OMEGA 3 BENEFITS
A Fishy Solution to Better Health
I am a big proponent of supplementing your diet with Ultra Refined
high-dose fish oil. I always use myself, my family, and my staff
to test out any new dietary concept before I ever recommend it.
Furthermore, I have been testing Ultra Refined high-dose fish
oil in a large number of patients over the past years, and in
every case the results have been dramatic.
Since the doses of fish oil I recommend are pretty high by conventional
standards (though not by historical standards), I only advise
taking what I refer to as Ultra Refined Omega 3 DHA and EPA concentrates.
This type of fish oil exceeds my rigorous standards for purity,
meaning that toxins like PCBs or DDT have been reduced to exceedingly
low levels, and it has been refined so that gastrointestinal problems
associated with lower grades of fish oil are no longer present.
You aren’t going to find Ultra Refined Omega 3 DHA and
EPA concentrates in fish oil from the health food store or supermarket,
because the extra refining simply makes it too expensive. But
your brain and body deserve nothing less. At the levels of fish
oil supplementation that I recommend, less pure fish oil will
cause a buildup of toxic impurities like PCBs, which have been
shown to disrupt your hormonal system, possibly giving rise to
cancerous tumors, not to mention significant gastrointestinal
problems like gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
The History of Fish Oil
You’ll be taking a lot of fish oil on my dietary program
and a little education and history about its manufacturing is
in order. The first recorded production of fish oil occurred in
1775 in England. When cod was bought back from America, the livers
were slapped on the filthy streets of London, and the oil oozed
out. The oil was collected--along with anything else on the streets--and
sold as cod liver oil. Disgusting as it was, this crude cod liver
oil was considered a miracle cure for arthritis. Obviously, we’ve
come a long way from letting cod livers ooze their content in
the gutters, but I still consider the cod liver oil sold in today’s
drugstores pretty vile.
In the 1980s, fish oil manufacturing took a technological leap.
Manufacturers began extracting the oil from the body, instead
of the liver of the fish, which solved the problem of Vitamin
A toxicity (since the liver contains all the Vitamin A). To extract
fish oil, the fish are boiled until the oil rises to the top of
the vat, a process known as rendering. Unfortunately, this crude
fish oil represents the sewer of the sea, since anything eaten
by the fish that is water-insoluble will become part of that rendered
oil. This includes toxins like PCBs, DDT, and organic mercury
In addition, these fish body oils tasted just as bad as cod liver
oil, so consumers were loath to try them. Manufacturers solved
this problem by encapsulating the oil in soft gelatin capsules,
which could be swallowed whole.
But that created another problem. To get the same amount of long-chain
Omega-3 fatty acids provided by a tablespoon of cod liver oil
required eight 1-gram capsules of fish body oil per day. None
of us wants to spend our day popping capsules. But the one or
two capsules a day that most of us are willing to take acts essentially
like a placebo because the amount of long-chain Omega-3 fatty
acids in this dose is extremely small.
For these reasons, the fish oil mania that swept our nation in
the mid-1980s burned out quickly. People did not experience any
perceptible health benefits because the amount of fish oil they
were taking was too low to have any positive effect. Furthermore,
any small benefits that might have occurred would have been canceled
out by the changing dietary habits. Remember, we were in the midst
of a passionate love affair with carbohydrates during that decade,
and these carbs would have caused a surge in our insulin levels,
which in turn, increased the formation of arachidonic acid.
The formation of arachidonic acid was exactly the opposite of
what fish oil was expected to do. Adding insult to injury, once
the capsule dissolved in the stomach, many people were bothered
by a fishy taste in their mouths and fishy breath for hours. If
that wasn’t enough, other contaminants (usually weird fatty
acids made by algae) present in the fish oil often caused bloating
Although the vitamin A was removed from the fish body oil capsules,
there was still the lingering problem of PCBs. To deal with this
problem, some manufacturers employed a technology called molecular
distillation, which removed some (but not all) of the PCBs.
The next innovation in fish oil development was the removal of
some of the saturated fats by distillation to give fractionated
fish oils slightly increased levels of long-chain Omega-3 fatty
acids. However, the purity of these products is still not up to
what I define as pharmaceutical standards.
The final breakthrough in fish oils was the development of what
I consider to be Ultra Refined EPA and DHA concentrate Omega 3
product. This requires advanced chemical engineering that begins
with the removal of most of the saturated fat by fractional distillation
and the removal of virtually all the PCBs (measured in parts per
billion) by more sophisticated molecular distillation.
With these innovations, a new type of fish oil was created, one
that could deliver a concentrated amount of long-chain Omega-3
fatty acids without unwanted byproducts like chemical contaminants
or harmful fatty acids. It is only with the use of pharmaceutical-grade
fish oil that you can deliver high enough levels of long-chain
Omega-3 fats to your brain and body. Once you do, remarkable things
begin to happen within 30 days.
The Benefits of High Dose Fish Oil
What can you expect when you begin taking high-dose fish oil
if you’re relatively healthy and have no chronic illnesses
like heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease? You will notice
that your mental abilities are enhanced and that your emotions
are on a more even keel. Taking significant doses of long-chain
omega-3 fatty acids increases your body’s production of
the two neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine spurs
you to action, enhancing your brain’s ability to concentrate
on the task at hand and allowing you to organize yourself more
efficiently. Serotonin is your morality or “feel good”
hormone. It gives you a sense of well-being and allows you to
handle stress more easily. When you’ve depleted these neurotransmitters,
you’re at greater risk of developing attention deficit disorder
(low dopamine levels) or depression (low serotonin levels).
Patients with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s,
attention deficit disorder, depression, multiple sclerosis, and
Parkinson’s disease (to name a few) appear to require higher
levels of these fatty acids – on the order of 10 to 25 grams
per day. I’ve seen an apparent improvement in symptoms in
patients who take these higher doses; I’ve also found that
when they drop their dose to below 10 grams of long-chain omega-3
fatty acids per day, their neurological symptoms invariably re
Patients who take such high doses would find it inconvenient
to swallow 10 or more fish oil capsules a day. They need to take
fish oil straight from the bottle, delivered by the tablespoon
(just as your grandmother did). The purity of pharmaceutical-grade
fish oil makes that a realistic possibility, especially if the
fish oil is kept in the freezer (remember, it won’t freeze).
Here’s my promise to you. Within thirty days of taking
1 to 2 teaspoons (or 4 to 8 capsules) of Ultra Refined EPA and
DHA Concentrate - fish oil* and following the rest of my dietary
recommendations for the Zone Diet, you can expect to find yourself
thinking more clearly with a greater sense of concentration, owing
to increased dopamine production. In addition, your ability to
handle stress will be greatly increased, owing to increased serotonin
production. Finally, you will see an improvement in your physical
capacity for exercise, especially in terms of greater endurance,
owing to better blood flow. Most important, however, you are keeping
yourself in the Zone, ensuring a longer and better life.
Excerpted from The Omega-Rx Zone. Copyright 2005 by
Barry Sears, Ph.D. Used by permission.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and
Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As with any natural product,
individual results will vary.
For more information about Dr. Barry Sears, his incredible fish
oil supplements, or the popular Zone Diet, please visit www.zoneliving.com.
If you purchase any Zone Labs, Inc. products, part of the
proceeds support CBN ministries.
Dr. Barry Sears is a leader in the field of
dietary control of hormonal response. A former research scientist
at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his efforts over
the past 25 years to the study of lipids and their inflammatory
role in the development of chronic disease. He holds 13 U.S. patents
in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal
regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
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