Seafood Showdown: Fatty Acids vs. Heavy Metals

| 6/1/2010 4:13:25 PM

Fish HookEver feel like we’ve just totally screwed ourselves with the oceans? I’m not even talking about BP’s gushing well: It’s this recent report from the Telegraph that U.K. nutritionists are now advising pregnant women to eat more fish.

Fish, of course, contains mercury, a heavy metal pollutant that comes from human industry (and, to be fair, from some natural sources like volcano eruptions). Pregnant women, children, the elderly—nutritional convention has been to watch how much you eat. Except seafood also is a rich source of omega-3s, and nutritionists now say that the fatty-acid benefits, especially for pregnant women, could outweigh the heavy-metal risks.

What benefits, you say? The star of the omega-3 cast is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and as The Economist tidily explains:

DHA is a component of brains, particularly the synaptic junctions between nerve cells, and its displacement from modern diets by the omega-6 acids in cooking oils such as soya, maize and rape is a cause of worry.

Many researchers think this shift—and the change in brain chemistry that it causes—explains the growth in recent times of depression, manic-depression, memory loss, schizophrenia and attention-deficit disorder. It may also be responsible for rising levels of obesity and thus the heart disease which often accompanies being overweight.

Stateside nutritionists are also changing their minds. A group has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to adjust its stance on pregnant women’s diets, and the Department of Defense plans to launch a program to augment soldiers’ diets with omega-3s, The Economist reports. Low levels of DHA are a suicide risk factor for people in the service.

Zee Charnoe_7
6/5/2010 6:56:00 PM

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 22:6 omega 3 is derived from the essential fatty acid Alpha-linolenic Acid (LNA) 18:3 omega 3 The critical situation of DHA at the synaptic junctions between nerve cells, means that the neurotransmitter vesicles that move from within the teleodendrite are obstructed, delayed or blocked. The action potential moving down the axon, through the myelin sheath, is impaired. This is also the path of information flow or pattern flow - to permit cell differentiation for the sake of regeneration. Cell differentiation is dependent upon this same path. We need a daily intake of essential fatty acids which is 15 to 20% of our total caloric intake. We need that intake in a ratio of 2:1:1 omega 3 to omega 6 to omega 9. Hemp oil is a good source. So the consequences of insufficient intake of the right essential fatty acids is quite seriously consequential. The prostaglandins, hormone like, short lived and highly local, are derived from these essential fatty acids.

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