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Hawaii


I have just returned from a very enjoyable trip to Hawaii. I especially enjoyed my stay at Kalani Resort on the Big Island -www.kalani.com – lots of good food and pleasant accommodation. 

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Swami Odo Breathe Video


 

 

Omega-3 Blood Test Results


The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produ...

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of n−6 fatty acid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have copied below the results of an Omega-3 blood test obtained recently. (I just discovered the availability of this test recently on the internet – the cost was about Can$165). It is interesting to get an indication of my blood levels of Omega-3 since until now, I was guessing as to appropriate intake of Omega-3 supplements. The results show quite high Omega-3 levels and low Omega-6 levels compared to the North American averages. These results seem pretty good and I will probably maintain my current Omega-3 intake (flax seed, flax seed oil and high EPA fish oil).  The cover letter with the results also provides a summary of the benefits of Omega-3s.

The test organization does not suggest a GLA target. My GLA percent is small, but about 30% higher than the North American average. Since I have only recently started GLA supplements, and likely have a long term deficiency, I will probably try to double my intake for another 12 months, and then maybe get another set of test results.

May 16, 2013
Dear Swamiodo,
Congratulations on completing The Vital Omega-3 and 6 HUFA Test™ – the easy, evidence-based way to measure and manage the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your blood.
There may be no simpler, safer, or more cost-effective path to disease prevention than to adjust your diet to achieve healthful blood levels and proportions of these vital nutrients.
We hope you will use the test results on the following pages – and our explanations of their meaning – to plan and achieve a healthier diet that reduces your risk of ill health.
Introduction: Why Your “Omega Balance” Matters
The acronym “HUFA” stands for Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids, which are essential food factors that we convert into hormone-like agents that influence inflammation and much more, and have receptors on nearly every cell in the body.
A substantial body of scientific evidence indicates that maintaining a healthful dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 HUFA can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other common, chronic, physical and mental health problems*.
Humans evolved in adaptation to hunter-gatherer diets that contained a roughly equal balance of omega-3s and omega-6s. But modern diets contain much higher proportions of omega-6s, from common vegetable oils (e.g., corn, soy, cottonseed) and the processed foods made with them, as well as from seeds, nuts, grains, and grain-fed meats and poultry.
This historically unprecedented “omega imbalance” matters, for the following reasons (Lands WE 1992):
• Chronic, low-level inflammation promotes cardiovascular disease and many other degenerative conditions.
• Inflammation is controlled in large part by hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which arise from the omega-3 (DHA and EPA) and omega-6 (AA) fatty acids in our cell membranes.
• Omega-3s in our cells (DHA and EPA) mostly yield prostaglandins that tend to moderate inflammation.
 Omega-6s in our cells (AA) mostly yield prostaglandins that tend to promote and maintain inflammation.
 Omega-6s compete with omega-3s for absorption into our cells and the hypothesis that excess intake of omega-6s drives many major diseases rests on persuasive evidence.

1. Your Vital O-Mega Scores™ – Ranking your heart risk
This reveals your Percent Omega-3 in HUFA, your Percent Omega-6 in HUFA, and your estimated heart risk based on those test results.

Omega-3 57%    Omega-6  43%

(US average Omega-3 24%;  Omega-6 76%)

18:2w6   Linoleic (LA)
My reading – 20.19 %
typical US average – 25.10 %
18:3w6  Gamma-linolenic (GLA)
My reading – 0.32 %
typical US average – 0.24 %

GLA and Inflammation


Wikipedia indicates that LA (Omega-6)  is converted in the body to GLA, and that  usually LA is consumed sufficiently in most diets. However, the efficiency of the conversion may decrease with age or disease. Interestingly, while most Omega-6s (like LA) are inflammatory, dietary GLA is anti-inflammatory overall. Thus if you are concerned about inflammation, you may want to consider supplementing with GLA in addition to Omega-3s. Dr. Chilton at Gene Smart recommends 400 mg of GLA each day. Good sources are Borage oil and evening primrose oil.

Microsoft Terminating Free Websites


I have been busy with winter sports activities, and I have not had a chance to update this blog recently. I initially started an Omega-3 Website on Microsoft’s free web hosting service at http://www.swamiodo.web.officelive.com. Later, I decided to use the blog to report on news reports on Omega-3, and use the website to highlight interesting Youtube videos about Omega-3. However, Microsoft is now closing the free website service, and erasing all content at the end of April, 2012. The only option Microsoft is offering is to start paying a monthly fee to set up a new website, and go through a cumbersome process to copy the website content page by page. However, it turns out that my WordPress blog has about ten times the traffic that my website has been getting (even though I was advertising the website using free advertising credits from Google). I noticed that my blog traffic increased when I had several comments on one of my postings, and I assume that Google moves articles with comments up in the rankings. Anyway, rather than lose the website content, especially the links to the videos, I will be copying that content over to the blog, and hopefully get most of it moved before the website self-destructs!

EPA to DHA Ratio Controversy


Debate Logo

Image via Wikipedia

The controversy continues regarding the best EPA to DHA ratio in fish oil supplements. Google search results confirm that there have been no significant scientific studies to date that can help resolve this issue. The ideal ratio likely varies from person to person. Some particular health problems (like depression) can respond to high EPA supplementation.

A comment in one forum states that “humans convert roughly 5% of ingested ALA to EPA and 1-2% to DHA, for a 5:1 or 5:2 ratio”. This assertion is not supported by a reference, and there other studies that indicate that the ALA conversion rate varies by gender and by individual. As noted in a previous post, there is also some support for ALA supplementation to help prevent type 2 diabetes.

As noted previously, I started by chance with a high DHA:EPA liquid supplement, and found that my fatigue levels increased. Switching to a high EPA:DHA product seemed to alleviate the fatigue symptoms, and my triglyceride levels improved very significantly.

Reduce the Risk of Death from Inflammatory Diseases with Omega-3


Details of the flax plant, from which linen fi...

Image via Wikipedia

An article in the Globe & Mail on March 30,2001 refers to a recent 15 year study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of the intake of omega-3 and the risk of dying from inflammation-related disease in healthy older adults. The article goes on to discuss foods that may help reduce inflammation, including Omega-3s, anti-oxidants, monsaturated fats, and phytochemicals.

The link to the article is

[http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-nutrition/leslie-beck/protect-yourself-against-inflammation-with-these-foods/article1962001/]

Women with the highest intake of Omega-3 fats per day (1.1 to 4.7 g total) were 44% less likely to die from non-cancer, non-cardiovascular disease. The reduced death rate for men was  less significant, although positive, especially for ALA (flax seed) intake.

The article discusses the theory that inflammatory diseases are linked to an overactive immune system, that “diet plays a role in easing symptoms of inflammation”, and that some foods help reduce inflammation.