Monday, June 22, 2009

Silent Inflammation & Fish Oil by Barry Sears

Barry Sears talks about Silent Inflammation, Chronic illness and Fish Oil Supplementation

by Robin White

To see Dr. Sears' short video about Fish Oil, go to

Dr. Barry Sears, founder of the Zone Diet, has been a foremost researcher on the phenomenon of Fish oils and Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet for the past 25 years.

In this you tube short video, Dr. Sears talks about the benefits of Fish oil supplements. Personally, it has helped me tremendously. I have noticed a big difference in my joints, skin, hair, and moods. Recently, I had what I thought was a broken toe, which was swollen and hurting like crazy. I stepped up my fish oil to (9) 1200 mg caps per day and within one week, the swelling was almost completely gone, as was the pain.

I wish I had known about fish oils when my grandmother was suffering so badly with arthritis. People who suffer from arthritis should definitely try this supplementation, as it is quite amazing, in my opinion. Dr. Barry Sears, creator of the famous Zone Diet, advocates taking large doses and wrote several books on the subject as well. You will know when you are taking too much, as your bowels will become loose and you can just cut back a bit until it resolves. Everyone's system is a little bit different, obviously.

For me, I find if I can take 2-3 1200 mg. capsule after every meal, I stay pretty well balanced, unless I am sick or hurting, and then I will step it up.

Tom's friend Lyle McDonald, is a famous nutritionist, speed skater and strength coach and he has a great web site called I am including here an excerpt of his opinion about fish oil supplementation:

A fairly standard dose of fish oil in the studies is the equivalent of (6) 1 gram capsules. The average capsule has 180 mg epa and 120 DHA, so 6 capsules will provide 1,020 mg epa and 720mg DHA for a total of 1.8 grams of total fish oil. I would consider this basically the minimum daily amount that would be beneficial on any level.

Some work has identified that the body will hit a limit (in terms of plasma saturation) on DHA at 1.2 grams per day which is the equivalent of 10 1 gram fish oil capsules. That would also provide 1.8 grams EPA for a total of 3 grams per day of fish oil. Under most conditions, I think this is more than enough.

A friend who uses fish oiils to control her arthritis will often go as high as (15) 1 gram capsules although I haven’t seen that supported in the literature. I’d note that higher doses are not better here (although some are currently recommending absurd amounts). Excessive fish oil can impair the body’s ability to mount a proper immune response, as well as impairing insulin release.

Carlson’s fish oil contains roughly the equivalent of (4) 1 gram fish oil capsules per tsp., I don’t know the values on cod liver oil offhand.

My current generic recommendation is the middle level, (10) 1 gram capsules per day for 3 grams total fish oil. This should provide maximal benefits (in terms of partitioning and health) with minimum negatives. Individuals trying to control a specific excessive inflammatory condition may wish to experiment with higher doses (15 1 gram capsules or 3-4 tsp Carlson’s fish oil per day).

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