From the Sea: Omega 3's to Resolvins
RESOLVINS, MARESINS, LIPOXINS, PROTECTINS
Help for your Aches and Pains
The Ultimate Omega 3’s:
EPA & DHA
Fish and Fish Oil:
What a classic fundamental food and supplement! I consider this one to be most important part of a healthy diet. Eat high quality wild salmon five days a week. Or eat other low mercury oily fish instead. Food always comes first. Other foods you can consider are Omega 3 eggs or adding a high quality fish oil to your salad dressing. And no, it doesn't taste fishy. High quality liquid fish oil is a very concentrated form of EPA and DHA, a teaspoon a day would be enough. I add a little to salad dressings, drizzle a little over capreze, or add a teaspoon to a smoothie. You can get lemon or orange flavors. For vegetarians, no problem. There are algal based supplements containing EPA and DHA.
I don't care which path you choose - fish, eggs, oils, or softgels. Just get your Omega 3 index above eight. That's a blood test I've run on you. It's a 3 month level of EPA and DHA ... Wait a second, I take that back. I do care how you get your Omega 3 index up. Quality counts in both fish and fish oil. Factors such as freshness, mercury level, wild versus farmed, quality of the fish farm all count. But that's beyond the scope of this post.
All fish oil supplements are NOT the same. Some have been shipped in huge drums across the ocean. Many are inadequately preserved from oxidation. Studies show up to 75% are rancid. Some use lemon to disguise the spoilage. Others inadequately remove mercury. Most people don't even understand the basics in picking an Omega 3 supplement. There are so many factors! You want the highest amount of EPA and DHA per softgel you can get without paying too much. You want it molecularly distilled, enteric coated, with enough Vitamin E, recently shipped from manufacturer and properly stored. After all it is fish. So it's hard to pick a good one. Buy it from me and I'll spare you the lesson. My supplements are shipped overnight and shipped weekly. Or come in and I'll give you a lesson. Your choice. You have to select a good one and get the right amount for you.
Whatever you do, never buy more than 6 months at a time. Don't buy at Costco, supermarkets or pharmacies. This is not the place to save money on a cheap brand.
As my grandmother used to say, my mouth is not a trashcan.
So what exactly do DHA and EPA have to do pain, inflammation, and the brain? And what's the difference between EPA and DHA anyway?
DHA is structural. It’s the kind of fatty acid your brain should be made of. It repairs and replaces damaged brain tissue, coating and protecting neurons, soothing central sensitization. So pregnant women use it to make better baby brains, people with head trauma or cognitive issues use it as a basic building block.
EPA, on the other hand, is functional. It's the EPA which will reduce inflammation in the brain nerve or joint. EPA does so by dampening all the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, IL6, and HsCrp. Structural/Functional Building block for creation and repair, pathway for pain relief and emotional well being. Intimately linked. Women convert EPA into DHA better then men, for we are the mothers. Thus supplementing DHA and EPA in pregnancy makes smarter more coordinated babies. Men need to be more particular about what they take
But for pain, we want benefit from both. Together they provide a very diverse set of benefits. There are even endocannabinoids which we make out of EPA and DHA through an anti-inflammatory cross talk system. They are EPA and DHA epoxides, both recently discovered. Therefore you not only get less pain, but more pleasure and relief. In addition, a proper amount of EPA and DHA in your diet is a foundation for the resolvins which I will talk about next.
One huge difference between fish oil and NSAIDS is how they affect the resolution of inflammation. NSAIDS make you feel better now, but block further healing. So do narcotics. This leads to prolongation of your pain for weeks or months courtesy of your pain killer. The body can't correctly sense what is going on and what needs to be done. You don't want to just mask the pain, you need it to be resolved. Something has to tell all those inflammatory particles that "the party is over and it's time to go home."
Enter the SPM's.
Specialized ProResolving Mediators
We used to think the resolution of inflammation was just a passive process, just the absence of inflammation. This is just not so. Our body actively directs the process of returning to normal. How? Through a set of biochemical signals of course. They are called resolvins, protectins, and maresins. They signal that the crisis is over, tell all the inflammatory molecules to go away, clean up the mess inflammation has left, only then can things return to normal. This may be the exact missing step in your pain. Because with most chronic inflammation, the injury and the fight was over long ago
Resolvins. Just Google them, or look in Pub Med. Your face book friends can wait! Resolvins are a major step forward, an entirely different paradigm. What are they? Tiny signaling molecules derived from fat, or more specifically fatty acids. Fatty acids can signal to increase inflammation. We know this so well! Long ago we learned that arachadonic acid makes our pain. Years ago we learned how to block it. Why did we ignore the molecules that signal the exact opposite? Resolvins are derivatives of DHA and EPA. Log derivatives. Maresins and Protectins are derivatives of GLA. Lipoxins are derivatives of AA. We're just learning about them. They will be a revolution.
To be clear you'd have to consume 20 pounds of oily fish a day or an entire bottle of fish oil to get the amount of resolvins in one tiny soft gel. Fish oil is the foundation. But the resolvins go a huge step further.
I sell the ONLY commercially available resolvins. I sell them for LESS than Amazon. I take them myself. They are pricey but tiny little softgels. Metagenics SPM's. When you first get injured, I'd do something else. Ice to decrease the swelling then later heat to loosen up tense muscles. Eat enough collagen as a basic building block, then Boswellia, Curcumin, and Omega 3's to modulate but not block your pain. This gives your body a few days or weeks to do what it needs to do. The blood vessels dilate. Your white blood cells and immune modulators rush in to limit casualties, fight invaders, stop bleeding and knit things back together. All that is important. Let it happen. But THEN I'd take resolvins - 6 to start for a few weeks, then drop it down. In three weeks you should feel the difference. I did. And I still take them! It's one of my little luxuries in life. Feel a little more limber, feel a little less stiff.
There are studies showing decreased pain, increased range of motion, and a decrease in blood inflammatory markers. How do you maximize the effect? Make sure your basic Omega 3 level is optimal then take them with 2 baby aspirin a day.
This is the end of my series on pain. Yes, it turned into quite an e-book. I wish I had the skills to format it correctly on my website or set up a Facebook account to make it public. For now, it's just yours. What's next? I don't know yet! Perhaps you can help me choose.