Tag Archives: fats

Wiley’s Finest: Super Fats!

EPA/DHA Counts!

Not all fats are the same, and it pays to know the difference.

After decades of demonising fats in the diet, the latest headlines report “fat is good for you!” But the devil is the detail and it matters which type of fat you choose to consume. There are good, bad and ugly fats in the diet and having the knowledge to make wise food choices can delay or even prevent, the onset of a myriad of diseases from head to toe and from cradle to grave.

Most people eat too much processed fat- found in hydrogenated margarines, convenience, fast and fried foods and in intensively reared animal products. These foods are eaten in abundance and overload the body with trans-fats and omega-6 fats. The historical harmful onus that has been planted on saturated fats from meat and dairy, being linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, is currently under question. Eminent researcher Hibbeln points out that the over consumption of vegetable oils rich in omega-6 may bear the blame.

Commercial vegetable oils such as soya, corn, groundnut, sunflower and all foods and margarines containing them are flooding our plates. These oils are abundant in omega-6, which converts to the biochemical AA* and triggers pain, blood clotting and inflammation if intakes become too high. Consequently, the population rely on COX inhibitors- such as aspirin and ibuprofen- drugs which block the conversion of AA to keep the blood thin and pain at bay. Furthermore, the polyunsaturated omega-6 fats are more prone to ‘rusting’ up in the blood stream than saturated fats, causing damage that leads to the buildup of arterial plaques.

Time for an Oil Change!

The focus here is to increase intakes of the healthful omega-3 fats, particularly EPA and DHA* which are found only in seafood. The specific chemical and physical nature of these marine oils bestow unique biological structure and function and are critically concentrated in the brain and eyes.

Smart Fats – Seafood DHA and EPA

Seafood DHA and EPA are the gift of vision and award intelligence. The retina of the eye contains a higher level of DHA than any other tissue.

Research supports the role of the remarkable ‘Super Fats EPA and DHA’ to have beneficial effects in all parts of the body, especially in brain. Diets high in fish are strongly correlated with freedom from depression, postpartum depression, aggression, psychosis and cardiovascular disease. Further research supports childhood neurodevelopment including visual functions, learning ability, mood, despondency, anxiety, sleep and behavioural disorders.

Importantly, EPA converts to bioactive substances that reduce the the propensity of the blood to clot and curbs pain and inflammation, circumventing the need for drug therapy.
Some plant oils contain omega-3 ALA*, rich in flaxseed and hemp, with lower amounts in walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Most diets are deficient in omega-3, since most people do not eat enough oily fish or flaxseeds.

Marine oils EPA and DHA are more biologically active that plant omega-3 ALA. Too much omega-6 blocks and overwhelms the health promoting aspects of omega-3, so it is a good idea to cut down the intake of omega-6s, whilst increasing the intake of omega-3s.

Fish Oil Supplements “The Professional’s Choice”

Wileys Making an educated choice about which omega-3 supplements you choose:
A favourite product is ‘Wiley’s Finest Peak Omega-3 Liquid’, which provides 2.150mg EPA/DHA per 5ml dose. Babi Chana BSc (HONS) BSc Nut.Med BANT. CHNC believes this product is the professional’s choice, since it gives a therapeutic amount of EPA/DHA to be effective and efficient to correct imbalances and deficiencies of dietary fat intakes.
Furthermore, Wiley’s Finest fresh fish oil is produced in Alaska from wild Pollock caught in US waters. The oil is then purified and gently concentrated up to 75% Omega-3 to make a mini softgel – 55% smaller than regular strength fish oil, yet with 30% more Omega – Wiley’s actually excel in sustainability, use recycled packaging and make biodiesel from the leftover fats…and it’s affordable!

*Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid.
Alphalinoleic Acid. Arachidonic Acid

Share

Battling the Winter Blues

If the short, cold, dark winter days leave you feeling lethargic and energy-depleted, then you may be suffering from the winter blues, or its more severe form, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Other symptoms include carbohydrate cravings, irritability, weight gain and the desire to avoid social situations.

The winter blues are triggered by a lack of sunlight – as the number of daylight hours decreases, levels of ‘feel-good’ hormones in our body begin to drop. The symptoms can appear in late autumn and don’t normally lift until the brighter days in early spring. Fortunately there are simple measures that can help to alleviate these troublesome symptoms.

There is certainly a link between low Vitamin D levels and seasonal affective disorder, although it is unclear whether there is a causal connection. A recent review of existing studies concluded that treating Vitamin D deficiency offers a simple way to improve mental health (1). It would seem sensible for those feeling the effects of the winter blues to test their Vitamin D levels, and to address any deficiency. Sunlight and supplementation are likely the fastest way to address deficiencies, although fatty fish, fortified milk and egg yolks will also help to boost levels.

Other studies have shown that omega-3s appear to help maintain healthy levels of the ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Healthy cells membranes, which require good levels of omega-3 fats, are required for the brain to respond to serotonin and dopamine. A recent large double-blind trial of more than 400 adults supports its use in treating depression (2). Based on these results, ensuring adequate omega-3 intake is certainly a sensible approach for those affected by seasonal changes.

Studies investigating the effectiveness of supplements such as St John’s Wort and 5-HTP have had mixed results, though some studies have found that supplementation improves symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety and lethargy in those with SAD (3,4).

Dietary changes may also help to relieve symptoms. According to Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet, a well-timed snack can help to relieve symptoms. Dr Wurtman led a study looking at the SAD-carb connection, concluding that a low-protein snack providing about 30 grams of carbohydrate was enough to provide a serotonin boost. A warm bowl of leek and potato soup in the evening might well provide that much-needed serotonin-boosting carbohydrate.

Light therapy is a non-invasive, natural, effective and well-researched treatment approach for those with SAD
Light therapy is a non-invasive, natural, effective and well-researched treatment approach for those with SAD

The most effective natural intervention, however, is probably light therapy. Light therapy is a non-invasive, natural, effective and well-researched treatment approach for those with SAD. Specially designed light therapy devices mimic the effects of sunlight to regulate levels of melatonin and serotonin. A recent meta-analysis concluded that light therapy works as an effective treatment for SAD no matter what time of day it is used, so long as it is used at least once daily (5). Dawn simulation is especially useful, and studies have found that this approach is more effective in alleviating SAD symptoms that standard bright light therapy or placebo, alongside additional benefits such as less morning drowsiness (6).

Those looking for a natural way to address the winter blues may benefit from the following approach:

1. Ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of omega-3 and Vitamin D. You can have your levels checked by a nutritional therapist.

2. Exercise regularly. Try a 30-minute run or brisk walk in the daylight.

3. Start the day with a protein-rich breakfast, but try a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack in the evening. Good options are sweet potato, brown rice, lentils, rye bread and butternut squash.

4. Try a light therapy lamp or a dawn simulation device, making time to use the device at least once each day for the best results.

References

1. Anglin RES et al (2013) Samaan Z, Walter SD and McDonald SD. Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br-J-Psych 2013, 202:100-107.

2. Lespérance F, Frasure-Smith N, St-André E, et al. (2011) The efficacy of Omega-3 supplementation for major depression: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Psychiatry. 72:1054-1062.

3. Ghadirian AM et al (1998) Efficacy of light versus tryptophan therapy in seasonal affective disorder. J Affect Disord 50:23-7.

4. Wheatley D. (1999) Hypericum in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Curr Med Red Opin 15:33-7.

5. Golden RN et al (2005) The Efficacy of Light Therapy in the Treatment of Mood Disorders: A Review and Meta-analysis of the Evidence. Am J Psychiatry 162(4):656-62.

6. Avery DH et al (2001) Dawn Simulation and Bright Light in the Treatment of SAD: A Controlled Study. Biol Psychiatry. 50:205-216.

Share