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Spartacus
09-11-2003, 03:50 PM
i realize that fish oil means your body doesn't need to convert the alpha-linolenic to dha and epa, which are needed. but does it convert the other way, ie dha & epa -> ala?

does your body need the actual ala, or just so it can get the other omegas?

should i add some flax to my fish oil?

bradley
09-11-2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Spartacus
i realize that fish oil means your body doesn't need to convert the alpha-linolenic to dha and epa, which are needed. but does it convert the other way, ie dha & epa -> ala?

Unless I am mistaken, no. There would be no need for ALA if you are supplying the body directly with EPA/DHA through fish oil supplementation.

If you are following a balanced diet, you are more than likely getting some trace amounts of ALA from the foods that you are consuming.



should i add some flax to my fish oil?

You do not necessarily need the ALA, but the lignans found in flaxseeds can have health benefits. Generally the flaxseed oil does not contain lignans because they are removed when extracting the oil, but some brands have them added back in (high lignan flaxseed oil). Ground or milled flaxseeds would be another option.

Severed Ties
09-11-2003, 04:30 PM
You should never NEED anything you buy at the supplement store. If you do it means your diet is lacking something.


ST

dirty-c
09-12-2003, 02:10 PM
I know that the big issue with flax and ALA is the inefficient conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, but exactly HOW inefficient of a process are we talking? If you take a tbsp of flax oil, you get about 8gms of ALA. Even if the conversion efficiency was only 12%, that would be about 1gm of EPA and/or DHA. Thats a pretty good amount.

I keep reading that the important thing about fat intake is maintaining the N6/N3 BALANCE. I suppose I would have to swallow a ton of the fish oil capsules to maintain that balance using only the capsules.

I currently use 6 - 1gm capsules (at 180/120 mg) of EPA/DHA. Would I benefit by adding flax oil also? I realize that I'm already getting what many GUESS to be sufficient N3, but my concern is that I'm eating too much bad fat (saturated, N6, monounsaturated, etc).

Spartacus
09-12-2003, 02:38 PM
i guess i'm still kinda confused by this.

is the optimal ratio of n3/n6 the same if you're taking in ala or dha/epa?

also, does ratio matter as much if you're using dha/epa, because from what i understand n6 can block creation of dha/epa

bradley
09-12-2003, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by dirty-c
I know that the big issue with flax and ALA is the inefficient conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, but exactly HOW inefficient of a process are we talking? If you take a tbsp of flax oil, you get about 8gms of ALA. Even if the conversion efficiency was only 12%, that would be about 1gm of EPA and/or DHA. Thats a pretty good amount.

The conversion of ALA can vary, depending on factors such as caffeine intake. Also if you are taking in enough EPA/DHA through fish oils then the body will decrease the conversion of ALA to EPA/DHA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12908891&dopt=Abstract

It is also questionable as to whether everyone has the ablility to convert enough ALA into EPA/DHA due to the rate limiting enzyme delta-5 desaturase. The thread below may help answer some of your questions as well.:)

http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33273&highlight=delta+conversion



I keep reading that the important thing about fat intake is maintaining the N6/N3 BALANCE. I suppose I would have to swallow a ton of the fish oil capsules to maintain that balance using only the capsules.

I currently use 6 - 1gm capsules (at 180/120 mg) of EPA/DHA. Would I benefit by adding flax oil also? I realize that I'm already getting what many GUESS to be sufficient N3, but my concern is that I'm eating too much bad fat (saturated, N6, monounsaturated, etc).

I usually take in 3g (10 caps) of combined EPA/DHA which studies have shown to have a beneficial effect without adverse affects on bleeding time, etc.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2141757&dopt=Abstract



I realize that I'm already getting what many GUESS to be sufficient N3, but my concern is that I'm eating too much bad fat (saturated, N6, monounsaturated, etc).

The fats you listed above are not necessarily bad, and I would recommend including each in your diet. Granted you should only take in a small amount of saturated fat, and n-6 fats are essential. Just try and keep the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fats low, as you mentioned above.

Monounsaturated fats can be thought of as "neutral" fats as they will not disrupt the n-6 to n-3 ratio, and there are many health benefits associated with monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.

bradley
09-12-2003, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Spartacus
is the optimal ratio of n3/n6 the same if you're taking in ala or dha/epa?

You would need more flaxseed oil since the conversion to EPA/DHA is inefficient/

"Conversion of ALA by the body to the more active longer-chain metabolites is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12936959&dopt=Abstract




also, does ratio matter as much if you're using dha/epa, because from what i understand n6 can block creation of dha/epa

If you were taking in high amounts of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids then the conversion of ALA would be decreased due to the competition between the for various enzymes between the two types of fatty acids.

This would not be a problem if you were supplying the body with EPA/DHA directly through fish oil supplementation.

Saint Patrick
09-16-2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Severed Ties
You should never NEED anything you buy at the supplement store. If you do it means your diet is lacking something.


ST


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