We at The Optical Vision Site have just subscribed to Friday Pearls from BioSyntrx- a weekly nutritional support update. As the importance of alternative, holistic medicines and nutraceuticals have grown, we need to be able to separate the hype from the truth. A good source is Friday Pearls a FREE weekly newsletter from BioSyntrx. This is from last weeks Friday Pearl- but we thought it was appropriate because of all the Fish Oil Hype:
Omega-6- Omega 3 Fatty Acid Team Work
A study published in a peer-reviewed June 2009 biochemistry journal suggests that sincerely well-meaning Omega-3 fish oil sellers may be grossly over-simplifying essential fatty acid science when they suggest Omega-6 intake to be the Plague of the 21st Century.
Omega-6 fatty acids are absolutely essential and they can be both anti-and pro-inflammatory, depending on the needs of the body at any given time.
Unfortunately, the hydrogenation process used on vegetables oils to add shelf life to processed and fried foods changed some Omega 6 linoleic acid (LA) into a new-to-nature molecule called trans fatty acids. These destructive molecules are technically no longer Omega-6 fatty acids. Trans fats have been responsible for an enormous amount of degenerative disease, which is inappropriately blamed on all Omega-6 essential fatty acid intake.
Omega-6 dihomo-gamma-linoleic-acid (dGLA), the downstream metabolite of linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linoleic-acid (GLA), along with nutrient co-factors, produce the site-specific anti-inflammatory series-one prostaglandins associated with mucosal and other tissues, including the eye, mouth, and vagina. These Omega-6 site-specific prostaglandins have been proven to brilliantly address the inflammatory process associated with ocular surface disease in a large percentage of dry eye sufferers.
A recent discovery also proves that Omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) series-two pro-inflammatory prostaglandins inhibit production of some inflammatory cytokines and leukotrines, as well as induce production of inflammation resolving lipoxin (endogenously produced eicosanoids that signal the resolution of inflammation).
This study, once again, suggests that outrageous claims for individual nutrients may be a bit more folly than science. All nutrients perform best when they work in concert.
The metabolic production of delta-5- desaturase AA-derived eicosanoids is controlled by the Omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in a dose-dependent manner. Omega-3 EPA also produces another family of anti-inflammatory eisocanoids called the series three prostaglandins (PGE3), which frequently, but not always, has lower potency than those produced from Omega-6 AA, according to the author of this study, Dr. PC Calder of the Institute of Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
Another study published in the May 2009 Ophthalmic Research peer-reviewed journal, compared the susceptibility of the retina and the lacrimal gland to dietary supplies of both long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The results showed that the retina was more selective than the lacrimal gland for Omega-3 anti-inflammatory EPA. The conclusion was that the concomitant use of dietary Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may be useful in modulating inflammation in both tissues since supplementation with both types of fatty acids enhanced dGLA incorporation into both tissues. Remember that Omega-6 dGLA is required to produce series one site-specific anti-inflammatory prostaglandin (PGE1) in both the retina and the lacrimal gland.
The study conclusion: The concomitant use of dietary Omega-3 EPA and Omega-6 GLA may optimize their anti-inflammatory properties and thus be useful in ocular diseases involving inflammation.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA-Biosyntrx Chief Research Officer