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’.

Fruit, Veggies & Pesticides….Not a Love Triangle

Twenty-odd years ago while I was an Environmental Studies student at the U. of Waterloo, Canada; the faculty included Club of Rome types and consultants to the FAO.  They made predictions that have come true.  But they weren’t really predictions.  There was a pattern they realised was taking shape in an albeit philanthropic atmosphere.

After WWII, it became America’s personal mission to ensure all her people, and by extension the world, would not go hungry…the Great Depression had been replaced by the new wealth of massive creation of armaments.  The best brains on earth amassed from among former and new immigrants got together to turn ‘agro’ into ‘industry’ providing huge quantities of good inexpensive food for the baby boom.  Doing something Man has always done – fiddled with his environment – the first crops were engineered to bear in hardier climes and in shorter seasons & pesticides were proudly engineered from massive and relatively inexpensive crude oil stocks.  Remember that Dutch company, Shell’s fabulous ad with booming industry, populations and crop spraying aircraft swooping over vast plantations?  Wellllllllll… things are not so rosy now…

Having supplied themselves and the entire world with quite high quality cheap food and the model for creating it…a kind of addiction has set in … in America…food and the power you can wield with it has become a mega billion dollar business and whole populations and the health of all 7 billion of us is now at stake.  Quality and plenty for all is no longer the driving force behind agro-industry… power and wealth are the new drivers.  ‘Plenty’ has to do with filling coffers regardless of filling stomachs.  Between soil depletion, over-selection of given crop gene pools and the organo-chemicals of fertilisers and pesticides, it is estimated that the nutritive value of our food has dropped about 50% since the 1800s.

Grains are the simplest of our foods and therefore the easiest to engineer.  We now have Monsanto creating Roundup weed killer and engineering the grains to match!  This new grain’s sales manifesto calls it ‘Roundup ready’ because it has been genetically engineered to withstand the pesticide that would ordinarily kill/damage all growing things.  Monsanto has had no care about how these crops intermingle with non-roundup ready ones via winds, insects, etc., and when autonomous farmers raise objections they are silenced.

Fruits and veggies are a more difficult prospect for GMO engineering, it’s easier to handle them from the pesticide end.  These chemicals are largely organic chemicals designed not to wash off and have high soil and root penetration.  Therefore merely rinsing fruit and veggies is no longer going to help us get rid of these poisons, the wash must be a gentle natural solvent (some specially made for the job …or soap…yes, soap…like Dr. Bonner’s) on whichever has the type of surface that can be washed, & some scrubbed, followed by a thorough rinsing.  Not only do the pesticides directly affect us and the fruit – as faux estrogens, there is now evidence they are involved in the wave of obesity sweeping many countries – other victims include bees which are dying in worldwide droves.  These insects are being decimated by bacteria, viruses and pesticides that directly kill them or weaken their immunity to the microbes. You therefore get less and less healthy food crops with decreased biodiversity due to less pollenation. Keep in mind too that there is a grey area with potatoes and some sprouting crops which, even if not sprayed with pesticides, have growth retardant applied.

So what to do?  Know, for example, that some foods are pesticide reservoirs, like raisins and ground gourd fruits, e.g., melons and pumpkins.  Try to buy organic versions of these comestibles.  Buy green leafy stuff with holes in the leaves.  There is either less or no pesticide on them so the bugs can eat them too; perfect leaves often mean pesticide application.  As far as possible grow and buy organic.  You help yourselves and the environment.  Keep in mind that as the ‘developed’ countries discover the dangers, both personal and global, of some really dangerous pesticides, they get dumped in the ‘developing’ world to minimise profit loss.  Get with the SLOW Food Movement…organic, fair trade, reduced carbon footprint…

Food Labelling

Crafty Food Labeling Tricks the Industry Hopes You NEVER Learn… Posted By Dr. Mercola | April 20 2011

What’s the first thing you need to know about reading food labels? Too often, people with the best of intentions don’t realize that unless you read the entire label, you’re not going to get a true idea of the food’s ingredients. Even then, you have to know how to interpret what the label says to be absolutely certain that you’re getting what you want.

“When it comes to processed foods, if it says it’s natural, ignore the claim,” says Organic Lifestyle Magazine. “It means nothing. If it says it’s organic, it doesn’t have to be 100 percent organic unless it says it is. Remember processed foods can be labeled organic if only 80 percent of the ingredients are organic. And organic junk food is still junk food.”

The best advice is to simply not eat any processed foods at all. But if you must, a short list of ingredients and phrases to avoid includes artificial colors, artificial flavorings, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrates or nitrites, and others.
  Organic Lifestyle Magazine January/February 2011

  Huffington Post March 21, 2011

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:    
Organic Lifestyle Magazine is right—if you see the word “natural,” you can count on it meaning absolutely nothing. If you’re a label reader, you may have wondered, how organic is “organic”?

How local is “local”? 

Maybe you didn’t read the ingredient list on your “natural” product until you got home, only to notice some very UN-natural looking ingredients listed there, and wondered how there could be such an enormous difference between the front of the bag and the back.

As it turns out, most of what’s on the label is marketing hype and splashy design work, made only to seduce you into believing the product is good for you. And as you’ll see, you have to be very market-savvy to find the truth, because labels have fooled even the smartest shoppers.

It’s easy to be duped, if you don’t know what to look for.

How Many People Actually READ Food Labels?
Have you ever wondered how many people actually select their food based on what the label says?

In 2006, a survey was taken on more than 1,000 adults. The results might surprise you:

•80 percent of Americans read labels for things like calories, fat, sugar, and salt, but 44 percent buy food products, regardless of what the label says
•65 percent of women read labels, compared to 51 percent of men
•39 percent of young people (ages 18 to 29) said they look at calories on food labels, but 60 percent of them buy them, regardless of the label

There is obviously quite a bit of denial operating in the collective American psyche!
What the FDA Does and Doesn’t Do

You might be surprised to learn that the FDA does not require foods to be laboratory tested for nutritional content. While the FDA does check food labels, they only check to see whether or not the Nutrition Facts panel is present—not whether or not it’s accurate.

The labeling law allows food companies to simply estimate average values for fat, protein, carbohydrates, sugar, etc., for any given product, based on a standard list of ingredients.

So, how accurate do they have to be to avoid violating labeling laws?

The FDA says a 20 percent margin of error is acceptable. Even getting 20 percent more fat or sugar than you want will really add up over time.  But the truth is, it’s much worse than that.
EXPECT Labels to Lie!

The FDA estimates that roughly ten percent of food product labels contain inaccuracies.

Ten percent?


When actually analyzed by a laboratory, most grocery and restaurant foods are MUCH higher than advertised in fats, carbohydrates, sugars and sodium.

According to an article in Spinwatch, food testers analyzed 570 nutrients listed on 70 products. Only 7 percent matched what the label said—levels of fat, salt, calories and carbs were inaccurate in 93 percent of products tested.

The results were surprising:

•One biscuit was found to have three times the amount of saturated fat claimed on the label
•One type of pizza was found to have 80 percent more fat
•Cadbury’s Light Truffles were found to have 23 percent more fat than was claimed on the label

A 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that about 24 percent of food labels were inaccurate. Also in 2008, Good Morning America hired a lab to test a dozen packaged food products to see if the nutrients matched the labels, and all 12 products exceeded what was claimed on the label, in one way or another (primarily fat, sugar and sodium).

Manufacturers get away with this because punishment for violations is a joke.

For a first offense, information about the food is entered into a database, but the product is still allowed on store shelves. If a second violation is detected within 60 days, then the product may be suspended. But here’s the catch: since food testing is very infrequent, it is highly unlikely that a second offense will be caught within their 60-day time frame.

This effectively allows food manufacturers to do whatever they want and slant their claims however they wish, based on the demographic they want to manipulate.

The marketing of children’s foods is a perfect example.

Prevention Institute investigated package labeling for children’s foods in 2010. They found 84 percent of products advertised as “healthiest picks for kids” did not meet even basic nutritional standards.

And the next time you see “”zero trans fats” on a label, don’t believe it. Manufacturers are allowed to use that phrase as long as the product contains less than 0.5 grams per serving. Look at the ingredient list and see if it contains some hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
The Official USDA Organic Seal

There are a few buzzwords to watch out for on the front of the box that say absolutely nothing about the true nutritional value of what’s inside. Here are a few common marketing ploys:

•”All natural ingredients,” or “100 percent natural”
•”No artificial preservatives” (do they mean all they use only real preservatives?)
•”Real fruit” (just because the package shows a picture of an apple doesn’t mean the apple has to be in there)
Statements like those are unregulated and are designed to appeal to the gullible health-conscious, but do not reflect nutritional content. Marketers hope you’re uninformed enough to accept those statements at face value—hoping you’ll just grab the bag and go.

Even phrases like “all organic” have little meaning without the official USDA Organic seal, which is your best assurance of quality.

Growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels, in terms of being free of antibiotics and growth hormones, pesticides, heavy metals, preservatives, chemicals, irradiation, etc.

That said, even the USDA Organic seal has been greatly compromised over the past several years.
The Rapid Decay of the Organic Label

Organic food now represents a $16-billion business, with sales growing by as much as 20 percent per year. Unfortunately, the quality and meaning of the organic label is undergoing an equally fast decline.

Organic foods were once truly raised naturally, on small farms with great integrity. But with the skyrocketing popularity of the organic food industry, big business has now stepped in and tainted many of the principles upon which the organic label was founded.

Wal-Mart, for instance, is now the largest organic retailer in the United States. According to the Organic Consumers Association, the mega-store is:

•Selling organic milk that comes from intensive confinement factory farm dairies
•Importing cheap organic foods and ingredients from China and Brazil
•Posting signs in its stores that mislead people into believing that non-organic items are actually organic
The sad fact is, you are being ripped off by much of the organic food you are buying.

For example, consider all of those “organic” junk foods like ice cream, crackers, cookies, pizzas and potato chips. A potato chip is one of the worst foods you can eat, regardless of whether or not the potato is organic.

Yet big business is cashing in on your desire to “have your cake and eat it too” by trying to make you believe you can eat cake, cookies, ice cream and potato chips without feeling guilty—because they’re “organic.”

The same deception is beginning to happen with the word “local.” How local is local?

Is it grown within your:

·         City?

·         State?

·         Country?

“Local” is yet another unregulated term that clever marketers are using to increase sales. Without visiting the farm, it’s hard to know what “local” really is.

Some states actually regulate geographic claims, but many do not. For example, in Vermont, a product labeled as “local” must originate within 30 miles of where it is sold. And in California, farmers selling produce through California Farmers’ Markets must grow the produce within the state of California, which could be 5 miles away or 400.

And realize that neither “organic” nor “local” reveals anything about the size, sustainability, or humaneness of the farm.

Additives that Should be Subtracted
In 1958, Congressman James Delaney of New York authored an amendment to the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1938 called the Delaney Clause, stating:

“…The Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration shall not approve for use in food any chemical additive found to induce cancer in man, or, after tests, found to induce cancer in animals.”

One of the problems is, additives that were “GRAS” (generally regarded as safe) prior to this amendment were “grandfathered in”—and some of them are now known to be carcinogenic.

The following are a few examples of food additives to watch out for in your ingredient list:

•MSG—a flavor enhancer; this agent is a potent neurotoxin that can cause anything from migraines to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease; hidden in a multitude of other ingredients, including autolyzed yeast, glutamate, textured protein, gelatin, natural flavors, barley malt and soy sauce, to name a few.
•Sodium nitrite and nitrate—preservatives added to processed meats that are carcinogenic.
•BHA and BHT—preservatives added to processed foods, also linked to cancer.
•Potassium bromate—added to many white flours and baked goods, this endocrine disruptor damages your thyroid and can cause psychiatric and cardiac problems; most countries have banned it, except for the U.S. and Japan.
•Common food dyes—such as Citrus Red No. 2, which is used to dye your oranges orange… unless you buy organic oranges. Like most FD&C dyes, this dye is derived from coal tar, which is a human carcinogen. If you zest a non-organic orange, you may be consuming this dye.
A Quick Word on GMO Labeling

Until we succeed in getting a labeling law for all genetically modified foods, the only way to be somewhat assured a food is non-GMO is if it is labeled specifically as such, or if it holds the official USDA organic seal.

And even this is no longer a certainty due to widespread seed contamination. For example, your chance of acquiring a genetically modified Hawaiian papaya is 50/50—even if you’re buying one that’s certified organic.

The idea that you can identify GM produce by its PLU code is a myth, which Jeffrey Smith fully dispels in his 2010 Huffington Post article.  You can download his Non-GMO Shopping Guide from the Institute for Responsible Technology for more GMO information.The BEST Solution

There are no easy answers when it comes to deciphering food labels, but there are simple strategies that can help ensure you know exactly what you’re eating, such as:

•Avoiding packaged or processed foods
•Selecting whole foods
•Shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store
•Preparing your food at home
It really comes down to a change in mindset—choosing to eat “real” food that has been minimally processed and tampered with—like fresh produce, organic meat and eggs.

Even better, choose food that is humanely and sustainably raised/produced near you. Shop at your local farmers market or co-op; get to know your farmers personally.

Here are a few resources for finding wholesome food that supports you, as well as the environment:

•Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals: The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
•Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA): CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
•FoodRoutes: The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA’s, and markets near you.
•Local Harvest: Another good database for finding the best fresh, organic food grown near you.

If you’re unsure of how to start, I suggest you read my book Take Control of Your Health for a comprehensive nutrition program based on natural, whole foods. You can also check out my free online nutrition plan, which provides step-by-step suggestions about how begin your nutritional transformation.