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View Full Version : Thinking out loud with fish oils


Jordan Glasser
02-16-2008, 07:59 PM
I am starting to question how much I need to supplement fish oil. If I'm eating only grassfed meat and fish as a protein source, then why would I need more?
Any thoughts?

Scott Kustes
02-17-2008, 09:14 AM
If you're avoiding much in the way of omega-6s (i.e., from grains, polyunsaturated oils, and grain-fed critters), there's not a whole lot of need for additional supplementation. I don't think a bit more is going to hurt anything, but there's not an extreme NEED for it like the average American. The n6:n3 ratio is as affected by n6 intake as by n3, so cutting down on the over-indulgence of n6 is just as important.

Mike ODonnell
02-17-2008, 10:07 AM
like with anything...more is not always better. Scott nailed the whole 3:6 ratio issue. Omega 3s are also polyunsaturated...so are more unstable than mono or sat fats. (oxidative damage) You could always take a more concentrated EPA/DHA if that's what you are looking for. I don't think there's any real science to prove additional benefits from taking different doses like 3g ..5g...15g of EPA/DHA. Everyone is different in their needs...and you may be getting plenty from Grass fed meat as well.

Personally I'd rather take fish oil than eat fish with the whole mercury issue.

Brian Lau
02-17-2008, 10:51 AM
^ The dose-response issue is pretty interesting. There is evidence for an adequate dose for cardioprotection:
http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/1605/omega3chdps6.jpg
Source: Mozaffarian and Rimm 2006 (http://spartantraining.blogspot.com/2007/11/get-fat.html).
More than ~1 g/day (EPA+DHA) doesn't seem to decrease risk of coronary heart disease, and depending on your source of intake may actually increase your risk of other problems (mercury).

Jordan Glasser
02-17-2008, 11:08 AM
This is black box talking here. But, I've dropped off my fish oil consumption and seems to be impacting me in a positive way. In the past, if I was low on fish oil, I knew it. Joint pain, and old injuries would feel, well....not so old.

Maybe the biggest difference has been the switch to 100% grassfed meats.

And yes, I do tend to avoid n-6's so I would say that I have a favorable ratio of n-6/n-3's.

I may just take some cod liver oil every second day for a couple of weeks and see how that works.

Margie Lempert
02-17-2008, 09:16 PM
Just to add to the musings - I would guess that the closer one gets to eating "naturally," ie grass-fed, wild caught, organically/biodynamically grown, unprocessed etc, the less necessary supplementation becomes. I mean, our predecessors whom we are trying to emulate by "eating paleo" certainly didn't have gel caps.

Perhaps it's useful to rely on supplementation as a transitional tool, or to assist if you aren't able/willing to eat super clean.

Then again, the world is a much much different place now, so maybe it just isn't possible to eat at the same level of purity.

Mike ODonnell
02-18-2008, 07:26 AM
Fish oil can help correct the imbalance...but yes, once you correct it and eat healthy....is more needed? Obviously the people here eat way more healthy than the general public. Just have to watch out for those n-6s in the regular meats and farmed fish. I'd say also with improved health markers, gut health and improved cell membrane activity becomes increased utlilization rates....so now does only 1g of EPA/DHA do the job of what 3g of EPA/DHA did before?

Of course alot has to do with not only the state of health, but a persons exposure to environmental and exercise related stress...the more you workout, the more advantage there is to maintaining muscle and reducing cortisol with fish oil. If you are not overtraining, then less is probably required.

Yael Grauer
02-18-2008, 07:57 AM
I just can't afford to take six or twelve or however many pills a day other people take... I just do the recommended dose.