Posted by Larry Hoover on March 27, 2005, at 7:21:58
In reply to Re: A new twist--eating salmon often..., posted by carolineh on March 27, 2005, at 2:01:31
> As I have reported earlier, I know high levels of Omega 3s have alleviated others' depression, but I have been frustrated that it has not worked for me. So I have decided to go to "the real thing"--since I read that the average portion of salmon contains 2 grams of omega 3s, I have decided to eat salmon as often as possible--every day if I can do it.
There's a lot more to whole fish than the fish oils therein. Experiments have demonstrated that fish protein has a differential psychological impact than does an amino-acid equivalent protein ration based on soy. Although the "standard wisdom" is that one protein source is equivalent to any other (if balanced for essential aminos), there is a growing body of evidence that is not the case. Moreover, fish are an excellent source of DMAE, which is touted to have antidepressant properties.
In all cases, I would support eating fish over using fish oil, except when really high omega-3 fatty acid intake levels are indicated. You can only eat so much fish.
> I like salmon a lot, and I know in earlier days when I ate a lot of salmon I felt better, but I was doing a lot of other good-for-you things, too, and well, there were other circumstances that may have been responsible for my feeling of well-being.
> so I'll let you know how it goes...
> btw, Lar, many MDs would disagree with you that the average diet is not deficient in Omega 6s. Although many experts are off their rockers, I would caution you not to get carried away with your expertise. Just my thinking.
I would hope that you would not resort to personal commentary about my internal experiences. My opinion is my opinion. I do not get carried away.
I welcome debate. The most important pieces of learning are when one is in error, and evidence comes to show that. I like to be wrong.
That said, with respect to omega 6 fatty acids.....
In other posts on this page, you will see cases where I have differentiated among the omega 6 fatty acids, particularly those with 18 carbons in their skeleton. Omega 6 fats are not substitutable, one for another. Dietary intake of linoleic acid, all from vegetable oil sources, has increased by up to a factor of 10000, all in the last century. Other than olive oil, and some very minor vegetable oils generally used for flavouring, vegetable oil was simply not in existence a century ago. It arose as the result of the food processing industry.
Prior to 1900, the only oils commonly used in the household were sourced from animals. Lard, in particular. Animal fat is a poor source of linoleic acid, unless the animals have been fattened on grain. (Even then, the amounts are not huge.) But, guess what? Grain finishing of animals before slaughter, and grain rations for swine, are also artefacts of the 20th century. Once again, we have a modern change, part of the new industrial food processing paradigm.
The thing is, humans did not ever, throughout all prior periods in our evolution, we did not ever have such abundant sources of linoleic acid. Vegetable oils, really just food extracts, did not exist. They flood and overflow the capacity of our enzymes. We cannot manage this onslaught, from a physiological perspective.
That leads me to consider another eighteen carbon omega 6 fatty acid, gammalinolenic acid. The flood of linoleic acid disrupts our ability to utilize this fatty acid, virtually wiping it away. We now need to supplement with GLA sources, to try and compete on a more level playing field. Moreover, to make that intervention more effective, we have to purposefully ingest more omega 3 fatty acids. We shouldn't *have to* do that, but the "modern diet", i.e. industrial food products, forces us to make those accomodations.
If your argument was with respect to GLA, then I hope this clarifies my position.
I have studied the writings and research of fatty acid experts, medical doctors who have taken up this isolated aspect of physiology, to make it their life's work. I do not come to my opinions lightly, as I have also studied the evidence upon which they rely. I concur with their findings.
I did not hold myself as an expert. I hold myself out to be informed. I would be only too happy to be shown to be in error, as I said in my introduction. However, the misinformed opinions of a few doctors is not enough to sway me.
I have come to realize that much of the "evidence" upon which the public presentation of nutritional guidance is based is false, or nonexistent. The food pyramid is actually a myth, for example. It has no basis in fact. No supporting evidence of any kind. And yet, it is promoted far and wide as a basis for healthy eating. As a result, we have an epidemic of obesity. This is not a portion SIZE epidemic, it is a portion TYPE epidemic.
And so on.
If you wish to debate any issues with me, I promise that I will not take it personally. Please don't start off that way.