MORE VALUE FROM NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTS
It’s the Combinations that Count.
These notes are for the information of the parent or the person who is going to take these nutrients and are not meant as medical advice. Consult your doctor if you have any queries. We have sourced many of the following notes from Dr Barry Sears’ book The Omega Rx Zone.
- Take enough Omega-3 supplements to be effective and then reduce quantity.
- In addition take a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet.
- Carbohydrates spike the release of insulin which reduces Omega-3 effectiveness.
- Increase protein intake slightly especially for breakfast. The Zone Diet is a good system.
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. Nature, including our human body, seldom offers clear-cut answers but we do get effective working hypotheses. With regard the Essential Fatty Acids Omega-6 and Omega-3 scientists have known about the benefits of these oils for over 50 years, but only now, as research methods and technology improves, is the information being made available to the public.
Some of the indications from the scientific world are the following:
- Over the last 60 years the Western world’s consumption of Omega-6 oils compared to Omega-3 oils has gone from about 3 to 1 to about 20 to 1. This has come about as a result of modern food processing techniques which include high heat and chemical solvents that destroy the sensitive Omega 3 oils while leaving the Omega-6 seed oils looking sparkling clean in their plastic bottles.
- Omega oils have a chain of reactions in our body going from the lower levels of Linoleic acid (GLA) and Linolenic acid (LA) to the more complex long-chain fatty acids such as AA, EPA and DHA.
- Our brain is composed of 20% DHA. It is a required nutrient for the peri-natal brain and thereafter for maintaining the brain’s efficiency. Our body can synthesise the long-chain Omega 3 oils from fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, pilchards and tuna. The fish consume the plankton, which contains the fatty acids, and thus they do the conversion for us.
- The scientists have found that we need to balance the excess Omega 6 oils, such as Arachidonic Acid (AA) with EPA a complex Omega-3 oil. And unless we are able to achieve the balance we become susceptible to, what Dr Sears calls, Silent Inflammation. This could be the cause of many of the degenerative diseases and those of old age such as the various forms of dementia. For example, studies show that the brains of those with Alzheimer’s have less DHA than normal brains. Please don’t delay. You owe it to yourself and your family.
Our Polluted Oceans.
“To be healthier we should just eat more fish especially fatty fish”. This has been a recommendation from the scientists for many years and in the absence of fish or canned fatty fish a range of capsules containing fish oil has been on sale for years. These oils ranged from the vile-tasting cod liver oil our grandmothers made us swallow, to the rather pleasant tasting ones on the shelf today. However, there have been a number of snags in implementing this recommendation. Pollution of the sea has increased dramatically over the last few years and they say that there are few fish that do not contain some form of poison such as PCBs, mercury, dioxins and other heavy metals. Therefore fish oil extracted from fish may contain such poisons but if it is taken in small doses this would not be serious but large doses are not advised.
However, modern distillation methods have now been perfected so that there are no poisons in the oil and large doses are quite safe. But, be warned, not all oils on sale are so distilled.
The Real Thing Omega Fish Oil
This oil is ultra refined from small fish at the processing plant in Scandinavia. For shipping to South Africa the oil is sealed in containers and then under pharmaceutical quality standards is bottled or encapsulated.
There are two forms available: capsules and oil. The oil contains 900 mg DHA and 600 mg EPA per teaspoon (5 ml) giving a total of 1 500 mg of Omega 3 oils. You should get about 40 teaspoons (5 ml) out of the 200 ml bottle. At one teaspoon a day, this is more than enough for one month at a standard rate. Some people may need a little more, but begin with one teaspoon.
Note that because of the refining there is no fishy smell or taste. But for those who don’t like to take the oil “neat” there are the capsules where two capsules deliver 800mg EPA and 600mg DHA. This compares very favourably with other refined oils on the market.
Improving the absorption of Omega-3 Oils
There are factors that will affect you body’s ability to absorb the Omega 3 oil and in some cases it will almost nullify the effect of the wonderful oil that you have gone to so much trouble to find and to pay for.
- Scientists have found that consumption of trans-fats, which are those fats found in margarine and some cooking oils, obstruct the synthesis of the Omega 3 oils.
- Another impediment is consuming large quantities of refined carbohydrate, which forces the pancreas to secrete insulin to balance the system. These insulin spikes counteract the absorption of the Omega 3. On the other hand it seems that small amounts of protein assist the absorption.
- Another snag is that the Omega 3 needs a whole range of other nutrients and minerals to work with. (Nature is so complex!) These especially include the B Vitamins and minerals especially magnesium. Also anti-oxidants are important. The good news is that one of the best anti-oxidants is Extra-virgin Olive oil so make sure you have two to three teaspoons a day.
When to take the fish oil:
Most nutrient supplements are better absorbed if taken with a meal. Each raw fruit or vegetable contains the exact enzymes we need to absorb it. (Isn’t Nature wonderful?) The Omega 3 oils, however, are absorbed over a few hours and are retained in your body for a few days. So there is no need to panic if you have missed a dose. You can make it up later.
The major importance of supplementing Omega-3 oil is that in its natural form, fatty fish, it has almost vanished from our diets. This, coupled with our overabundance of Omega-6 from seed oils, makes it a “must”. But, as we all know, our internal chemical systems are very complex and in addition the Essential Fatty Acids we need a range of vitamins and minerals as “co-workers”. Some of these micro-nutrients we can still get from our fruit and veges but benefits are being slowly reduced with mono-agriculture and poor storage.
If you can eat all organic foods so much the better but this is not easy to do consistently. The easy solution is to daily take a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet. We don’t have a specific choice but generally you get what you pay for and we have found that the range from Clicks is good value. The cheaper multi-vitamin tablets tend to omit some of the B vitamins.
Protein for breakfast
For working mothers and children at school, with everyone rushing, there is not enough time to eat a proper breakfast. And breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day to set up the “flattening of the insulin curve”. If one only has refined carbohydrates and a little milk for breakfast this sets the person up for a sugar craving by mid-morning. And if this craving is then satisfied by sugars and refined carbohydrates (chips and sweets) it sets up the whole cycle again and some call this self-medication.
One of the ways to solve this problem is to go on the Zone Diet and the secret of this diet is to have some vegetable carbohydrate plus a little protein plus a little oil for breakfast AND all the other meals and snacks. You don’t get hungry so you don’t crave.
Therefore, when there is no time for eggs, sausage, fish fingers, etc., the Smoothie has become standard with fruit, yoghurt, milk, a teaspoon of olive oil. Previously some mothers used a soy-based powder for the protein but we did not recommend this. Now, The Real Thing, supply a quality Pro-Protein Powder produced from hydrolyzed marine collagen.
Suggested dosage: A teaspoon of the powder supplies the protein for one for a meal. The powder is very light and has virtually no taste and there are 40 servings in the 200gm tin. Because a teaspoon is such a small helping we suggest you mix it with a packet of whey powder (Whey is also a protein mix and obtainable at your supermarket usually under R20.00). Use a heaped teaspoon of the mix per person. Add your Omega-3 capsules or oil and the brain will be ready and sparkling for the thinking day!
One hesitates to call pure water a “Nutritional Supplement” but these days, where most of us have a bountiful supply of liquids available, we seldom if ever drink water “neat”, as it were. We drink coffee, colas, wine, beer, fruit juices and various teas but seldom just water. However, chronic lack of water has an effect on how the brain operates and some have found that increasing just the water intake of ADHD kids has had a beneficial effect.
Also, be aware that all the above supplements are augmented in their effectiveness by drinking more water.
But what water? You don’t have to buy bottled water unless you are in a municipality where the water quality is poor. If you boil a kettle of tap water and then leave the lid off for a few moments as it boils this releases the chorine and the water is good to drink. Cool the water before decanting into bottles, preferably green ones, to keep on the shelf ready for drinking. Room temperature is best but a bottle in the fridge for a cool treat is OK.
Suggested Dosage: For grownups six to ten 250ml glasses per day. Build up to this over a number of days. As you increase you may need to increase, slightly, your intake of sea or Himalayan salt.
Bicarbonate of Soda. (Bicarb)
Buy it from your supermarket. While you are increasing your water consumption, why not bring your body system to a more alkaline state. The easiest and cheapest way is to have a little (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) in every glass of water you drink and especially the one first thing in the morning.