Fish oil fatty acids protect dialysis patients

July 23, 2007

In this study investigators at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue University have previously reported that patients on kidney hemodialysis have low blood levels of beneficial EPA and DHA; the fish oil Omega-3 fatty acids.

In this Pilot Study the scientists test the level of EPA and DHA recommended by the American Heart Association in dialysis patients; will it lower inflammation? A group was placed on a 2:1 balance of n-6 to n-3 providing 1,300mg of EPA-DHA per patient per day vs. placebo. At the start of the study 83% of the patients had inadequate levels of EPA-DHA. The fish oil fatty acids decreased the level of dangerous hs-CRP; a risk factor for cardiovascular damage and events such as strokes. Fish oils also lowered the level of triglycerides. The pilot study is published in the July 10th, 2007 issue of the journal Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation. Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph; we all likely could benefit from supplementing with Fish Oil fatty acids. Scientists at the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, DC recently have stated that humans evolved eating a diet that supplied about equal amounts of essential Omega-6 fatty acids (n-6) to essential Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) in a 1:1 to 2:1 ratio. Today, in Western diets, the ration of n-6 to n-3 essential fatty acids ranges from approximately 10:1 to 20:1. N-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, decrease the risk of a blood clot, decrease in vasospasm or spasms of the blood vessels that lead to vasoconstriction, decrease the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, lower triglycerides, and relax blood vessel walls improving blood flow and blood pressure whereas n-6 have the opposing effects. N-3 fatty acids are found mostly in fish oils but also to a degree in flaxseed oil, and n-6 fatty acids come from vegetable oils, evening primrose, and borage oil.

Fish Oils at a high dosage help children with ADHD

In a pilot study children with attention deficit and hyperactive disorder (ADHD) were supplemented with high doses of Fish Oil fatty acids daily starting at 16,200 mg of EPA-DHA which was adjusted after four-weeks to mirror the level found in the blood of typical Japanese children. This was accomplished by gauging and influencing the balance between arachidonic acid (or AA, a potentially inflammatory and troublesome fat) and the level of EPA-DHA in the blood. At the end of the eight-week study there was a significant increase in the blood level of EPA-DHA with a significant reduction of the AA: EPA ratio. A psychiatrist who did not know the supplement level and compliance reported a significant improvement in behavior which correlated with an improvement of the AA: EPA ratio. Inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional and defiant behavior, and conduct disorder all improved. The study is published in the July 13th, 2007 issue of Nutrition Journal.