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Cheney Turns Omega Fatty Acid Treatments on Its Head

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Cort, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Dr. Cheney's newsletter is out and this time it contains a quite substantive article. It looks like his website will be quite informative.

    Here again he - based on the results of his IVRT testing - turns received wisdom in ME/CFS on its head. Instead of advising high Omega 3 and very low Omega 6 supplements he's advising just the opposite.

    That is opposite to what several physicians suggest. Here's a paper on my website that reflects my understanding of fatty acids

    An earlier study by Dr. Maes found just the opposite of what Dr. Cheney is proposing; ME/CFS patients already had high omega 6 levels. He suggested they should be brought down.

    Propax NT - a touted fatty acid supplement - has high omega 3 and no omega 6 fatty acids. Eye Q has similar proportions. My understanding is that the Western diet typically produces high omega 6 and low omega 3 fatty acid levels

    Echocardiographic findings- Dr. Cheney's findings using his echocardiographic testing are unusual to say the least;in his last update he asserted whey protein, glutathione, D-ribose and others were bad for patients. Now its fatty acids....He's an interesting guy!

    The proof, of course, is in the pudding; are Cheney patients doing better when they stop using these substances?
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    I have recently read the same thing about the ratio of omega 6 to 3 and plant sources being better. Patricia Kane, Ph.D. is saying more or less the same thing.

    "Dr. Kane has found that the proper ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids is: 4 to 1. That is 4 times the amount of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. This allows the cell membrane to retain its structural integrity and normal function."

    So I have switched to mixing a very good olive oil with a very good flax oil to get the ratio.

    Who knows? We keep following the best looking breeze and hoping for the best.

  3. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

    Fish oil helped my asthma--I like Carlson. But I also use a lot of olive oil. Bariani--it's way beyond any other olive oil as its stone ground and a small ethical family business in California. Totally fresh. Buy it on the web. Flax oil never felt good to me--adverse side effects.

    We're all individual. I just don't agree with across the board recommendations.
  4. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Interesting Sushi,

    I must say I have never really gotten the benefit from omega-3's. At times I've wondered if they're making me a little more symptomatic but I'm really not sure. I do like olive oil, though :)
  5. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

    Central Texas
    Dr Cheney and omega 3

    I have a lot of respect for Dr. Cheney, but as someone pointed out on another board, maybe the short-term effects judged by the echocardiograph are different from long-term. Do we know?

    A doctor I know swears by raw Amish dairy products. He believes that the right fats strengthen the cell membrane and help it repel invaders. That would make the stealth pathogens more vulnerable to the immune system. If I remember, dairy contains omega 6 mostly.

    I really wonder about the validity of the testing. What about the brain? Omega 3's help my depression.

    He may turn out to be right, I will keep an open mind. Thanks for keeping us up on the latest, Cort.

  6. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Have been taking pure salmon oil capsules for several years (3000mg) and after May 2006 FM diagnosis increased this to 6000mg.

    Earlier this year also increased my 2 evening fresh salmon meals per week to include canned red salmon with salad at lunch every work day.

    Also now have a heaped tablespoon of freshly ground Flaxseed on my rice cereal every morning as well as about 5-6 organic walnuts chopped up - more omega 3 (flaxseeds need to be ground to break down the tough outer layer which the stomach can't do).

    So my cholesterol has dropped in 2 months from 6.1 to 4.9 (normal being below 5.5).

    I guess you could say I'm going all out on the omega 3's.

    Can't believe the difference.


    ps Forgot to say my triglycerides (the "bad" cholesterol) also dropped from 4.4 to 2.3 (I think it was).
    I had to drop my consumption of almonds (which I ate for extra calcium) when a tooth broke in half. But I was already aware that almonds are very high in omega 6's & very low in omega 3.
    So the only nuts I eat daily, are walnuts, & every few weeks or when I can afford them, I have a bag of macademia nuts (the next highest nut in omega 3, after walnuts).
  7. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Praticia Kane...

    Testing is the key. Kane and the M.D.'s she works with offers a fatty acid profile...but it's pricey, especially the analysis.

    Her main point is that omega 3's will not work without sufficient omega 6 oils...they work together. Yes, the vast majority of the population may consume way too much, but there could be the other extreme, which she is finding.

    I sent for her information packet on the fatty acid tests they run (through Johns Hopkins) and was quite impressed. She found that over 90% of the tests showed HIGH omega 3's, and omega 6's that were way too low, and suggested that these surprising results were due to the hype Omega 3's have received over the last 10 years or so, especially when it comes to 'good health', along with the ubiquitous 'dangers' of omega 6 oils. Thus, her patient population was essentially taking too much O-3's, and not enough O-6.

    (I'm like Cort...I know that O-3's are essential, but if I take even one capsule of fish oil, or flax too, I feel many different ways.)

    She also goes further to say that Evening Primrose oil is the preferred O-6, because of something to do with VLCFA's (very long chain fatty acids) in other oils like borage or flax, which can build up in certain patient populations and cause problems.

    I'll try and find a concise summary of her protocol and post it.
    xrayspex likes this.
  8. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

    Victoria, BC

    Hi; there is another consideration--CFS may not be the only diagnosis we have. In my case, I am subject to atherosclerosis (had one bypass and a very necessary aortic valve replacement 5 years ago--CFS only started up 2 1/2 years ago), and I have periodic attacks of scleritis. There is masses of research on the heart benefits of omega 3s, and I am not going to give them up without a lot more solid research. In addition, though the docs tell me to take Celebrex (used to be Vioxx) when scleritis attacks, I have found that lots of fish and krill oil plus some aspirin triggers resolvins, recently discovered particles that send messages for inflammation to quit ( the docs have not heard of this yet, since it does not come from Big Pharma), and that combo works even better than Celebrex, and is much, much more heart friendly.
    One has to take the whole of one's health spectrum into account, and omega 3s will remain at the forefront of my diet for a while yet. But I shall also follow Cheney's research--I have a lot of respect for him, and he is clearly very smart--though alas that does not preclude being also wrong.
    So I shall drink some more omega 3s to everyone's better health. Chris
    topghetto likes this.
  9. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Good points Chris...

    ...and with heart disease there are so many factors to consider that I'm sure you know more about than I do, like the cholesterol ratios, homocysteine, lipoprotein a, c-reactive proteins, and then with CFS (and other infectious diseases) there's the possibility of hypercoagulation defects, fibrin buildup, etc., etc..

    That's precisely (IMHO) why I think there will never be a pill or a few pills to treat CFS/ME or whatever you want to name it. There are just too many causes, too many factors, too many individual differences that made us susceptible to becoming chronically ill.
  10. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Here's Kane's Protocol info...

    The PK Protocol for Neurological Disorders

    Patricia C. Kane, Ph.D., Mark ONeal Speight, M.D., Katrin Bieber, M.D. Meinrad Milz, MD, Annette L. Cartaxo, MD, Edward Kane.

    Neuronal transmission throughout the body travels on the membrane of the neurons and is sensitive to its phospholipid structure, the myelin sheath and the fluidity of the bilipid layer. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is the major phospholipid in animal metabolism, which is degraded in aging and disease. The decrease of PC represents a significant instability of membrane function, which is further disturbed by an imbalance of essential fatty acids with an over-expression of saturated to un-saturated fatty acids, especially the very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) forming lipid rafts, ceramides, which Kane discovered are the hallmark of neurological disease.

    Examination of red cell lipids at Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Institutes Peroxisomal Diseases Laboratory in subjects with ALS, MS, Alzheimers, Autism, Post Stroke, Parkinsons, PDD and seizure disorders over the past ten years in ~9000 analyses has revealed an accumulation of VLCFAs, indicative of poor beta-oxidation with a consequent increase of sphingomyelin and the accompaniment of cell membrane derangement. Membrane phospholipid abnormalities with elevation of VLCFAs may be indicative of exposure to neurotoxins.

    Disturbances in methylation due to toxic exposure may also destabilize the membrane phospholipid architecture, and alter DNA expression due to deficits in the enzymes Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) and Methionine Synthase. Further, heavy metals, chemicals and microbes are fat soluble, and theref ore cellular soluble, rendering chelating agents and antibiotics limited in hepatic and CNS tissues.

    To clear the bioaccumulation of toxins and stabilize membrane function we have embarked on a clinical treatment plan for the past seven years to address the accumulation of aberrant lipids, including ceramides, with oral and IV phenylbutyrate, intravenous phospholipids (PC), methylation factors20(Leucovorin / folinic acid, riboflavin, methylcobalamin, tetrahydrobiopterin, NADH), and sulfation and chelation support (IV Glutathione).

    The use of oral and IV lipids facilitates stabilization of phospholipids in cellular membranes and may address hepatic and CNS clearance of microbes, chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals. In addition, raising of Yehudas 4:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 essential fatty acids may increase membrane fluidity, which may support neuronal transmission.

    The addition of intravenous phenylbutrate addresses neuroinflammation and raises peroxisomal beta-oxidation, lowering VLCFAs. We have noted dramatic and sustained clinical improvement within the first few weeks after initiation of oral and intravenous treatment in our patient population. Oral therapy includes unsaturated fatty acids as a Yehudas Balanced 4:1 omega-6 to omega-3 oil, Evening Primrose oil, Fatty Alcohols, Calcium / Magnesium Butyrate or Sodium Phenylbutyrate, Phosphatidylcholine (PC), methylation factors (folinic acid, methylcobalamin, riboflavin, tetrahydrobiopterin, NA DH) and co-enzymes. Targeted treatment regimes are utilized after red cell lipid analysis has been completed. All the interventions in the PK Protocol are natural constituents of the body.

    The PK protocol for neurological stabilization has been presented at Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, University of Kansas, UMDNJ, The 15th International Symposium on ALS / MND, ISSFAL, International Neurotoxicology, Stanford, The Royal Medical Society and researchers at the NIH. We have shared our protocol, research and clinical findings of a safe and effective IV therapy for both pe diatric and adult populations using intravenous phosphatidylcholine, leucovorin, reduced glutathione and phenylbutyrate with thousands physicians, both in the US and abroad in biomedical conferences. The PK Protocol has been published in two medical books, The Detoxx Book: Detoxification of Biotoxins in Chronic Neurotoxic Syndromes and Food and Nutrients in Disease Management, edited by Ingrid Kohlstadt, Johns Hopkins University, where Dr. Kane contributed two chapters entitled, 1) Seizure Disorders: Balancing Fatty Acids To Stabilize Brain Activity and, and 2) Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Dynamic Intervention for Neuronal Membrane Stabilization and in the medical literature.
  11. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

    Victoria, BC

    Hi--many thanks to Cort for bringing this up, and to Sushi and Dannybex and the others for making this a rich and thought-provoking thread. I love Sushi's phrase "Who knows? We keep following the best looking breeze and hoping for the best." Too true; we are all at sea, but at least we are still afloat.
    The research on the anti-inflammatory power of EPA and DHA is pretty overwhelming, and as I wrote I have tested it for myself. I have also read a good deal of research showing that the conversion of ALA, alpha linolenic acid, the flaxseed version of omega 3, into DHA and EPA is fairly inefficient, and gets less efficient with age. Flax does contain other omega 3s, so one should probably get a bit of omega 3 from flax or hemp too.
    But for hearts, EPA and DHA seem key; there was a good recent study of statins and fish oil in heart failure (GISSI-HF); statins were of no help, fish oil was. In addition, fish oil has well attested good effects on thrombosis and arrhythmias.
    Some time ago Floyd Chilton wrote "Inflammation Nation," which also proposed joining omega 6s to omega 3s for ideal anti-inflammatory power; don't know what has happened on his front since--will check it out.
    I checked out Sushi's link, and it took me to BodyBio, a company apparently founded by Patricia Kane, which sells supplements, including BodyBio Balance Oil, sunflower and flax oils in a 4 : 1 ratio; but why sunflower, a PUFA??
    Many thanks to Dannybex for posting Patricia Kane's protocol, which clearly demands a careful read. I think for the time being I will keep my fish and, particularly, krill, oils, and add some evening primrose oil, but not in a 4 :1 ratio. Krill, because it contains substantial phospholipids as well as omega 3 and a bit of omega 6 too. And lecithin, which contains phosphatidyl choline. But I will keep trimming my sails, keeping an eye open for a shift in the wind.
    Thanks again--these forums are really helping! Chris
  12. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    More on the importance of the n-6 to N-3 ratio

    Thanks Chris. Totally agree with Sushi...we're all just trying our best to figure this out...and it's so complex...but at least we're all still afloat, even if we don't feel that way at times.

    I would suggest calling or emailing Kane's site -- they'll send out a package with tons of information, studies to back up her claims. I have it here, but my brain would melt if I tried to type too much of the details.

    I think the reason she uses sunflower oil is that (along with EPO) it's not a's just a LCFA. Also, it helps balance the flax, which has a high Omega 3 ratio, so that if one takes flax alone, without any additional Omega 6's, the flax may deplete the O-6's, throwing things off balance and possibly causing problems.

    One of the researchers she bases her theories on is "S. Yehuda". She lists 16 references to his studies of fatty acids, and says:

    "Consistently, year after year -- study after study -- the best number was four parts of linoleic acid to one part alpha linolenic acid -- 80% linoleic (n-6) to 20% (n-3). Yehuda called it SR-3 for Specific Ratio-3."

    Here's a link to just one of his studies...there are many more, but this is one where he talks about the ideal ratio:

    back to bed... :(
  13. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    Just to add to the complication and confusion, there is a study that seems to show that Phosphatidyl Serine derived from soy (lecithin) is ineffective. The original studies of efficacy were done using PS derived from bovine brains.

    the original clinical trials on PS used raw material extracted from cow brains. And as numerous clinical trials documented it worked. The original trials, performed in the early 1990s, found this bovine brain PS to be effective in both patients with Alzheimers Disease,2 mild cognitive impairment (MCI a state of memory impairment that frequently precedes
    full-blown Alzheimers)3-8 and AAMI.9 It looked as if PS were set to revolutionize the world of neuropsychiatry. Then, the BSE epidemic struck Britain. Frantic not to contribute to a plague of mad cow disease, manufacturers went looking for another source of PS. And they quickly came across one: soya lecithin.

    There was just one snag: the PS derived from soya lecithin is not the same as the phosphatidylserine in mammalian brain. Phospholipids are made up of three basic parts: a backbone of glycerol, a polar head group, and two fatty acid tails (see Figure 1). By definition, any phospholipids that has the amino acid serine for the head group is posphatidylserine. But this means that any number of different molecules can be called PS, because there are many different possible fatty acid tails. And crucially, where mammalian brain PS has the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), soybean PS contains other, shorter-chain fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (LA) or alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

    In 2002, a proper, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed to compare the effects of Leci-PS (the most widely-used soy-derived PS) with a dummy pill.13Funded by Leci-PSs manufacturer, Lucas Meyer (now Degussa Bioactives), the trial1 involved 120 men and women over the age of 57 with age-associated memory impairment, but not dementia.

    These people first took a battery of tests for learning and memory, choice reaction time, planning, and attention, with a focus on delayed recall and recognition of a word list that had been learned previously. They were then randomly assigned to take either the soy-based PS supplementn(300 or 600 milligrams daily), and were re-tested six weeks later, and then again at twelve Weeks.

    The results were plain. After exhaustively double-checking the data looking at it frontways, sideways, upside-down the researchers were forced to conclude that No significant differences were found in any of the outcome variables between the treatment groups. There were also no significant interactions between treatment and severity of memory complaints. In conclusion, a daily supplement of S[oy-derived] PS does not affect memory or other cognitive functions in older individuals with memory complaints.1

    They suggest using citicoline instead; others disagree!

    Again, who knows! I had been taking a phos. serine complex (derived from lecithin), then switched to citicoline. I suspect the responses are too subtle to guess from "how I feel," which is no different!

  14. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Nicholson On Omega 3's

    Here's from a 2006 Phoenix Rising newsletter: three researchers published studies that year proposing that CFS patients take high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. One proposed that EPO (Omega 6) be taken alongside the omega-3's but in lower levels.

    A MISSING FACTOR IN CFS TREATMENT? Lipid Replacement Therapy in the U.S., U. K. and Belgium by Cort Johnson

    It’s not often that three CFS researchers produce papers that espouse the same kind of treatment but this is what recently occurred. In the last several months longtime CFS researchers Dr. Garth Nicolson of the U.S., Dr. Basant Puri of the U.K. and a newcomer, Dr. Maes of Belgium, have published papers promoting the use of lipid replacement therapy (LRT) in CFS. Here we take a detailed look at LRT; what it consists of, what it purports to do and how it works. That each researcher, interestingly, uses LRT for a different purpose, suggests it is a multi-dimensional therapy - one that every CFS patient should try.

    Using LRT to Fight Oxidative Stress in the U.S.

    Dr. Nicholson focuses on using LRT to reduce oxidative stress levels in CFS. Although much has been made recently of the many inconsistent study results in CFS this does not apply to studies of oxidative stress. Higher than normal levels of oxidative stress have been found in the red blood cells, serum, blood and muscles of CFS patients.

    What does this have to do with lipids? Free radicals are unbalanced atoms or elements that achieve balance by ripping electrons out of outer shells of other compounds. The compounds that free radicals are most attracted to are the lipids found in the membranes that surround the cell and the organelles in the cell. Oxidative stress measurements often simply involve measuring the by-products of lipid breakdown caused by free radical attack.

    The recent Kennedy study found that, in addition to increased oxidative stress levels, CFS patients displayed a lipid profile that puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease (click here). The recent Maloney study found that CFS patients had high levels of a kind of fat (abdominal) that produces high levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with increased free radical activity (click here). These and other lines of evidence suggest CFS patients should reduce their levels of free radical activity as much as possible.

    Oxidative stress levels in the body are largely controlled by the anti-oxidant system but how effectively the anti-oxidant system is working in CFS is unclear. While some studies have shown depleted anti-oxidant levels in CFS most results have been normal. The antioxidant system is extremely complex, however, and oxidant/antioxidant interactions are still not completely understood. Dr. Ziem has reportedly had success using a sophisticated approach to combating oxidative stress in CFS that she developed in conjunction with Dr. Pall (click here). Anecdotal reports indicate that glutathione supplementation is very helpful in some CFS patients (click here). Something, however, is clearly missing; while antioxidant supplementation can be helpful in some CFS patients it is clearly not the answer. These papers suggest that LRT may be a missing part the oxidant/antioxidant equation.

    Nicholson, G. and R. Ellithorpe. 2006. Lipid replacement therapy and antioxidant nutritional therapy for restoring mitochondrial function and reducing the fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome and other fatiguing illnesses. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 13, 57-58.

    Nicholson, G. 2005. Lipid replacement/antioxidant therapy as an adjunct supplement to reduce the adverse effects of cancer therapy and restore mitochondrial function. Pathology Oncology Research 11, 139-44.

    As noted above, oxidants or free radicals are highly attracted to the lipids in our cellular membranes. As they rip electrons out of the formerly stable lipids they release products that trigger an inflammatory reaction that causes more free radicals to be produced. High levels of free radical activity can initiate a self-promoting process called lipid peroxidation which could likened to a free radical wildfire. This can cause the affected cells to trigger their apoptotic or suicide programs. We know higher than normal levels of apoptosis are found in CFS.

    There are at least two ways to combat this problem. One is to quickly repair the cellular membranes before major damage is incurred and the lipid peroxidation process is initiated. The second is to optimize membrane health by using lipids that make an inflammatory response less likely once membrane damage has occurred.

    The study above involved cancer patients. Cancer is not CFS but there are some interesting parallels. Although most people associate chemotherapy with pain, fatigue is actually the most commonly found and often the most disabling symptom cancer patients face. Dr. Nicholson believes that fatigue in chronic illness is largely caused when reactive oxygen species (ROS) inhibit energy production. ROS are the most common form of free radicals.

    Free radical production is also a natural by-product of energy production. This means the mitochondria – already subject to high ROS levels – are particularly vulnerable to further ROS increases. Although ROS can damage membranes throughout the cell Dr. Nicolson believes that people with fatiguing disease are particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial damage. He is not alone in this; other physicians such as Dr. Cheney and Dr. Myhill believe that low ATP production (in the mitochondria) is important in CFS.

    This study found that supplementation with the Propax NT lipid replacement product resulted in reduced fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, etc. in cancer patients. Another study found that fatigue was reduced by 40% in chronically fatigued patients. Two recent studies found that both mitochondrial function and fatigue were substantially improved in both moderate and severely fatigued patients and in CFS and FMS patients. This looks like it may be an effective product for some CFS patients.

    Propax with NT Factor – is portrayed by its producer, a U.S. based company called Nutritional Therapeutics, as a complete delivery lipid replacement package. Besides many vitamins and minerals it also contains amino acids, antioxidants and probiotics. Propax has high omega 3 fatty acid levels and no omega 6 fatty acids. You can learn more about Propax at
  15. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Dr. Puri on Omega Fatty Acids to fight Viral Activity

    The next part of the Phoenix Rising newsletter dealt with Dr. Puri's findings.

    Using LRT As An Antiviral Therapy in the U.K. by Cort Johnson

    • Puri, B. 2006. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and the path of physiology of myalgic encephalitis (chronic fatigue syndrome). Journal of Clinical Pathology
    • Puri, B. 2004. The use of eicosapentaenoic acid in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids 70, 399-401.
    • Puri, B., Holmes, J., and G. Hamilton. 2004. Eicosapentaenoic acid-rich fatty acid supplementation in chronic fatigue syndrome associated with symptom remission and structural brain changes. Int J . Clin Pract 58, 297-299.
    • Puri, B. 2003. The clinical advantages of cold-pressed non-raffinated evening primrose oil over refined preparations. Medical Hypotheses 62, 116-118.
    • Puri, B., Counsel, S., Hamilton, G., Richardson, A., Horrobin, D. 2001. Eicosapentaenoic acid in treatment resistant depression associated with symptom remission, structural brain changes and reduced neuronal phospholipids turnover. IJCP 55, 56-564.

    Dr. Basant Puri of Hammermith Hospital in London has published a series of short papers on the effects of fatty acid (lipid) supplementation in chronic fatigue syndrome and other diseases over the past several years. He has also published a book on CFS that outlines for the public his research and treatment plans for CFS. A pioneer in the use of NMR brain scans in CFS, he believes his (and others) findings of increased choline levels in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia of CFS patients probably indicate a central nervous system infection is present. (see Choline on the Brain).

    Dr. Puri believes these high choline levels reflect viral interference with the enzyme responsible for putting together the lipids found in our membranes. These phospholipids should have either N-6 or N-3 longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids should be attached to them. If I am reading this correctly, a polar head made up of choline, serine, or inositol should be attached at the end of these phospholipids chains.

    The enzyme used to synthesize the N-6 and N-3 polyunsaturated acids (delta-6-desaturase) can, however, be inhibited by viruses. Dr. Puri believes that viral activity in the central nervous system of CFS patients leaves choline molecules that would otherwise be attached to these polyunsaturated chains free, and it is these free choline particles are being picked that by these brain scans. This, of course, also suggests that the cellular membranes in these areas may have lower than normal levels of essential fatty acids.

    Interestingly, gene expression studies of infectious mononucleosis patients who came down with CFS found that over half of the genes that were overexpressed in these patients were involved in fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial functioning. The pathogen under discussion, EBV, actually uses one of the fatty acids in our cellular membranes to replicate.

    Consequences of low fatty acid levels - why is it important to have adequate levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in our cellular membranes? It turns out that not all lipids are the same; some lipids are more apt to promote an inflammatory reaction than others. The fatty acid evening primrose oil (EPO) is rich in, for instance, y-linolenic acid, is less likely to be transformed into arachidonic acid (AA) which sits at the beginning of the inflammatory reaction.

    Building up levels of good lipids that are less likely to be converted to AA could therefore lead to reduced inflammation, oxidative stress, immune activation, etc. Dr. Puri believes this could explain why EPO was reported to be helpful in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Interestingly, the y-linolenic or good fatty acid pathway appears to be inhibited in many chronic diseases including viral infections, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as aging.

    Dr. Puris protocol, then, helps CFS patients recover from the damage caused by viral activity in their central nervous system by providing the essential fatty acids the viruses inhibit; it does not bring a halt to the viral activity.

    This is not, however, the end of the LRT story. Dr. Puris analyses of unrefined evening primrose oil, a source of omega 6 fatty acids, indicate that it contains substances called tripertenes are a) free radical scavengers, and b) inhibit two inflammatory enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase and neutrophil elastase. EPO supplementation, then, appears to be able to reduce inflammation in several ways; by repairing cell membrane damage, by building healthy cell membranes that are less likely to initiate the inflammatory processs when injured, by reducing free radical levels and by inhibiting the inflammatory enzymes.

    The Treatment Regime - Dr. Puri uses high-dose eicosapentaeonic (EP) fatty acid supplementation in CFS (10-12 capsules of eye q; 930 mg. EPA (omega 3), 290 mg. docahexanoic acid (omega 6), 100 mg. gamma linolenic acid (omega 6) + 16 mg. Vit. E daily. The sources of these fatty acids are fish oils (omega 3s) and unrefined, cold pressed evening primrose oil (omega 6).

    Treatment results - one CFS patient with high fatigue, poor sleep, muscle pain, and low mood who was almost totally confined to a wheelchair after six years of CFS began to go into remission about six to eight weeks into the program. At 16 weeks her depression score had dropped from 27 to 3 (!) and she reported that her sleep was much improved. Her muscle pain, however, was unchanged.

    Comments from a group of four CFS patients after 12 weeks of therapy ranged from the startling the fogginess of the brain was gone completely and the for the first time a feeling of well being was experienced to the beneficial I am able to communicate during a relapse.

    Dr. Puri also tells a remarkable story of a 20 year old who in the seven years after the appearance of his depressive symptoms, had not only not responded to anti-depressants, antipsychotics, lithium, paroxetine and hypnosis but had over time become severely suicidal. One month after starting 4 g of eicosapentoaenoic acid a day his unceasing suicidal thoughts had disappeared. Nine months later all his symptoms had disappeared, his depression rating, formerly at 32, was now zero and a brain scan indicated that substantial changes had occurred.

    Like the other treatments discussed in the edition Eye Q does not appear to cure CFS but its use may help ameliorate the symptoms of CFS.

    Eye Q is made by a U.K. company, Equazen. It contains high levels of omega 3 and low levels of omega 6 fatty acids (from evening primrose oil) as well as an antioxidant, vitamin E. You can learn more about Eye Q at
  16. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Dr Maes on Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Renormalize Serotonin

    Dr. Maes also produced a study in 2006 advocating the use of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Using LRT to Renormalize Serotonin Activity and Fight Inflammation by Cort Johnson

    Maes, M., Mahaylova, I. and J. C. Leunis. 2006. In chronic fatigue syndrome the increased omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are related to lowered serum zinc and defects in T-cell activation. Neuroendocrinology Letters 6, 745-751.

    Dr. Maes is a well published researcher who has mostly focused on depression but has recently turned his attention to CFS. He notes that studies have found that depression is associated with low red blood cell, serum and fatty tissue levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids – an intriguing finding given reports that depression is common in CFS.

    Serotonin - Dr. Maes believes the benefits depressed patients derive from LRT come from its ability to re-normalize serotonin activity. Cellular membranes with low omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to have low ‘membrane fluidity, a condition that can impair the functioning of the many receptors, ion channels, etc. present on them. Maes believes that low omega 3 fatty acid levels in both depression and CFS probably result in reduced serotonin activity.

    Fatty Acids and Inflammation
    Maes also believes that omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects as well. His 2000 study found that people with low omega 3 fatty acid levels displayed increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines when they were stressed. Omega 6 fatty acids are known to accelerate the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a role in increasing oxidative stress levels.

    Zinc, Fatty Acids and CFS – Dr. Maes has also found that low omega 3 fatty acid levels and depression are also associated with low zinc levels. Zinc is an important co-factor in the production of the desaturase enzymes that produce the polyunsaturated fatty acids. We have just seen that Dr. Puri believes that central nervous system viruses inhibit these enzymes in CFS patients. Dr. Maes, here, gives us another cause of desaturase inhibition in CFS.

    Zinc is almost never mentioned with regard to CFS but ten years into this disease zinc solution was the first treatment that ever worked for me. After that I seemed to respond well, at least for short periods of time, to everything. Did zinc somehow tip the balance for me, or was it just a coincidence? I have no idea.

    The Study – This study examined a wide range of fatty acids in CFS patients and controls. They included omega 3’s (a-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic), omega 6’s (linoleic, gamma-linolenic, arachidonic), omega 9’s, saturated fatty acids (myristic, palmitic, stearic), monounsaturated fatty acids (palmitoleic, oleic-eladic). He also measured zinc levels and a marker of immune activation (CD 69) found on T-cells.

    The study found that CFS patients had low zinc levels, low omega 3/6 ratios and high omega 6 levels relative to healthy controls. All of these findings could be associated with increased inflammation in CFS.

    A correlation between low omega 3 levels and a marker (CD 69) indicating a defect in the early T-cell response suggested that low omega 3 levels could play a role in the immune dysfunction seen in CFS. Reduced omega 3 levels were associated with increased fatigue, pain and memory problems. Increased omega 6 levels were associated with irritability, memory problems and muscular tension.

    Two studies of the efficacy of LRT therapy in CFS have had mixed results. This studies’ findings suggested why this was so. The high omega 6 levels found in CFS patients suggested they should avoid LRT’s involving high omega 6 levels. The failed LRT study, however, used Efamol, an LRT high in omega 6 fatty acids. The successful trial (Puri’s) used a formulation (‘Eye Q’) which has reduced omega 6 fatty acid levels. Dr. Maes suggests that CFS patients use only LRT formulations that have low or no omega 6 fatty acid levels in them.
  17. I take 12G of pharmaceutical grade fish oil (omega 3) and 1mg of GLA (omega 6) from evening primrose oil daily. This is no cure for CFS, but helps significantly with many symptoms - PMS, dry eyes and mouth, wicked weather related headaches, concentration, blood sugar control.

    Eicosanoids is another word for prostaglandins, which are the body's natural painkillers. You need GLA + EPA/DHA (omega3 +6) to produce eicosanoids. There are "good" and "bad" eicosanoids. If you take too much GLA you will feel good at first, then run into eicosanoid overload, then you will feel much worse. This is because the GLA will shift the production towards bad eicosanoids. The fish oil helps shift production of the eicosanoids towards the good variety.

    Back in the 1980's, it was finally discovered that aspirin worked for pain by reducing the level of bad eicosanoids. Unfortunately it also lowers the levels of good eicosanoids, so it's not something you want to take all the time.

    If you want more info about how and why this works, read Barry Sear's book "The Zone". You also need to control the amount and type of carbs in your diet and make sure you get adequate protein. Too many carbs will raise insulin which will cause more production of bad eicosanoids. This is the rational behind the "Zone Diet".

    This works so well for pain, I believe if people with FM did the Zone Diet and supplemented correctly with Omega 3 +6, at the very least they could throw away most of their pain medications.

    It also has so many other benefits mentioned in the other posts - helps with depression, heart health, insulin levels, brain problems such dementia, etc.

    I also believe many of the health and mental problems we are seeing in society today are due to a deficiency of omega 3/6 in the diet. There is a reason they are called "essential fatty acids".

    Fish oil is better than vegetable sources because it contains long chain fatty acids. The body can have trouble converting medium chain fatty acids (from vegetables) to long chain fatty acids. So the long chain variety is already converted for you.

    Unfortunately so many fish sources are polluted with mercury, so if you are going to take megadoses (anything over 2 G) you need to take pharmaceutical grade fish oil which is certified not to have mercury. Regular health food store grade fish oil can also have fillers and is just not as potent as the pharmaceutical kind. I think Carlson's is ok. I take Sear's Omega Rx brand.

    I've been "preaching" about this over at the PH board for years (I bet I've made 100 posts with the same info over and over), but it's like talking to a brick wall. I hope people will appreciate the info here and really give some thought into trying EFA supplementation.
  18. susan

    susan Senior Member

    Gold Coast Australia
    Dr Budwig

    If you are interested in this topic I would sugggest you look at Dr Johanna Budwigs cancer cure. She would take people out of hospitals in Germany on their last legs and feed them a 2:1 ratio of flax oil and quark/cottage cheese....massage them with the oil and use it as an enema. When whipped together they relased sulphured proteins, and became water soluble,the most effective method to release oxygen to the cells. She has a high rate of cancer cures using this method and there is a Yahoo cancer group of people using her method...vegetarian diet. I think she was a Biochemist.

    This mixture I love as I flavour it with honey/stevia cinnamon and vanilla and it is very easy to take....make mayonnaise, dips etc. Add ground up flax seeds to it. There is heaps about her findings on the net, nominated for a heap of Nobel awards, lived to 95. Much of her research is in German. Here is an excerpt of what she believes.

    Dr. Budwig chose organic flaxseed oil because it is the richest source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, as well as being well-tolerated by most people and easily assimilated. She opted to mix the oil with quark because of its high levels of sulfurated protein (cottage cheese contains similar amounts, as does yogurt or skim milk). She knew from her extensive studies that this type of healthy oil requires a sulfurated protein in order for it to be utilized in the body. Specifically, when the protein combined with the oil, Dr. Budwig discovered that the flaxseed oil would actually become water soluble, meaning that it would be absorbed more easily. Taking flaxseed oil without the sulfurated protein found in quark, cottage cheese or yogurt is not inherently harmful, but in order to achieve results like Dr. Budwig a combination of the oil and protein is necessary.

    Amazingly, Dr. Budwig found that after only three short months on her flaxseed oil-quark combination, cancer patients began to improve. Tumors shrunk in size, patients' strength returned, and further blood analysis showed that the infamous greenish-yellow substance did indeed go away. Phosphatide and lipoprotein levels returned to normal, and red blood cell amounts were once again at healthy amounts. She was even able to help the patients whose doctors had told to "go home and die." Clearly, Dr. Budwig had hit on something big in the world of cancer research!

    In fact, after over 10 years of clinical research, Dr. Budwig's combination of 2 tablespoons of organic flaxseed oil combined with one quarter cup of cottage cheese has been used successfully in Europe to treat a variety of diseases in addition to cancer, including arteriosclerosis, eczema, stomach and intestinal disorders, arthritis, and strokes
  19. PWB


    Bodybio and Dr. Kane

    I took the Bodybio lipid tests and was impressed with Dr. Kane.

    I have CFS, and was found to be low in Omega 6. I was told to supplement with both Omega 6 and 3 fats in the form of flax oil and primrose oil, unrefined Safflower or Sunflower oil (hard to find unrefined). They also recommended a low carbohydrate diet and butter.

    My tests showed a build up of VLCFAs and peroxynitrates

    I did not get cured of CFS, but I did notice my hair growing in more. It had thinned with the onset of CFS.

    I am considering going back for another Bodybio test, if I can afford it.

    Note that this test is from a blood draw. The cells they test are at the most three weeks old if I understand correctly. That means the test reflects what you have been eating or supplementing the last three weeks, not long term.

    Good health to all,
  20. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Hi Susan,

    Interesting you should mention Budwig. Dr. Kane has high praise for her calling her pioneering research 'brilliant', acknowledging how she was one of the first to rail against 'bad fats', hydrogenated oils, and for her discoveries of the importance of omega-3 oils over 50 years ago.

    But -- and this is according to Kane, not me :) -- the positive effects of her protocol many times didn't seem to last, and Kane suggests that's because flax oil alone was too high in o-3's, so that eventually it could become a problem if someone was on the diet too long because it would deplete 0-6's if flax was the only oil in the diet.

    I think that's what Udo Erasmus eventually found too...and he used to be "Mr. Flax"...that flax alone could eventually cause an imbalance, so other fats needed to be in the diet as well, and so now I think he sells a 'blend' of oils that he considers balanced.

    Just my two pennies.


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