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Fish Oil Toxicity

Also see:
Why Fish Oil Fails: A Comprehensive 21st Century Lipids-Based Physiologic Analysis
PUFA, Fish Oil, and Alzheimers
Women, Estrogen, and Circulating DHA
PUFA – Accumulation & Aging
Medium Chain Fats, Ketones, and Brain Function
PUFA, Development, and Allergy Incidence
Dietary PUFA Reflected in Human Subcutaneous Fat Tissue
The Great Fish Oil Experiment – Ray Peat

“Since the fish oils are commonly studied by comparing the supplemented animals with “control” animals receiving soy oil, corn oil, or safflower oil, which are strongly pro-inflammatory and broadly toxic, it isn’t surprising that their effects usually seem
favorable. But when they are compared with saturated fats (as I mentioned in the “Fats and degeneration” newsletter) or with a fat free diet, their effects are seen to be pro-inflammatory and toxic.”
-Ray Peat, PhD

The fish oil mega industry as we know it today began as the paint/varnish sector dried up when the petroleum industry took over that market. The fish oil industry had no other place to sell this waste product of fish production so they capitalized on the faulty research done by the Burrs’ in the late 1920s falsely showing essentiality for these fats (it was actually for seed oil fats truthfully but fish oils are the “new” “essential fats”). This misinterpreted research gave the seed and fish oil industry grounds to market these toxic fats as “health foods” for humans.

There is no such thing as “essential fatty acids“; the body doesn’t synthesize “essential” PUFA on its own b/c they are toxic, not because they are essential. One unsaturated fat the body does synthesize from sugar is the protective and anti-inflammatory Omega -9 Mead Acid, which is ironically a marker for “essential fatty acid” deficiency.

Today, the momentum and inertia behind these products is great because of repeated marketing efforts of these industries. The brainwashing is so good that both professionals and laypersons don’t consider taking a look at both the current and historical research about the negative effects of fish oil and other PUFA. We are now at a point of unheard of chronic disease in large part due to our shift away from saturated animal fats/coconut oil and an increase in plant-derived polyunsaturates from vegetables, beans, seed, nuts and fish oils.

Scientific Review of Fish Oils:
Why Fish Oil Fails: A Comprehensive 21st Century Lipids-Based Physiologic Analysis

Cancer Causing:
Cancer Res. 1998 Aug 1;58(15):3312-9.
Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids promote colon carcinoma metastasis in rat liver.
Griffini P, Fehres O, Klieverik L, Vogels IM, Tigchelaar W, Smorenburg SM, Van Noorden CJ.

Nutr Cancer. 1998;30(2):137-43.
Effects of dietary n-3-to-n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio on mammary carcinogenesis in rats.
Sasaki T, Kobayashi Y, Shimizu J, Wada M, In’nami S, Kanke Y, Takita T.

J Lipid Res. 2005 Jun;46(6):1278-84. Epub 2005 Mar 16.
Role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cyclooxygenase-2 metabolism in brain-metastatic melanoma.
Denkins Y, Kempf D, Ferniz M, Nileshwar S, Marchetti D.

Clin Exp Metastasis. 2000;18(5):371-7.
Promotion of colon cancer metastases in rat liver by fish oil diet is not due to reduced stroma formation.
Klieveri L, Fehres O, Griffini P, Van Noorden CJ, Frederiks WM.

Am. J. Epidemiol. (2011) doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr027
Serum Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk: Results From the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial
Theodore M. Brasky, Cathee Till, Emily White, Marian L. Neuhouser, Xiaoling Song, Phyllis Goodman, Ian M. Thompson, Irena B. King, Demetrius Albanes and Alan R. Kristal

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec;96(6):1354-61. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.034157. Epub 2012 Nov 7.
Fatty acid patterns and risk of prostate cancer in a case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Dahm CC, Gorst-Rasmussen A, Crowe FL, Roswall N, Tjønneland A, Drogan D, Boeing H, Teucher B, Kaaks R, Adarakis G, Zylis D, Trichopoulou A, Fedirko V, Chajes V, Jenab M, Palli D, Pala V, Tumino R, Ricceri F, van Kranen H, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Quirós JR, Sánchez MJ, Luján-Barroso L, Larrañaga N, Chirlaque MD, Ardanaz E, Johansson M, Stattin P, Khaw KT, Wareham N, Wark PA, Norat T, Riboli E, Key TJ, Overvad K.

J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3664-9.
Fish intake is positively associated with breast cancer incidence rate.
Stripp C1, Overvad K, Christensen J, Thomsen BL, Olsen A, Møller S, Tjønneland A.

Immunosuppresion:
Transplantation. 1989 Jul;48(1):98-102.
Enhancement of immunosuppression by substitution of fish oil for olive oil as a vehicle for cyclosporine.
Kelley VE, Kirkman RL, Bastos M, Barrett LV, Strom TB.

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1991 Nov;61(2 Pt 1):161-76.
Immunosuppressive effects of fish oil in normal human volunteers: correlation with the in vitro effects of eicosapentanoic acid on human lymphocytes.
Virella G, Fourspring K, Hyman B, Haskill-Stroud R, Long L, Virella I, La Via M, Gross AJ, Lopes-Virella M.

Br J Nutr. 2003 Apr;89(4):523-31.
Influence of very low dietary intake of marine oil on some functional aspects of immune cells in healthy elderly people.
Bechoua S, Dubois M, Véricel E, Chapuy P, Lagarde M, Prigent AF.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):539-48.
Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long-chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y.
Thies F, Nebe-von-Caron G, Powell JR, Yaqoob P, Newsholme EA, Calder PC.

J Nutr. 2001 Jul;131(7):1918-27.
Dietary supplementation with gamma-linolenic acid or fish oil decreases T lymphocyte proliferation in healthy older humans.
Thies F, Nebe-von-Caron G, Powell JR, Yaqoob P, Newsholme EA, Calder PC.

J Cell Physiol. 2010 Nov;225(3):829-36.
Role of calcium and ROS in cell death induced by polyunsaturated fatty acids in murine thymocytes.
Prasad A, Bloom MS, Carpenter DO.

Impairment of mitochondrial function:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Nov;87(22):8845-9.
Incorporation of marine lipids into mitochondrial membranes increases susceptibility to damage by calcium and reactive oxygen species: evidence for enhanced activation of phospholipase A2 in mitochondria enriched with n-3 fatty acids.
Malis CD, Weber PC, Leaf A, Bonventre JV.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;44(9):1569-73. Epub 2012 Jun 15.
Mitochondria: Omega-3 in the route of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species.
Al-Gubory KH.

Lipids. 2008 Sep;43(9):813-27. Epub 2008 Jul 10.
Dietary n-3 HUFA affects mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation capacity and susceptibility to oxidative stress in Atlantic salmon.
Kjaer MA, Todorcević M, Torstensen BE, Vegusdal A, Ruyter B.

Increased lipid peroxidation:
Lipids. 1997 May;32(5):535-41.
Lipid peroxidation during n-3 fatty acid and vitamin E supplementation in humans.
Allard JP, Kurian R, Aghdassi E, Muggli R, Royall D.

Atherosclerosis. 2001 Mar;155(1):9-18.
Enhanced level of n-3 fatty acid in membrane phospholipids induces lipid peroxidation in rats fed dietary docosahexaenoic acid oil.
Song JH, Miyazawa T.

J Nutr. 1992 Nov;122(11):2190-5.
Lipid peroxidation products are elevated in fish oil diets even in the presence of added antioxidants.
Gonzalez MJ, Gray JI, Schemmel RA, Dugan L Jr, Welsch CW.

Nutrition. 2004 Feb;20(2):230-4.
Diets rich in saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids: metabolic shifting and cardiac health.
Diniz YS, Cicogna AC, Padovani CR, Santana LS, Faine LA, Novelli EL.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;44(9):1569-73. Epub 2012 Jun 15.
Mitochondria: Omega-3 in the route of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species.
Al-Gubory KH.

Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Mortality, No Benefit or Negative Results:
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD003177.
Omega 3 fatty acids for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA, Summerbell CD, Moore H, Worthington HV, Durrington PN, Ness AR, Capps NE, Davey Smith G, Riemersma RA, Ebrahim SB.

Canadian Journal of Cardiology – 14 April 2014 (10.1016/j.cjca.2014.04.007)
“Fishing” for the origins of the “Eskimos and heart disease” story. Facts or wishful thinking? A review
George J. Fodor, Eftyhia Helis, Narges Yazdekhasti, Branislav Vohnout

Mitochondrion. 2011 Jan;11(1):97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2010.07.014. Epub 2010 Aug 5.
Dietary fatty acids and oxidative stress in the heart mitochondria.
Lemieux H, Bulteau AL, Friguet B, Tardif JC, Blier PU.

BMJ. 2006 Apr 1;332(7544):752-60. Epub 2006 Mar 24.
Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review.
Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA, Summerbell CD, Ness AR, Moore HJ, Worthington HV, Durrington PN, Higgins JP, Capps NE, Riemersma RA, Ebrahim SB, Davey Smith G.

Lipids. 2008 Sep;43(9):813-27. Epub 2008 Jul 10.
Dietary n-3 HUFA affects mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation capacity and susceptibility to oxidative stress in Atlantic salmon.
Kjaer MA, Todorcević M, Torstensen BE, Vegusdal A, Ruyter B.

Prog Lipid Res. 1995;34(3):199-217.
Fatty acid composition of adipose tissue in humans. Implications for the dietary fat-serum cholesterol-CHD issue.
Seidelin KN.

Atherosclerosis. 1990 Oct;84(2-3):229-37.
Fish oil produces an atherogenic lipid profile in hypertensive men.
Hughes GS, Ringer TV, Watts KC, DeLoof MJ, Francom SF, Spillers CR.

JAMA. 2012 Sep 12;308(10):1024-33.
Association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and risk of major cardiovascular disease events: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Rizos EC, Ntzani EE, Bika E, Kostapanos MS, Elisaf MS.

Toxic to the liver:
Gastroenterology. 1995 Aug;109(2):547-54.
Dietary saturated fatty acids: a novel treatment for alcoholic liver disease.
Nanji AA, Sadrzadeh SM, Yang EK, Fogt F, Meydani M, Dannenberg AJ.

Hepatology. 1997 Dec;26(6):1538-45.
Dietary saturated fatty acids down-regulate cyclooxygenase-2 and tumor necrosis factor alfa and reverse fibrosis in alcohol-induced liver disease in the rat.
Nanji AA, Zakim D, Rahemtulla A, Daly T, Miao L, Zhao S, Khwaja S, Tahan SR, Dannenberg AJ.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Nov;299(2):638-44.
Dietary saturated fatty acids reverse inflammatory and fibrotic changes in rat liver despite continued ethanol administration.
Nanji AA, Jokelainen K, Tipoe GL, Rahemtulla A, Dannenberg AJ.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2001 Dec;281(6):G1348-56.
Increased severity of alcoholic liver injury in female rats: role of oxidative stress, endotoxin, and chemokines.
Nanji AA, Jokelainen K, Fotouhinia M, Rahemtulla A, Thomas P, Tipoe GL, Su GL, Dannenberg AJ.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Dec;299(3):832-9.
Arginine reverses ethanol-induced inflammatory and fibrotic changes in liver despite continued ethanol administration.
Nanji AA, Jokelainen K, Lau GK, Rahemtulla A, Tipoe GL, Polavarapu R, Lalani EN.

Cognitive Development, Mood, Depression, Quality of Life:

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999 May-Jun;60(5-6):393-9.
Does high polyunsaturated free fatty acid level at the feto-maternal interface alter steroid hormone message during pregnancy?
Benassayag C, Rigourd V, Mignot TM, Hassid J, Leroy MJ, Robert B, Civel C, Grangé G, Dallot E, Tanguy J, Nunez EA, Ferré F.

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006 Nov;21(6):319-36.
Fish oil and mental health: the role of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in cognitive development and neurological disorders.
Assisi A, Banzi R, Buonocore C, Capasso F, Di Muzio V, Michelacci F, Renzo D, Tafuri G, Trotta F, Vitocolonna M, Garattini S.

Neurology. 2008 Aug 5;71(6):430-8.
Effect of fish oil on cognitive performance in older subjects: a randomized, controlled trial.
van de Rest O, Geleijnse JM, Kok FJ, van Staveren WA, Dullemeijer C, Olderikkert MG, Beekman AT, de Groot CP.

Br J Nutr. 2008 Feb;99(2):421-31. Epub 2007 Oct 24.
No effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (EPA and DHA) supplementation on depressed mood and cognitive function: a randomised controlled trial.
Rogers PJ, Appleton KM, Kessler D, Peters TJ, Gunnell D, Hayward RC, Heatherley SV, Christian LM, McNaughton SA, Ness AR.

Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(8):1232-43. Epub 2011 Aug 25.
No effect of 12 weeks’ supplementation with 1 g DHA-rich or EPA-rich fish oil on cognitive function or mood in healthy young adults aged 18-35 years.
Jackson PA, Deary ME, Reay JL, Scholey AB, Kennedy DO.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Sep;88(3):706-13.
Effect of fish-oil supplementation on mental well-being in older subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
van de Rest O, Geleijnse JM, Kok FJ, van Staveren WA, Hoefnagels WH, Beekman AT, de Groot LC.

Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2010 Mar-Apr;32(2):171-81. Epub 2009 Oct 7.
Excess omega-3 fatty acid consumption by mothers during pregnancy and lactation caused shorter life span and abnormal ABRs in old adult offspring.
Church MW, Jen KL, Anumba JI, Jackson DA, Adams BR, Hotra JW.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Aug;57(8):1481-6. Epub 2009 Jun 22.
Effect of fish oil supplementation on quality of life in a general population of older Dutch subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
van de Rest O, Geleijnse JM, Kok FJ, van Staveren WA, Olderikkert MG, Beekman AT, de Groot LC.

J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Oct;28(5):525-42.
EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Martins JG.

Glucose Metabolism:
Diabetes. 1989 Oct;38(10):1314-9.
Effects of fish oil supplementation on glucose and lipid metabolism in NIDDM.
Borkman M, Chisholm DJ, Furler SM, Storlien LH, Kraegen EW, Simons LA, Chesterman CN.

Br J Nutr. 2003 Oct;90(4):777-86.
Fish-oil supplementation reduces stimulation of plasma glucose fluxes during exercise in untrained males.
Delarue J, Labarthe F, Cohen R.

Diabetes Care. 1990 Aug;13(8):821-9.
Effects of fish oil supplements in NIDDM subjects. Controlled study.
Hendra TJ, Britton ME, Roper DR, Wagaine-Twabwe D, Jeremy JY, Dandona P, Haines AP, Yudkin JS.

Atherosclerosis. 1991 Mar;87(1):65-73.
A controlled study on the effects of n-3 fatty acids on lipid and glucose metabolism in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients.
Annuzzi G, Rivellese A, Capaldo B, Di Marino L, Iovine C, Marotta G, Riccardi G.

Eur J Clin Invest. 1992 Oct;22(10):645-50.
Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids reduces triglycerides but increases PAI-1 in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Boberg M, Pollare T, Siegbahn A, Vessby B.

J Intern Med. 1990 Aug;228(2):165-71.
Dietary supplementation with n-3 fatty acids may impair glucose homeostasis in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Vessby B, Boberg M.

Brain Degeneration:
[Isoprostanes and neuroprostanes are inflammatory prostaglandin-like mediators (eicosanoids) formed from omega-3 PUFA fish oil (DHA/EPA).]

J Biol Chem. 1998 May 29;273(22):13605-12.
Formation of isoprostane-like compounds (neuroprostanes) in vivo from docosahexaenoic acid.
Roberts LJ 2nd, Montine TJ, Markesbery WR, Tapper AR, Hardy P, Chemtob S, Dettbarn WD, Morrow JD.

Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume 29, Issue 8, 15 October 2000, Pages 714-720
Acrolein, a product of lipid peroxidation, inhibits glucose and glutamate uptake in primary neuronal cultures.
Mark A Lovell, Chengsong Xie, William R Markesbery

Ann Neurol. 1998 Sep;44(3):410-3.
Cerebrospinal fluid F2-isoprostane levels are increased in Alzheimer’s disease.
Montine TJ, Markesbery WR, Morrow JD, Roberts LJ 2nd.

J Neurochem. 1988 Apr;50(4):1185-93.
Induction of intracellular superoxide radical formation by arachidonic acid and by polyunsaturated fatty acids in primary astrocytic cultures.
Chan PH, Chen SF, Yu AC.

Promotes Nitric Oxide and TNF:

J Surg Res. 1994 Jul;57(1):65-8.
Dietary fish oil enhances macrophage production of nitric oxide.
Chaet MS, Garcia VF, Arya G, Ziegler MM.

J Alzheimers Dis. 2003 Aug;5(4):315-22.
Omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.
Laurin D, Verreault R, Lindsay J, Dewailly E, Holub BJ.

Brain Swelling:
J Neurochem. 1980 Oct;35(4):1004-7.
Transient formation of superoxide radicals in polyunsaturated fatty acid-induced brain swelling.
Chan PH, Fishman RA.

Science. 1978 Jul 28;201(4353):358-60.
Brain edema: induction in cortical slices by polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Chan PH, Fishman RA.

J Neurochem. 1982 Feb;38(2):525-31.
Phospholipid degradation and cellular edema induced by free radicals in brain cortical slices.
Chan PH, Yurko M, Fishman RA.

Neurotoxicology. 2007 Nov;28(6):1220-9. Epub 2007 Aug 10.
Detrimental effects of post-treatment with fatty acids on brain injury in ischemic rats.
Yang DY, Pan HC, Yen YJ, Wang CC, Chuang YH, Chen SY, Lin SY, Liao SL, Raung SL, Wu CW, Chou MC, Chiang AN, Chen CJ.

Increased Intestinal Permeability:
J Nutr. 2011 Sep;141(9):1635-42. Epub 2011 Jul 20.
Ingestion of (n-3) fatty acids augments basal and platelet activating factor-induced permeability to dextran in the rat mesenteric vascular bed.
Dombrowsky H, Lautenschläger I, Zehethofer N, Lindner B, Schultz H, Uhlig S, Frerichs I, Weiler N.

Lung Inflammation:
Nutrition. 2002 Jul-Aug;18(7-8):647-53.
Dietary fat composition alters pulmonary function in pigs.
Wolfe RR, Martini WZ, Irtun O, Hawkins HK, Barrow RE.

Slow Heart Rate:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 October 11; 91(21): 9886–9890.
Effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on the contraction of neonatal rat cardiac myocytes.
J X Kang and A Leaf

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50 Responses

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  1. Lyle McDonald says

    I’m not a rat, an Atlantic salmon an in vitro cell culture. Maybe you should check your reference list a little more closely before you give such horrid advice.

  2. Team FPS says

    Thanks for your insight, Lyle.

    I suspect you read the title of the first few animal studies on cancer and dismissed the material. Human studies are provided. The information may threaten your belief system so it’s natural to react defensively. The toxicity of the unsaturates for humans pervades the FPS blog so you’re looking at a tree in a massive forest. Check out the forest sometime so you can gain context and understand the tree I planted in this blog.

  3. Lyle McDonald says

    Cherry picking references is fun, isn’t it? And I didn’t miss the human references, just pointing out that the majority YOU choose are 100% irrelevant. Just pick a few studies on the elderly with scary titles that aren’t relevant and make a stupid case. And 80 years of research indicate a clear case of EPA and DHA as essential fatty acids.

  4. Lyle McDonald says

    And spare me pathetic appeals to nonsense. You’re not challenging anything, you’re just another idiot in a sea full of ‘em. I could just as easily say that ‘YOU’RE scared of the truth’ and it’s just as irrelevant. Go fuck yourself.

  5. Lyle McDonald says

    lin Immunol Immunopathol. 1991 Nov;61(2 Pt 1):161-76.
    Immunosuppressive effects of fish oil in normal human volunteers: correlation with the in vitro effects of eicosapentanoic acid on human lymphocytes.
    Virella G, Fourspring K, Hyman B, Haskill-Stroud R, Long L, Virella I, La Via M, Gross AJ, Lopes-Virella M.
    Source

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Epidemiology and Systems Sciences, Charleston, South Carolina 29425.
    Abstract

    We have studied the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil on immunological parameters in a group of six normal volunteers, four of whom received a fish oil extract (total EPA dose of 2.4 g/day, which is on the lower range of clinically effective doses) for 6 weeks and two of which received a placebo (olive oil) for an identical period of time. Each volunteer was followed up for a period of 23 weeks after the dietary intervention was ended. All volunteers were boosted with tetanus toxoid (TT) at the onset of the trial. Several immune parameters were followed longitudinally, including NBT reduction and lysozyme release to test neutrophil function; lymphocyte subpopulations; mitogenic responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concanavalin A (Con A) and anti-CD3; IL-2 release after PHA and pokeweed mitogen (PWM) stimulation; immunoglobulin and anti-TT antibody (ATT) synthesis by stimulated lymphocytes; and serum levels of immunoglobulins and of ATT. No consistent changes were observed in neutrophil function tests, mitogenic responses to PHA and Con A, and lymphocyte subsets. The mitogenic response to anti-CD3 and the release of IL-2 after stimulation with PHA and PWM appeared reduced as a consequence of fish oil ingestion, and levels of serum immunoglobulins decreased in three of the volunteers receiving fish oil supplementation. The systemic humoral response after the TT booster appeared not to be influenced by the ingestion of fish oil. However, in those subjects who were given fish oil supplementation, the specific in vitro response of their peripheral blood lymphocytes to TT appeared to be compromised at Week 3. This could reflect the need for progressive accumulation of EPA in lymphocyte membranes for the suppressive effect to be detectable, but it could also reflect a differential sensitivity to the effects of fish oil of circulating B lymphocytes vs. bone marrow B lymphocytes. All the parameters apparently affected by fish oil ingestion were also affected by the incubation of normal lymphocytes with EPA in vitro. In conclusion, low doses of fish oil may have a mild immunosuppressive effect affecting both T and B cell functions. These observations stress the need for more extensive trials designed to determine whether immunosuppressive effects can be consistently elicited and for studies aimed at determining the mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids affect the immune system.

    Yeah, that’s relevant. They first infected them and then gave them fish oils. Nice cherry pick. Did you even read the abstract? Cuz you sure as shit are hoping none of your readers will.

  6. Lyle McDonald says

    Did it ever occur to you that OTHER things are going on in the elderly that might not apply to non-elderly? Nevermind, I’m being rhetorical.

    ***
    Br J Nutr. 2003 Apr;89(4):523-31.
    Influence of very low dietary intake of marine oil on some functional aspects of immune cells in healthy elderly people.
    Bechoua S, Dubois M, Véricel E, Chapuy P, Lagarde M, Prigent AF.
    Source

    Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U352, Laboratoire de Biochimie et Pharmacologie, INSA-Lyon, France.
    Abstract

    Ageing is a multifactorial process involving decreased antioxidant defences and immune functions. n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids have been associated with human health benefits, especially against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. However, their immunomodulatory effects were usually observed with high dosages (>2 g/d) known to increase lipid peroxidation. In contrast, very low doses, that may prevent lipid peroxidation, might affect the immune system differently. To study the latter hypothesis further, we investigated whether the supplementation of healthy elderly people with very low doses of marine oil (MO), a docosahexaenoate (DHA)- and eicosapentaenoate (EPA)-rich triacylglycerol, was able to affect lymphocyte proliferation and biochemical markers known to be altered with age. In a randomized, double-blind design, twenty healthy elderly subjects were assigned to a placebo group (600 mg sunflower oil/d) or to a group consuming 600 mg MO/d providing 150 mg DHA + 30 mg (EPA) for 6 weeks. At day 42, the proliferative responses of lymphocytes to several mitogens were significantly (P<0.01) decreased in the MO group compared with control values. This was accompanied by a slight lowering of their cytosolic cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity, a marked and significant (P<0.05) increase of their particulate PDE activity (+56-57 %) and a slight but significant (P<0.05) increase in cyclic nucleotide intracellular levels. At the same time, the glutathione peroxidase activity was markedly and significantly (P<0.01) depressed in the MO group. None of these modifications could be seen in the placebo group. Collectively, these results demonstrate that even very low doses of n-3 fatty acids are sufficient to affect the immune responses of elderly subjects.

  7. Lyle McDonald says

    This one even has a free full text. Maybe you should have read it for the conclusion

    ***
    Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):539-48.
    Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long-chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y.
    Thies F, Nebe-von-Caron G, Powell JR, Yaqoob P, Newsholme EA, Calder PC.
    Source

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:

    Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.
    OBJECTIVE:

    Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
    DESIGN:

    A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.
    RESULTS:

    The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.
    CONCLUSION:

    A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.
    ***
    One concern with recommendations to increase intakes of certain long-chain PUFAs (either in the general population or in specific groups such as pregnant women and newborns) and with the widespread availability of products rich in some of these PUFAs is the potential for adverse immunologic effects resulting from excessive intakes. However, the current study indicates that significantly increased intakes of ALA, GLA, AA, and DHA may not adversely affect immune function. However, this study was of subjects aged >55 y and extrapolation of our results to other groups such as pregnant women and newborn infants may not be appropriate.

    ***
    Sentence starting with “HOWEVER” Again, you’re a cherry picking retard, you picked references without reading the papers and you’re simply full of fucking shit across the board. But keep giving people shitty advice, I hope it makes you feel good to harm people’s health.

  8. Lyle McDonald says

    So there ya’ go lots of animal studies, in vitro work and already three of your references are completely irrelevant to the case you’re claiming to make. I can’t be bothered to take apart every single one, I’m sure you’ll dismiss my comments out of hand becaue facts aren’t relevant to you.

    Have a great day!

  9. Doug Parra says

    Wow, Lyle this blog topic really “triggered” you. What is your scientific research background? Do you think all research is good research? What makes research good or valid? The fish oil industry is a several billion dollar a year industry. Do you think anyone benefits financially from “pro fish oil” research? Do you think companies from the fish oil industry fund many of the “pro fish oil” studies? Are you and Clint Eastwood related?

  10. Hunter says

    Obviously if someone makes money off of something it has to be sinister, so fish oil is evil. As are vegetables and fruits with all of their politically motivated pro research. Meat is also the devil. The only thing safe for human consumption is mana, because it came down from heaven and no research supports it.

  11. Teddy (rhwbullhead) says

    If you did a quick google search of “Lyle McDonald” you’d learn that he is the one guy in this field that does meticulously follow all the research. Even if I didn’t know who he was, it’s obvious that you guys are guilty of what he accuses you of doing in this piece. This whole piece is clearly cherry picking of studies to promote YOUR agenda which seems to be you want to demonize fish oils for whatever reason. Fish oil has mountains of research proving it’s health benefits. It’s also obvious that you guys are wrong here when your best response is to try to attack Lyle and to suggest a conspiracy theory by the fish oil industry.

  12. Lyle McDonald says

    Yes, you’re right, all GOOD science on EFA’s is part of a huge global conspiracy.

    And I am it’s kingpin. Every day I sit down and figure out ways to push my pro fish oil pro cancer pro kill all the white people agenda. It keeps morons like you off the street; you’re so busy making up bullshit blog posts I know you’re not out reproducing and making more retarded spawn of your loins.

    Jesus fuck, you’re funny but not ha ha funny.

    I bet you think the above is serious, moron.

  13. Kamal Patel says

    This article is…not very informative. It looks to be repeating the flawed mantra of “there’s no essential fatty acid! obviously highly unsaturated means it’s bad!” that Brian Peskin has championed.

    There are thousands of articles on the benefits and detriments of different highly unsaturated fatty acids. Going in depth into a couple of them, or doing a quasi-systematic review of one particular issue, might be more informative. Different HUFAs have different functions on different organ systems, and there are specifics to be talked about. Maybe that’s somewhere on this site, but it’s not here. Otherwise, this can go into the bucket along with “fructose will kill you!” articles that don’t address both sides of an issue.

  14. Kim says

    Hahaha,
    This is again one of those guys that wants to get a little fame by nit picking research to support his controversial point. Makes me think of the Paleo and Raw Food madness…

    Have you actually looked at any of the zillion positive research articles on fish oil?
    Any food or substance studied this extensively will have a couple of studies showing some negative effects. If we base our ideas entirely on the nitpicked studies we would all have died of cancer long, long ago and NO FOOD would have been safe to eat. Even if a couple of these are on humans of ‘normal age’ it still says absolutely nothing without taking into consideration the rest of the research on the substance to draw a carefully weighed conclusion.

  15. Godge says

    This could describe Lyle, http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

  16. gaston says

    Lyles blood sugar tanked. Same thing happens to my 3 year old when she goes too long without sugar.

  17. Clint says

    “I hope it makes you feel good to harm people’s health.” Wow, that’s quite a claim Lyle. Maybe you could try backing that up with something. Maybe you could explain the irrelevancy of Mead acid synthesis before you make such claims — or how any culture located in a remote area maintained its health prior to availability of fish oils and grain, nut, or seed oils. But, more than that, what about people today, who specifically avoid any significant source of N-3 or N-6, and are alive and healthy? Some of them have done it for decades.

    “Cherry picking studies” is about as simple-minded of an accusation as can be made. Is anyone going to use studies that don’t contain data that supports their claim? Very rarely is any research done without some degree of bias or agenda, so rarely can the entire data reported from any study be of great comprehensive value. Intelligent and unbiased people typically look at a study and determine what, if any of it, is reliable data. An understanding of N-3 and N-6 and their high susceptibility to oxidation, and the resulting physiological implications, does not begin with a bunch of studies over the course of 80 years that attempt to prove or disprove their essentiality, it begins with a comprehenive and intelligent understanding of the fundamental nature of their bio-chemical properties. Then bits and pieces of information from even the agenda-driven studies will sometimes reinforce the already fundamental realities.

    Lyle, you might begin with the fundamental principles of the oxidation potential of an ionic bond, especially when in the presence of a chronic excess of electrons created by the poor ability to oxidize glucose, as commonly seen in the simple-minded folk who find it a good idea to do things like restrict carbs and hoard fats.

  18. Joe says

    Lyle is actually one of the best resources for online training and nutrition, bodyrecomposition.com has a ton of articles that are all properly researched and don’t cherry pick for results. Lyle just doesn’t pull any punches with moronic claims like those made on this page.

  19. gaston says

    Lyle runs on adrenal energy. The smart money runs on thyroid energy. EFAs destroy thyroid energy and allow adrenal energy to run the body. This is evidenced by Lyles hostility. I don’t recall any historical geniuses who write like a toddler who needs a nap. You lose all credibilitywhen u call people names. Name calling during a scientific argument is the equivalent to pinching (not punching) during an mma fight. A joke.

  20. Lyles dad says

    Lyle is a big baby that can’t have a debate without getting personal or swearing his dirty mouth off. I don’t care how knowledgable he is, he’s a disgusting human being. Also racist too, going by his comments on Facebook where he said blowing up brown people ws. Good thing. He refers to people as retards and fuckwards because he has no idea how to construct a civil argument. He’s probably going to reply with a million swear words now. I don’t give a damn, I’m not coming back to view this. Ciao.

  21. ATZ says

    gaston, come again? Adrenal and Thyroid energy, did you just make that up?

  22. Lyles dad says

    Let’s just say it like it is. Lyle was bullied at school and is now a cunt. End of.

  23. Ann Rosen Korman says

    I guess that your article has truly threatened some big egos here. Sometimes solid information is hard to take. No one likes to admit that they have been doing something wrong in terms of their health. This is solid information that can not be dismissed. It is time to wake up and look at real evidence in terms of our nutrition. I am not quite sure why people are getting so angry about someone giving them some good information that might just save their lives. Thank you!!! You are waking people up!

  24. Doug Parra says

    Not being willing to examine our beliefs, to change our beliefs or to add to them when necessary has been our civilizations greatest struggle.

    One thing that is really unfortunate is Lyle’s lack of tolerance to differences, his fragility to differences and how unprofessional Lyle is in expressing his frustrations.

  25. Éric Lépine says

    I had planned to spend a much more significant amount of time putting together a scientifically-backed rebuttal to Lyle’s childish display but, upon further thinking, have thought it wise to refrain from spending more time than I already will here, time which will otherwise be better spent discussing these and other matters with people whose minds aren’t already made up…

    But, you ask, isn’t that defeatist in itself? And, how do you know Lyle has really already made up his mind? To answer the first question, yes, I’ll concede, maybe… But, again, I ask, what are the chances here of me/us being able to partake in a constructive discussion with this guy? Which leads me to the second question… Let’s just say that the underlying tone of Lyle’s response leads me to believe there are very few other options. Additionally, and maybe more pertinent here, we also have a history that goes reasonably far back in terms of discussing such matters (exercise and nutrition) over various forums and, being someone who always welcomes his ideas being questioned and challenged, and in spite of my being pretty open-minded, Lyle’s usual approach eventually led me no other choice but blocking him from my page…

    Ultimately, two friends put it best I think: someone should slap the sh*t out of this weak, elitist, hypoglycemic, EUGENE LEVY look-alike professional troll.

    But, those who know me also know I know better, and would never dare lower myself to that level :) In reality, what Lyle probably needs, as another friend pointed out, is a hug. The man simply craves attention… Or, maybe it’s in fact much more simple than that: a poster reminded me that Lyle has written at least eight books and offers a money back guarantee, no questions asked, on each of them. Hmmm. Conflict of interest there somewhere? How much does he support or encourage fish oil supplementation in any of the aforementioned publications?

    This, of course, leads to the question I’ve always meant to ask Lyle: Why, Lyle, are you so threatened by these ideas? Why are you always so angry? So hostile? So quick to come up with a barrage of ad hominem attacks at anyone who dares to say anything contrary to your own beliefs? Has this approach, honestly, ever been productive towards or conducive to any constructive discussion? Or, again, do you simply draw on the attention this brings to yourself?

    A few posters on Rob’s page – as well as many on Lyle’s own forum, I should point out, including Lyle himself – have made the point that there are countless studies showing the safety and efficacy of fish oils and other PUFAs. Truth is, and as was already alluded to, we can very easily “cherry-pick” studies from both sides of the argument to support said argument. That means nothing really. And, it’s also beside the point. The simple fact that there should be even but a few well-done studies (and there are, in fact, much more than “just a few”) showing the harmful effects of supplementing with unsaturated fatty acids and their negative implication in a host of processes and situations, from cell division and growth, to cell stability and dissolution, the organization of cells, tissues and organs, the regulation of pituitary hormones, adrenalin and sympathetic nervous activation, histamine and serotonin synthesis, adrenal cortex hormones, thyroid hormones, testosterone, estrogen, activators of the immune system and inflammation, autoimmune diseases, detoxification, obesity, diabetes, puberty, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease other degenerative nerve diseases and Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and strokes SHOULD, at the VERY least, make us question the validity of claims to their supposed safety, efficacy AND usefulness/essentiality.

    Ultimately, the question each and every one of us should ask ourselves is this: Is there, or is there not a sufficient and reasonable amount of well-performed studies showing the potential dangers of unsaturated fatty acid supplementation? If you answer this question honestly, the next step would then require that we ask: How many such studies (a few dozen, a few hundred, what, may I ask, would be the arbitrarily chosen number here?) would we need to amass to derive a worthwhile conclusion in order for us to see things in another light?

    Oh, and just for the record, Lyle’s continual argument about “us not being rats” is so old! So old! And so predictable. Why shouldn’t we consider studies done on other species exactly? They’re not valid/useful in any way, are they? Given Lyle’s logic, and his arguments against them, we should probably also ignore conclusions derived from any and all studies that aren’t controlled and long term, aren’t done on humans, and in which absolutely all possible variables aren’t accounted for EXCEPT for the one being studied; that sounds very feasible and realistic?!?!?! We know rats aren’t humans Lyle, we know, but thank you for pointing that out. Might I recommend you go back and read some of the reasons animal models are indeed quite useful (just as in vitro studies are, and observational/longitudinal studies are, etc., all for various specific reasons) in spite of their limitations, which you like to so explicitly point out… As long as we understand these limitations, then there is nothing “unscientific” about using such studies to further our understanding.

  26. Steven Smith says

    Lyle, many people who follow the “N-3 and N-6 fatty acids are not essential” train, are doing so after already going through years of metabolic turmoil. These people are tired of reading cherry-picked data (and no, not the studies you refer to here). The reason why animal studies are useful is because we can perform experiments on them, which would otherwise be unethical in humans. I think many people learn this fact in 3rd grade science class. You won’t see a study examining the effect of induced cancer by excess N-3 and N-6 fats in humans, but you will in animals, which is why we are able to grasp a threshold. I would say that the majority of studies used for drug companies are extremely manipulated. Bias is very different than manipulation. Everyone is biased (you certainly are), but following studies, which manipulated numbers, figures, and data is a different story. Anyone with high school level statistics will tell you that. I remember one saying from high school “if the observed reality doesn’t match the statistical data, the statistics are wrong.”

    Also, its important not to base your judgements of other viewpoints primarily with your observed empirical evidence with your clients. How the body looks is much different than how it functions. Simply changing one’s composition can affect the psyche enough that the person will feel better, but it doesn’t mean they are doing the right thing. Instead of following free-living studies and empirical evidence, its better to study physiology, how the body works, and read biological/ chemical journals, etc….

  27. Lyles dad says

    He thinks he can get away with it because his followers lick his arse everyday. He just sounds like a douche.

  28. Steven says

    Lyle, I just have to say that being your age, I am very surprised at the kind of behavior you take part in, and the way you conduct yourself. You think that you have it all figured out so well, that you’ll go as far as saying “go fuck yourself” to any dissonant of yours. I think that the only thing you’ve proven here is that you have a difficult time partaking in any kind of intelligent discourse on complex topics, and that you resort to name calling and conjecture whenever you become offended. Why did you get so offended exactly?

    All I know is, none of us have all the answers, and if you do happen to change your mind one arbitrary day, and you decide that processed seed and fish oil are not “essential,” you are going to be very embarrassed by the way you acted so emotionally in an arena which deserves objective thinking. Why don’t you save yourself of embarrassment now, and just apologize?

  29. L Blackstone says

    “I’m not a rat, an Atlantic salmon an in vitro cell culture”

    ” They first infected them and then gave them fish oils.”

    “Did it ever occur to you that OTHER things are going on in the elderly that might not apply to non-elderly”

    “If we base our ideas entirely on the nitpicked studies we would all have died of cancer long, long ago and NO FOOD would have been safe to eat. Even if a couple of these are on humans of ‘normal age’ it still says absolutely nothing without taking into consideration the rest of the research on the substance to draw a carefully weighed conclusion.”

    “However, the current study indicates that significantly increased intakes of ALA, GLA, AA, and DHA may not adversely affect immune function. However, this study was of subjects aged >55 y and extrapolation of our results to other groups such as pregnant women and newborn infants may not be appropriate. ”

    “lots of animal studies, in vitro work and already three of your references are completely irrelevant to the case you’re claiming to make. ”

    I like how not a single one of these points has been addressed. FYI, “Lyle is a meaniehead” is not a valid rebuttal,

  30. Eric says

    Actually, “L Blackstone”, if you’d read some of the comments above, you’d see that some of these have been addressed (points 1, 2 4 and 5), more than once in some instances and, if not directly, at least indirectly and, otherwise, did not merit much attention (6). But, nice try :)

  31. Steven says

    Though we/I did address many of these points above, its nearly useless to address them. A main argument, which Lyle seems to disagree with, is the relevance of animal studies. According to him they are “100% irrelevant.” Oops, didn’t really think that one through though did he? Too bad the majority of science as we know it in the realms of medicine and physiology have been based off of animal physiology. Where do you think hypothesis’ come from? They don’t just make things up then experiment on humans.

  32. Salmo Salmar says

    Aren’t Atlantic Salmon full of fish oil, are they toxic to themselves? I really want to know the relevance of this one!

  33. Eric says

    Salmo…

    If, as was suggested to another reader here, you had bothered reading up on this very issue yourself and, at the very least, researched this very site to get at least some of the questions to your answer, you might have been surprised… http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/11/02/fats-and-oils-the-significance-of-temperature/

  34. Eric says

    What I’m saying then is this: Did even stop and wonder what would happen to a salmon (or any other similar species) in cold water if its fats were mostly saturated, like most land-living warm-blooded species?!?!?

  35. Lyle's Dad's Dad's Dad says

    Fish oil tastes good, though.

  36. Team FPS says

    “I’m not a rat, an Atlantic salmon, [or] an in vitro cell culture. Maybe you should check your reference list a little more closely before you give such horrid advice…And 80 years of research indicate a clear case of EPA and DHA as essential fatty acids” -Lyle McDonald

    Checking references is a good idea. Studies that apparently proved the “essentiality” of “EFA” done by the Burrs’ in 1929/1930 were done on rats.

    J. Biol. Chem. 1929 82: 345-367.
    A NEW DEFICIENCY DISEASE PRODUCED BY THE RIGID EXCLUSION OF FAT FROM THE DIET.
    BY GEORGE 0. BURR AND MILDRED M. BURR

    J. Biol. Chem. 86 (587)
    ON THE NATURE AND ROLE OF THE FATTY ACIDS ESSENTIAL IN NUTRITION.
    BY GEORGE 0. BURR AND MILDRED M. BURR

    The Burrs’ considered linoleic and linolenic acid as “essential” in the late 1920s, early 1930s, but at present EPA and DHA from fish oils are the “new” “EFA” despite no data backing up their essentiality either. I’ve never seen any research proving the essentiality of EPA, DHA, linoleic acid, or linolenic acid in humans (or rats) so this entire premise falls flat. “80 years of research” about “EFA” is not remotely true, especially as it pertains to DHA and EPA. Where is the 80-year-old research proving the essentiality of DHA and EPA?

    Here is what the “EFA” crowd has to do in order to remain relevant:
    1. Prove the essentiality of EPA, DHA, linoleic, and linolenic acid.
    2. Disprove the information that says these fats are harmful and find how “EFA” deficient rats were cured with nutritional interventions other than “EFA”.
    3. Provide explanation why humans and mammals that avoid such fats have a high respiratory quotient, resistance to stress and trauma, good health, and greater longevity than counterparts fed more “essential” unsaturates.

  37. Team FPS says

    The faulty premise of the existence of “EFA” only leads to more bad science. You can’t build a foundation of real science if the foundation itself is faulty. It’s bad science that’s product driven that the seed oil, pharma, and fish oil industries use to sell product. This false information trickles down into universities, and where it is stubbornly held onto as truth….BUT it’s nothing more than dogma.

    The skin problems that developed on the rats that were apparently from an “EFA deficiency” were later cured by nutritional interventions that were not “EFA” (like vitamin B6 – pyridoxine), disproving “EFA’s” apparent “essentiality.” Also, during this time researchers didn’t know what complete nutrition was nor had b-vitamins been discovered. Yet this is always THE research cited proving essentiality of fatty acids.

    Ray Peat, PhD says it quite well — “Several publications between 1936 and 1944 made it very clear that Burr’s basic animal diet was deficient in various nutrients, especially vitamin B6. The disease that appeared in Burr’s animals could be cured by fat free B-vitamin preparations, or by purified vitamin B6 when it became available. A zinc deficiency produces similar symptoms, and at the time Burr did his experiments, there was no information on the effects of fats on mineral absorption. If a diet is barely adequate in the essential minerals, increasing the metabolic rate, or decreasing intestinal absorption of minerals, will produce mineral deficiencies and metabolic problems.”

    Research Bulletin, University of Missouri, College of Agriculture,
    Agricultural Experiment Station, 333. September, pp. 1-12.
    Vitamin B6 pantothenic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids as they affect dermatitis in
    rats.

    J. Nutr. September 1, 1942 vol. 24 no. 3 225-234
    Linoleic acid, Pyroxidine, and Panthothenic Acid in Rat Dermatitis
    F. W. QUACKENBUSH, H. STEENBOCK, F. A. KUMMEROW
    AND B. E. PLATZ

    J. Biol. Chem. 1940 132: 539-551.
    ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, VITAMIN B6, AND OTHER FACTORS IN THE CURE OF RAT ACRODYNIA
    H. Schneider, H. Steenbock, and Blanche R. Platz

    The skin problem was the consequence of a very high basal metabolic rate, and a greater need for nutrition that accompanies such a state. The rats weren’t “EFA deficient”; they were malnourished due to their high nutritional demands second to a high metabolic rate. By Burrs’ own admission, the “EFA deficient” rats had an exceedingly high respiratory quotient relative to the rats without the “deficiency.”

    The activity of cytochrome oxidase, a key respiratory enzyme, is very high in the absence of “EFA,” promoting a high metabolism. Supplementing with an “essential” fat predictably lowers the activity of the enzyme. Because metabolic intensity has a direct relationship to longevity in mammals, this simple suppression of metabolic activity is just one clue about the life shortening effects of the unsaturates. Anything that measurably shortens the lifespan shouldn’t be considered health promoting.

    Exp Biol Med May 1934 vol. 31 no. 8 911-912
    METABOLISM STUDIES WITH EATS SUFFERING FROM FAT DEFICIENCY
    GEORGE O. BURR AND A J. BEBER
    “The results show clearly that fat-deficient rats are very different from stock animals and that fat-deficient rats which have been cured with small doses of fats return to a much more nearly normal gas exchange. The most marked differences shown by the fat-deficient rats are higher basal rate, higher specific dynamic action of food, and higher respiratory quotients.”

    J. Biol. Chem., vol. 91, pp. 525-539.
    The metabolic rate and respiratory quotients of rats on a fat-deficient diet.
    WESSON, L. G., AND G. O. BURR 1931
    “Fat-deficient rats may synthesize much fat each day as indicated by high respiratory quotients. The fat synthesized from carbohydrate does not contain appreciable quantities of the essential fatty acids since these must be added to the diet to prevent decline and death. Although much smaller, the rats have a higher metabolic rate than their controls. Consequently, they have a much higher rate calculated as calories per square meter of surface.”

    (Note: “The fat synthesized from carbohydrate does not contain appreciable quantities of the essential fatty acids” — The fats the animals synthesized from sugar were not the “essential” variety. We don’t synthesize “EFA” from sugar because they’re harmful, NOT because they’re essential.)

    J Biol Chem. 1951 Apr;189(2):755-61.
    The effects of fat deficiency upon enzyme activity in the rat.
    KUNKEL HO, WILLIAMS JN Jr.
    The activity of the cytochrome oxidase, however, is markedly increased in fat deficiency…In each case the activity of livers from rats fed the basal diet was 38 per cent greater than from the linoleate-supplemented animals or from the animals receiving corn oil. This is particularly interesting in view of the observation of Burr and Beeber (8) and Wesson and Burr (9) that fat-deficient rats had a markedly increased metabolic rate. The latter authors reported that the basal and assimilatory metabolic rates of fat-deficient animals were 25 per cent greater than the rates of the control animals. Thus the liver cytochrome oxidase activity appears to parallel the metabolic rate in fat deficiency. This increased cytochrome oxidase activity in liver and perhaps other tissues may account in a large part for the increased metabolic rate.
    Summary
    “A fat deficiency in the rat causes a marked increase in liver cytochrome oxidase activity, a slight increase in choline oxidase activity, and a marked decrease in endogenous respiration. The activity of the succinic oxidase system is not altered by this deficiency condition. Supplementation with 100 mg. of methyl linoleate per rat per day reduced the cytochrome oxidase to the level of that produced by a 5 percent corn oil diet.”

    Experimental Gerontology Volume 2, Issue 3, August 1967, Pages 173–182
    Relation of lifespan to brainweight, bodyweight, and metabolic rate among inbred mouse strains
    John B. Storer

    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Oct;61(10):1009-18.
    Oxidation-resistant membrane phospholipids can explain longevity differences among the longest-living rodents and similarly-sized mice.
    Hulbert AJ, Faulks SC, Buffenstein R.

    Trends Neurosci. 2004 Oct;27(10):595-600.
    Free radicals and aging.
    Barja G.
    “The degree of unsaturation of tissue fatty acids also correlates inversely with maximum longevity.”

    Vopr Pitan. 1991 Mar-Apr;(2):36-40.
    [Characteristics of actual nutrition of the long-lived population of Azerbaijan].
    [Article in Russian]
    Grigorov IuG, Kozlovskaia SG, Semes’ko TM, Asadov ShA.

    The contrarian research that showed the non-essentiality of “EFA” was buried or just ignored because at that time seed oils companies were being ousted from the paint/varnish sector and needed to find a new market to sell their product. What better place than the supermarket. This also was teamed with the idea that saturated fats were causative in heart disease, and this created further momentum behind the marketing and refining/production of unsaturates as food. Bad research plus product marketing is a bad combo.

  38. Team FPS says

    A human study on the researcher William Brown done at the Burr’s laboratory (the same researcher who discovered “EFA”) produced some interesting results. I quote directly from my article “Errors in Nutrition: Essential Fatty Acids” below.

    “Attempts to intentionally induce an EFA deficiency in humans provided interesting results. (11) To test the effects of a very low fat diet on a human, biochemist William Brown volunteered to go six months in Burr’s laboratory eating such a diet. Chris Masterjohn discusses the results of this experiment in his article “Precious Yet Perilous: Understanding the Essential Fatty Acids.”

    “Inducing an essential fatty acid deficiency in an adult human proved much more difficult than curing one…Each day, he consumed three quarts of defatted milk, a quart of cottage cheese made from it, sucrose, potato starch, orange juice and some vitamin and mineral supplements. His blood lipids became more saturated and their concentrations of linoleic and arachidonic acids were cut in half. He experienced a marked absence of fatigue, his high blood pressure returned to normal, and the migraines he had suffered from since childhood completely disappeared.” (12)

    Brown experienced no skin abnormalities and “in spite of a supposedly adequate caloric intake” he lost weight as a result of improved metabolic function. The attempt to create an essential fatty acid deficiency improved the measured parameters in the experiment and Brown’s previous symptoms vanished. How could avoiding something dietarily essential create such marked improvements and produce NO skin abnormalities in six months?

    Animal studies where an EFA deficiency is induced by eating a no fat diet echo this same result as the animals in such experiments exhibit increased metabolic rate, low chance of cancer, and better withstood stress and trauma. Ray Peat further mentions the following in “Fats and degeneration”:

    “…a few experimenters were finding that animals which were fed a diet lacking the “essential” fatty acids had some remarkable properties: They consumed oxygen and calories at a very high rate, their mitochondria were unusually tough and stable, their tissues could be transplanted into other animals without provoking immunological rejection, and they were very hard to kill by trauma and a wide variety of toxins that easily provoke lethal shock in animals on the usual diet. As the Germans had seen in 1927, they had a low susceptibility to cancer, and new studies were showing that they weren’t susceptible to various fibrotic conditions, including alcoholic liver cirrhosis.”(10)”

    (10) Fats and degeneration by Ray Peat, PhD

    (11) THE JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, VOL. 16, NO. 6 DECEMBER, 1938
    Brown WR, Hansen AE, Burr GO, McQuarrie I.
    Effects of prolonged use of extremely low-fat diet on an adult human subject.

    (12) Precious Yet Perilous: Understanding the Essential Fatty Acids by Chris Masterjohn

    Since PUFA are found in small amounts even in all of the natural foods we’d (Ray Peat inspired folks) recommend, it’s difficult to be “deficient” in these “essential” fats. Coconut oil even contains 3% PUFA. We also have enzymes that can elongate and desaturate the ideally small amounts of linolenic acid we consume from plants into EPA and DHA; so why the need for supplementation?

    Why would I, as a 98+ degree human, supplement with oils that are the MOST unsaturated on earth (DHA having 6 double bonds and EPA having 5 double bond) and therefore the most unstable in the presence of heat and oxygen?! Why don’t cold water fish contain a predominant amount of saturated fat in their tissues yet coconut meat growing in temperatures analogous to the human body temperature is 97% saturated? Does body temperature play a role in the appropriate selection of fatty acid for humans? Does nature provide clues about appropriate food choices?

    Ray Peat, PhD (raypeat.com) has masterfully put together information about the toxicity of unsaturates since the 1970s. I suggest to anyone reading this to look into his material. His writings are of a completely different paradigm that is difficult to understand if you’ve been traditionally schooled or pumped full of dogmatic information for years.

    Additional sources in relation to the topic:
    Anti-Inflammatory Omega -9 Mead Acid (Eicosatrienoic acid)
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/04/10/anti-inflammatory-omega-9-mead-acid-eicosapentaenoic-acid/

    Errors in Nutrition: Essential Fatty Acids
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2010/12/19/errors-in-nutrition-essential-fatty-acids/

    Protective “Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency”
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/01/14/essential-fatty-acid-deficiency-resistance-to-traumastressshock/

    Metabolism, Brain Size, and Lifespan in Mammals
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/04/29/metabolism-brain-size-and-lifespan-in-mammals/

    Unsaturated Fats and Longevity
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/01/14/unsaturated-fats-and-longevity/

    PUFA, Development, and Allergy Incidence
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/12/01/pufa-and-development/

    PUFA, Fish Oil, and Alzheimers
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/02/12/pufa-and-brain-degeneration/

    PUFA Breakdown Products Depress Mitochondrial Respiration
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/03/22/pufa-breakdown-products-depress-mitochondrial-respiration/

    PUFA Accumulation & Aging
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/01/15/pufa-accumulation-aging/

    Fats and Oils: The significance of temperature
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/11/02/fats-and-oils-the-significance-of-temperature/

    Dietary Fats, Temperature, and Your Body
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/09/17/fats-temperature-and-your-body/

    “Curing” a High Metabolic Rate with Unsaturated Fats
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/04/03/curing-a-high-metabolic-rate-with-unsaturated-fats/

    Fat Deficient Animals – Activity of Cytochrome Oxidase
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/04/03/fat-deficient-animals-activity-of-cytochrome-oxidase/

    Fats and degeneration by Ray Peat, PhD
    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fats-degeneration3.shtml

    The Great Fish Oil Experiment by Ray Peat, PhD
    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fishoil.shtml

  39. Team FPS says

    Addressing Lyle’s comments:

    Immunol Immunopathol. 1991 Nov;61(2 Pt 1):161-76.
Immunosuppressive effects of fish oil in normal human volunteers: correlation with the in vitro effects of eicosapentanoic acid on human lymphocytes.
Virella G, Fourspring K, Hyman B, Haskill-Stroud R, Long L, Virella I, La Via M, Gross AJ, Lopes-Virella M.
    “We have studied the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil on immunological parameters in a group of six normal volunteers, four of whom received a fish oil extract (total EPA dose of 2.4 g/day, which is on the lower range of clinically effective doses) for 6 weeks and two of which received a placebo (olive oil) for an identical period of time.”
    “These observations stress the need for more extensive trials designed to determine whether immunosuppressive effects can be consistently elicited and for studies aimed at determining the mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids affect the immune system.”

    Lyle: “
Yeah, that’s relevant. They first infected them and then gave them fish oils. Nice cherry pick. Did you even read the abstract? Cuz you sure as shit are hoping none of your readers will.”
    ======================================================

    This study includes humans.

    You can test the reaction of an animal or human when exposed to a stressor and because the nutritional profiles are different this can elucidate how nutrition interacts positively or negatively with the stressor. In this case, the use fish oil was shown to have immunosuppressive effects relative to controls receiving a placebo (olive oil). Immunosuppression is relevant to health and toxicity.

  40. Team FPS says

    Did it ever occur to you that OTHER things are going on in the elderly that might not apply to non-elderly? Nevermind, I’m being rhetorical.

    
Br J Nutr. 2003 Apr;89(4):523-31.
    
Influence of very low dietary intake of marine oil on some functional aspects of immune cells in healthy elderly people.

    Bechoua S, Dubois M, Véricel E, Chapuy P, Lagarde M, Prigent AF.
    In a randomized, double-blind design, twenty healthy elderly subjects were assigned to a placebo group (600 mg sunflower oil/d) or to a group consuming 600 mg MO/d providing 150 mg DHA + 30 mg (EPA) for 6 weeks. At day 42, the proliferative responses of lymphocytes to several mitogens were significantly (P<0.01) decreased in the MO group compared with control values. This was accompanied by a slight lowering of their cytosolic cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity, a marked and significant (P<0.05) increase of their particulate PDE activity (+56-57 %) and a slight but significant (P<0.05) increase in cyclic nucleotide intracellular levels. At the same time, the glutathione peroxidase activity was markedly and significantly (P<0.01) depressed in the MO group. None of these modifications could be seen in the placebo group. Collectively, these results demonstrate that even very low doses of n-3 fatty acids are sufficient to affect the immune responses of elderly subjects.

    =================================

    Eldery people are humans. The marine oil group once again showed immunosuppressive effects. Immunosuppression is relevant to health and toxicity.

  41. Team FPS says

    This one even has a free full text. Maybe you should have read it for the conclusion
***

    
Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):539-48.
    
Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long-chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y.

    Thies F, Nebe-von-Caron G, Powell JR, Yaqoob P, Newsholme EA, Calder PC.
Source
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Abstract

    BACKGROUND:
Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.

    OBJECTIVE:
Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    DESIGN:
A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.
    
RESULTS:
The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.
    
CONCLUSION:
A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.


    ***
One concern with recommendations to increase intakes of certain long-chain PUFAs (either in the general population or in specific groups such as pregnant women and newborns) and with the widespread availability of products rich in some of these PUFAs is the potential for adverse immunologic effects resulting from excessive intakes. However, the current study indicates that significantly increased intakes of ALA, GLA, AA, and DHA may not adversely affect immune function. However, this study was of subjects aged >55 y and extrapolation of our results to other groups such as pregnant women and newborn infants may not be appropriate.


    ***
Sentence starting with “HOWEVER” Again, you’re a cherry picking retard, you picked references without reading the papers and you’re simply full of fucking shit across the board. But keep giving people shitty advice, I hope it makes you feel good to harm people’s health.

    =====================================================

    You forgot to look at the data and got confused by the author’s conclusions which can sometimes be dogmatic.

    “Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.”

  42. Team FPS says

    So there ya’ go lots of animal studies, in vitro work and already three of your references are completely irrelevant to the case you’re claiming to make. I can’t be bothered to take apart every single one, I’m sure you’ll dismiss my comments out of hand becaue facts aren’t relevant to you.

    ======================================

    Two of the three studies you chose to trump me on where done on humans despite your claim that they were done on animals. All were relevant to the blog’s stated topic.

  43. Forrest says

    Originally posted by Team FPS- “The activity of cytochrome oxidase, a key respiratory enzyme, is very high in the absence of “EFA,” promoting a high metabolism.”
    ———————————————————————————————————
    Not according to this,…..well at least not in the fronto-parietal cortex, hippocampus and suprachiasmatic nucleus.
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Glucose transport and utilization are altered in the brain of rats deficient in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
    Adriana Ximenes da Silva1,4, Françoise Lavialle2, Ghislaine Gendrot1, Philippe Guesnet3, Jean-Marc Alessandri3, Monique Lavialle1,3Article first published online: 6 JUN 2002

    DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.00932.x

    Abstract
    Long-chain polyunsaturated (n-3) fatty acids have been reported to influence the efficiency of membrane receptors, transporters and enzymes. Because the brain is particularly rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3), the present study addresses the question of whether the 22:6 n-3 fatty acid deficiency induces disorder in regulation of energy metabolism in the CNS. Three brain regions that share a high rate of energy metabolism were studied: fronto-parietal cortex, hippocampus and suprachiasmatic nucleus. The effect of the diet deficient in n-3 fatty acids resulted in a 30–50% decrease in DHA in membrane phospholipids. Moreover, a 30% decrease in glucose uptake and a 20–40% decrease in cytochrome oxidase activity were observed in the three brain regions. The n-3 deficient diet also altered the immunoreactivity of glucose transporters, namely GLUT1 in endothelial cells and GLUT3 in neurones. In n-3 fatty acid deficient rats, GLUT1-immunoreactivity readily detectable in microvessels became sparse, whereas the number of GLUT3 immunoreactive neurones was increased. However, western blot analysis showed no significant difference in GLUT1 and GLUT3 protein levels between rats deficient in n-3 fatty acids and control rats. The present results suggest that changes in energy metabolism induced by n-3 deficiency could result from functional alteration in glucose transporters.

  44. esther says

    Research is so voluminous, that one can defend any point of view they wish to with ‘research’. We may not be cold water fish, but coastal and island dwelling humans have been eating them for hundreds of thousands of years. One point is that oxidized (rancid) fish oil IS toxic, and many studies (including human) have not assayed the fish oil they use for markers of rancidity. I find from clinical experience that combining GLA (primrose, black current, borage, pine seed, etc), with non-rancid clean EPA/DHA supplements has profound anti-inflammatory and health benefits. Also, low dose aspirin combined with high quality fish oil (or dietary fish) results in the formation of compounds called restorins and protectins, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Of course its possible to have too much of anything, and the balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation is a key one in health. However, the western world is highly skewed toward too much inflammation, which is at the root of most of our biggest health problems today. I look forward to clean algal sources of EPA and DHA, so we can stop decimating the ocean’s populations. We have the DHA now from Martek, but its hexane extracted. Supercritical carbon dioxide would be a far cleaner way to extract it from the algae (also excludes oxygen, which keeps the unsaturated bonds from oxidizing).

    (the above as discussed amongst friends listening to our friend,. Dwight McKee MD (Google) response to this post. We thought you would appreciate his response)

  45. julia says

    this article lost me when it basically said it isn’t essential because the body doesn’t produce it on it’s own. Well there are many things the body does not produce on its own and you need to consume them in order to stay healthy.

  46. Luisa says

    Hello, I am currently breastfeeding my 11 month old daughter and I am taking a supplement of DHA + EPA because I read many studies that say it is good for brain development, should leave? How should feed at this stage that my milk is of good quality for my daughter?
    thanks
    Luisa

  47. Team FPS says

    I would focus on getting plenty of carbohydrate and eating fats rich in saturated fat, like milk and butter. The first blog listed below address the EPA/DHA issue as it relates to development. These oils aren’t beneficial in any stage of life in my opinion. Additional resources are also provided so you can connect the dots.

    PUFA, Development, and Allergy Incidence
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/12/01/pufa-and-development/

    Dietary Fats, Temperature, and Your Body
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/09/17/fats-temperature-and-your-body/

    PUFA Accumulation & Aging
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/01/15/pufa-accumulation-aging/

    PUFA, Fish Oil, and Alzheimers
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/02/12/pufa-and-brain-degeneration/

    Brain Swelling Induced by Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA)
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/12/22/brain-swelling-induced-by-polyunsaturated-fats-pufa/

  48. Daniel says

    So yet another flyby potshotter, named
    Forrest, says

    “Originally posted by Team FPS- “The activity of cytochrome oxidase, a key respiratory enzyme, is very high in the absence of “EFA,” promoting a high metabolism.”
    ———————————————————————————————————
    Not according to this,…..well at least not in the fronto-parietal cortex, hippocampus and suprachiasmatic nucleus.
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Glucose transport and utilization are altered in the brain of rats deficient in n-3 polyunsaturated [...]
    DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.00932.x ”

    Yet when I looked at the study, lo and behold, I see,

    “The control group lipid diet was a mixture of peanut oil and rapeseed oil containing ∼ 1200 mg of LA and ∼ 200 mg of LnA/100 g of diet. The LnA-deficient diet contained peanut oil with ∼ 1200 mg of LA per 100 g of diet.”

    Amazing! At least they admit the basis on which I will be ignoring Forrest’s erroneous conclusion. You could not make up such consistently bad science and wrong assumptions. It would be just funny if it were not so tragically harmful. Do any of these ‘critics’ of Prof.Peat’s and your superb work reviewing the real science of PUFAs not have any shame in so badly performing scientific reportage?

    Suffice to say, rapeseed oil is very toxic, containing erucic acid [hence the creation of canola to remove it] and peroxidizing easily and so Omega 3 protecting somewhat against it is not proof in the slightest of the overall nontoxicity of “E”FAs, their supposed “essentiality” nor an explanation for why the heroic William and long-suffering rats gained so much in health on a zero PUFA diet. These 3 questions are not answered by any of the 1000s of proPUFA “research” papers nor by any of the wouldbe proPUFA ‘critics’ on this page.

    Unfortunately rapeseed is now the go-to fat for processed food in the UK. It is diabolical. :( On the positive at least it forces us to make our own healthy fatty foods. :)

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