If It Is Silent, How Do I Know I Am Being Hurt
Silent Inflammation will hurt you. It will also increase the rate at which you age and put you at risk for a plethora of diseases. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer's are just a few of the conditions hastened by silent inflammation. Dr. Barry Sears, who wrote "The Anti-Inflammation Zone," outlines how to use omega-3 fatty acids (and fish oil) to reduce the effects of this quiet killer.
His story tells a very clear picture and gives some very important details. Details about how omega-3 fatty acids provide a great defense against inflammation in the body. It also tells about the role of omega-6 fats (a nutrient that is the predominant fat in most diets) which have the opposite effect on the body causing inflammation almost at will. Dr. Sears tells us that our diets should have a ratio 2 omega-6 fats to 1 omega-3 fat but the normal diet consists of a ratio of approximately 10:1. This crazy ratio is due mainly to the highly processed nature of the modern diet. This glut of omega-6 fatty acids leads to the production of arachidonic acid (AA) which is primarily responsible for inflammation in the body.
OK, Now That I Know It Is Really There, What Do I Do
There are three key nutrients in omega-3 fatty acids. They are EPA, DHA, and ALA. When it comes to controlling the inflammatory processes in the body EPA is probably the main character. It works by inhibiting the build up and production of AA in the body. A side note is that an over production of insulin can increase the amount of inflammation in the body. The level of insulin in the body needs is controlled by maintaining proper levels of omega-3 nutrients in the body and not taking in too many carbohydrates from simple sugar sources.
Fish oil supplementation from high quality sources will provide your diet with the nutrients needed to protect your body from the inflammatory foods that are prevalent in a western diet. There are a number of things to take to heart when discussing supplementation of this type:
High doses of fish oil containing at least 1 gram of EPA daily and a balance between the protein and carbohydrate levels in your diet are essential for reducing the incidence of inflammation in the body. Eating correctly and keeping insulin levels at proper levels. The more the insulin levels fluctuate in your body the more you need fish oil to counteract the effects. (Adele Puhn has done wonder work in this area and is worth reading) Monitor the types and amounts of food in your diet. Everything you put into your body has an effect. Make sure to get the desired effect by being careful with your diet. Supplement your diet with a quality fish oil supplement and cut out the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in your diet.
According to Dr. Oz and Dr Sears our bodies need at least 1 to 3 grams of DHA + EPA daily to counteract the affects of environment and diet. If you must take very high doses of fish oil please see a physician, as there are side effects to high doses of fish oil. Prolonged bleeding time is one of the worst. Obesity, chronic pain, and depression while all can be helped with the addition of fish oil, they also require professional medical intervention to manage properly. Take the time to learn all you can about the miracle we know as fish oil, but also take the time to use all the resources around you to get back to optimum health.