Extra omega 3? Don’t choose fish oil, cod liver oil or supplements with trans fats, choose vegetable
Expensive fish oil is too highly refined ‘purified’ to remove toxic substances, but in this process its natural protective substances are also lost. Expensive fish oil is also chemically processed and is arguably the most processed oil in the world.
Choose extra virgin olive oil instead of fish oil as a supplement
Extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed and not chemically processed. Making extra virgin olive oil is a very simple and natural process. The olives are washed after harvest, mechanically pitted, cold pressed, mechanically filtered and packed in dark bottles. In other words, the olive has been treated with respect for nature. It has not undergone any chemical treatments and offers all the fat-soluble vegetable micro-parts contained in the olive itself, i.e. protective substances such as vitamin E, squalene, sterols, polyphenols oleurpeine, hydroxytyrosol, chlorophyll, lecithin, etc…
In short, more than 200 plant-based micronutrients. Experts agree that those micronutrients are more important for our health than the olive oil itself. Extra virgin olive oil and ‘pharmaceutical fish oil’ are two opposites. Extra virgin olive oil is vital and fish oil is fatal when used long term.
Fish oil supplements not healthy
Eating fatty fish is not the same as consuming fish oil. There is a huge difference. The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends eating 2 servings of fatty fish per week. AHA clearly states that there is no convincing evidence that fish oil supplements are beneficial for cardiovascular disease. Also dr. He of the Northwest University of Chicago, after studying 200 studies, concluded that eating fish regularly can reduce the risk of ‘ischemic’ stroke by 13%. But he clearly states that it cannot be concluded that fish oil does the same. ‘There are probably other unknown nutrients in fish that are responsible for the reduced risk, nutrients that are not found in fish oil’.
Contemporary crude fish oil as supplements highly contaminated
Today fish are heavily polluted by man and his industry. Even the breast milk of Eskimos in Greenland is highly contaminated with PCBs, causing immunity and neurotic problems in their children, the Los Angeles Times reported on 13/1/04. Tests show that today the fish of all the world’s seas is heavily polluted. The larger the wild fish (such as salmon), the more contaminated it is. The PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals and methylmercury are stored in the fat of fish. Farmed fish cannot escape this either, because they get their own fish waste for lunch.
Trans fats and pharmaceutical fish oil harmless as supplements?
Around 1900, the industry started adding a hydrogen atom to vegetable oils to harden them. This is how margarine was created, a long-life fat. It all seemed harmless, but misfires of ‘trans fats’ were the result. Today it is known that by adding a hydrogen atom to vegetable oil, the particularly harmful ‘trans fats’ are created. This process created fatal fats that are still used today all over the world. After 100 years, people slowly but surely begin to recognize the harmful effects of hardening (hydrogenation). Only Denmark, the Netherlands and recently America have taken measures, after it has been known for many years that trans fats have harmful effects on health. But it will certainly be another 50 years before they are banned everywhere (if they will ever be banned?). Pharmaceutical fish oil has been processed to such an extent due to the contamination of the fish that it hardly resembles the fat in fish, as nature intended.
‘Pharmaceutical fish oil’ as a supplement too highly processed!
Fish are caught and stay on board the fishing boat for an average of 1 to 2 weeks, usually in refrigerated rooms. There the fish is selected. Fish that are too small, too large, strange and inedible are separated from each other. They are used to make fish oil. The edible fish are sold and the waste from these fish is often also used for the production of fish oil. In the meantime, the fish is already at least 2 to 3 weeks old. The contaminants are stored in the fatty parts of the fish (PCBs, dioxins, methylmercury and heavy metals). Many organizations therefore advise against eating oily fish during pregnancy. Since this poison is stored in the fat of the fish, it is actually no longer possible to sell fish oil without first refining it strongly. Nowadays, this strong refining has been given an expensive name ‘pharmaceutical grade fish oil’. How does one work?
Melting: the fish and the fish waste are first boiled so that after prolonged cooking the fish oil floats to the top, a process that is described as smelting. The first sin, because omega-3 rich fish oil absolutely does not like heating and oxidizes as a result. Free fatty acids are created that have to be removed afterwards.
Molecular distillation: this crude fish oil contains all contaminants from the sea, such as PCBs, DDTs, mercury, other heavy metals, dioxins and tastes bad. It contains cholesterol and free fatty acids. This major problem makes the oil unfit for human consumption. The fish oil industry invented ‘molecular distillation’. A complicated process in which the molecules are sharpened under high pressure, which removes the majority of the contaminants from the oil. But also the important micronutrients and even most of the cholesterol. But this still did not give pure oil and still an oil with a bad taste.
Fractionation: Next, one proceeds to ‘fractionate’ and ‘deodorize’, the so-called ‘pharmaceutical quality’. A strong chemical process of ‘fractional distillation’ will remove the saturated fats from the fish oil and a further sophisticated ‘molecular distillation’ will remove almost all PCBs from the oil. Chemical interesterification causes molecules to bind. The fish oil industry calls this “pure, pharmaceutical grade fish oil.” I call this one of the most processed, refined oils in the world. A 40 oil that is to be avoided like the plague. Just like refined sugar, refined flour and other refined oils, we should avoid this supposedly ‘pure’ but highly refined fish oil for our health. Foods that are refined (which expensive fish oil most certainly are) lack the micronutrients.
Extraction of fish oil is pure but not healthy, do not choose fish oil with bad fats as a supplement
With SCFE, in the first phase, the ‘extraction phase’, the ‘crude fish oil’ goes into a ‘supercritical’ state (neither liquid or gaseous) through the cells of the fish oil until they burst. The second step is ‘separation’, in which one takes out what one needs (eg DHA or EPA) and can later partially add what has been lost (eg vitamin E).
M. Murray and J. Beutler, in their book Understanding Fats and Oils Better, write the following about SCFE: “Uninformed buyers and supplement manufacturers have been lured by the lower temperatures (and faster production time) during the SCFE process. Unfortunately, after refined oil is mass-produced, SCFE produces the worst quality. SCFE makes the oil less stable, causes greater fat peroxidation, changes fat profiles in structure, reduces mineral content and fractionates triglyceride formations. In addition, SCFA oil no longer contains phospholipids (eg lecithin) and vitamin E. SCFA is more harmful to polyunsaturated fats than extraction with hexane (solvents)’ (102).
This method produces a purely technical but refined product, just like white sugar and white bread. But this pure product is anything but healthy, it lacks its friends (the micro-nutrients that accompany them in nature). Whatever the manufacturers lead us to believe; anyone who is in favor of pure nature can hardly be in favor of pharmaceutical fish oil.
‘General nutritional rule: the closer to nature, the better’ Bart Maes, the organic veggie man
No ‘cheap fish oil’ nor ‘pharmaceutical fish oil’
Cheap fish oil is not fractionated and has not undergone chemical molecular distillation but contains too many PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals and methylmercury. Do the test: place a bowl of fish oil in the fridge for 5 hours (squeeze a capsule if necessary). If the oil remains liquid, you have ‘pharmaceutical grade’, which you should avoid like the plague because it is too processed. If the fish oil solidifies, then you have bought unprocessed fish oil that you should also avoid these days because of the pollution.
Cod liver oil is also not an option as a healthy supplement
Cod liver oil originated as a waste product of the fish, the liver of the fish is squeezed. One obtains fish oil, cod liver oil that is also rich in vitamin A. This was unhealthy because the cod liver oil contains too much vitamin A for humans. Today, ordinary cod liver oil is also too polluted.
Expensive fish oil does not provide the 2 essential fats: linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid (omega 3 and omega 6)
Fish oil does not contain linoleic acid (omega 6) and does not contain alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), the only two essential fatty acids that your body cannot make itself.
Fish oil gives only a part, vegetable omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 the total
Fish oil mainly gives you two non-essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. These two fatty acids are important, but can be produced by the body itself and belong to the ten fatty acids in the omega 3 family. Neither the essential omega 3 fatty acid ‘alpha-linolenic acid’, nor six other omega 3 fatty acids, nor omega 6 are made from EPA and DHA.
A vegetable omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 with alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid gives your body all the fatty acids it needs. That’s better, that’s holistic! If you did opt for fish oil, it is highly recommended to still take in sufficient vegetable omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9.
We must protect the fish for our children and stop using fish oil
If we keep fishing as we are, our children will only see fish on the internet or in huge breeding tanks. Then all edible fish species become like battery chickens. Today’s salmon already is. Similarly, many fish species are endangered in their natural habitat. Stop consuming fish oil. Choose vegetable!
Your body is the hero, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids omega 3 and omega 6
Your body makes all the fatty acids you need from linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid from vegetable oil. It’s a natural process. The omega-3/6 ratio is important for a smooth conversion. Two studies have calculated what ratio omega-3/6 should be for maximum conversion to DHA and EPA. This turned out to be one part omega-3 and two to four parts omega-6. (78) The greater the proportion of omega-6, the less alpha-linolenic acid is converted. (79) For the ideal conversion, the FAO recommends a maximum omega-3/6 ratio of 1/10. (78) Another test showed that up to 1/7 (omega-3/6) the conversion is perfect and if the omega-6 proportion exceeds 7 parts, the conversion to EPA and DHA clearly decreases 43 . Conversely, this is just the same. Too much omega-3 can inhibit the conversion of linoleic acid to AA because they use the same enzymes.
‘Most healthy people can make all the natural omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids they need from alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid,’ says Udo Erasmus. Artemis Simopoulos and Robinson state in their book ‘The Omega Plan’ that about 10% of alpha-linolenic acid is converted into EPA or DHA? Scientific studies show that the conversion is between 5% and 20% in healthy people and can very exceptionally be 0%.(80) A fatty acid level analysis can determine whether you belong to those few exceptions.
Johanna Budwig, Dean Ornich and others warn against unhealthy fish oil supplements
Bleeding a lot and longer in menstruation and wounds, increased LDL cholesterol, suppression of the immune system, increased blood sugar in diabetes, increased risk of brain haemorrhage, reduction of antioxidant levels, bloated abdomen and diarrhea.
Here are some statements from specialists: ‘Tests in other institutes showed that such fish oil is very harmful to both humans and animals, because they impair the functioning of the organs and poison the liver,’ says Johanna Budwig. (81)
‘The daily intake of fish oil supplements lowers vitamin E levels in the blood below normal levels,’ (82) says Sanders.
“What many ads forget to mention is that Eskimos have one of the highest rates of brain haemorrhage in the world,” said Dean Ornisch. Using only omega-3 thins the blood and causes spontaneous bleeding. (83) ‘In addition, fish oil capsules often appear to raise cholesterol levels’ (84, 89). ‘Fish oil may offer some protection against heart disease, but it can make problems with diabetes worse. It prompts the liver to release more glucose into the bloodstream’ (85, 86, 87). ‘A study showed that fish oil makes cholesterol more sensitive to oxidation and therefore increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which high alpha-linolene levels do not.’ (95) A Danish study showed that women who took 4 to 9 fish oil capsules for two years experienced no benefits for themselves. The study was conducted by the Danish Epidemic Science Center in Copenhagen.
2x more brain haemorrhage in babies whose mothers took fish oil during pregnancy
A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that mothers who took fish oil capsules (omega-3) during pregnancy were 2 times more likely to have brain haemorrhage in the baby than those who did not take anything. The moral: never omega-3 without omega-6. Omega-3 prevents blood clots. That’s positive. Omega-6 makes the blood clot. That too is positive. Both are needed.
Suffering from inflammation? Alpha-linolenic acid provides the solution, not fish oil!
Inflammation of joints, inflammation of muscles and inflammation of the veins are painful but sometimes dangerous things. Just think of osteoarthritis, rheumatism, arthritis and arteriosclerosis. Some studies have shown that chronic inflammation of the artery wall can cause arteriosclerosis. (105,106)
It is interesting to know that C-reactive protein is an indicator to show the extent to which inflammation occurs in the body (blood test). High levels of C-reactive protein indicate chronic inflammation and a high predictability of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
Two studies published in April 2003 the interesting difference between the effects of fish oil, sunflower oil and linseed oil in relation to the C-reactive protein present in the blood. (103,104)
Both fish oil and sunflower oil had some effect on C-reactive protein. But only linseed oil decreased the C-reactive protein by 38%. Other tests with other markers of inflammation show that all sources of omega-3 have a reduced effect on chronic inflammation. These results show that only alpha-linolenic acid can significantly decrease the C-reactive protein.’