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Should we avoid fish oil supplements?...

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by dannybex, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    This study found that EPA in fish oil lowered natural killer cell activity, which is already low in patients with ME/CFS. Makes me wonder if taking fish oil or even eating oily fish is a good idea or not?

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/3/539.long

    "Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased."
  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    My interpretation is that it's not a good idea to take high dose fish oil during an infectious viral episode. Fish oil helps with inflammation though.
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  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Moderation is always the best way to go. And using your instincts.

    Studies often contradict each other. If you let them decide what you should do, you will go nuts.
    dannybex and ggingues like this.
  4. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    Someone the other day posted on another thread that different omega's have different benefits. Some are really good and others not so much. I can't remember who it was though. @WDN maybe? I think 3 was good, 9 was not. but don't quote me.
    dannybex likes this.
  5. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Yeah, it's complicated and confusing. But in the study above, some of the n-3 fatty acids didn't lower NK activity -- it was only the EPA from fish oil.
  6. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    I take Enzymatic Therapy Eskimo-3 and my latest NK cell function was high.
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  7. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Wow, that's great. Do you feel like your immune system is reacting more like a 'normal' persons? :)
  8. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    I don't feel any different really. Someone suggested that it might be high because I'm fighting some kind of infection so who knows?

    I also just found out I have some Primary Immune Disease. I need further testing to find out which one. It's always something isn't it?
  9. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    This study is interesting, but it has generalizability issues. All participants were over 50, white, and healthy, and all women included were post-menopausal.

    People have different nutritional needs at various times of their lives and depending on their health status. It's difficult to reason from this study to what people who aren't 50+, non-menstruating, and quite healthy, should do.

    I do like to see biochemistry departments doing medical studies. :) And I think it would be interesting if further studies are carried out on more ranges of people.
  10. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Actually, I would prefer to have better brain function from taking fish oils(which I've experienced) than a higher NK cell activity. That's only if I had to choose :)
    maryb and Valentijn like this.
  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I get a constant headache if I don't take fish oil. So not much choice in the matter.
  12. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I've switched to Krill Oil for awhile, which is not very high in EPA/DHA, but it has a high phosphlid value. I'll need a few more weeks before I know for sure if there is a difference. No downsides so far after 4 weeks.
  13. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    I would avoid high dose EPA, but DHA has some important functions, especially it is needed for cell membranes. DHA is one of the dominating lipids in the brain. I like Jarrow Max DHA, I think 500mg DHA is a good dose, and this will provide you only 130mg EPA which shouldn't be a problem:

    http://www.jarrow.com/product/90/Max_DHA
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  14. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I really suffer if I do not take high doses of EPA. My brain goes, I start wearing an invisible suit of lead again.
    EPA and sublingual B12 are the two very best things I take.

    I ran out of my purified EPA, and took a proprietary OTC one which contained DHA as well for 3 months, and went badly downhill.

    High doses of EPA do me the world of good. :thumbsup:
    DHA makes me worse, even in combination with EPA.:mad:

    We're all different. What's good for one of us isn't neccessarily good for others.
    Clearly, @adreno - your body and mine are in opposition about EPA and DHA - if the DHA helps you!:wide-eyed:
    dannybex likes this.
  15. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    EPA has a generalized anti-inflammatory action, so it might indeed push down NK function. Its a question of balance.

    On the other hand it is essential for hormone synthesis, and a lack of it might lead to all sorts of issues that are hard to pin down as I don't think enough science has been done. Since oxidative stress, which is typical for ME, damages omega-3 fats, its important to have some omega-3 source in the diet, especially long chain omega-3.

    The issue though is what kind of dose is appropriate, for what conditions. I don't think we know enough, so its the lemon rule: the only way to find out if a particular dose is a problem is to suck it and see if its a lemon.
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  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I have tested all my lemons. :thumbsup: Several times.
    A very high dose of EPA (8 capsules of VegEPA daily) massively increases my baseline functioning.
    It reduces PEM drastically, because I'm not "overdoing" just to attempt to get through the basics of eating and being nearly socially acceptably clean.
    It costs a fortune and it is worth every penny, it makes such a huge difference to how well I am with ME.
    Not a cure, just a massive difference in the quality and quantity of my life available for living.

    All I do know about my own immune system is that before I got sick, it was a very robust and reactive one.
    Vaccinations, (Which I try to avoid as much as possible, now my parents cannot force them on me. Travel is not worth the jabs required.) always resulted in massive reactions.

    Typhoid had me in bed with a fever for a week. (twice - it was a 2 shot thing)
    My BCG erupted into a sore that didn't heal for a year. I had to stop swimming because I wasn't allowed to get my arm wet.
    Cholera made my whole arm swell alarmingly and gave me a fever for a week.
  17. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Yup, we're all different…that's why there will never be ONE "cure" for ME/CFS. But I'm curious Peggy-Sue, do you know why the VegEPA makers and/or Professor Puri recommend against DHA?
  18. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    It seems like my pain is worse in the last few months that I backed off fish oil, but it does make my sensitivity to light considerably worse. I wonder if it's due to the DHA (even though my 2010 nutrEval test showed low DHA levels)?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2666167/

    Not sure if that study is applicable? @alex3619 ?
  19. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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