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  #1  
Old 05-19-2005, 09:15 AM
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids - docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)


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Patients with Uncontrolled Epilepsy Have Low Levels of Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to the proper development and function of cell membranes in the brain. But one particular fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is found at abnormally low levels in patients with uncontrolled epilepsy, according to Emory researchers. The study was based on 41 persons with refractory complex partial seizures (a common type of seizure that develops in one brain region and is resistant to antiepileptic medication) when compared to a control group of 57 healthy persons. The results of the study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology in San Francisco on April 28.

DHA is essential for the development of the nervous system and visual abilities in babies and for the proper functioning of the brain in adults. The human body cannot produce sufficient amounts of DHA for the needs of the eye and brain. Therefore, DHA must be consumed though foods, such as cold water fatty fish, or in supplemental form.

"We looked at prior studies of animal models of rats with epilepsy and low levels of DHA," says Thomas R. Henry, MD, associate professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Emory Epilepsy Center. "By giving these rats more DHA, it made it more difficult for them to have seizures. We are now exploring a similar connection of low DHA levels in humans who have epilepsy."

Forty-one people with refractory complex partial seizures enrolled in this study, which was funded by the Emory University Research Committee. They all had blood drawn and analyzed for levels of DHA. Fifty-seven healthy volunteers, which served as the control group, also had their blood drawn and analyzed. The range in age and gender was similar in both groups.

After complete analyses, researchers found significantly lower levels of DHA in the red blood cell membranes of the group with uncontrolled epilepsy (2.74 %) when compared to DHA levels in the healthy group (3.46%). This implies the brain also has low membrane levels of DHA in neuronal membranes. (A prior study showed that low DHA levels in red blood cell membranes correlates with low membrane levels of DHA in cerebral neurons.)

"By determining a deficiency in the red blood cell membranes in these patients, we infer that brain cell membranes are also depleted of this normal fatty acid," says Dr. Henry. "This may help us link low DHA to seizures which cannot be managed by antiepileptic medications. Reasons for the reduced membrane levels are unclear at this time. Future studies are needed to determine if DHA supplementation can help control seizures in this patient population."
Patients with Uncontrolled Epilepsy Have Low Levels of Fatty Acids
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2005, 01:23 PM
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Flaxseed oil is a great source of Omega-3s and has been a part of my vitamin/supplement routine from the beginning. Interesting reading, Bernard!
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:37 PM
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Yeah, I love flax seeds. They also help keep you 'regular'.
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:43 PM
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Haven't tried the seeds - just the oil. My internist who is the world's biggest believer in a prescription drug for every ill is so sold on flaxseed oil for overall heart health that she suggests using it in place of olive oil for dipping bread into. I wasn't the only one at Braintalk who is taking flaxseed oil, although the people who come to mind no longer hang around there.
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:10 PM
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We have a health food grocery store that sells flax seed in bulk as well as flax seed oil (from a special cooler in the supplements aisle). We have a small mini-food processor that we use to grind the seeds into a fresh meal that we sprinkle over salads.

I also enjoy flax seed bread. Yummy.
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:50 PM
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I'll have to try flaxseed. Always good to find something new that is not only good for you but tastes good too! We have a great co-op which carries every natural organic food substance possible so I'm sure that they'll have flaxseeds. Until you said something, the only people I knew who bought flaxseed were those who fed them to their horses. Never gave any to Dylan since I'm a big believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and feel the same way about what I give him. Anyway, I already have a grinder. Seems that people like us already have all of the equipment we need (grinders, juicers and the like). What seems funny now is that most of my equipment is now being used for things other than what I bought them for!
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Old 06-16-2005, 03:30 PM
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I would recommend fish oil tablets as well. Available as "Omega-Brite" or other brands as well. The main thing is to make sure they don't have mercury in them. Fish oil tablets are being prescribed for bipolar as well, and also for the heart, so it's clear the general medical community is beginning to pay attention

In general, my web-surfing has turned up many stories of one or another nutrient being effective in seizure control: Magnesium, Calcium, Taurine, Copper, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, DMG. Because everyone has a different nutritional background and metabolism, chances are there won't be a single "silver bullet" that does the trick...
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Old 06-16-2005, 03:40 PM
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I recently heard a doctor on television saying that flaxseed oil was better than any of the fish oils, due to the problem of mercury contamination in fish. I've been taking flaxseed oil for several years (plus B complex, CoQ10, magnesium, and taurine) and been more than happy. Been taking 5-HTP (didn't want to take the antidepressant my primary care doctor was trying to shove down my throat and found a natural alternative) for almost 5 months now and wish that I had found this years ago.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:28 AM
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I found an interesting article about Omega 3 fats while researching some information for a question about Omega 3 and the Ketogenic Diet (emphasis mine):
Originally Posted by The Vegetarian Society :
... To begin with we must distinguish between the two polyunsaturated fatty acids which are termed essential because they can not be made in the body and therefore must be present in the diet. They are linoleic acid (LA), an omega 6 fat, which is widely available in a vegetarian diet, being present in large quantities in most oils and other vegetable based fatty foods, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega 3 fat, which is not so widely available in a vegetarian diet, and is generally considered to be the more beneficial of the two EFAs.

... Taking an overview of the various fatty acids intake recommendations worldwide, and the confounding factors surrounding the common vegetarian diet, leads to a conclusion that an ALA intake of 1.5% of total energy is optimum for vegetarians – or roughly 4g a day. This should provide enough of the parent omega 3 fat to ensure significant amounts of EPA and DHA are formed by the body (conversion rates are around 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA). However it is also important for vegetarians to ensure that their intake of LA is not too high compared with ALA since a higher intake of LA interferes with the process in which the human body converts ALA into the even more beneficial EPA and DHA, so a LA to ALA ratio of around 4 to 1 or slightly lower is considered to be the optimum, but any steps to bring down an excessively high amount of omega 6 fats in the diet would be beneficial.
Omega 3 fats
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:31 AM
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Here's a nifty chart of oils from the Omega 6 fatty acids thread:
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2007, 07:05 PM
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Bernard, I feel like I'm back in school reading your post. Hahahaha.

Sam
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:19 PM
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lol... Sorry about that Sam. The important thing is that the body is only able to convert a limited amount of Omega 3 fatty acids into the beneficial DHA and that amount can be affected by the amount of Omega 6 that is consumed (the body uses resources to process the Omega 6 first).

So, it's best to use oils that are low in LA (blue color in chart). Flax seed oil is high in ALA (green color in chart) and low in LA (very good). Olive oil is also low in LA (good), but doesn't have any ALA, so I think it is good to use flax oil too if you don't eat fish or other foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids regularly.
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:01 PM
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Omega 3 - PUFA


http://www.epilepsy.com/articles/ar_1088094124.html

Quote :
It has been estimated that nearly half of adult patients with epilepsy do not achieve seizure control with available drugs. Patients with poorly controlled epilepsy are often on multiple anticonvulsants, which can cause debilitating side effects such as drowsiness, blurred or double vision and imbalance. New research is exploring other possible therapies, such as omega fatty acids.

Dr. Edward Bromfield, Chief of the Division of Epilepsy and EEG Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, is currently leading a study on polysaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Dr. Bromfield is leading the study along with colleague Barbara Dworetzky, M.D. The following is an interview with Dr. Bromfield conducted by epilepsy.com editor Jenna Martin on the topic of fatty acids and epilepsy.
Quote :
“Dr. Thomas Henry, from Emory University in Atlanta, presented a study at the American Academy of Neurology meeting(3) in which he found lower levels of DHA in red blood cell membranes of patients with refractory epilepsy than in controls. This raised the possibility of an actual deficiency of omega-3s in these patients, possibly related to anticonvulsant drug use that could theoretically be reversed by supplementation with omega-3s.”
Sounds like an interesting study.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2007, 05:18 PM
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I think it is the same or related to the original post in this thread.

(I merged your post above into this thread to keep it all together)
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2007, 06:54 PM
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I thank you once again Bernard, I knew there was another thread but the search function was being a pooh head, and caused me to go the easy route.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:05 PM
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Is it okay to give suggested amounts here? I have seen with some vitamins and minerals, that the RDA is simply not enough for a therapeutic dose.
Any one know what a range would be for Omega 3 (fish oil)?
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2007, 08:05 PM
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I don't think any of us are qualified to make those kinds of recommendations. If you run across some research indicating the RDA is inadequate, just post a reference to the research and let people make up their own minds.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:19 PM
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... okay, but I was hopeing someone would recommend it for me.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:01 PM
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I like UDO oil best its a combination of many oils
Flax oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, rice germ and bran oil, yikes it has soy lecithan, oat germ, bran oil.
Before I was on the Gard Diet I enjoyed this oil the best.

You can get it cheapier at www.vitacost.com

Riva
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2007, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by POSITIVEPERSON View Post:
... evening primrose oil, ...
Beware evening primrose oil
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