6

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How much of my remaining bodyfat is stored omega6 and should I increase my omega3 consumption or supplementation till it is gone?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 02, 2010 at 6:17 PM

My question, of which I am still trying to determine the sanity:

If the majority of the fat around my middle is heavily made of omega6 due to prior eating habits, will a bit more omega3 supplementation help me healthily get it off of me?

This would further suggest that I could and would stop the Omega3 suppl once I've lost the excess adipose.

Supporting data follows below:

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/6/19/fish-oil-or-not.html Dr Harris seems to be on the less-is-necessary side, if you have fixed your daily diet. BUT(t) I'm positing that most of the fat around my middle is omega6 heavy, due to my historical diet... I only went Paleo in April 2010.

See these related storage articles:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16516300

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18307824

I know that I'm storing both omega3s and omega6s there http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12821880 and that at least the omega3s are stable(non-oxidized?) for a minimum of 6yrs (even if removed from the body...ewww.)

If I actually use the fish oil calculator at http://whole9life.com/fish-oil/

and enter that I weigh 200lbs and that I'm still a bit, umm, fatty {0.75 on the factor scale below} the it recommends 12 grams of fish oil per day. Holy Fish! that would be 12 big fishy pills a day.

(if I rate myself as a 1.0:All jacked up, then it is 15grams per day, if i rate myself as 0.5:healthy, then it is 8grams per day)

Even when I divide by 4 because Krill is approx 4 times as effective(see http://www.forresthealth.com/Images/DFH/DFH%20Krill%20Oil%20Research.pdf , if you want to), I would end up taking 3g krill a day. I'm taking 1 most days and occasionally 2 now when I feel like I've run across a big burst of Omega6s in my diet.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 05, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I have that concern as well, and it is part of the reason I landed on Krill Oil. the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astaxanthin that is part of Krill should keep it from going rancid.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on December 03, 2010
at 01:38 AM

Interesting--using those figures, that's only 900gm of O-6; if you lose the fat in 1 year, that's only about 3gm of O-6 a day, which you could balance with 3gm of O-3 a day at a 1:1 ratio.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on December 03, 2010
at 12:30 AM

Thanks for this question - definitely a very important consideration in terms of inflammation since most folks going paleo were formerly Omega-6 overdosing for DECADES and are burning this stored fat like crazy now.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on December 02, 2010
at 09:33 PM

Ambimorph: yes, that is a big part of the idea.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 02, 2010
at 09:09 PM

Interesting. So is your idea that while you are losing weight, the fat you are consuming from your body is high in omega-6, and so you want to balance it the same as if it were dietary fat?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 02, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Robb Wolf recently took back his statements about the fish oil calculator. You probably don't need as much as that calculator states. Check out the most recent podcasts there was a question about it.

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9 Answers

best answer

5
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 02, 2010
at 07:13 PM

I tend to favor Dr. Harris over Robb Wolf in this debate. Never in our evolution did we eat fish oil pills, until recently. Fish oil is still PUFA, which should be minimized. Fish oil can easily go rancid and end up causing more problems than it solves. The best approach would be to add some actual fish to your diet, preferably wild caught non-predator fish (salmon/sardines/etc).

Full disclosure: I take 2g fish oil and 1g krill oil per day and a teaspoon of cod liver oil from time to time. I don't eat much fish. According to the fish oil calculator, I would need 12g/day. I have been paleo since last spring and I am thinking of cutting back on the fish oil, maybe by half.

Peter's take on fish oil:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Cirrhosis%20and%20fish%20oil

"Oh, and fish oil: I think some DHA is a good idea, it has lots of uses in cell membranes. Drinking it by the tablespoon is not something I would recommend! Getting 30% of your calories as fish oil is OUT. Do not do this."

3
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on December 02, 2010
at 09:03 PM

I started this thing overweight, about 235 lbs on a 5'9" body, with the suggestion of a doctor to take fish oil. He was a big proponent of the stuff. He had me on 5 of the Puritan Pride triple strengths, 3 X daily. (That's about 15 grams DHA/EPA.)

I later came to believe that he was a bit of a nutjob. I owe him for getting my celiac test but still...

Maybe I'm missing the question but my initial response is that you'll lose this "bad" Omega-6 fat as you burn it off. You don't mention your weight loss since April. If you haven't lost some weight by now, I suspect you're doing it wrong! So, let's assume that you're losing weight. There's evidence that taking fish oil (rebalancing your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio) will bolster the weight loss. My suggestions: 1) Quality is more important than quantity; take a high quality liquid fish oil without flavoring so that you can be assured of the overall purity (you will know if the stuff's rancid); alternatively, bite into your capsules once in a while, just to be assured (thanks to Dr. Eades for that tip); 2) Eat more fish and take less fish oil; if you're eating fish 3 X per week or more, you're well on your way; save the fish oil megadoses for when you're eating chicken or pork or some other potentially Omega-6-laden food.

There is a temptation to want to reverse years of bad eating habits by upping the fish oil count. My hunch is that it doesn't work that way. 12 grams is too high. I don't pretend to know exactly how much is the right amount, but my preference is along the lines of 2 to 4 grams most days, doubling this amount if I eat regular supermarket meats with high Omega-6 levels. And I eat fish (usually wild-caught salmon) 4 to 5 days per week.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 03, 2010
at 03:10 AM

Those countries that have been found to consume more fish oil (and also have fewer heart problems) do so in the form of fresh fish, not pills. I am not yet convinced that pills of older processed fish oil will have the same beneficial effects or that they can compensate for unhealthy omega 6 intake. Time and again, we have found the pills often do not provide the same protection as real foods. Also, fish oil pills have a blood thinning effect and this may account for why some studies have found they improve cardiovascular risk. Aspirin also improves cardiovascular risk, perhaps for the same reason. That does not mean that we who already eat healthy need to take pills to keep us healthy. I am not totally adverse to the concept that fish oil pills may help some people, but I don't think the evidence is really quite there enough for me to feel I should be taking them myself. I'd rather put my money into a fishing license or some good grass fed beef!

2
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on December 03, 2010
at 02:16 AM

I don't have any data for this, but I suspect the answer lies in the fact that dietary omega-6 does its mischief when you are in a fed state.

When you burn your fat stores, you are in a fasted state. Omega-6 is probably less harmful when your body needs fuel rather than "building blocks."

Dr. Harris is right (again)--just avoid O-6's in your diet. Your storage fat, cell membranes, etc. will gradually repair themselves.

2
211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on December 02, 2010
at 07:26 PM

As to your first question, I recall reading somewhere (probably from Susan Allport's book The Queen of Fats) that the average American body is carrying approximately 2 lbs. of omega-6 fats.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on December 03, 2010
at 01:38 AM

Interesting--using those figures, that's only 900gm of O-6; if you lose the fat in 1 year, that's only about 3gm of O-6 a day, which you could balance with 3gm of O-3 a day at a 1:1 ratio.

1
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on December 02, 2010
at 07:43 PM

+1 to all this

i think the solution would be to solely and reasonably get to the weight you want, getting rid of the omega 6 stores, and minimize PUFA's in the meantime. there is evidence (i believe cited by kurt harris md) that a high percentage of PUFA (omega 3 and 6 combined) in the diet, above 4% or something, is itself bad.

0
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on March 31, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Update: I continued to supplement with krill oil, and have the impression that it is one of the actions that I take that is letting me shed the old bodyfat that I was gathering for years.

I really would like the omega6s that inhabit my body (like the evil ghosts of poor-choices past) to be gone, so that I can build anew with good materials.

I have returned to EveryOtherDay IF, and that is helping speed up the process.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 02, 2010
at 07:19 PM

I don't take fish oil because I am worried about oxidation. I do make an effort to eat plenty of fish though. I would maybe try to eat more fish, otherwise don't worry

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 05, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I have that concern as well, and it is part of the reason I landed on Krill Oil. the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astaxanthin that is part of Krill should keep it from going rancid.

-3
4ae37d24b9dd66ec1d44573e053ae627

on December 03, 2010
at 06:17 AM

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