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Omega 3 Info

Fish oil bipolar

It’s been reported by psychiatrists that ethyl-EPA, an Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, is a good treatment for bipolar depression. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry details the positive effects of EPA on the disorder and its ability to ease the symptoms.

Bipolar depression involves periods of mania alternating with periods of depression. These periods can last for weeks or years. Most patients find the depressive episodes most hard to deal with, and research has found that the depressive part of the disorder is also the hardest to treat effectively. There has been increased interest in the potential of Omega-3 fatty acids to help in these cases. A Harvard University team reported on this in 1999, and ever since other scientists have been looking into the positive effects of EPA on bipolar depression.

An Institute of Psychiatry study tested EPA on 75 bipolar out-patients, of both sexes between the ages of 18 and 70. Some received EPA, in a light dose or heavier dose, while others received placebos. They found that the benefits of the light dose were just as significant as those with a heavier dose. The EPA didn’t seem to have severe side effects beside some stomach ache, and it did not induce mania. There was some improvement in depression compared with the placebo group.

EPA, according to the authors of the study, may act on the nervous system by binding to receptors. This leads to the release of ‘second messenger’ molecules, whose knock-on effect brings about an altered state in the neuron. This means EPA has a similar effect to that of the mood stabilising drugs which bipolar patients usually rely on. The authors of the study conclude that further work is necessary to establish the benefits and possible side-effects of EPA, but they are optimistic they will find EPA is a safe and beneficial anti-depressant compound which may be more agreeable to patients than the usual drugs available.

Fish oil for a child

Fish oil has been used on many occasions to see whether this natural oil can help with conditions such as ADHD, ADD, poor behaviour, poor concentration and poor reading and spelling in young children.

The results that have come back so far from this research all seem to be saying the same things. That is, that EPA fish oil given to young children to supplement their diet can have very positive effects on all of the above conditions, some more than others

This research led me to give my two young children ( a girl of 4 and a boy of 6) a daily dose of high grade EPA fish oil  to see if it could help with there concentration and school work  in general.

I started to supplement my childrens’ diets with a daily dose of 600mg of EPA (no DHA) and 200mg of Borage oil (48mg of GLA), I also gave them gummy bear vitamins 3 times per week (Boots own) and a mineral tonic (minadex) 3 times a week to help the oil “get into their system better” they were both approximately 3 years old when I started this regime.

Their diet in general was very good, hardly any fizzy drinks (unless we ate out as a treat) a tiny bit of chocolate everyday and crisps once a week in there lunch box or at home as a treat.

I also took the children to get exercise at least 4 times per week, this was in the form of a children’s gymnastic club and 2 swimming lessons, with at least one long walk, bike ride or a playful swim. This still left plenty on time for cartoons and the play station (which I believe gives good hand eye coordination at a young age)

When my little boy started school he was a November baby so he was one of the oldest in the reception class, every school report he had was excellent and parents evening was over in a flash, the teacher (who I also thought was excellent) just kept saying you are going to have no problems what so ever, he is bright, keen and can concentrate for hours!  So it did not come as any surprise when the school informed us that he was skipping year 1 and was going to be put it in with year 2 pupils.

The big shock for me was my little girl  who was an August baby, now although keen and bright in my eyes she just did not have the same powers of concentration as my little boy ( at 5 he sat through 3 hours of Harry potter at the cinema and only moved because his bottom went numb)

I found out she was the second youngest in the entire school and to be honest did not think she was ready for school at 4 years old.   So when parents evening came around I just could not believe it when the same teacher told me she had put her in one of the top 2 groups, she went on to say that her concentration along with her reading ability for her age was nothing short of fantastic, another major proud dad moment came just this year (2006) when we were told that she too will skip year 1 and move up into year 2 just like her brother.

Very impressive when you consider that she will only be one or two months older than some of the children coming into the  reception class, and will at the same time be starting her year 2 work   I think that diet, nutrition and  fish oil have all played a major contributing roll  in giving them all the skills they need to be able to shine and move forward at school.

So fish oil for a child?  Well unless the child eats 3 healthy portions of oily fish per week then we think it is a very good idea!

Omega 3 fish oil weight loss

When embarking on a diet, most people make the decision to cut out many foods that are considered unhealthy, such as refined carbohydrates, high calorie foods and fats. However, in order to eliminate excess body fat, you need to make sure you’re eating enough of the right fats. While it’s true that some fats are not good for you, others are absolutely essential for losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet. While the body can transform carbohydrates and proteins into saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, it cannot produce certain polyunsaturated fats. These fats that the body cannot produce are called essential fatty acids (EFAs), and they must be obtained from the food that we eat

Essential Fatty Acids, otherwise known as Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids, are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the oil from oily fish and vegetable sources such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, olive oil and canola oil.

Both types of EFAs are required for the production of the eicosanoids – hormones that are responsible for regulating the major body functions, including digestion, insulin production and the storage of fat.

How Omega-3 fish oil aids Weight Loss

It has now been proven scientifically that Omega-3 fish oil helps you lose weight. Studies at the University of South Australia have found that taking omega-3 fish oil combined with moderate aerobic exercise boosts weight loss.

Over a period of 12 weeks, researchers gave a group of obese adult’s daily doses of omega-3 fish oil and supervised moderate aerobic exercise three times a week. The researches compared the results of this group with other groups that were not given omega-3 fish oil and exercise three times a week.

The group that had the omega-3 fish oil lost significantly more weight, particularly around the abdominal region, than the people who had not been given the omega-3 fish oil and exercise.
They concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil activates the enzymes responsible for burning fat, and combined with exercise and increased oxygen intake, they increase the metabolic rate, which has an effect of burning more fat and losing weight.

Omega 3 fish oil and weight loss

Another recent study that was published in the international journal of obesity, researchers want to find out if by supplementing the diet with omega 3 fish oil (good fat) would increase the number of fat calories burned in a single day.

The two groups were fed exactly the same diet apart from one group were fed 6 grams of fat in the form of butter, olive oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil, the other group were given 6 grams of omega 3 fish oil.
The fish oil group were given 8 capsules per day, 2 in the morning, 3 at lunch and 3 in the evening.

The Total daily intake of omega 3 long chain fatty acids was 1.8 grams.
The out come of the test results were fairly conclusive.

The table below shows you the changes in fat oxidation, body fat, and metabolic rate after three weeks for the groups with or without fish oil

without fish oil with fish oil
Measurement of body fat lost 0.7pounds -2 pounds
Daily metabolic rate 1710 calories 1775 calories

These results show that the group who were supplementing with fish oil burned about 1.1 milligram of fat per kilo per minute. This is roughly 26% higher than the other group who weren’t supplementing with the fish oil.

One of the key reasons as to why omega 3 fish oil has such a powerful effect on fat metabolism is that the insulin levels were 50% lower when subjects used the fish oil. Insulin is a hormone that reduces the use of fat for fuel, while also promoting fat storage in the presence of excess calories.

Insulin increases the activity of an enzyme known to promote the storage of fat.

Insulin inhibits the action of hormone sensitive lipase, which is responsible for breaking down stored fat and preparing it for use as energy.

Insulin also activates an enzyme, which, along with fatty acid synthesis, is responsible for converting carbohydrate into fat.

Simply put, high levels of insulin make it less likely that your body will use stored fat as a fuel source. The drop in insulin levels when subjects used the fish oil would have allowed more fat to be used for energy.

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