, i just do not want any chance of irritating ignorant comments from a new practitioner, have no tolerance or heart for it anymore but would like their expertise, but afraid they won't understand the mcs etc trying to think of my best strategy for how to handle them and what to say....anyway, thanks again
  5. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

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    I get dry eyes too xrayspex. Really annoying, I wonder if I have sjrogens syndrome. I'm not sure if I've been tested, but it doesn't seem like it would be that useful to know anyways.

    Another thing to keep in mind about Safflower oil is that vegetable oils like that are not stable enough to eat the way we get food these days, ie pressed a long time ago and sitting in a plastic bottle for months. It's likely all the safflower oil you can get at the store is rancid. Consuming rancid oil everyday is a pretty bad idea, really not what our bodies need. It would be another story if you could get it fresh pressed, but that seems unlikely. Everything I know about it suggests Olive Oil and Coconut Oil are the safest vegetable oils to be eating as they are the most stable.

    Along the same lines, Fish Oil should be kept in the freezer because it isn't that stable either and will go rancid if it's just sitting around in your cupboard for a long time, which it usually does since it comes in such huge bottles.

    At least this is what I've gathered from numerous seemingly knowledgeable sources. But humans are pretty stupid about food these days, so it's hard to know anything for sure.
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Whit, all oils go off fast. The reason that olive oil and coconut oil are not problematic is two:

    First, they are not used to make hormones. Hence if they are off it isn't a huge problem. Polyunsaturated fats are used to make hormones. If they are off then your hormone synthesis is going to be altered. Saturated fats are also very stable fats by comparison to polyunsaturated fats, but I do not recommend eating too much saturated fat. Saturated fats can also be used to make hormones, but since they are much more stable heat or light is not a huge problem until they start to go really off.

    Second, they don't have a highly vulnerable chemical structure.

    Cold pressed oils should be bought in small glass bottles. They cannot tolerate light or heat. They go rancid if old. They go rancid if open to the air too long - which is why you buy them in small bottles. Low temperature improves their life, just as it would a stick of butter.

    Natural polyunsaturated fats have lots of bends in their molecules. As they go off they tend to straighten out. Once this happens they are called trans fats (from the shape of the chemical bonds) and are more dangerous than saturated fat in all probability. Fresh is best.

    The best way to get fats is to eat the nuts or seeds. The nuts are natures own way of packaging the fats for survival.

    Cooking destroys most polyunsaturated fats - they lose their important properties. That is why I prefer monounsaturated fats like olive oil for cooking. Polyunsaturated fats that are heat processed are junk fats - good for fuel, good for making fat, not good for making hormones.

    Extra virgin olive oil, if its fresh (and I only buy local oils) is also rich in antioxidants.

    I keep all my oils in the fridge except my cooking oils which I buy in 500 ml bottles.

    Bye, Alex
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  7. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Unfortunately central Scotland does not have too many olive groves!

    While we're generally discussing oils, I may as well mention that I got terrible breast pain when I was taking 1g flaxseed oil daily. Normally I get a certain amount of breast pain before my period, but this was continuous for two months, and much more severe. Eventually I happened to read an article about how some people get this, checked when I started the flaxseed oil and when the breast pain suddenly got bad, realised the connection, and stopped taking the flaxseed oil, at which point the breast pain vanished. (It actually seems to have stopped altogether now, as I am no longer overweight.) Do you think this could be related to the ME?
  8. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    It is always amazing how everyone reacts so differently. I would never stop my fish oil etc. I have no brain fog and I think that is one reason. That and other supplements like Dribose etc. But I take it for my brain itself since the brain is mostly fat and much have these oils.

    I have to keep my heart and nerves healthy also with POTS and CFS. So important for the retinas and so many things.
  9. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I wasn't able to read all the replies so please forgive me if I'm repeating something or missed something. I skimmed a bit and saw some drawbacks listed for EPO but I'll have to come back later to try to absorb it.

    I started taking EPO (evening primrose oil) not for ME/CFS symptoms but to relieve endometriosis pain. So, I can't report on how well it works for any ME/CFS symptoms, sorry!

    However, since there is such I large overlap between women with ME/CFS and women with endometriosis I thought it was worth sharing my experience.

    My endometriosis pain slowly escalated over the years until I had pain not only during my period but all month long. The pain was at about level 4-5 during the rest of the month and 9+ during my period. (e.g., screaming pain-- I don't like to be dramatic, it's even embarrassing for me to type this, but it was very bad) Luckily, I tried several things and EPO was one of the things that helped--no cure, just a reduction in pain. But in spite of all the treatments I added my pain was still very bad. Eventually, I had surgery for the endometriosis (not hysterectomy but surgical removal of the abnormal endometrial lesions in the pelvis). That worked for me. It was also quite validating that the exact place where I pointed to the pain was where the surgeon found the majority of the abnormal tissue (just on one side, near the ovary).

    Even though surgery eliminated most of my endometriosis pain, I have kept taking the EPO ever since. Like ME/CFS, there is a LOT that they don't know about endometriosis. Women sometimes get a recurrence of symptoms after surgery--sometimes even women who have had a full hysterectomy. Some theories say that new endometrial lesions can form. Other theories say that it's more likely that some very small lesions were missed by the initial surgery. Either way, I figured I wanted to keep the endometriosis in check if possible. And since the EPO had worked well for me before I decided to keep taking it.

    Hope that was helpful!
  10. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    headaches - slightly off topic

    This may not apply to you, xrayspex, (not sure what kind of headaches you have) but bananas, especially very ripe ones, can be a migraine trigger for some people. They are for me. It took me a long time to figure this out but now I avoid bananas, and especially banana bread (usually made with extra ripe bananas).

    It's weird because I'm not bothered by a lot of the foods on a typical list of migraine triggers. But bananas usually (not always) cause problems for me. I also get the monthly menstrual migraine but that's not something I can fix by avoiding a certain food.:(

    If you think your headaches are migraines then here's a nice list of possible triggers that I found. It's not just foods but a summary of many different things that can trigger a migraine - http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/healthtopics/pdf/triggers.pdf

    It sometimes takes a while (I was never very good at detailed daily diaries!) to make the connection that a specific item might have caused the migraine but having a list of possibilities is one place to start.

    PS to heapsreal -- sorry if this was a bit of a tangent from your original topic!
  11. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Ahimsa, thanks for migraine info, I do think banannas were causing migraine type headache, there is some amino or something in them, tyrasine (sp?)?
    its in cheese too but i dont think cheese gives me headaches.
    whit I was glad to find out about the sjogrens even tho no good solution but i always feel better when can find more scientific explanation for problems.
    I don't even know what to eat anymore, wheatfree for a long time, garlic bothers me. so many things do!

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