Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What I learned in nutrition class (also known as Fish Oil and Omega 3 and the most awesome experiment ever)

So many of you know that I've been taking a nutrition class.  Actually, it was brought upon as more of an Herbalife thing...but the wellness coach that teaches this class really talks more about the bigger picture than the supplements- which is what I needed to go for.

It's amazing how food can heal...and how food can be toxic.

It's also amazing how our food sources have become more business and less health.

Certain things are being left out and hurting us.

The more I learn, the more organic I go.

The more I learn, the more I pay attention to what comes into our house and our bodies.

The more I learn, the better I feel.

One thing that has really blown the lid off many things is the whole fish oil and omega 3 thing.

We're eating more and more farm raised fish (no omega 3) and more and more corn products are being forced into our food through fillers (high in omega 6- not good in higher doses), and we're becoming more and more unhealthy. 

And I'm not just talking about being fat. 
Skinny people can be unhealthy too.

According to my coach (who is also an RN and just completed an Anti-Aging Medicine Fellowship) did years and years of research on Omega 3.  I'm reading her pamphlet on it now.  At the very beginning, she writes:

"Fish Oil can positively Impact or Prevent...

ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's Disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Blood Clotting, Blood Pressure, Brain Function, Breast Cancer, Bronchitis, Cardiac Arrhythmias, Cardiac Sudden Death, Childhood Asthma, Cholesterol Levels, Chronic Fatigue, Colon Cancer, Chronic Inflammation, Chrone's Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Dementia, Depression, Diabetes, Dry Skin, Dyslexia, Emyhysema, Endometrial Cancer, Eye Health (esp. infants), Insulin Resistance, Intelligence, Kidney Disease, Lupus, Macular Degeneration, Memory Loss, Migraine Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuropathy, Post menopausal Bone Loss, Postpartum Depression, Premature Birth, Psoriasis, Raynaud's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Triglyceride Levels, and Ulcerative Colitis."

Now, I'm admitting that I haven't done all the research, she has.  She and her husband (a doctor) have been waist deep in books since the 90's studying the effects of omega 3 fish oil.

Did you know that the typical American diet has a Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio of 1:50? 

Did you know that the optimal ratio is 1:1 or 1:2?

Looking at my old food journal, my ratio was more like 0:150.

Yep, scary.

How can we balance it out?

Less corn.  Less fillers.
Eat ocean caught fish.

Supplement with fish oil tablets.

BUT...


not all supplements are created equal.

In order to do any kind of benefit in your body, it must be fresh and ACTIVE oil.

How do you know if its fresh?

open the bottle.

Does it smell fishy?
not fresh.



Cut open a capsule.

Does it smell fishy?

not fresh.



How do you know if its active?

The active part is where we have some fun!

There's a test.  You'll need a styrofoam cup.

I actually had 4 different kinds of fish oil in the house, so I tested all of them.

From left to right:
Herbalife, Sam's Club Omega-3, Costco fish oil, Meijer Organic fish oil

I filled them with hot water and dropped a tablet in.

Right away, the two right ones started to smell a little.
The left ones, just sat at the bottom- no smell, though.

Then I waited about 5-10 minutes. 
The two on the left started to change the cup a bit. 
See how its lighter at the top of the water line?  That's light coming through a thinner cup.
Then there's the right two...nothing but more stinky.

So, here's the Sam's Club Omega 3 cup (and behind it the Herbalife):
Do you see how they're starting to react with the cup?

Why do they do this?  One of the laws of science says that "like desolves like." 
Ever hear how oil and water don't mix?  Well, oil and oil do.
Styrofoam is a petroleum based product.
If your oil is an active oil, it will react with another oil.
See where I'm going here?
Isn't it awesome!!!
Then, the two active cups start to drip.

Then, this little bugger wanted to "help" and knocked the Sam's Club cup into the sink.  This is what it looked like when I picked it up. 
5 more minutes passed, and I went to pick up the Herbalife cup- this is what happened.                     

The other two?

Stinking up the joint.

Literally.


Awesome thing, though...Costco gladly returned the Fish Oil tabs and gave me a full refund.
Meijer?  not so much.

I will say this: 
Since going on an active fish oil, my joints feel better, my energy level is better, I'm concentrating better, my allergies are better.  (the latter is a biggie for me!)
I've been making other changes too, so I can't attribute it all to the active fish oil, but it has made a remarkable difference.

In addition, I've put both boys on fish oil.
A's attention span is getting longer and longer, there has been NO SIGN of eczema on his face, his allergies are better, and his behaviors are improving.

C's allergies are also improving.  We were even near- not touching- cats (gasp!) on BOTH Friday and Saturday.  I literally tripled his dose before and after the exposures, and he had minimal reactions. 
(two nights of no sleep as opposed to 10 before).
And this is in MI, where seasonal allergies are horrible right now!

So, is your fish oil active?

10 comments:

Kathy said...

Wow, this is so interesting! I'm totally going to share this with Matt, perhaps it will help his allergies too!

Jana said...

I would really like to know more about the kind of fish oil you are using. I have swollen finger joints that bother me a lot. If you are willing to share more information you can email me at ncff@paulbunyan.net. Thanks a lot, Jana

Mike and Katie said...

Wow! I'll have to ask Mike to bring me home some styrofoams cups from work.

Quirky Momma said...

This is fascinating! I love your science project! We take fishoil but not regularly. I will have to go check and see if our oil is the active kind.

inadvertent farmer said...

What a totally cool experiment! As a vegan I must try to get mine through flax and walnuts and such...great job taking the time to actually learn about our food supply and the importance of food on our health! Kim

*Mirage* said...

Allergies? It helps allergies? Hmmmm... I've been just dying of allergies this spring. :p Not literally, but you know, I kinda miss being able to breathe without sounding like Darth Vader. I've heard of taking it to enrich breastmilk when nursing, but the allergies thing is new to me. I assume it's safe to take while pregnant? I am due in September. Thank you so much for the info! :)

Christy said...

Sandy, thanks so much for the tips on the aloe for Braedon.Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers too; it means so much! I was just reading this post, I actually saw it on my blogger feed when you wrote it but haven't had the time to read it until now. Do you know if you can get a form of fish oil for kids that doesn't have to be swallowed? It would be great to try it with both of my kids. Thanks so much! cmartin2773@gmail.com, www.godssweetgift.blogspot.com

Holly said...

That is an awesome experiment. My MIL just left me an article about the Omegas and their deficiency in our diet and why we need more Omega 3's. Food can be amazing if we let it.

I am blessed! said...

Interesting. I'm always skeptical of neutraceuticals since they don't have to pass the FDA. I don't know a lot about fish oil, but have heard that it can be contaminated. I didn't know that it can help with eczema. I'll have to try it. We have several kids with atopic allergies.

Mrs P said...

I get those kind of migraines too - they call them "complicated migraines" here, where you get tingly and numb and can't think, they're sooo awful. I think I might have to hunt down one of these fish oils and get to town on good health! Thanks for the suggestion!!