- Nutritional Vitamins & Supplements
Flax seed Oil Health Benefits: Flaxseed Or Flax Oil
There are very few food sources on earth that are rich in Omega 3. As a result of the industrial revolution and the processing of food to allow national and global transportation, packaging and stability, Omega-3 no longer exists in most foods today. This has not always been the case. Throughout human history mankind has eaten a closely proportioned ratio(1/1) of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. There are 49 known essential nutrients. The omegas 6 and 3 are two of them. These 2 nutrients cannot be synthesized by the body, but must be received from foods or dietary supplements.
The near even proportion between omega 6 and 3 are essential in order to regulate thousands of metabolic functions through the prostagladin pathways. This delicate balance between the two is interconnected with nearly every biological function of the body. Omega-3's are deeply involved in harmone modulation, immune response, behavior, IQ, inflammation, cardiovascular health and allergic reactivity.Over the last 50 to 100 years there has been a rapid change in the type of fats being eaten. This has knocked the near even omega 6 to 3 proportions way out of balance, which is having detrimental health effects.
Western Degenerative Diseases Have Increased, as Omega-3 has Decreased
The connection to over 50 diseases is identified as a deficiency in Omega-3. Western degenerative diseases have risen in a near perfect linear fashion with the elimination of omega-3. It should come as no surprise that consuming omega-3 greatly improves all of the 50 diseases and illnesses. Japanese researchers have found that the leading cause of degenerative disease is due to the drastic reduction in Omega-3 in relation to an increased consumtion of Omega-6. Their studies involved the Japanese dietary transition to a western diet and the rise of degerative disease that took place among them in the last 50 years.
Omega-3 - The Endangered Nutrient
One hundred years ago, the industrial revolution brought the screw-nut expeller press for the processing of vegetable/seed oils. The processing of corn, sunflower, safflower and peanut oil created a super concentrated form of Omega-6 while destroying what little Omega-3 existed, if any.
Meanwhile, in farming, all types of animals were fed a diet loaded with omega-6, yet completely devoid of Omega-3. Even fish, which are known for their Omega-3 content have been effected. Chances are the fish you eat were farm raised and did not eat phytoplankton which creates Omega-3.
It didn't take refined food manufacturers long to figure out that Omega-3 significantly reduces the shelf life of their products. Dietary sources are purposely avoided in the production of processed foods.
Things became even worse with the invention of hydrogenation. A process that turns liquid polyunsaturated fats into semi-solid saturated fat known as trans fatty acids. During this process, any Omega-3 that exists is destroyed.
Harvard Medical School published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition exposing the ingestion of trans fatty acids as the cause of 30,000 premature deaths annually. Hydrogenation adds to shelf live and creates a texture that consumers enjoy. As a result it is nearly impossible to find processed foods that do not contain partially hydrogenated oils.
The combination of these factors have resulted in the near extinction of Omega-3. With the exception of trace amounts found in greens, sea vegetables and some nuts and seeds, the only sources are deep water ocean fish and flax seed oil.
Omega 6 to 3 Imbalance causing inflammation
Omega 6 is seen by many as the bad omego oil because it promotes inflammation in the body. Omega 3 is seen as the good oil because it is an anti-inflammatory. The truth is we need both oils in balance for optimum human health. Too much Omega-6 in the body can create situations that promote chronic inflammation, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritus.
The function of inflammation created by Omega-6 is to respond to injury and microbial attack. But this function is carefully monitered by Omega-3. When there is a reduction in Omega-3, inflammation gets out of control and the damage of tissue and organs occurs. Over time this creates chronic inflammation, which leads to disease, which leads to more inflammation and a viscous cycle begins.
A Return to Balance
Currently the ratio of Omega-6 to 3 in the american diet ranges from 10/1 to 20/1. The first practical step in a return to balance is to greatly reduce foods high in Omega-6 such as sunflower, safflower, peanut and corns oils. Next, avoid consumption of processed foods which are high in omega-6.
The best way to bring balance is to take supplements that only contain Omega 3's. Consuming these types of products will do little in bringing the body back into balance. The two best choices are fish oil and flax seed oil. It is rare to find a fish oil supplement that contains more than 500 mg of Omega-3. Flax seed oil is the world's most abundant source of Omega-3 oil. Two tablespoons provides 15,400 mg which will do much to negate the 15,000 mg of Omega-6 that most people consume each day.
The many changes in diet in the last 100 years have drastically increased the consumption of Omega-6 and decreased the consumption of Omega-3. This is a primary, if not the leading cause of degenerative disease in the western world. Making conscience dietary decisions to reduce the amount of Omega-6 and increase Omega-3 in order to bring the body back in to balance is a major step in brining your body back to optimum health.