From Your Brains, Bones & Blood Vessels to Your Distributor Cap… Fish Oils

It’s a general archaeological truism that Africa is the cradle of humanity, but an interesting addendum has recently been theorised…there was a particular dietary constituent that appears to have fuelled the southern African groups who became artists and explorers and some of whom eventually fanned northward into the cooler climes.  Fish…lots of this real food of the gods.  Around the globe the evidence is mounting that coastal societies with access to lots of fish were bright, artistic and inventive; more so than their inland cousins.  The far northern and southern coastal groups also likely got more sun by the shores.  And have you wondered about the ‘crazy people’ who talk about spraying WD 40 on their rusty elbows and making their arthritic pains feel better?  It’s not bunk…  I’ll get to this.
Fish oils come from the oily fish; sardines, salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, cod or fish liver and now krill (whale food).  The fat soluble vitamins A & D come from the fish liver oils and then there are the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), essential because we can’t make them so we need to eat them.  These EFAs come from the skin and oily parts other than fish livers.  Recent findings suggest that we need more EFAs than we had previously accepted.  In fish, these EFAs are comprised of the long chain omega-3 oils, EPA and DHA.   No labels you’ve commonly seen write out the full names… eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.
Most cardiac physicians and internists in Jamaica now regularly suggest fish oils for the circulatory system and the beneficial effects on the joints have long been known.  It has also been newly publicised that your brains really need them too.  They are MAJOR brain conditioners, yes, against both dementia and Alzheimer’s too.  The archaeologists are actually calling fish ‘brain food’.  And what of our old friends Vitamins A & D?  Vitamin A is still critical for your eyes (comforting to know that this never changes from one minute to the next) but the story on Vitamin D has recently changed radically.  We need way more of it than was previously recommended.  Why?  A combination of factors including:

– People bathe with soap too often – twice per day is too much.   Use soap once per day.  If you must bathe more than once just do so under running water only and soap your “three armpits”!!  Soap washes off all the natural oils that the sun converts to essential Vitamin D.1

– People use too much sun block – sunlight is essential for the conversion of natural skin fats to Vitamin D, needed for absorption of calcium by bone, etc. and lack of Vitamin D will eventually result in bone calcium loss (osteoporosis).  By the way, sun block 15 gives you 95 % block.  Anything over that gives 100% sun block coverage.  Keep in mind, many of the sun block micro-chemicals & minerals are absolutely toxic and are themselves cancer forming.  You have to know which ones are okay to use, but this article is not about that story.

– Non-organic, commercial food quality has lost 50% of food value over the past century with genetic modification, depletion of soil nutrients & agri- & aquaculture methods unable to duplicate full nutritive value of feeds and fertilisers provided by nature.

– More indoor living – you get less of the sun’s UVA or B rays which convert the skin oil to Vitamin D.

Early last year I first came across the opinion that it’s harder to poison yourself on Vitamin D than was formerly thought.  A key Israeli researcher at a conference said he and his family gorge on 50,000 IU of Vitamin D per day!  Well, I think this amount is “nuts”, BUT guess what…practising oncologists I know and I use up to 5000 IU per day for cancer patients and those deficient in Vit D for whatever the reason and 2000-3000 IU per day is very good for anyone.  The active Vitamin D3 is what you’re after.

Concomitantly, the recommended time we should spend in the sun has also gone up – going from no more than 15 mins per day for those that live in the tropics and an hour for those that live farther north/south, to an hour a day for us tropicals and up to 2.5 hours for temperate and arctic types (please read as – exposure to UV light and remember I did not say go and roast yourself in UV cabinets which, when used MODERATELY and under a serious practitioner’s advice, can be very helpful).

As to the business of WD 40…well, its main substance is made from denatured fish oil and fish oils are anti-inflammatory for the joints.  In addition, the skin will absorb anything that is carbon chain based (like oils) if specific chemical ligands are not attached to the oil to prevent its absorption.  The denatured, anti-inflammatory fish oils soak in around the joints and make quite a few arthritic ones feel better.  Kindly note that I am not suggesting this as a formal prescription nor am I suggesting you consume it.  I’d rather you change your diet to fix your joints and spray the WD 40 on your distributor cap instead, inside and out, when you know you’re going out in bad weather so your car won’t shut off.  Remember too that WD40 is inflammable so do put out your cigarettes and be very careful of sparks in your distributor and electrical panels when you are using WD40!!  Flash burns are not uncommon with WD40.1

Okay, now what to do about taking fish oil supplements…?  I tell all my clients to “mix things up”.  Take oils from different sources so you get a more balanced mixture of EFAs and Vitamins A & D.  One month buy good old cod liver oil and take 6- 8 pearls per day.  Next month buy fish oil and take 3 big gels per day.  Next, pure salmon oil if you can get it and take 4 per day (these gels are usually smaller). Next buy krill oil and take an extra gel more than recommended on the bottle.  If you buy liquid oils take 1 to 1.5 tablespoons per day.  Why the mix up?  It’s one way of cutting down on the mercury issue and getting other micro-nutrients from one that another may not have.  You can also now get mercury filtered oils, but filtering always takes some good stuff out too.  Try and get the absolutely natural stuff, nothing added or ‘taken out’ with one exception, Vitamin E…a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory most richly found in plant material.  The manufacturers put it in fish/fish liver oils to improve its shelf life, but it will improve you too!   To tell the truth, I always tell my clients to not only do the mix of fish/fish liver oils as mentioned above, but also to add the flax, borage, coconut, sesame, olive, avocado and algae families of oils as alternates because these additional sources give you Vitamin E’s and plant omega-3s with none, or less (in the algae oils), of the toxins like mercury.  If you are already a DAILY imbiber of salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring and the plant sources, you can cut the above recommendations in half.  I am not saying fry or drown everything in oil…that tablespoon and ½ per day is IT for fat…period (okay, fling in 1 pat of butter if you like because the butyric acid is now said to fight colon cancer (!) and it has Vitamins A, if it’s really naturally yellow, and D).

Furthermore, there is also an issue which the various manufacturers and authorities rarely mention; heat and light oxidation of these oils.   Try to buy any fish/fish liver oil in dark glass containers that you cannot see through and keep all in the fridge.  As with all oils that are good for you, fish/fish liver oils do more harm than good if over heated or oxidised.  When your COSCO bottle with 1000 gels in it that you only take now and then has been sitting on your kitchen counter for 6 months or so and is smelling ‘high’… throw it out!  Oxidation of oils is really bad for you and it’s one of the reasons old fish smells bad even before it’s inedible.  Worse yet, the ageing oils absorb the toxins of the ageing plastic (if that’s what your container is made of) and create harmful substances in the form of too many oestrogen-like (female hormone) compounds.  Oestrogen overload is one of today’s poison plagues due to all the plastic containers in which we sell oils.

The benefits?  Fish oils are powerful cancer preventers (unless rotten and then they positively are a CAUSE of cancer).  In addition, these oils ensure better circulation, better brain power, less joint pain, less menstrual pain, less dizziness, less wobbly walking, less migraine and ease depression.  Not bad for a food source that we love to catch and eat but about which we remain environmentally negligent and too often wrongly say that it ‘kyaan dun’.