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8/19/2015 - Link: The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets

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Link: The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
02:29:52 GMT


Blog Post by Apollia, owner and administrator of Non24.Com and Non24.Org


Here's a link to a recent post from my personal blog at Astroblahhh.Com:

The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets


That post was inspired by my recent reading of the book The Ultimate Omega 3 Diet: Maximize the Power of Omega-3s to Supercharge Your Health, Battle Inflammation, and Keep Your Mind Sharp by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., RD - a dietitian.

I'm just a layperson, and not a dietitian, nor a doctor, nor a nurse, nor a health care professional of any kind, so I'm not really qualified to judge - but, it looks to me like an excellent book, and I recommend reading it.

It's astounding how many different health issues that Omega 3 fats, and getting the proper amounts and proper balance of Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats, are said to help with - including sleep issues.


There isn't very much about sleep issues in the book, but sleep issues are mentioned briefly in various different sections.

The sleep-related quotes I found most interesting were the following. (DHA, by the way, is one of the three most common forms of Omega 3 fat - the other two being EPA and ALA.)

From Chapter 6:

"Mothers with higher DHA blood levels had babies with heartier sleep patterns in the first 48 hours after delivery. Babies born to women with low DHA levels had less advanced sleeping patterns (less brain maturity). Furthermore, the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the prenatal diet had a significant impact; diets that were higher in omega-6 fats resulted in babies having less advanced sleeping patterns."


From later in Chapter 6:

"DHA deficiency may be a link to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); infants who die from SIDS have much lower levels of DHA in their brains. These babies also have less mature nervous system function, in which DHA is critical. Any delay in developing mature brain cells could hamper arousal from sleep, which is believed to be an important survival mechanism likely impaired in SIDS."


And from Chapter 7:

"One notable study by Malcolm Peet and David Horrobin recruited 70 clinically depressed patients who continued to have problems in spite of taking antidepressants. They divided the patients into four groups to explore the effects of different daily doses of EPA: one gram, two grams, four grams, and zero (placebo). They found clear benefits at the lowest dose given, and three batteries of depression tests showed improvement in sleep, anxiety, depression, libido, and lassitude. The researchers noted that no drug study has shown such large improvements."


I read The Ultimate Omega 3 Diet book so recently that I actually haven't done much yet to put ideas from the book into practice.

So, I can't speak very much from personal experience yet. I have taken the Ovega 3 vegetarian Omega 3 nutritional supplement (containing DHA and EPA) from time to time, since November 2014. But, I've taken it quite inconsistently, and, until reading this book, I didn't realize that I probably should have been making a much stronger effort to make sure the Omega 6 in my diet wasn't interfering with my Omega 3 absorption.

I think Ovega 3 probably has helped me at least a little (maybe more than I know), and I sometimes have the subjective, unproven impression that maybe it makes my mind a bit sharper and clearer - but, those possible effects never seemed especially dramatic or unmistakeable, nor am I certain those possible effects are related to the Ovega 3 and not other things in my life. Also, I haven't noticed any notable possible effects on my terribly irregular sleep so-called schedule.


I also used to eat ground flaxseed (which is high in the ALA form of Omega 3, and low in Omega 6) from time to time quite a while back. (Not sure when exactly, but, for a while sometime after Dec. 2013, which is when I bought the coffee grinder I use to grind flaxseeds.) But, I lazily stopped going to the trouble, and I don't recall any notable improvements to my life that I can definitely attribute to eating it.

But again, I was quite ignorant of the Omega 6/Omega 3 balance issue back then - so, I believe that might have interfered a lot with my results.

I also was unaware back then that there are multiple forms of Omega 3. So, I mistakenly thought I was probably getting all the Omega 3 I needed from flaxseed - but, flaxseed only contains the ALA form of Omega 3, not DHA or EPA.


I hope that when I start making far more dramatic adjustments to my diet, maybe I'll start seeing more notable results.

And even if that ends up doing nothing for my sleep issues, there's such a huge list of other potential benefits from the proper balance and proper amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6 that I will still consider the effort worthwhile.


Again, here's the link to my longer post on this topic on my personal blog at Astroblahhh.Com:

The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 In Our Diets


And, again, the book that inspired these posts of mine is The Ultimate Omega 3 Diet: Maximize the Power of Omega-3s to Supercharge Your Health, Battle Inflammation, and Keep Your Mind Sharp by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., RD - a dietitian.


Comments are welcome at the Non24.Com Forum!

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