Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's Column
...expert advice on CFS, Fibromyalgia and other Health Topics.
You can benefit from Dr. Teitelbaum's wisdom and experience by visiting us at The Environmental Illness Resource regularly to read articles from his latest newsletter!
Monday, February 21st, 2011:
Goodbye Fish-Oil Burps
by Jacob Teitelbaum MD
Over the last two centuries, the American diet has seen a major drop in omega-3 consumption. This has occurred for many reasons — not least of which being the rise in saturated fats used in food processing, and the switch from grass-fed to grain-fed beef. The result has led to major health problems for Americans.
Grandma Called Fish "Brain Food" for Good Reason
If you suffer from depression, poor memory or a number of other conditions, there's a good chance that you suffer from omega-3 deficiency and would benefit from adding fish oil to your diet. With most of the brain being made of fish oil (as DHA), it's not surprising that consuming fish oil has been shown to reduce existing depression and help with postpartum depression, ADHD, bipolar illness and even schizophrenia. Even in healthy people, supplementing with fish oil decreases anger and anxiety and increases vigor while also improving various types of attention, cognitive and physiological functions — including overall mood.
Especially Helpful in CFS and Fibromyalgia
Fish oil levels are unusually low in people with CFS or fibromyalgia. One study of patients with CFS or fibromyalgia showed that treating solely with a high EPA containing fish oil supplement can improve pain and fatigue symptoms within 8-12 weeks.
Many people with CFS and fibromyalgia find fish oil supplementation to be very helpful, but tricky because of digestive problems that can create "fish burps," and because of having to take so many fish oil caps to meet their dosage needs. A supplement that can help considerably in this is the product "Vectomega," which provides all the fish oil you need in just 1 softgel a day and at a much lower cost.
Relieves Pain from Inflammation
If pain is associated with inflammation (and most pains are), it is important to realize that omega-3 fish oils play a critical role in suppressing excess inflammation in our bodies. This deficiency is one major reason why people are suffering from pain. Taking fish oil can decrease this excess inflammation — resulting in wonderful relief from pain. I often combine fish oil supplementation with a remarkable new herbal pain mix called Curamin, and have seen even chronic pain routinely decrease and often disappear. The effect has been, simply put, a miracle for many people.
A quick test to see whether your body's inflammatory system is on overdrive? When you get a paper cut, it should quickly go away and be forgotten. If it gets red and you still feel the pain an hour later, you might benefit from taking fish oil.
Want to Live a Long But "Youthful" Life?
Fish oils have been shown to significantly decrease heart attack and stroke risk, our nation's biggest killer. This is because fish oil helps keep the blood vessels that feed every cell in your body working well, leaving your body healthier overall.
Getting Fish Oil from Foods
I've recommended fish oils for many years. The benefits of omega-3s for heart health, mental well-being, pain, and more make fish oil seem like a clear natural choice. With fish oil being so important, I recommend people get at least 3-4 servings of salmon, tuna, sardines, herring or mackerel weekly.
Getting Fish Oil from Supplements
If you find that getting the fish oil you need through meal planning is difficult to do, adding a supplement is a great alternative. Unfortunately, this can lead to taking a lot of pills (often 10-12 a day), which is both obnoxious and expensive. In addition, there is some concern over mercury and other contamination that may be present in some fish oil supplements, and many (if not most) brands are simply rancid (a major cause of fish burps).
With that said, a new product has appeared on the market that is simply the most amazing omega-3 supplement I've ever seen. It's called "Vectomega" and I call it a revolutionary breakthrough in omega-3 science!
Vectomega — A Major Breakthrough in Fish Oil and Omega-3 Science
Vectomega is so much more effective than normal fish oil that the manufacturer's recommended dose for healthy people is just one tablet per day!
Vectomega delivers bioidentical EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) bound to its natural carrier, called phospholipids, for absorption that is out of this world. A single tablet can have the same effect as 12 standard fish oil gelcaps.
Here's how they do it:
Most fish oils are extracted from small, cold-water fish, including sardines, anchovies, herring, and other mixed fish. But then the fish undergo a lot of processing. The “cooling and pressing” steps, for example, bring the raw material close to boiling and coagulate the naturally-occurring proteins in the fish. This creates its own problems, as it requires large quantities of solvents (hexane and methanol to name two of them), and the need to reprocess the toxic waste that this method generates.
But this heat method also alters the position of the fatty acids.
Vectomega uses a gentle, cold water and enzyme process called “vectorization” to extract naturally occurring marine phospholipids along with the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. With vectorization, omega-3 fatty acids are retained in their natural (called sn-2) position, making them absolutely identical to the omega-3 fatty acids in the human brain. This perfect match allows the body to absorb and use the fatty acids much more efficiently. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish — in the natural sn-2 position, not the sn-1 position that they are twisted into when extracted from fish oil. The result is not only more natural, but much more concentrated in its effect. In fact, researchers have found that the omega-3s naturally bound to these whole salmon phospholipids are 50 times better absorbed than other fish oils!
SN-1 vs. sn-2 position? This might not sound like much, but in your body, these small changes are a big deal. For example, the simple position of a bond is the difference between healthy omega 3 oils (bond in the 3rd position) and some unhealthy omega 6 oils (bond in the 6th position).
As the saying goes, “location is everything!”. The structural changes that occur in the processing of most fish oils essentially causes the EPA and DHA to no longer be bioidentical to those in the human body. In Vectomega, the fish oils stay pure and bioidentical.
Because the EPA and DHA in fish oils are carried by triglycerides, rather than phospholipids, people need very large doses of fish oil to get good results — usually several grams. Unfortunately, the problem with that approach is that fish oil doesn’t sit well in many people’s stomachs. They experience gastric discomfort, bad aftertaste, and “fish burps.” Vectomega changes all that.
The Bottom Line?
I've switched all my patients previously on fish oil to the new Vectomega form. It's pure, bioidentical, saves them money and at only 1-2 tablets a day is as effective as 10-12 regular fish oil gelcaps.
Say hello to health and goodbye to fish burps!
Used with permission from Dr Jacob Teitelbaum's free newsletters-available at www.Vitality101.com
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