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Omega 3 and Inflammation

Distilled to the essence, the problem is systemic inflammation.  While this may sound a bit simplistic, most elegant problems and elegant solutions are simple in nature. Omega-6 fatty acids metabolize into pro-inflammatory modulators known as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.  The Omega-3 fatty acids metabolize into anti-inflammatory modulators known as resolvins and protectins.

Resolvins are compounds metabolized from the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanaeic acid (EPA), and docosahexanoic acid (DHA).   They are produced by through the cyclo-oxygenase pathway, increased in the presence of aspirin. Resolvins reduce cellular inflammation by inhibiting the production and transportation of inflammatory cells. Compounds derived from EPA are designated as resolvins of the E series, while those formed from the precursor DHA are denoted as either resolvins or protectins (formerly ‘neuroprotectins’ of the D series.

Interaction of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Aspirin

The resolvins and neuroprotectins are distinctive compounds. These lipids are strong anti-inflammatory agents, with immunoregulatory activities at very low concentrations. They are involved in molecular mechanisms that regulate and modulate removal of inflammatory cells and cell byproducts.  They restore tissue integrity once the immediate need for an inflammatory response has ended.

Through actions involving resolvins and protectins, aspirin facilitates the resolution of inflammation. At local sites of inflammation, aspirin enhances the conversion of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to 18Roxygenated products, resolvins of the E and D series, which are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Low dose aspirin, combined with omega-3 fatty acids is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory combination.

Recommendations:

 At this time, in our current social environment, it is very, very difficult to dramatically reduce the amount of omega-6 in our diet. To restore the balance of the 3:6 ratios, it is far easier and faster to increase the intake of omega-3.

  1. Distilled (mercury-free) fish oil, 1,000 to 2,000 mg twice daily.
  2. Olive Oil- 1 ounce daily.
  3. Aspirin 82 to 164 mg per day.
  4. For diabetics- add Alpha Lipoic Acid 250 mg 3 times, daily.

There are many good quality fish oils on the market.  Unfortunately, there are many more poor-quality products available.  Getting high quality does not necessarily take a great deal of expense, but you rarely get quality ‘on the cheap.’

We use (coincidentally) our line of products by ‘Stages of Life, Inc.’  These are pharmaceutical grade, and offer a good value.

  1. Heart & Sole- bottles of 120
  2. Alpha Lipoic Acid 250 mg- bottles of 120

The Olive Oil can be obtained at the grocery store, as can a good quality aspirin (I prefer St. Joseph’s Baby Aspirin.)