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In The Omega Plan by Artemis Simopoulous it says, "In this book, I present some lifesaving new discoveries about diet and health. Careful research conducted over the past fifteen years has shown that fat is more than fuel -- it is an essential nutrient that influences every aspect of your being from your ability to learn to the beating of your heart. Whether fat enhances or undermines your health depends on its unique blend of 'fatty acids,' the molecular building blocks of fats and oils. Eating a healthy balance of fatty acids will reduce your risk of a host of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and asthma. It might even save your life.

"In an ideal world, we should not have to know anything about fatty acids in order to eat a healthy diet; we should be able to shop at the local store, buy products that are readily available, and be confident that we are bringing home nutritionally balanced food. But we do not have this luxury. Unwittingly, we have allowed the food industry to make technological changes to our food supply without understanding the biological consequences. The net result is that our diet is so different from the natural human diet, the diet on which our species evolved, that it is at odds with our genetic makeup, increasing our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and immune disorders."

"I was born in Greece, a country with a 5,000-year tradition of good nutrition."

"I was in for a rude shock when I came to the United States in 1949 to study chemistry at Barnard College. To put it bluntly, I found much of the food inedible. I can still remember the first breakfast I ate in the dorm. The only bread available was white bread, which, to me, tasted like cotton." ... The fruit looked appetizing, but it had so little flavor that it was hard to believe it was the same kind of fruit that grew in Greece."

"The stark contrast between the American diet of the 1950s and the traditional Greek diet made such an impression on me that it helped shape my entire medical career. When I went to medical school, I specialized in pediatrics and focused much of my attention on infant and maternal nutrition. I began to realize that many of the children with serious nutrition. I began to realize that many of the children with serious diseases had been malnourished in the womb. The unfortunate start was made worse by the types of food eaten in the home -- refined foods, lots of saturated fat and sugar, very few fruits and vegetables, and margarine with its hidden cargo of trans-fatty acids. My first job following my training was directing the new-born nursery at George Washington University, and I saw once again that diet and lifestyle can have dramatic effects on the health of the child."

"... I became aware of a number of new findings about essential fatty acids and, in 1985, helped organize the first international conference devoted exclusively to this topic."

"One of the most important findings to come out of the research program is that our bodies function most efficiently when we eat fats that contain a balanced ratio of the two families of essential fatty acids -- omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio in the typical American diet has been estimated to be as high as 20 to 1. One of the few diets in the world to have a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids is the traditional Greek diet. Ironically, I had spent much of my medical career gaining scientific insight into the very diet on which I was raised."

"Although this book is focused primarily on diet, I will also be stressing the importance of physical exercise. Regular physical activity enhances your health in many of the same ways as eating the right balanced of nutrients. When you combine exercise with a healthy diet you have what Hippocrates defined as 'Positive Health':

"Positive health requires a knowledge of man's primary constitution [what we call genetics] and of the powers of various foods, both those natural to them and those resulting from human skill [today's processed foods]. But eating alone is not enough for health. There must also be exercise, of which the effects must likewise be known. The combination of these two things makes regimen, when proper attention is given to the season of the year, the changes of the winds, the age of the individual, and the situation of his home. If there is any deficiency in food or exercise, the body will fall sick."

"In recent years, medical research has shattered many of our simplistic notions about diet. For example, the popular ideas that 'fat makes you fat' and animal fat is 'bad' and vegetable oil is 'good' have been overturned by exciting new discoveries about fat that are helping to fight disease and promote optimal health."

"One of the main conclusions to come from the medical labs is that you don't have to give up fat to lose weight or enjoy better health. Most weight-loss diets and so-called healthy diets throw out the good fat with the bad fat, leaving you with dry, lackluster food. Very few people are able to stay on such a diet, resulting in a sense of frustration and failure."


"... few people know about the health benefits that come from eating the right balance of 'essential fatty acids,' or EFAs. EFAs are fatty acids are necessary for normal growth and development and cannot be manufactured in your body; you must get them from your diet. There are two families of EFAs, 'omega-6' fatty acids and 'omega-3' fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are most abundant in common vegetables oils such as corn, safflower, cottonseed, and sunflower oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in seafood, green leafy vegetables, fish, canola oil, and walnuts. A critical finding is that your body functions best when your diet contains a balanced ratio of EFAs, yet the typical Western diet contains approximately fourteen to twenty times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. This imbalance is now being linked with a long list of serious conditions and diseases including:

Heart attack, stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, postpartum depression, Alzheimer's disease."

"The traditional Crete diet has an ideal ratio of EFAs, I gathered this insight in a roundabout fashion while investigating the omega-3 fatty acid content of wild plants. ... people from Crete eat large quantities of greens and wild plants, including purslane."

There was "a landmark heart study conducted ... known as the Lyon Diet Heart Study ... 302 heart attack survivors to a traditional heart diet, the 'prudent' heart diet recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). A similar group was assigned to a slightly modified version of the Crete diet. This new diet was based on canola oil and olive oil, and it had a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to 4 to 1, much lower than the AHA diet and the traditional Western diet. ... The results of the study made medical history. Just four months into the clinical trial, the researchers discovered there had been significantly fewer deaths in the group on the modified Crete diet than on the AHA diet. This in itself is remarkable because no other heart diet or drug has ever shown a lifesaving benefit until patients have been treated for at least six months. The survival gap widened with each passing month. When the patients had been followed for about two years, the study was halted abruptly because the new diet was proving so superior it would have been unethical to continue the research. Compared to those on the AHA diet, the patients on the Crete diet had an unprecedented 76 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or suffering heart failure, heart attack, or stroke! Remarkably, the new diet had proven more effective at saving lives than any other heart diet, drug, surgical technique, lifestyle program, or any combination of these elements. These results were deemed important enough to be published in three prestigious medical journals."

"The most important change you will be making is in eating a healthier balance of fat. A combination of olive oil and canola oil will become your primary oils. Just as important, you will be supplementing your diet with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids while you limit your intake of omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fat, and trans-fatty acids. These changes are easier to make than you might expect. Simply using canola oil as your primary oil, for example, will satisfy most of those dietary requirements. You may be aware that canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, but it is also an unheralded source of omega-3 fatty acids as well. The fact that it is low in saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, and lower in omega-6 fatty acids than many other oils makes it one of the healthiest foods in your kitchen."

"Another change you will be making is eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes. The current USDA guidelines recommend that you eat five or more servings of these wholesome foods every day. On The Omega Plan you will be eating seven or more servings a day, giving you added helpings of vitamins, fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and health-enhancing substances called 'phytochemicals.'"

"Through sophisticated analysis we have learned that the EFAs are not spread uniformly throughout the plant kingdom. Omega-3s fatty acids are concentrated in the green leaves of plants (and in a few seeds and nuts such as flaxseeds, rapeseed, and walnuts), while omega-6 fatty acids are most highly concentrated in the seeds and grains, newcomers to our diet. Or present-day reliance on grain-based products -- cereal, bread, crackers, pastries, cakes, and cookies -- and our minimal intake of greens is one of the reasons that we are so top-heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3 fatty acids."


"Purslane was commonly eaten in Greece, my homeland, throughout most of Europe, Mexico, and Asia, but in the United States it was considered a noxious weed. To help control this 'pest' the U.S. government had gone so far as to import the 'purslane sawfly,' a fly that thrives on the ubiquitous plant and is capable of gnawing it to the ground."

"Purslane is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. One hundred grams contains 400 milligrams of the plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic, or LNA [or ALA]. As an added bonus, it is rich in antioxidants. One serving fulfills the daily requirement of vitamin E and provided significant amounts of vitamin C [and] beta-carotene."

"Purslane is very widespread. Ranked as the eighth most common wild plant in the world, it was also one of the first plants cultivated by early humans: Purslane seeds were found in a cave in Greece that was last inhabited 16,000 years ago."

"We now know that purslane is not alone in its bounty of omega-3 fatty acids. Following my discovery, other plants were tested for LNA, revealing that they, too, contained significant amounts of this nutrient. Appreciable amounts of LNA have been found in most dark green leafy vegetables, mosses, ferns, and legumes, as well as in many herbs and spices such as mustard, fennel, cumin, and fenugreek. As the research continues, the list is likely to grow."

"My findings about purslane soon led to another discovery: The eggs of chickens that graze on wild plants are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. ... my observations about chicken eggs held true for the flesh of free-ranging animals as well: Any grazing animal that is allowed to eat its natural diet of wild plants and greens is far richer in omega-3 fatty acids than an animal kept in confinement and fed an artificial, grain-based diet. For example, the flesh of a wild Cape buffalo that is free to forage in its natural habitat contains one-tenth as much total fat, about half as much saturated fat, but nearly six times more omega-3 fatty acids than a similar cut of meat from a grain-fed steer. It is as if they were different foods altogether."

"A critical insight about the Paleolithic diet had just fallen into place. Whether early humans were eating fish, plants, or land animals, they were being nourished by omega-3 fatty acids. Today, we consume a fraction of this essential nutrient. Surveys show that one-fourth of the U.S. population eats no fish whatsoever. Meanwhile, we eat a third of the amount of green leafy vegetables as our ancestors, and the eggs and meat that we eat comes from animals whose diets are artificially low in omega-3 fatty acids. It has been estimated that we are now eating one-tenth of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids required for normal functioning. Alarmingly, 20 percent of the population has levels so low that they defy detection. The admonishment to 'eat a balanced diet' makes no sense when our food has been stripped of one of its most essential nutrients."


"To the same degree that our diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, it is overloaded with omega-6 fatty acids. The main reason for the deluge is our growing reliance on vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, and cottonseed oil, oils that had no place whatsoever in the evolutionary diet." Other oils would be soy, sesame and grapeseed.


The current antifat craze has caused the final disruption in our fat consumption. Out of irrational fear of fat, people have been avoiding healthy oils, nuts and fatty fish, unwittingly robbing themselves of the few remaining sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish suppliers have been quick to capitalize on the trend. Much of the tuna now on the market is very low in fat, containing as little as 0.5 grams of fat per two-ounce serving. Full-fat tuna contains as much as 5 grams of fat. To satisfy your daily allotment of omega-3 fatty acids, you would have to eat five whole cans of low-fat tuna but only one half can of regular tuna!"


"In the twenty-first century, you will be able to shop at an ordinary supermarket and buy meat and eggs from animals raised on omega-3 enriched diets; the produce section will feature purslane and other vegetables that have been hybridized to be high in omega-3 fatty acids; you will be able to buy mayonnaise, salad dressings, and snacks made from canola oil; flaxseeds an flaxmeal will be included in many types of baked goods. To help you select healthier foods, product labels will include information about EFAs and trans-fatty acids.

"Until that day arrives, however, you will have to take matters into your own hands. You will need to avoid products that contain unhealthy fats and go out of your way to find ones that contain health-enhancing fats."


"Don't be put off by the term 'fatty fish.' Even though some types of fish contain ten times more fat than others, they are still relatively lean. The 'fattest' fish has about the same amount of total fat as the leanest cuts of beef." Some fatty fish are regular tuna, salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, dogfish, sablefish, lake whitefish, and bluefish. Lean fish are low-fat tuna, fresh water bass, halibut, flounder, Atlantic cod, whiting, sole, snapper, catfish, crab, and shrimp.


"Make sure that the tuna you buy is water-paced,not oil-packed. ... The oil is likely to be soybean oil, which has a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 12 or 13 to 1, tipping the nutritional balance in favor of omega-6 fatty acids.


"I don't recommend that you use cod liver oil as a primary source of omega-3 fatty acids. As its name states, cod liver oil comes from the liver of the cod, an organ that accumulates high amounts of vitamins A and D. Normally, you would welcome these vitamins. ... In order to get enough EPA and DHA from cod liver oil, you would exceed the recommended doses of these vitamins. Buy plain fish oil supplements instead." [As we'll see later I believe seal oil supplements are better than fish oil supplements].


"As a general rule, I advise people to get about one gram of EPA plus DPA each day. This amount can come from food, food supplements, or a combination of both. People with certain health problems such as arthritis, depression, cancer, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease might want to take more."


"Is it safe to take omega-3 supplements? In carefully monitored clinical trials, these nutrients have been given to pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, premature infants, children, adults, cancer patients, people recovering from surgery, and very old people -- with no notable side effects. In one study, patients took six grams of EPA plus DPA on a daily basis for seven years. The supplements were 'without apparent side-effects over seven years of medication.' Meanwhile, the patients enjoyed a multitude of 'positive side effects,' including a reduction in triglygerides and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol."

Adding LNA (ALA)

"In addition to getting an adequate supply of EPA and DHA, you also want to increase your intake of the plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acids -- alpha-linolenic acid -- or LNA. If you foraged your food from the wild, it would be impossible to be deficient in this nutrient because it would be present in everything you ate. Now that LNA has been stripped from the food supply, you need to restore it to your diet systematically."

"How much LNA do you need on a daily basis? Two grams is generally considered adequate. But you'll need to consume several times this amount if you don't eat fatty fish (or take omega-3 supplements) of nutrients. (Your body can convert LNA into the longer chain molecules, EPA and DHA, but it takes about ten grams of LNA to yield one gram of EPA and DHA.)

"Flaxseed oil is the richest source of LNA. ... Flaxseeds, of course, are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, providing 3 grams of LNA per tablespoon. One tablespoon also contains 3 grams of fiber. They have a subtle, nutty flavor, so you can grind them into a fine meal and add them to breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles, cereals, and cakes with little change in texture or flavor. Plan to use about one or two tablespoons of flaxseed meal per cup of flour."


"Another way to add LNA to your diet is to use canola oil and canola mayonnaise on a daily basis. (Soybean oil also contains LNA, but only half the amount in canola oil. More important, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in soybean oil is quite high -- 13 to 1. The ratio in canola oil is 2 to 1.) One tablespoon of canola oil yields approximately 1.5 grams of LNA."

"So what's the bottom line on enriching your diet with omega-3 fatty acids" Ideally, you should be eating fatty fish three or more times a week. If not, supplement with fish oil pills. Pills that supply one gram of EPA plus DHA per day should be adequate for most people. Also, if possible, buy omega-3 enriched eggs. To increase your intake of LNA use canola oil and canola-oil-based products on a regular basis; add walnuts to salads and baked goods or eat a few each day as a snack; and eat dark green leafy vegetables every day. For even more LNA, eat approximately one or two tablespoons of flaxseeds or flaxmeal a day. (You can add them to cereal and baked goods or take flaxseed oil or flaxseed oil supplements."


"... avoid oils that are especially high in this nutrient, including corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, and cottonseed oil. You will also want to avoid products made from these oils." Other oils would be sesame and grapeseed.


"It is difficult to live in the United States and avoid trans-fatty acids because they have infiltrated the entire food supply. Anytime you see the words "partially hydrogenated" on a label, trans-fatty acids lurk within. Take the time to go through the supermarket aisles and read the labels on baked goods, snack foods, and mixes. Virtually everyone contains trans-fatty acids."

Some food high in trans-fatty acids: cakes and cake mixes, cinnamon rolls, cookies and cookie mixes, corn chips, crackers, doughnuts, pastries in general, pie crusts, flavored popcorn, potato chips, shortening, tortilla chips.


Mix together:

1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

1 clove fresh garlic (finely minced or pressed through a garlic press)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

[Vary by adding paprika, tarragon, dill, or basil.]

In The Omega-3 Phenomenon Donald Rudin writes, "The thesis of this book is simple: The evidence indicates that the bulk of illness in modern societies is the result of an unrecognized disease cluster that I call the 'modernization disease syndrome.'" Just as societies were plagued with diseases like scurvy, beriberi and pellagra because of a lack of a certain nutrient, today we suffer because we are missing the nutrient omega-3 in our food. We eat food that has been adulterated by the food industry. "... compared to the typical unprocessed local diet consumed in 1850, today we consume, per capita, 100 percent more saturated fat and cholesterol, 250 percent more salt and refined sugar, and 1000 percent more 'funny fats,' ... produced by hydrogenation. All of these act as 'antinutrients,' either blocking the use of our essential nutrients or increasing our requirement for them. But at the same time, we now consume 75 percent less dietary fiber, 50 percent less of certain minerals and B vitamins and 80 percent less of a critical essential fatty acid family called Omega-3.


"... the medical profession has been misdiagnosing and mistreating the bulk of its cases for fifty to a hundred years or more. The Omega-3 essential fatty acids -- the cold-climate ultrapolyunsaturates that come mainly from northern plants and fish -- turn out to be the essential nutriennt especially required by humans. They are also the unique factor in the cod liver oil supplements of our youth. Consequently, the facts recounted in this book can be viewed as reintroducing and scientifically updating the old-fashioned cod liver oil regimen."

The 20th century was the worst century in history. It was a century of terrible experiments with horrible, so-called modern, ideologies. The experiment of eating processed food has been tragic beyond words. "The evidence indicates that our modern lifestyle diseases are our primary health hazard, costing us more than any world war and now putting our society at risk in many unrecognized ways. Conversely, intelligent action can bring rewards exceeding those resulting from Pasteur's discovery of the cause of infectious diseases and from Goldberger's discovery of the cause of classical pellagra as a B-vitamin deficiency disease." Mankind's ignorance of omega-3 has made our lives a living hell. It is time to restore our diet to the more wholesome diet our ancestors had who had omega-3 in their food and did not eat so much processed food. They also got more exercise than we do.

The leaders we respected and followed in the area of nutrition have been mainly ignorant and sometimes just plain greedy and stupid like those of the cigarette companies who still think there is no connection between smoking and lung cancer. But in the last decade of the 20th century there has been enough scientific studies that are showing the truth about what is good food and what is bad. Even when people hear the truth they often keep their bad habits but in time the truth becomes so overwhelming and so many change and live by the truth that in time every person believes and lives the truth. In time no one will smoke and drink, but we must be patient and use non coercive persuasion to keep teaching until everyone hears and finally understands and then changes their life to live in accord with the laws of health.

Those of us fortunate in being pioneers of health have the good fortune to know the truth, but we are also cursed as all pioneers are with the inevitable task of trying to live the truth in the midst of a world that is addicted to the false. History has always shown that truth hurts and people try to kill the messenger in one way or another. Truth starts slow but it cannot be stopped. Those who fight for the truth have to put up with being called unpatriotic, evil and a danger. They are called fanatics who live a narrow and unhappy life. To take away everyone's addiction to what is false, whether it is a philosophy of life or in this case, McDonalds, is seen as dangerous.

Nevertheless it is our duty to be nonconformists and called names and even persecuted by little minds who cannot think logically. Eventually, there will be no fast food restaurants serving poison that gives a high as wonderful as any illegal drug. Someday the truth will set everyone free from going to Wendy's and then everyone will not get their arteries clogged liked the seemingly nice guy, Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's who had bypass surgery. To give up addictions is the hardest thing to do. To call Burger King an addiction and say we are not supposed to eat anything from a cow is seen as un-American by millions of people. But the truth is that millions of children are obese because they are what they eat. They eat obese cows and therefore they are obese. The tragedy of kids being abused by well-meaning parents who take them to McDonalds is beyond words to describe. The pain of children now getting diabetes by the millions because parents are ignorant or too set in their ways to change is beyond my ability to express. It is tempting to try to force people to do what we feel is right, but we should not legislate to punish parents who fatten their children and themselves with the poison of Domino's pizza.

Rudin writes that our plague of diseases today from heart attacks to cancer started "when American diets changed from a rural-local food supply focus to a national food supply chain of highly processed and imported foods. As food processing techniques depleted our food supply of vitamins, fiber, and other essential nutrients, food maladies became rampant." The most important thing that has been depleted from our food is "a special group of fats called Omega-3 fatty acids ... absolutely essential to human life ... declining to only 20 percent of the level it held in traditional diets a hundred years ago." He says that flaxseed oil and "fish oils are the best sources of this special fat -- Omega-3 essential fatty acid -- which modern food destroys. But its depletion went unrecognized." He says he treated patients with Omega-3 and cured them of their problems: "I had done for my patients what any good mechanic should do for a car: I changed the oil."

"Essential fatty acids are called that because they are necessary in the diet -- they must be obtained from foods, since the body cannot produce them independently and yet cannot do without them. The amount of essential fatty acids (EFA) needed is small. But even though it is small, the average person still doesn't get an adequate amount."

"Northern plants produce more Omega-3 compared to the Omega-6 EFA in response to cold weather, since Omega-3 EFA keep cell membranes fluid, permitting them to function instead of freezing and fracturing. In contrast, southern plants produce very little Omega-3 but a great deal of Omega-6 EFA. "

"... in the ocean, plankton, a microscopic class of ocean plants ... are at the base of the marine food chain. Plankton manufacture large quantities of the EFA alpha-linolenic Omega-3 (ALA). Your body cannot manufacture this type of fatty acid, although you need it.

"Fish feed on the vegetable plankton and in that way get a rich supply of ALA. From this they then build up two additional types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)."

"These are needed in the human body, and they work faster and better than regular Omega-6 vegetable oils to keep blood thin, to make body functions work better, and to prevent blood clots that would develop because of sticky blood platelets." He says that flaxseed oil is "no less important than the benefits of fish oil supplementation."

At the turn of the century "heavy steel roller milling replaced local stone-grinding of grains. The metal rollers produced white flour, which was inexpensive and had a long shelf life. Unfortunately, valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber were in the 'waste material' that was discarded. The leftovers also contained the embryo of the plant -- the germ -- a good source of vitamin E, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals."

"In addition, modern transportation allowed the use of southern foods and oils in the north. These, too, have little Omega-3. Warm climate oils (corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, etc.) have displaced our traditional cold climate high Omega-3 containing oils, such as walnut and flax."

"Modern technology is responsible for still another method of loss of Omega-3. This is the process of hydrogenating oils. Hydrogen gas and a chemical catalyst are pumped under high pressure into an oil, forcing the hydrogen atoms to 'saturate' the carbons in the oil, making it a poor source of EFA.

"Why is this done? Because of rancidity, always a big enemy of food oils, especially with our new continental scale feeding technology. Reducing rancidity means eliminating or decreasing spoilage, not only in oils and shortening but in any foods prepared with them. Hydrogenating an oil extends their shelf life. ... Omega-3 fatty acids become rancid most easily and quickly."


Until the last ten to fifteen year, breast, colon, and prostate cancers and heart disease were rare in Japan. The traditional Japanese diet is low in saturated fats from beef and dairy products, low in hydrogenated fats from margarine and shortening, but very high in fiber and Omega-3 EFA and selenium from fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon. However, the Japanese living in the Untied States (and increasingly in Japan itself) share the same high rate of colon cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses of Americans. Similar statements hold for South Sea islanders and many other traditional cultures as their diet modernizes. The opposite can also be true." Atlantic magazine had an article about the devastating effects food like Spam is having in Micronesia. Many are dying an early death there.

"Schizophrenia, like cancer and heart disease and diabetes, tends to appear in members of the same family. However, statistics show that all these diseases are rare in societies where traditional eating patterns include abundant amounts of fiber, minerals, and Omega-3 essential fatty acids."


"The most clearly authenticated study occurred by chance in Norway during World War II. The incidence of schizophrenia, cancer, and heart disease doubled there after 1900, when Norwegians abandoned their traditional diet in favor of processed foods. Suddenly the incidence of all these illnesses declined a startling 40 percent. The decline exactly coincided with the years of privation during the German occupation of Norway."

"What happened to the Norwegian diet during those terrible years? Because of the German occupation, hydrogenated oil and processed and refined foods were scarce, forcing the Norwegians to revert to eating traditional foods. Beans, whole grains, and fish, once staples in the diet, again became daily fare. Scientists who studied the phenomenon found the 40 percent decrease in schizophrenia, heart disease,and cancer coincided with a 50 percent increase in the consumption of Omega-3 EFA in the wartime diet. ... margarine consumption fell very low. After the war, the Norwegians reverted to eating commercial and processed foods; heart disease and schizophrenia soon climbed back to the prewar levels. Nothing like this happened in the United State, Canada and Australia, where the diet changed little during the war years."

"I think nutrient starvation is responsible for many if not most diseases today, just as it was during the earlier nutritional epidemics of centuries past. Today's public is starved of Omega-3 EFA."


"Sadly, the breast milk of many mothers in our country reflects the high trans-fatty acid and low Omega-3 content in the average diet. American mothers produce milk that often has only one-fifth to one-tenth of the Omega-3 content of the milk that well-nourished, nut-eating Nigerian mothers provide their infants."


"Greenland Eskimos are responsible for some of the excitement about fish oils" because scientists discovered "how Eskimos could eat the highest fat diet in the world without getting heart attacks." The Omega-3 was the key.


"Walnuts, hazelnuts, beechnuts and chestnuts are rich in Omega-3. Select northern nuts over southern-grown nuts such as peanuts (not actually a nut, but a legume) and cashews, pecans and Brazil nuts."


"Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and other seeds" have Omega-3 but "are best used in small amounts. Eat no more than one ounce of seeds (a large handful) a day."


Rudin recommends eating slow: "Eat and drink slowly to give the sensation of fullness time to build (about twenty minutes is needed for your brain to know your stomach is full). Never overeat. Stop at the first sign of fulness."


The Okinawa Program: How the World's Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health--and How You Can Too by Bradley J. Willcox says that the people of Okinawa, an island off Japan eat salmon, mackerel or tuna three times a week and this is one of the reasons they are so healthy and live so long. They also use canola oil for their stir frys.

A review at said, "If ever there were a prescription for longevity, the folks of Okinawa, a collection of islands strung between Japan and Taiwan, have found it. Considered the world's healthiest people, residents of this tropical archipelago routinely live active, independent lives well into their 90s and 100s. Their rates of obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, memory loss, menopause, and breast, colon and prostate cancer rank far below the rates for these illnesses in America and other industrialized countries. In fact, researchers believe many Okinawans are physically younger than their chronological ages. In essence, the Okinawans have found a way to beat the clock.

"How do they do it? In The Okinawa Program, Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., D. Craig Willcox, Ph.D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D. reveal the islanders' age-defying secrets. Of course, there are really no surprises here: a low-fat diet, exercise, stress management, strong social and family ties, and spiritual connectedness--the same things experts have been recommending for years--all play key roles in keeping the Okinawans youthful. But in this fascinating read, which is peppered with inspiring anecdotes about these remarkable people, the authors provide concrete evidence that adopting these healthy habits pays off significantly in terms of tacking more productive years onto our lives.

"Based on the authors' 25-year Okinawa Centenarian Study, this extraordinarily well-written book demonstrates that genetics provide only so much protection against disease. Indeed, the authors often remind us that when younger Okinawans pick up Western habits, their rates of obesity, illness, and life expectancy start to match ours as well. Clearly, when it comes to longevity, healthy lifestyle habits will out. That said, the major message of The Okinawa Program is that we can easily adopt the life-lengthening strategies that have served the Okinawans so well for generations. To that end, the authors pack chapters with suggestions for following "The Way," from eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet packed with fiber and complex carbohydrates (cooking up the book's more than 80 recipes is a start) and learning tai chi to finding time to meditate and relax, developing one's spirituality, doing volunteer work, and building a solid network of friends and family. Rounding out the book, the authors pull their key recommendations into a comprehensive yet doable four-week plan that's meant to get you started. Following "The Way" isn't a free shot at immortality, but it certainly helps stack the deck in your favor. --Norine Dworkin

"From Publishers Weekly: Twin brothers Bradle and D. Craig Willcox, an internist and anthropologist, respectively, and geriatrician Suzuki, fascinatingly recount the results of a 25-year study of Okinawa, where people live exceptionally long and productive lives. There are more than 400 centenarians in Okinawa, where the average lifespan is 86 for women and above 77 for men. Most impressive is the quality of life Okinawans maintain into old age; the book is filled with inspiring glimpses of elderly men and women who are still gardening, working and walking into and well beyond their 90s. The authors point out that while genetics may account, in part, for Okinawans' longevity, studies have revealed that when they move away from the archipelago and abandon their traditional ways, they lose their health advantage, proving that lifestyle is, at the very least, a highly influential factor. The Okinawans' program of diet, exercise and spiritual health apparently lowers their risk for heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's, as well as breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers. According to the authors, "the Okinawan Way" is neither elusive nor esoteric. It consists, in part, of a low-calorie, plant-based, high complex-carbohydrate diet. Exercise, the authors maintain, is essential, as is attention to spirituality and friendships. Okinawans, too, lead slower-paced, less stressful lives than most Westerners. The outcome of years of extensive medical research, this book offers a practical and optimistic vision of growing old."

At the website ( we read the following about Omega-3:

Omega 3's are a special type of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They are known as one of the "good" fats. The most important components of Omega 3 are commonly known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid), all of which are found naturally in the human body at birth.

Essential Nutrients

Omega 3 is deemed an essential nutrient for maintaining good health, normal growth and development but unfortunately the human body does not naturally replenish the Omega 3 it uses. Therefore, Omega 3 must be obtained through your daily dietary intake or through the use of Omega 3 supplements ....

One of the critical functions of Omega 3 is found in the body's most basic unit - the cell. Human cells absorb various raw materials, process them and then send this processed material to the required destination within the body. The outer membrane of these cells act as a gateway allowing the raw material in and the processed materials out. This outer membrane requires a constant turnover of PUFAs to remain functional. Omega 3s are an essential part of this replenishment. A shortage of Omega 3 reduces the cells ability to efficiently perform their function leading to nutrient starvation and chronic and debilitating diseases.

Omega 3s are also converted into another class of chemical called EICOSANOIDS, the most critical of which are PROSTAGLANDINS. Prostaglandins operate within most tissues to regulate most bodily functions..... cardiovascular, digestive, immune system, etc. If the diet is inadequate, the Omega 3 prostaglandins produced are either lacking or unbalanced, leading to disease in the vital body systems.

Omega 3s have also been found to modulate the movement of cholesterol through the blood system. Some researchers have reported that Omega 3 tends to change the balance of cholesterol in the blood by lowering the "bad" and raising the "good" cholesterol. Omega 3s are therefore believed to be essential to good health and normal development of both the fetus and newly-born infants. Omega 3 PUFA's will remarkably lower plasma triglycerides even in "healthy people".

Many Studies Indicate

Many studies also indicate that the DHA component of the Omega 3 family is essential to early childhood brain development while the DPA component is found in significant quantities in mother's milk. Omega 3s are therefore believed to be essential to good health and normal development of both the fetus and newly born.

Omega 3 Deficiency

Over the past five thousand years, western society has evolved from a hunting diet to one largely based on agriculture. Many nutrients formally consumed in abundance have now become scarce. One of the nutrients still considered absolutely essential for our good health and development, but now largely missing from out diets, is the family of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) known as the Omega 3s.

Coupling this fundamental change in dietary nutrients with our society's rapid adoption of highly processed foods, it is little wonder that western society is experiencing an impressive escalation in diet-based disease. These diseases range from atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma and skin diseases to premature aging.

Diet-Based Disease

It should come as no surprise therefore that during this period of increased diet-based disease, the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids consumed in a normal diet has dropped by up to 80%. About 40 years ago, health authorities strongly recommended that western diets increase their consumption of PUFAs to lower cholesterol levels. This led to a marked increase in the consumption of vegetable oils which provide the essential Omega 6 PUFAs but not the Omega 3s. It has now been found that an excess of Omega 6 interferes with the benefits of Omega 3, thus making an existing Omega 3 shortage more acute.

Diet Is The Prime Link To Good Health

It has long been established that diet is the prime link to good health. When Japan moved from its traditional diet of simple marine food to the western-based diet of processed foods, their rate of heart disease rose dramatically. Conversely, when Norway was forced to return to its traditional diet of marine life during shortages of World War II, the death rate (of heart disease, cancer etc.) dropped by 40%. This rate, however, returned to normal levels as soon as the war ended and Norwegians returned to the western diet. It is of great interest that during the war, the Norwegian decrease of heart disease coincided with a 50% increase in Omega 3 intake.

Another example of the health benefits of a traditional marine diet, high in Omega 3, is to be found with the Inuit of the High Arctic. Despite their large daily intake of fat, the Inuit blood lipids remained within normal levels, their incidence of heart trouble was low and they were realatively free from hardening of the arteries. Like the Norwegians and the Japanese before them, as the Inuit have adopted western diets, their incidence of diet-based disease has risen to the western levels.

Supplementing Your Diet

As our bodies neither produce nor store Omega 3 internally, Omega 3 must be obtained from external sources. As most of our food intake remains highly processed, Omega 3 is often best obtained through supplements ....

The Government of Canada recently recommended that each Canadian between the ages of 25 - 49 should take a total of 1.5 gms of Omega 3 fatty acids daily.

Nutrition Recommendations For Canadians state: "Omega 3 polyunsaturates are essential nutrients for maintaining good health, normal growth and development"

The United States Department of Health and Nutritional Services, The National Institute of Health, the Life Sciences Research Offices of the Council For Responsible Nutrition have agreed that the daily intake of Omega 3 should increase 1 - 3 grams per day. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended that the daily intake of Omega 3 be increased, above that consumed today by mature adults.

It is important to note that, as in the case of Vitamin C, Omega 3s do not store well in the body and therefore must be replenished on a daily basis. An Omega 3 supplement is the best method of ensuring an adequate Omega 3 daily intake.

Individuals in our western society now consume, on average, less than 20% of this required daily dosage of Omega 3s.

The Facts

Omega 3 is an essential and vital fatty acid that is found in the human body at birth.

Omega 3 does not naturally restore itself, therefore it must be obtained from external sources, either through diet or supplements.

Seal Oil contains all three components of Omega 3; EPA, DPA, DHA and in the same proportions that are found naturally in the human body.

About a third of the long-chain Omega 3 fatty acids circulating in human blood is attributable to DPA.

Most fish oils lack one of the critical components of Omega 3; DPA.

Seal oil can provide up to ten times the DPA as fish oils.

Many fish oils are much higher in cholesterol than seal oil.

Seal Oil is "Bio-Filtered" Fish Oil

As seals are much higher in the food chain than fish, seals use their digestive systems to filter out the many natural impurities found in fish. The "bio-filtering" naturally enriches and adds an essential element not found in most fish oils; DPA. The natural purity and quality of seal oil is therefore higher than most fish oils.

What Do We Know About DPA?

DPA is found naturally in the human body at birth. We know that DPA is found in substantial quantities in mother's milk and is considered essential for proper growth and development of the fetus and newly born.

A recent Japanese study also indicates that one of DPA's major functions is to keep the veins and arteries soft and supple, thus helping to prevent the circulatory problems that often lead to the diseases of the heart, stroke, and the pain of diabetes.

What the Experts Say

Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi of Memorial University of Newfoundland, a world renowned scientist on seal product development, provides the following explanation:

"In comparing seal oil with fish oils, assimilation of seal oil into the body is more efficient than fish oils. EPA, DHA, and DPA in seal oil are located primarily in the terminal positions of the triglyceride molecules (as in humans) while they are preferentially present in the middle position of triglycerides in fish oils. The difference in the location of the Omega 3 PUFA is a major reason for the superior effect of seal oils compared to fish oils in disease prevention and potential health benefits."

Heart Attacks and Strokes

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in western society. For men, the risk of heart attack begins very young and remains fairly constant throughout life while the female incidence of heart disease begins to equal and surpass that of men as they reach menopause.

Studies indicate however that Omega 3 can reduce the chance of a primary cardiac arrest by 70% and a second arrest by 30%. This results primarily from the fact that Omega 3 makes the walls of the blood vessels smoother and more elastic thus reducing vessel blockages which are often the cause of heart problems.

Omega 3 also tends to retard the rate of the blood clotting.

Heart muscle damage may still take place from a temporary stoppage of an artery, and Omega 3 PUFA's prevent this damage from interfering with heartbeats.

Studies further indicate that Omega 3 helps reduce a person's blood pressure, also becoming a chronic problem in an aging population.


Diabetes is a disorder characterized by high blood levels of glucose in the blood. Diabetes can damage the large blood vessels increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and in the limbs, can lead to gangrene. Many studies now suggest that Omega 3 is invaluable in combating circulation problems associated with diabetes by rendering the walls of the veins and arteries smoother and more elastic.


Many studies have also found that Omega 3's anti-inflammatory action offers great relief to those suffering from arthritis.

A recent study published by Tokyo Medical and Dental University, indicates that the DPA component of the Omega 3 can be more than TEN TIMES AS EFFECTIVE as EPA in helping to heal damaged blood vessels, Seal oil is the ONLY supplement rich in natural DPA.

Another recent study conducted by the University of Washington, concluded that consumption of seal oil five times a week was an effective method of reducing glucose intolerance and diabetes, problems of increasing importance to mature Canadians.

In a new study, the world-respected scientist Sonja L. Connor noted that Omega 3 PUFAs will lower the plasma triglycerides even more remarkably in "healthy" people. For primary prevention, she suggested 2-3 grams of Omega 3 per day!

Helps Prevent Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries)

Dr.Garth Mulvad and Dr. Henning Pederson of the Department of Medicine, Dronning Ingrids Hospital in Norway recently wrote:

"...the International Atherosclerosis Project... is a project supervised by experts at the Louisiana State University of New Orleans, USA. Among other things, they ... studied the coronary arteries of the hearts of 23,000 deceased persons from 16 different countries. It is in the coronary arteries that the fatal blood clots form. The provisional results show that atherosclerosis is far less widespread among the Inuit than elsewhere in the world ... a seventy year old who has lived on the traditional diet of seal and whale has coronary arteries that are just as elastic as a twenty year old Dane."

Reduces Cholesterol

These doctors also noted that fish eating nations have, on average, a higher cholesterol level than the Inuit. They also reported that a person with a very high cholesterol level went to the National Hospital at Nuuk. He tried various diets (including fish) and medicines without effect. He was then placed on the traditional Inuit diet of seal and his cholesterol level dropped by 70% in one month.

Omega 3's Benefits Have Been Proven Over Thousands of Years

Clinical trials in Canada and experience over the past thousand years indicates that the Inuit diet of seal oil is not only safe but reduces the risk of death from heart and other related diseases.

At the website ( we read the following:

Heart and Cardiovascular System Health

The cardiovascular system is a network of veins and arteries, which circulate blood around the body. The heart, acting as a pump creates the movement. Blood is pumped into the arteries for delivery to the cells where it is needed, then drawn back through the veins to the heart to begin the cycle over again. To maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, there must not be any hindrance to the free flow of the blood.

Heart and cardiovascular health was the first area investigated with regard to the health impact of Omega-3 fatty acids. It was noticed in the early 1970s that the Inuit people of Greenland had a high fat, high cholesterol diet, yet were able to maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Subsequent investigations concluded that this was due to the high level of Omega-3 fatty acids in their native diet of fish and marine animals. Since then several other studies, including two large American studies in 1997 and 1998 have revealed the same thing: that heart and cardiovascular health is enhanced among weekly fish eaters when compared to those who ate fish only infrequently. *

Omega-3 may help increase the flexibility of the red-blood-cell membranes, thus making the blood less sludgy and more fluid. This not only helps maintain healthy circulation everywhere in the body, including the brain, but may make it easier for the heart to do its job of continuous pumping.*

Numerous studies have found that a diet that includes a serving of fatty fish, especially those rich in Omega-3, provide a health benefit to the heart and cardiovascular system. And even a diet that includes a fish serving only once per week has been shown to provide this benefit. In a 1998 study of 20,551 male physicians aged 40 to 84 years, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that eating fish at least once a week helped to maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system when compared to those who only ate fish less than once a month.*

Another study published in the same journal in 1995 found similar results: researchers found that the intake of just one portion of fatty, Omega-3-rich fish per week helped people maintain a healthy heart when compared to controls, even after adjusting for age, smoking, family history of heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, education, and cholesterol level. The researchers believe that consumption of fatty fish, fish oil, or linolenic acid increases the levels of the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in the membranes of the red blood cells, and confers the healthy heart benefits. This was confirmed by blood samples taken from the comparative groups.*

A healthy diet that includes a serving of fatty fish rich in Omega-3 at least once a week is just one factor that may help a person maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. It is also prudent to take other "heart healthy" measures, such as a diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and abstinence from cigarettes and alcohol.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Mental and Nervous System Health

In fact, the most polyunsaturated of the Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) makes up a large portion of the gray matter of the brain. The fat in your brain is the type that forms cell membranes and plays a vital role in how our cells function. Neurons in the brain, the cells that transmit chemical messages, are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, there is more DHA in our neurons than in our red blood cells. DHA is also found in high quantities in the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye. A typical Western diet, however, generally is deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA.*

Research in the last few years has revealed that diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may help promote a healthy emotional balance and positive mood, and may help us maintain a healthy mental status in later years. Researchers speculate that a diet rich in the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA, found in fish oil, may help promote a healthy emotional balance and positive mood in part because DHA is a main component of the synaptic membranes in the brain. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 62, July 1995, pp. 1-9.) Researchers in another study found that people with a healthy emotional balance and positive mental outlook tended to have higher levels of DHA in their red blood cells. (Biol Psychiatry 1998; 43(5): 315-9.)*

A Danish team of researchers compared the diets of 5,386 healthy older individuals and found that the more fish in a persons diet, the longer the person was able to maintain a healthy mental status. (Ann Neurol 1997; 42: 776-82.)*

Pregnancy and Neonatal Health

There is accumulating scientific evidence to demonstrate the importance of Omega-3 in the development of the unborn child in the womb and the newly born infant. Required throughout pregnancy, the Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important during the last 3 months and during early infancy for the proper development of the brain, eyes and nervous system. Since the unborn baby cannot make its own Omega-3, its' needs must be met by its' mother. To ensure an adequate supply of Omega-3, evidence suggests that a women should eat oily fish several times a week or take a daily fish oil supplement early in pregnancy or even before conception. Omega-3 supplementation while breast- feeding results in Omega-3-enriched milk, which passes to the baby.*

Researchers at the University of Milan report that infants whose formula contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially DHA) have healthier brain development than children who did not receive DHA in their formula. The observation supports earlier findings that there is a direct correlation between the DHA concentration in the red blood cells of infants and their visual acuity. The researchers recommend that infants who are not breast-fed be fed a DHA-enriched formula. The researchers report that breast milk already contains the fatty acids necessary for healthy brain development. (The Lancet, Vol. 346, September 2, 1995, p. 638.)*

Researchers also believe that breast-fed infants may develop higher intelligence. A meta-analysis of 11 published studies reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October, 1999) showed a 60% gain in intelligence in breast fed infants over those who were formula-fed, measured by IQ scores. The researchers suggest that the higher IQs are attributable to the nutritional value of breast milk, which contains certain Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA. These Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with brain development and are not found in most formulas. All the studies the researchers examined were "retrospective," analyzing the IQ development of babies who were breast-fed. However, the superior performance of breast-fed babies could be due to other factors, including the fact that women who breast-feed their babies tend to be of a higher socioeconomic class.*

The content of the Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, of women who were pregnant for the first time and their children was found to be higher than those who had previously been through 1 to 6 pregnancies. Additionally, the DHA level in the umbilical cord of first-born infants was found to be higher than in children whose mothers had been pregnant before. This study provides evidence that with each subsequent birth, mothers may need to supplement their reserves of DHA. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997, 51: 548-53.)*

Skin Health

We all desire clear, youthful skin that radiates health and vitality. But, many of us think that healthy skin comes from creams and lotions. The fact is, the food we eat has a major impact on skin condition. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, protects underlying tissues, and plays a major role in temperature regulation, immunity and metabolic functions. The best diet for healthy looking skin emphasizes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and minimal amounts of saturated fats (found mostly from animal products). Drinking eight glasses a day of water (more if you exercise regularly) is also essential to maintaining skin health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another component for healthy skin cells, and daily dietary intake is suggested for optimum skin health. Around each and every cell in the skin is a membrane that normally keeps moisture inside the cell. Omega-3 fatty acids form a part of the skin`s cell membrane, and help keep it moist and strong. They do this by encouraging the production of strong collagen and elastin fibers, and may help the skin to look younger for longer.*

Research suggests that Omega-3, along with vitamins A, D and E, and the mineral zinc, may help protect teenage skin from simple acne, spots, blackheads and whiteheads when combined with other healthy diet measures such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking sufficient quantities of water (8 glasses per day) and regular exercise.*

Immune System Health

A healthy immune system is one that knows "when to attack, what to attack, and when to hold back". A few studies have found that a diet enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids may help you maintain a healthy immune function. For instance, in cultures of normal human blood, only blood incubated in the Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, significantly decreased the amount of white blood cell surface molecules needed in the immune response of normal, healthy humans. (American Journal of Nutrition, 1996, 126: 603-610.)*

Joint Health

Omega-3 fatty acids may serve to block some of the body`s processes that limit joint health and freedom of movement. More than a dozen studies in the last 10 years have found that a diet with a more balanced intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids may help maintain healthy joints. Researchers point out that humans evolved on a diet which had an approximately 2:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Modern diets not only contain a vast excess of Omega-6 fatty acids (50 times more than required), but also have a highly unfavorable 25:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Some researchers feel that there is now enough evidence to recommend that joint health can be enhanced through the emphasis of a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids as found in fish oil and Omega-3 rich seeds and vegetables, and through the avoidance of foods rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. (British Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 36, May 1997, pp. 513-14 editorial) *

Appropriate Dosages of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In April, 1999 a Workshop on the Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs) for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. The workshop concluded with the development of specific recommendations for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy adults and pregnant and lactating women:

[Table 1: see article for table.]

Source: Simopoulos, AP, et al., Workshop on the Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD (April 7-9, 1999).

1.Although the recommendation is for AI, the Working Group felt that there is enough scientific evidence to also state an upper limit (UL) for LA of 6.67 g/d based on a 2000 kcal diet or of 3.0% energy.

2.For pregnant and lactating women, ensure 300 mg/day of DHA.

3.Except for dairy products, other foods under natural conditions do not contain trans-FA. Therefore, the Working Group does not recommend trans-FA to be in the food supply as a result of hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids or high temperature cooking (reused frying oils).

4.Saturated fats should not comprise more than 8% of energy.

5.The Working Group recommended that the majority of fatty acids be obtained from monounsaturates. The total amount of fat in the diet is determined by the culture and dietary habits of people around the world (total fat ranges from 15-40% of energy) but with special attention to the importance of weight control and reduction of obesity.


At the website ( we read:

Canola is a Good Plant Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Canola oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that reduces risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Health Canada recommends that adults consume about 1 g of omega-3 fatty acids every day. For an adult on a 2000 kcal diet, this is the amount of alpha-linolenic acid found in one tablespoon of canola oil.

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, are the number one killer of adults in North America today. While many factors contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease,for example, smoking, being sedentary, being male, and having a high blood cholesterol level.New research suggests that increasing our intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 or n-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The parent compound of the omega-3 family is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is essential in the diets of humans because our bodies cannot manufacture it. ALA is found in the fats and oils of canola, wheat germ and soybeans; flaxseed; nuts such as walnuts, pecans and pine nuts; and red and black currant seeds. ALA constitutes about 11% of the fatty acids in canola oil. Canola oil is a major contributor to the total ALA intake of North Americans because it is widely used in salad and cooking oils, margarines and shortenings.

ALA can be converted to two important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are present in human breast milk and in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, trout, sardines and blue fin tuna. Indeed, with the exception of these fatty fish, most species of fish are poor sources of EPA and DHA, and they contain very little ALA.

Healthy Actions of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart attacks and strokes in several ways. They enter the body's cell membranes, where they make membranes more fluid and flexible. They improve blood lipid levels, make platelets in the blood less sticky and help maintain a regular rhythm of heartbeats. These actions help maintain the health of arteries and the cardiovascular system, thus reducing the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes.

Boosting Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake

Hunter-gatherers who lived 10,000 years ago consumed more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets than North Americans do today. Part of the reason for this difference is that North Americans eat ample amounts of cereal grain such as wheat, maize (corn) and rice, which are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Today's consumers also eat meat derived from livestock fed cereal grains in their feed. In short, North Americans do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids.

One way to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake is to use canola oil and canola margarine regularly in cooking and baking.

Omega - 3 / n-3

The term omega-3 refers to the chemical structure of the fatty acid. Sometimes the letter n is substituted for the word omega. So, alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 or n-3 fatty acid.

ALA Protects Against Heart Disease

Studies carried out in the early 1970's found that Inuit who ate traditional diets high in fish and fish oil had lower levels of total cholesterol and LLDL-cholesterol than Danes of the same age and ssex. (LDL-cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol). Dozens of studies completed since the 1970's have confirmed that populations such as Alaskan natives and Japanese fishers who regularly eat marine animals and fatty fish have low rates of coronary heart disease. Now there is evidence that the ALA found mainly in plants also protects against coronary heart disease.

One of the first studies to report a unique effect of ALA was the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). In this primary prevention trial involving more than 12,000 men aged 35 to 57 years who had a high risk of developing heart disease, death from coronary heart disease and all causes was lowest in those men with the highest intakes of ALA. Similar findings were reported for 43,757 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and for the more than 80,000 women involved in the Nurses' Health Study.

In a now-famous trial of adults who had already survived one heart attack participants were randomized to either a control group, who ate their usual diets, or an intervention group, who ate a Mediterranean-type diet that contained canola and olive oils. Participants in the intervention group ate a diet rich in ALA derived mainly from a canola oil-based margarine and increased their ALA intake by 68%.

The intervention group had lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and higher HDL-cholesterol levels, compared with the control group who ate a low-ALA diet. (HDL-cholesterol is the good cholesterol.) In fact, consuming a diet rich in ALA was associated with a 70% reduction in coronary events and cardiac deaths. The study findings were so compelling that the trial was halted for ethical reasons, allowing participants in the control group to benefit immediately from the study results.

Researchers with the Lyon Diet Heart Study found that the protective effect of the high-ALA diet was maintained for up to four years after the first heart attack. This unexpected finding was due to the study subjects maintaining their high-ALA diet long after the study had officially been halted. In short, the Lyon Diet Heart Study shows that a simple dietary change using a canola oil-based margarine on a regular basis may be an effective way of preventing sudden cardiac events.

ALA Protects Against Stroke

Middle-age men who participated in the MRFIT trial showed an inverse relation between stroke risk and ALA concentration in cell membranes. That is, men with high levels of ALA in their cell membanes is a reflection of their high dietary intake of ALA and had a low risk of stroke, especially after other stroke risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure were taken into account. The researchers concluded that ALA is an independent predictor of stroke risk, much like high blood cholesterol is an independent predictor of heart attack risk.

Canola is a Good Source of ALA

Health Canada recommends a daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids that represents 0.5% of total energy intake. (The United States does not have a recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids at the present time.) For an adult on a 2000 kcal diet, this is about 1 g of omega-3 fatty acids or the amount of ALA found in one tablespoon of canola oil daily. Using canola oil regularly in cooking and baking adds ALA to the diet and helps protect against heart attacks and strokes, the leading causes of death in North America today.


1. Ascherio A, et al. Dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease in men: Cohort follow up study in the United States. Br Med J 1996;313:84-90.

2. de Lorgeril M, et al. Mediterranean alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Lancet 1994;343:1454-1459.

3. de Lorgeril M, et al. Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: Final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation 1999;99:779-785.

4. Dolecek TA. Epidemiological evidence of relationships between dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and mortality in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1992;200:177-182.

5. Hu FB, et al. Dietary intake of a-linolenic acid and risk of fatal ischemic heart disease among women. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:890-897.

6. Hunter JE. n-3 Fatty acids from vegetable oils. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:809-814.

7. Simon JA, et al. Serum fatty acids and the risk of stroke. Stroke 1995;26:778-782.

8. Leaf A. Dietary prevention of coronary heart disease: The Lyon Diet Heart Study (editorial). Circulation 1999;99:733-735.

For further information on this, or any other subject related to canola, please contact:

Canola Council of Canada 400-167 Lombard Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T6 Phone (204) 982-2100 Fax (204) 942-1841

Alberta Canola Producers Commission 170, 14315-118 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5L 4S6 Phone (780) 454-0844 Fax (780) 451-6933

Canola Information Service Box 1645 Lloydminster, SK S9V 1K6 Phone (306) 387-6610 Fax (306) 387-6637

Manitoba Canola Growers Association Box 1672 Carman, MB R0G 0J0 Phone (204) 745-2178 Fax (204) 745-6134

Factsheet researched and written by Diane H. Morris, Ph.D, R.D. Omega-3's are essential for mental health The remarkable anti-depressive powers of fish oils, flax oils, and Omega-3 supplements Safe and effective supplements for pregnancy and postpartum depression.

One website had this to say about Andrew Stoll's book Omega-3 Renewal Plan:

For years scientists have searched for a "magic bullet" to relieve the pain of depression and other mood disorders -- safe enough for nursing mothers, children with ADHD, and the elderly, without the side effects associated with medicines like Prozac, Zoloft, and lithium. Now the search may finally be over, thanks to the Omega-3 Renewal Plan, introduced here by Andrew L. Stoll, M.D., Director of the Psycho-pharmacology Research Laboratory at Harvard's McLean Hospital.

In his groundbreaking research, Stoll found that omega-3 fatty acids, already known for their importance in preventing heart disease, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, play a crucial role in mental health -- regulating and enhancing mood, sharpening memory, and even aiding concentration and learning. And these remarkable substances, so essential to our health, are found abundantly in common fish oils and other sources.

The disturbing news is that these extraordinary substances have been depleted by our Western diet and lifestyle, and the resulting nutritional imbalance seems to have led to a sharp rise in heart disease and depression. By contrast, in Japan and other countries where fish consumption is high, both heart disease and depression rates are low. Stoll explains how easily omega-3s can be used up in just a few generations, and how a new mother with depleted omega-3s loses still more to her baby -- a fact that may account for the severe postpartum depression so many women suffer. He documents evidence that a shortage of omega-3s may also play a role in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other learning problems. The good news is that this downward spiral of depletion and depression can finally be reversed.

In his revolutionary Omega-3 Renewal Plan, Dr. Stoll presents readers for the first time with all the tools for restoring their natural balance of omega-3 fatty acids, including which foods to eat and how to choose the most effective over-the-counter supplements. Featuring information on how to integrate flaxseed and fish oils into diet and medication plans, and including simple recipes as well as supplement dosages and sources, The Omega-3 Connection offers an entirely new, practical method for improving mental health.

At the website ( we read the following about seal oil:

Seal Oil is rich in Omega 3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) including docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In addition, there are considerable levels of squalene and Vitamin E. These compounds are essential to development and maintenance of good health.

DPA is naturally present in human milk and is postulated to be an essential fatty acid for infant nutrition and development. Seal oil is one of the few known natural sources of DPA. In contrast, fish oils have little or no DPA. Recent studies have also shown that DPA is involved with the healing process associated with cardiovascular diseases, namely atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Each capsule contains 23.5 mg.

DHA has been identified as an essential fatty acid in brain, nerve and eye tissue. It is especially important to the development of infant visual acuity and motor skills. Researchers have been investigating the relationship between decreased dietary DHA and increased incidence of neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and Dementia. DHA is supplied naturally through mothers` breast milk and more recently through few DHA supplemented formulas. Harp Seal Oil is an excellent source of natural DHA. Each of our capsules contains 44.5 mg of DHA.

EPA reduces inflammation and blood clots within the cardiovascular system. In addition, clinical tests have shown people with diets rich in EPA are less prone to inflamed joints (Rheumatoid arthritis), inflammation of the intestine (Chron`s disease), lupus, asthma, multiple sclerosis and skin disease. New research has shown an inverse relationship with inflammatory disorders, where EPA is effective, and schizophrenia. Each of our capsules contains 38 mg of EPA.

Squalene is a highly unsaturated hydrocarbon, which is found in marine oils, including seal oil. It is found in various vital body organs and has a close relationship with cortisone, diuretic steroids, sex hormones and Vitamin A and is involved with many essential biochemical processes. Squalene is currently being studied for its possible anti-carcinogenic effects. product has been found to be helpful for Arthritic, Crohns and Cholesterol related ailments. Beneficial Effects of Seal Oil Seal oil is a superior source of Omega 3 compared to fish. Original findings prompting such research, as noted, were based on observations of Greenland Eskimos whose diet included predominantly seal meat and oil. Seal oil is a superior source of Omega 3 to fish and / or fish oils in many ways.

Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) is present at very low levels in fish oils relative to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docohexaenoic acid (DHA), but is almost as important as either the EPA or the DHA in seal oils. Seal oil can supply up to ten times as much DPA as would fish oils. About a third of the long chain Omega 3 fatty acids circulating in human blood is attributable to DPA.

Because of this, DPA has become of interest to medical researchers in both France and Japan. It seems that in the blood vessel walls, EPA may actually be converted to DPA as the effective agent.

Japanese researchers at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Tokyo have shown that the one stimulative effect of EPA on endothelial cell migration occurs via DPA, and that DPA may act as a powering antiatherogenic factor. Although it has been believed that EPA is the key in producing prostaglandin that keeps the artery wall soft and free of plaque, this study indicated that DPA may be 10-20 times more powerful than EPA in this effect.

Also, with the exception of seal oil, the highest incidence of DPA is in mothers breast milk. This is important for early childhood development, including visual acuity and mental development. Deficiencies in Omega 3 PUFAs such as DPA may result in impaired development of visual acuity and motor skills, according to several studies. The relative proportions of Omega 3 PUFAs in most fish oils does not correspond well with that of human breast milk, but seal oil has a more similar compositional structure.

Fish oil is susceptible to oxidization whereas seal oil is more resistant to natural oxidative processes. Preliminary experiments by Drs. Nakhla and David have shown that the extent of oxidization of Omega 3 PUFAs in seal in vitro was less than half that observed in fish oils. This can have major implications since there is significant research linking anti-oxidants to a reduction in free radical acids - and thus helping to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.

The absorption of seal oil into the human body is easier and more thorough than fish and fish oils. In seal oil, the Omega 3 fatty acids are in the -1 and -3 positions of the triglyceride molecule (same as humans) while in fish oil they are in the -2 position.

The Omega 3 content of seal oil is 20%-25%, which is higher than most fish oils, making seal oil capsules a much more effective source of Omega 3 than fish itself.

Seal oil is virtually free of cholesterol, while many fish and fish oils are relatively high in cholesterol.

Reviews by the US Department of Health and Nutrition Services, National Institutes of Health, the Life Sciences Research Office of the Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) indicate that there is consensus, that benefits would accrue to the population should dietary intake increase to around 1-2 gram long chain Omega 3 n-3 PUFA per day. Current average consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids in North America and Europe is about 200 grams / year or less than 20% of recommended intake. Health Canada recommends 1.8g of Omega 3 fatty acids in a daily diet. Two seal oil capsules per day can make up for this deficiency.

Omega 3 and Diseases Among the ailments, which can be treated by Omega 3 supplementation, they are:

Heart disease. Research has indicated that Omega 3 can reduce the risk of primary cardiac arrest by 70%, by reducing blood vessel blockages. Other work (Dr. Leof of Harvard Medical School) has found that PUFAs can prevent sudden death from irregular heart beats following a heart attack. Yet another study has found that a diet rich in Omega 3 can reduce chances of a second (fatal) heart attack by 30%.

Blood pressure. Fish oil helps lower blood pressure and may help certain blood pressure medicines work more effectively.

Stroke. Dutch researchers have confirmed a link between fish consumption (as little as one 3 oz serving per week), and a reduced risk of stroke, noting fish oils ability to retard coagulation, a thickening of the blood that can lead to stroke inducing clots.

Menstruation. Researchers at Children`s Hospital medical Center in Cincinnati say Omega 3 may reduce the associated pain, nausea, and bloating.

Mental illness. A British study claims that up to 80% of schizophrenics are deficient in unsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3. Omega 3 deficiency has also been linked to depression and general mental deterioration.

Cancer. Fish eaters are less likely to die of cancer. One major study found that daily fish consumption dramatically slows abnormal cell growth that can lead to colon cancer. Another showed similar success impeding breast cancer. The Japanese, who eat three times more fish than Americans, have a breast cancer rate that is five times lower and a life expectancy that is four years longer. The American Heart Association announced to 40,000 delegates at an annual conference in 1997 that Omega 3 consumption delivered dramatic heart benefits.

Arthritis. More than a dozen studies confirm that Omega 3 offers anti-inflammatory relief for arthritis sufferers. It may also slow the course of kidney disease.

Fetal development. Studies show that pregnant women should eat fish to aid fetal brain and eye development. This is particularly important for babies that are born prematurely.

Literally thousands of studies have been published on the potential beneficial effects to human health of seafoods and fish oil preparations containing Omega 3 fatty acids.

In fact, a bibliography (Special Bibliography 1995-Effects of Fish Oils and Polyunsaturated Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease) prepared by Arthur Wykes of the Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, found 1,108 citations related to this topic published between June 1993 and January 1995 alone.

The bibliography noted that Omega 3 research in the United States, Europe and Asia has focused on the possible blood lipid-lowering and anticoagulant effects induced by fish and fish oil consumption, and on their potential for lowering risks for heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and cerebral thrombosis. Other research topics have included arthritis and inflammation, immunological conditions, diabetes, kidney and skin disorders, cancer, growth and development, vision and brain development, and membranes, as well as plant and other non-fish sources of essential fatty acids.

Orsoq Study Eat Meat and Blubber from Sea Mammals and Avoid Cardiovascular disease

Source: Inuit Whaling, published by Inuit Circumpolar Conference, June 1992, Special Issue Author: Gerth Mulvad and Henning Sloth Pedersen, Doctors at the Department of Medicine, Dronning Ingrids Hospital

("Orsoq" is the Greenlandic word for blubber)

Cardiovascular disease) is the most frequent cause of death in Europe and the USA. In the last fifty years great changes in diet have led to rapid acceleration of the disease. In Europe and the USA many people die at ages as early as 40-50 of thrombosis. In the USA half a million people a year contact thrombosis and die of it. A further million are permanently disabled by thrombosis. A billion dollars a year are spent on medicine for atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) begins in childhood. Post-mortems on American soldiers who died in Korean War showed that there were already clear indications of atherosclerosis in twenty-year olds. In Greenland, atherosclerosis is a more or less unknown disease. For example, in the 1970s there was not a single death due to cardiovascular disease in the hunting district of Uummannaq with about 3,000 inhabitants. In recent years, some Greenlanders have moved to Denmark. Following the same pattern as elsewhere in the world, these immigrants have contracted the same cardiovascular diseases as the Danes. So the very low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Greenland cannot be explained by hereditary immunity. In other words, something in the environment has given the Inuit protection against the big killer. So it is a natural step to investigate the Greenland diet.

As early as 1908 the Danish doctors Krogh & Krogh studied the Greenlandic diet. They demonstrated that Greenlanders were the most meat-eating population known at that time. The Danish doctors Bang and Dyerberg confirmed this in the studies they made between 1970 and 1979. They found that certain poly-unsaturated fatty acids, the so called OMEGA-3 fatty acids, are richly represented in the diet, which consists mainly of seal and small whales. These poly-unsaturated OMEGA-3 fatty acids may explain the low incidence of cardiovascular diseases. It is true that the food in the diet of the western world also includes poly-unsaturated fatty acids, especially since vegetable margarine has replaced butter on most people`s lunch tables, but these belong to another family - OMEGA-6 acids.

Both OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6 are essential substances which the organism needs to get from its diet. OMEGA-3 is particularly well represented in seafood, OMEGA-6 in food from land.

Both these fats are structural elements in every single cell in the organism, and can to some extent replace each other. But it is very important whether it is one type or the other that forms part of the blood platelets. The more OMEGA-6, the stronger the tendency for the blood platelets to clot. This lays the basis for thrombosis, and to some extent for atherosclerosis. In the diet of the western world, the ratio of OMEGA-6 to OMEGA-3 is 50:1 (that is 50 kilos of meat for every kilo of fish). In the Inuit diet the ratio is 1:1.

These studies created the basis for the fish oil boom. The large quantities of OMEGA-3 in fish could be extracted, concentrated and sold as medicine at high prices. The raw material price for refined sardine oil is between DKR 3 and 4 per kilo, while the selling price for capsules is about DKR 1,000 per kilo. The raw material is so cheap that it is used as heating fuel in some places.

However, new studies have shown that fish oil has no effect on atherosclerosis. Nor does fish oil seem to have influence on either the cholesterol content in the blood or the formation of free radicals.

For the last two years Greenland has been participation in the International Atherosclerosis Project. This is a project supervised by experts at the Louisiana State University in New Orleans in the USA. Among other things, they have studied the coronary arteries of the hearts of over 23,000 deceased persons from sixteen different countries. It is the coronary arteries that the fatal blood clots form.

The provisional results of the new studies in Greenland have shown that atherosclerosis is far less widespread among the Inuit than elsewhere in the world. But there are also great individual differences. Inuit who have lived on the diet of the western world have developed atherosclerosis just as in Europe and the USA. But a seventy year old who has lived on the traditional Inuit diet of seal and whale has coronary arteries that are just as elastic as those of a twenty year old Dane.

Advertisements for fish oil claim that Inuit have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease because they eat a lot of fish. This is not the case. Inuit do not eat very much fish, and have never done so. This was also evident from Bang and Dyerberg`s studies. On average, they only ate fish once or twice a week, while they ate seal or whale twice a day! Many nations eat much more fish than Greenland, and interestingly enough these nations have a far higher incidence of atherosclerosis.

Another interesting thing is that more fish eating nations on average have a higher cholesterol level than people in Greenland. Calculations have been done to estimate how much one could lower the cholesterol count of a European if he ate Inuit food. It emerges that the figure one arrives at is still higher than the cholesterol level in Inuit. So there must be something else in the Inuit diet that can lower the cholesterol count - something other than OMEGA-3 fats.

A person with a high level of cholesterol came to the National Hospital in Nuuk. He had tried different diets and medicinal treatment, but his cholesterol count was still higher than was good for him. He was urged to eat only traditional Greenlandic food. In just a month his cholesterol count fell by a whole 70%. Of course, more work is being done on this observation. It is essential to find out which elements in the diet have such a dramatic effect. As a first step we have been looking more closely at seal blubber.

In the work of extracting oil from seal blubber, it was striking to see how stable this oil is. Some oil has been kept for two months in a small, open jar and, despite the fact it had been standing in the furnace room, it had not gone off. It has been since confirmed that seal oil contains large quantities of Vitamin E and selenium as well as some anti-oxidants which protect it from oxidation and thus from becoming rancid.

There is also a process of going rancid in the human organism, but here it is a much more dangerous matter. The constant oxidation process leaves the very toxic free radicals which we now know are one of the factors that start off a wide variety of illnesses. And anti-oxidants have in fact become a popular article in health food stores.

About ten years ago, in the Greenlandic hunting community of Siorapaluk, the northern most settlement in the world, it was established that there was a very high selenium content in a number of blood tests. The level was between ten and twenty times higher than in Europeans and Americans. So we must presume that the free radicals do not have much of a chance with an Inuk.

Atherosclerosis is still not a widespread disease in Greenland. The traditional hunting of sea mammals is kind to the environment and shows consideration for the animals hunted. But after the campaign against sealskin in particular, it is not very profitable and the traditional diet is having to compete hard with the cheap chicken dishes and minced meats sold in the Greenland shops of today.

The Inuit have always known that you need to eat seal and whale to stay in good health. Science is now also arriving at the conclusion that the diet of the Inuit has qualities that have gone unrecognized hitherto.

Seal oil is also more efficiently absorbed by humans due to its molecular structure. After all, seals are mammals just as humans are mammals.

"Seal Oil is Key to Enjoying Good Health Seal oil from Terra Nova brand free of heavy metals. It's clean, pure and has no cholesterol...No vegetable oil or fish can do what this food does." (Published in: The Seniors Choice (June 2000 issue) Okanogan / Similkameen British Columbia Edition)

- by Dr. Neil McKinney, Alternative Medicine - Inuit love to each seal meat and blubber. Seals love to eat fish, mostly cod and capelin. When the fish fat goes through the natural filter of a seal and on into a person, it is then in a form that absorbs beautifully, and works immediately.

Beneficial Effects of Seal Oil

In the diet of the western world, the ratio of OMEGA-6 to OMEGA-3 is 50:1 (that is 50 kilos of meat for every kilo of fish). In the Inuit diet the ratio is 1:1.

At the website ( we read:

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could help prevent and treat a wide range of diseases, according to studies presented during the International Conference on Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Nutrition and Disease Prevention in Barcelona. And a leading expert predicted that the role of essential fatty acids generally - and omega-3 PUFAs in particular - will grow still further.

"The appreciation that omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in human development, physiology and in the treatment and prevention of certain diseases, is a recent phenomenon," said William Connor, Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland. "The papers presented during this conference shows the diversity of roles that omega-3 fatty acids play in human development and disease." Dr. Connor reminded delegates that omega-3 fatty acids are critical components in the membranes of nerves, retina and brains. As a result, ensuring an adequate dietary intake of omega-3 PUFAs and other essential fatty acids -which cannot be synthesised by the body - is important. The daily requirement is probably around a teaspoon of essential fatty acids a day. "The signs of omega-3 deficiency in infancy are subtle," Dr. Connor said. "For example, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in infants can translate into impaired vision, abnormalities on the electroretinogram - which measures retinal nerve function - and behavioural changes such as polydypsia (excessive thirst), hyperactivity and perhaps less cognitive ability. Some of these changes have been described only in subhuman primates." Fetuses receive omega-3 fatty acids from the maternal diet and new-borns from human milk. "So it's clearly essential for pregnant and breast feeding women to ensure their dietary intake of omega-3 PUFA is adequate," Dr. Connor added. "For example, the synthesis of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from alphalinolenic acid is sluggish in new-born babies. As docosahexaenoic acid is critical for neural function, membranes and growth it should likely be included in infant formulas." Dr. Connor commented that other preventative roles for the omega-3 fatty acids have emerged over the last 20 years. "The list of diseases in which omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil may play a role is so large that cautious scepticism may be warranted," he said. "Nevertheless, the data is fairly convincing. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to reduce certain symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, some skin conditions and cardiovascular diseases ranging from hypertension, through atherosclerosis, to hyperlipidaemia and cardiac arrhythmias. And the list grows longer each year. There are undoubtedly still some interesting discoveries waiting to be made in this very exciting field." International Conference on Highly unsaturated fatty acids in nutrition and disease prevention.

Omega 3 and Infants

DHA is essential for normal eye and brain development An inadequate supply of DHA (in some cases also ARA) during CNS development gives cause for concern because of possible long-term effects on visual and cognitive functions. Some researchers also suggest that DHA deficiencies during this rapid period of development cause irreversible damage to the brain and nerve tissue. Since fetuses and newborns have improper enzyme system to elongate alfa-linolenic acid to DHA, they must rely on the pre-formed DHA in the mothers milk (or alternatively - DHA supplemented milk formula).


The intrauterine accretion of DHA (and ARA) is vital for the growth and development of the infant. Preterm infants and babies with intrauterine growth retardation are often born with deficiencies of these fatty acids. DHA deficiencies have shown to lead to visual dysfunction and suppressed mental and psycomotoric development, whereas it has been suggested that decreased ARA-levels in blood reflect slightly suppressed growth (Carlson et al, 1993). There is no doubt that DHA is essential for the preterm baby or even that short term DHA supplementation influences visual acuity at age of 12 months. It has been suggested that DHA supplementation (0.2% DHA) increases the speed of visual processing in preterm infants (Carlson et al, 1995). It is currently recommended to fortify preterm formula with DHA and ARA in amounts of: 60-100mg ARA/kg bodyweight/day and 35-75mg DHA/kg bodyweight/day (ISSFAL Board meeting 1994).


Healthy, term infants fed breast milk (containing on average 0.2%DHA of total fatty acids) are known to have better visual function and higher DHA levels in their blood than those fed standard milk formula (without DHA). A positive correlation has been observed between erythrocyte DHA and the visual acuity. The higher content of DHA in the brain of breast fed infants may also explain why they have better neural development compared to formula fed infants. Formulas enriched with ARA (0.44%) and DHA (0.3%) gave a developmental score (DS) similar to those seen in infants who were breast fed for 4 months. Infants on DHA rich diets scored significantly better on DS than infants on standard formulas (without long chain PUFAs) (Agostini et al, 1995). Formulas containing alpha-linolenic acid do not seem to maintain DHA-levels in blood of the newborn at amounts comparable to human milk fed infants. Where breast feeding is not possible, it has been suggested that a daily minimum of 30mg DHA (approx 0.2g/100g fatty acids) should be added to the formula to prevent cortical deficiencies of DHA (Farguharson et al, 1993). The EU-Directive on infant formula (1995) specifies that if long chained omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are added, they should not exceed 1% of the total fatty acids, and that EPA levels should be lower than DHA-levels.

Omega-3 seal oil capsules are commercially available in drugstores and health food stores across Canada

At the website ( they criticize flaxseed saying:

The very young, the ageing and those suffering from various ailments may find their bodies unable to convert flaxseed oil to omega 3. Actually - the excess of omega 6 is likely to block the body's ability to make omega 3's from other fatty acids. When we couple the fact that flaxseed oil contains three times more omega 6 than does GateWay with the fact that flaxseed oil is not a natural omega 3, it is difficult to believe that flaxseed oil could effectively reduce the dangerous omega 3 - omega 6 imbalance. E.In their book called Protein Power: Michael and Mary Eades state: " . . . But taking flax seed oil is kind of like buying crude oil and running it through your home distillery to make gasoline for you car. If that's the only ay you can get gasoline, then that's what you have to do. If you can buy the gasoline already distilled, however, it is much more efficient to do that and avoid the hassle of the home distillation process."

A website says the following about flaxseed being good for dogs but not for cats:

The modern processed diet, especially one based on dry, low-fat dog food, may not provide adequate DHA. This is especially true for breeding females and puppies. Based on the sum of research, Bauer recommends a serving of fatty fish or one to two tablespoons fish oil every two to three days.

Although LNA is not considered essential for canines, one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day can give healthy dogs more lustrous coats.13 Dog, horse and sheep breeders have added flaxseed to feed for years to improve animal coat condition

Refined, processed canola and soybean oils are not good sources of LNA because seed varieties with low levels of LNA are grown for oil pressing, and the remaining LNA is further destroyed during processing.14 Cold-pressed, unrefined flaxseed oil is a more reliable source of LNA.

PUFAs For Pussy Cats Unlike domestic dogs, house cats have retained their hunting instincts and are not entirely dependent on humans for food. Kittens without human contact revert to feral behavior and cannot be socialized as adults. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds to live and reproduce.15 As such, felines have specific metabolic differences from humans and dogs.11

Cats cannot make vitamin A from beta-carotene and require preformed vitamin A from animal sources. Felines metabolize carbohydrates poorly and can neither tolerate nor thrive on a high-carbohydrate diet. Cats have high protein requirements but cannot easily replace protein in the diet with other energy sources to conserve body protein. In starvation conditions, cats waste their own muscles in a matter of days. The amino acids arginine and taurine are essential for cats. Lack of these in the diet rapidly causes blindness and death. Only animal protein provides arginine and taurine at the levels cats require.

Naturally, feline PUFA metabolism is strictly carnivorous. Cats do not eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, or seeds in their natural diet and have no need for vegetable oils, either. Cats lack some of the enzymes that enable humans and dogs to convert LA to LC-PUFAs. Because cats cannot synthesize AA, their daily requirement for AA is so high that it must be provided in the diet.12

Cats need only a small amount of LA (less than humans or dogs), but a normal diet supplies it and there is no need to supplement. Cats cannot make GLA from LA, but they do not seem to need much. However, GLA is helpful for cats with skin and coat problems.16 Show cats and long-haired cats may also benefit from GLA. Squeeze a 500 to 1,300 mg capsule of borage or evening primrose oil into moist food daily or every other day, or use an oil blend as described below.

DHA is critical for cats, but they cannot make it from LNA because of the same reasons they cannot convert LA to LC-PUFAs.16 Kittens born to cats deprived of DHA may have visual and some nervous system defects.17 Fish oil is the only currently acceptable n-3 PUFA supplement for cats. Algal DHA may be effective, but it is expensive and has never been tested on cats. Also, vegetable matter is not part of a cat's normal diet, and algal DHA has no EPA, which could be important. Cats fed dry food or rarely fed fish may be in need of n-3 LC-PUFAs. DHA deficiency quickly reduces a cat's vision, immunity, and breeding performance.8,11,17 Cats also suffer from hereditary and age-related retinal degeneration, conditions linked to reduced retinal DHA levels.8 I recommend mixing one to two tablespoons fish oil or a fish oil and borage/evening primrose oil blend with moist cat food daily.

Pet Foods And PUFAs Pet owners cannot rely on commercial pet foods to supply adequate PUFA levels. This is especially true of dry, low-fat pet foods and "bargain" brands. High-quality fish flavors of canned cat food are the best source of essential PUFAs. This is one reason why cats do not develop coat and skin conditions as often as dogs do. However, not getting enough LC-PUFAs adversely affects cats' immune systems and eyesight faster than in dogs because they can't make the enzymatic conversions.11

More expensive, premium pet foods generally meet n-6 PUFA requirements, but not all brands contain adequate n-3 PUFAs. Owners should consistently feed their pets both fresh raw meat (especially organ meat) and fish. A cat's desire to hunt is not only instinct but, some people believe, is also because they crave the nutrients in fresh, raw game meat that are lacking in their diets.

It is important that pets receive supplementation with a broad range of antioxidants in addition to PUFAs. Cats in particular have high vitamin A and E requirements relative to humans and dogs. Working together, antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, selenium, and many herbal phytochemicals prevent PUFAs from oxidizing. Unlike humans, dogs and cats make their own vitamin C, so supplementation is necessary only when the animal is under stress, and doses are much lower than used for humans.

The following is about canola from the website (

Truth and Myths about Canola

A great deal of misinformation about canola's safety has been distributed by certain individuals. Impartial professionals in the fields of nutrition, biology and food science were contacted to provide the answers below. We have listed the statements made in the form of questions and answers to better help you understand what is fact and what is fiction or myth.

Q: Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers, but where does canola oil come from--is canola oil rapeseed oil?

A: No. Canola oil comes from canola seed. Canola is the name given to a very healthy oil that was developed from rapeseed. But it is not rapeseed oil and has vastly different fatty acid and other properties than rapeseed oil. Canola was developed using traditional plant breeding methods to remove undesirable qualities in rapeseed. In terms of their properties, canola oil is as different from rapeseed oil as olive oil is as different from corn oil.

Q: Are canola oil and rapeseed oil poisonous to living things?

A: No. However, since rapeseed oil has high levels of erucic acid, canola oil is healthier for you. Rapeseed oil is not used in our food supply except in minute amounts as an emulsifier in a few processed foods. For example, some brands of peanut butter contain minute amounts of rapeseed oil to prevent the peanut oil separating from the peanut butter. This use is approved by Canadian and U.S. food regulatory agencies backed by research showing this use is absolutely safe. The rapeseed oil used in these few processed foods is fully hydrogenated and, therefore, no longer rapeseed oil. Full hydrogenation of rapeseed oil results in the total saturation of erucic acid. When erucic acid is fully hydrogenated, it forms a common saturated fatty acid called behenic acid. Behenic acid is naturally present in peanuts, peanut oil and peanut butter. A few processed food labels may say the products contain rapeseed oil (as an emulsifier) but since the rapeseed oil has been fully hydrogenated, it is not rapeseed oil. Rapeseed is grown on very limited acreages under contract between the grower and the buyer (it doesn't get into the regular grain handling system). Liquid high erucic acid rapeseed oil is used for industrial purposes and cannot be purchased in food stores. Canola oil has been thoroughly tested and is guaranteed safe for humans. Plus it can lower blood cholesterol and has other health benefits.

Q: Can canola oil and rapeseed be used as lubricants, penetrating oils, fuel, soap, paints, etc?

A: Yes. However, canola is not alone. Other vegetable oils, like corn, soybean and flax can also be used industrially to make lubricants, oils, fuel, soaps, paints, plastics, cosmetics, inks, etc. In fact, any organic hydrocarbon (including ALL vegetable oils) can be processed and denatured to make industrial chemicals. Proteins in milk can be used to make glue and wheat can be used to make ethanol, an ingredient in "gasohol." But because you can do this doesn't make the approved food forms like canola oil or corn oil, for example, that you buy at the store somehow poisonous or harmful. The food forms of all these oils are safe. Canola oil is even safer since it has the most healthy fatty acid profile of any commonly used oil.

Q: Does canola oil turn rancid very fast and leave a residual rancid odour on clothing?

A: No. Canola oil shelf life stored at room temperature is roughly one year. The shelf life of other vegetable oils stored at room temperature is similar.

Q: Does canola oil or rapeseed oil cause emphysema, respiratory distress, anaemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans?

A: No. After extensive animal and human testing, canola oil has been proven to be absolutely safe to consume and will not produce these or any other diseases or ailments.

Q: Was canola developed using genetic engineering or irradiation?

A: No. Canola was developed using traditional plant breeding methods. The goal of traditional plant breeding is to "mate" or cross a plant which has one desirable trait such as heat resistance (which makes the plant hardy in drought conditions) with a plant that may not be heat resistant but which carries another desired trait. The offspring of this crossing are then mated until a plant emerges that has the desirable traits of both "parent" plants. Dozens of generations of plants may need to be crossed before the ideal plant emerges.

Q: Does the Canadian government subsidize canola oil to industries involved in food processing?

A: No. Canada's food processors use canola oil because it is in demand by consumers looking for more healthy food.

Q: Have human studies been conducted on the consumption of canola oil?

A: Yes. Clinical studies conducted over the past 20 years, which have involved thousands of healthy volunteers, examined the role of canola oil in lowering blood cholesterol levels and reducing risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Please see the lists on these Web pages:

Q: Was GRAS status for canola oil purchased from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

A: No. GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status was granted following the submission of a lengthy petition, which detailed years of research on the health effects of canola oil in human and animal diets.

Q: Is canola made of a "very long chain fatty acid oil (c22)" that can cause a degenerative disease?

A: No. Canola oil's fatty acid profile consists predominantly (over 90%) of the 18 carbon unsaturated fatty acids oleic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Canola does not cause or contribute to any disease, in fact, it can improve health. The positive effects of canola's unsaturated fatty acids on certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, are well documented.

Q: Does canola form "latex like substances which agglutinate red blood corpuscles?"

A: No. In fact, canola oil is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, for short. ALA is the essential omega-3 fatty acid and is required in the human diet because our bodies cannot make it. Numerous animal and clinical studies show that ALA has many of the same beneficial effects on blood clotting, platelet aggregation and the vascular system as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.

Q: Is mustard gas made from canola oil?

A: No. Mustard gas is an oily volatile liquid which got its name from its mustard-like odour. It bears no relation to canola, or any other plant member of the mustard family.

Q: Is it true in China rapeseed oil was found to emit harmful emissions when heated?

A: Yes. However, the study also found that other vegetable oils produced the same emissions under the same conditions. But, the use of refined oils and much lower cooking temperatures (as used in Canada and the U.S.) prevent these emissions. We do not use rapeseed oil for cooking in North America (and the oil isn't available in food stores). We use canola oil which has vastly improved nutritional and other properties. Most people in China cook with unrefined rapeseed oil, which is not processed to remove contaminants, and it contains no antioxidants. All vegetable frying oils used in Canada and the U.S. (and many other countries) are refined and frequently contain antioxidants which help prevent harmful emissions during frying. Temperatures during wok cooking in China are higher than used in Canada and the U.S. This combination of frying with unrefined rapeseed oil at very high frying temperatures (to the point where the oil produces a thick, black smoke) can produce harmful emissions.

Q: Is canola oil safe for animals and humans?

A: Yes. Before being approved for food use, canola oil was required to go through stringent animal feeding trials to ensure it was a safe edible oil. And a great deal of research has been done which shows the benefits of incorporating canola oil into human diets. The low level of saturates, high level of monounsaturates, and intermediate levels of both essential fatty acids give canola oil a very attractive fatty acid profile. When used as part of a balanced diet, canola oil has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and have a beneficial effect on clot formation, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Canola oil contains just 7% saturated fat compared to, for example, 15% for olive oil, 19% from peanut oil and 12% for sunflower oil.

Q: Is either rapeseed oil or canola oil linked to mad cow disease?

A: No. Mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopthy or BSE) results from feeding sheep offal to cattle. A similar condition, scrapie, has long been known in sheep. Whole sheep carcasses, including brain and spinal tissue, were used to prepare protein meals for cattle. Scientific evidence indicates that BSE is caused by a prion, a small glycoprotein, which somehow invokes the production of a special kind of protein in the central nervous system of susceptible animals. There is no connection between prions and canola oil.

Q: Can canola kill insects like aphids?

A: Yes. But so can ALL other oils including olive, corn, sunflower, peanut, etc. These oils kill aphids by suffocation, not by poisoning them. Vegetable oils in general are recommended by many horticulturists as a non-chemical, more environmentally friendly insect control method.

Canola and the Good News about Dietary Fat

Choose the vegetable oil with the best nutritional profile,the one low in saturated fat, moderate in monounsaturated fat (to help reduce blood cholesterol levels) and a source of omega-3 fatty acids (for growth, reproduction and vision). Your best choice?Many health professionals agree it is canola!

Nutritionists have had one consistent message for consumers when it comes to their eating patterns: eat less fat. While this dietary advice is still right on target, nutritionists now realize that the type of fat in the diet is also important. Canola oil provides a unique blend of fatty acids that contributes to good health.

Canola Contains Essential Fatty Acids

Canola oil contains two fatty acids that are essential in our diets. These polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) must be obtained from foods because our bodies cannot manufacture them. They play important roles in growth, reproduction and vision; in maintaining healthy skin and cell structure; in the metabolism of cholesterol; and in regulating genes, the genetic material found in every cell of the body. They may also be beneficial in preventing heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega What?

The term omega refers to the chemical structure of the fatty acid. Sometimes the letter n is substituted for the word omega. So, linoleic acid can be called an omega-6 or n-6 fatty acid; alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 or n-3 fatty acid.

Linoleic Acid is Important...

This omega-6 fatty acid is a major component of brain tissue and cell membranes and is required for the growth and the development of infants. When the diet is low in linoleic acid, virtually all organ systems are impaired. The central nervous system, the eye and platelets in the bloodstream are particularly vulnerable to a deficiency of linoleic acid.

... Alpha-Linolenic Acid, too

The major omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They have been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (Triglycerides are fats that travel in the bloodstream to storage sites in the body.)

The omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart attacks and strokes, and they also play a role in reducing the inflammation of joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid required for the development of the eye and brain in infants.

Dietary Sources

Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid found in leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds of and oils made from seeds of canola.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in plant leaves, flaxseed, walnuts, red and black currant seeds and some vegetable oils such as canola. In fact, the alpha-linolenic acid content of canola oil is higher than that of other vegetable oils available in supermarkets today. Two other omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are found in human milk and fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, trout, sardines and blue fin tuna.

Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid can also be found in food products made from vegetable oils like canola oil.

Canola is not Rapeseed

Rapeseed is not a word that can be used in the place of canola. Canola was derived from the rapeseed plant using traditional plant breeding methods. The two differ in their chemical composition and nutritional qualities.

Canola Offers the Best Blend

Canola oil offers the best mix of fatty acids -it is low in saturated fat and provides a moderate amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Canola oil is second only to olive oil as a rich source of monounsaturated fat. Canola's unique fatty acid profile has important implications for health.

Studies in animals, patients with coronary heart disease and healthy volunteers consistently show that diets high in saturated fat raise blood cholesterol. Canola oil, by virtue of its being low in saturated fat, can be substituted for more saturated vegetable oils, margarines and butter to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Even explorers in Antarctica had lower blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) when they used canola oil and canola margarine instead of their regular oil and margarine during the long winter! This fairly simple dietary change improved the explorers' blood lipid profile. North American consumers can enjoy the same benefits by using canola oil in their diets.

Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fat that, when substituted for saturated fat in the diet, helps to reduce blood cholesterol. Moreover, large-scale population studies show an inverse relation between consumption of monounsaturated fat and risk of coronary heart disease. In other words, populations with high intakes of monounsaturated fat for example, people living in Mediterranean countries where olive oil is consumed widely are less likely to die from heart attacks. In North America, canola oil is a leading source of monounsaturated fat.

Canola also contains linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, two polyunsaturated fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels when substituted for saturated fat in the diet. Alpha-linolenic acid, in particular, appears to protect against cardiovascular diseases. For example, people who consume alpha-linolenic acid regularly have a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes than people with low intakes of this fatty acid. Furthermore, alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory responses and may be beneficial for people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Today's busy consumers want foods that taste good and boost health. Canola oil fits the bill. It has a unique blend of fatty acids that provides health benefits especially for people at risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Plus, its mild flavour makes it ideal for baking, braising and frying and for use in salad dressings, sauces and baked goods.


1. Caggiula AW, Mustad VA. Effects of dietary fat and fatty acids on coronary artery disease risk and total and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations: Epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65(Suppl):1597S-1610S.

2. Caughey GE, et al. The effect on human tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 1 production of diets enriched in n-3 fatty acids from vegetable oil or fish oil. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:116-122.

3. de Lorgeril M, et al. Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: Final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation 1999;99:779-785.

4. Dietschy JM. Dietary fatty acids and the regulation of plasma low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. J Nutr 1998;128:444S-448S.

5. National Cholesterol Education Program. Report of the Expert Panel on Population Strategies for Blood Cholesterol Reduction. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Pub. No. 903046, 1990.

6. Sessler AM, Ntambi JM. Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene expression. J Nutr 1998;128:923-926.

For further information on this, or any other subject related to canola, please contact:

Canola Council of Canada 400-167 Lombard Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T6 Phone (204) 982-2100 Fax (204) 942-1841

Alberta Canola Producers Commission 170, 14315-118 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5L 4S6 Phone (780) 454-0844 Fax (780) 451-6933

Canola Information Service Box 1645 Lloydminster SK S9V 1K6 Phone (306) 387-6610 Fax (306) 387-6637

Manitoba Canola Growers Association Box 1672 Carman, MB R0G 0J0 Phone (204) 745-2178 Fax (204) 745-6134

Factsheet researched and written by Diane H. Morris, Ph.D, R.D.

The following is from a website on the benefits of flax (

What is Flax?

Flax is a blue flowering crop grown on the Prairies of Canada for its oil-rich seeds. The seeds of flax are tiny, smooth and flat, and range in colour from light to reddish brown. They serve a variety of purposes, including baking and other food uses.

Flaxseed As a Food

Because of its link to good health, flaxseed is fast becoming a new food in many diets. Bakers and commercial food companies use flaxseed as a unique ingredient in everything from yeast breads, to bagels and cookie mixes. Not only do muffins and breads baked with flax taste great, but studies also find that these foods provide health benefits.

Omega-3 enriched eggs from hens fed rations containing flaxseed are also very popular. These eggs contain eight to 10 times more omega-3 fatty acids than regular eggs. Two of the enriched eggs supply more than half Health Canada`s recommended daily intake of omega- 3s for adult men and women.

Why Flaxseed Is Good Medicine

Current nutrition research continues to identify various substances in foods that appear to act as protectors against chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Flaxseed, a popular food ingredient in Europe and Canada, is no exception. The reasons are many:

Several studies confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent like oat bran, fruit pectin and other food ingredients that contain soluble fibre. By packaging both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre together, flaxseed presents two ingredients that favour healthy blood lipid patterns.

Flaxseed contains healthy amounts of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Scientists at the American National Cancer Institute singled out flaxseed as one of six foods that deserved special study. The reason: flaxseed shows potential cancer-fighting ability. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen which may protect against cancer, particularly hormone-sensitive cancers such as those of the breast and prostate.

A Focus on Fatty Acids

Part of the reason fats and oils have earned such a bad reputation in recent years is because people eat too much fat, particularly too much saturated fat. (Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk for heart disease.)

Although about 41 per cent of flaxseed is oil, very little of that is saturated. More than 70 per cent of fat in flaxseed is of the healthful polyunsaturated type. In fact, a unique feature of flaxseed is the high ratio of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) to linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids).

Nutritionists consider these two polyunsaturated fatty acids as essential because the body cannot manufacture them from any other substances. (Normally, the body converts carbohydrates, proteins and fats into fatty acids as needed.) That means they must be eaten as part of the diet.

While other plant seeds -corn, sunflower, peanuts -contain omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, flaxseed is the only one that contains so much of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Understanding how these two types of polyunsaturated fat differ, can help underscore why flaxseed has so many unique health benefits.

Fatty Acid Composition of Flaxseed Oil

% of total fatty acids Saturated fatty acids 9 Monounsaturated 18 Polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 fatty acids 57 Omega-6 fatty acids 16

More than half the fat in flaxseed is of the essential omega-3 fatty acid type. Scientific studies reporting health benefits for omega-3 fatty acids show that these fatty acids are required for proper infant growth and development. Cholesterol can be reduced by adding flaxseed to the diet. New research also suggests that alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid which is abundant in flaxseed, offers protective effects against both coronary heart disease and stroke. Omega-3s have been shown to also protect against hypertension, and inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Long-term studies of flaxseed effects on breast cancer are now underway.

Omega-6 fatty acids âÃAn essential fatty acid, linoleic is the chief polyunsaturated fat in the North American diet. Most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet come from vegetable oils.

Ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s:
 Studies of hunter-gatherer populations show their diets contained roughly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega -3 fatty acids. Currently, researchers and nutrition experts recommend people replace some omega-6 fatty acids in their diet with omega-3 fatty acids like those found in flaxseed.

A Focus on Fibre

What makes flaxseed stand out above other whole grains is also its mix of fibre. Rather than containing large amounts of one type of fibre, flaxseed contains generous quantities of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Researchers are particularly interested in the cancer-fighting ability of lignans. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of lignans in the plant kingdom.

Soluble fibre - Most of the soluble fibre in flaxseed is mucilage, a thick, sticky substance. Few studies have looked at the direct effects of flaxseed mucilage on health. But studies show that eating flaxseed (baked into muffins and breads) can lower blood cholesterol levels.

Since it is well known that soluble fibres- fruit pectin, oat bran or mustard seed mucilage-are effective cholesterol-lowering agents, it's likely that the soluble fibre in flaxseed is no exception.

Insoluble fibre - Not surprisingly, studies show that the insoluble fibre in flaxseed, like that in wheat bran, is helpful for regulating bowel movements and preventing constipation. Because flaxseed's insoluble fibre components have the capacity to hold water, they help soften the stool and allow it to move through the colon more quickly.

Lignans - When bacteria in the digestive tract act on plant lignans these compounds are converted into potent hormone-like substances. Research with animals suggests that the newly formed compounds may be capable of blocking the action of certain cancer-causing substances in the body, substances that can contribute to the formation of tumours.

Currently,scientists are trying to determine how effective lignans and other chemicals in foods (phytochemicals) are at preventing cancer. They are also looking over evidence that suggests the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed are potential anticarcinogens.

An Overview of Health Benefits

Recent scientific reports point out that flaxseed can have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels to laxation to cancer and heart disease.

Here are some highlights:

Relief from constipation

Eating 50 grams of flaxseed per day (baked into muffins) helped increase the frequency of bowel movements and the number of consecutive days with bowel movements in a group of older Canadian adults.

A lower risk for heart disease

Total cholesterol levels dropped 9 per cent and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) decreased 18 per cent when a group of nine healthy women ate 50 grams of milled flaxseed a day for four weeks (as flour or cooked into bread) along with their regular diets, according to a report from the University of Toronto.

In a similar study with men and women, 50 grams of flaxseed (eaten daily in muffins) lowered total cholesterol and showed a constant trend of about 11 to 16 per cent lower serum lipids (fat in the blood).

Cancer prevention

Lignans and alpha-linolenic acid are found abundantly in flaxseed. Population studies of diet and disease risk suggest an anticancer role for flaxseed. Long-term studies of flaxseed effects in women with breast cancer are underway.

What's the Best Nutrition Advice?

It's following North American dietary guidelines. These guidelines for a healthful diet offer advice for healthy people two years of age or more. By following the dietary guidelines, you can enjoy better health and reduce your chances of getting certain diseases - such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and the most common type of diabetes. These guidelines are the best, most up-to-date advice from nutrition experts.

Eat a variety of foods. Maintain healthy weight.Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

The Omega-3 Connection

The major component of flaxseed, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), heads the omega-3 fatty acid family. The omega-3 fatty acids, and particularly ALA, are recognized contributors to good health in infants and adults.

ALA is receiving special attention for its role in heart health. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from eggs has been reported to reduce blood pressure and serum triglycerides in humans. Researchers have also noted those omega-3 fatty acids decrease platelet activity. (Aggregating platelets contribute to plaque formation in arteries which can lead to coronary artery disease.) In fact, researchers have reported that consuming as little as 800 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from eggs per week significantly reduced platelet aggregation in a human study group.

Omega-3 enriched eggs have an important role to play in the diets of consumers and can lead to the prevention of disease. In addition to increasing the ALA content of the diet, some of the ALA elongates in the body into two other omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Therefore, one omega-3 enriched egg provides nearly half of the optimal intake level of ALA, and about one-quarter of the optimal intake level of EPA and DHA.

At present, levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the modern human diet are historically low in comparison to those of omega-6 fatty acids. Nutrition experts, including Health Canada, recommend an increase in the intake of ALA to 0.5% of total energy.

Why Add Flaxseed to Laying Hen Rations?

People are paying close attention to the foods they eat, modifying their diets to maintain good health. The fat content of the diet is of particular interest to those concerned about heart disease. Health-conscious consumers are looking for food products which contain the important omega-3 fatty acids, and especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in which flaxseed is so rich.

The fat composition of flaxseed is unique. It contains a very high content of polyunsaturated fat, and 57% ALA.

Including flaxseed in the rations of the laying hen alters the fatty acid composition of the egg yolk, increasing its omega-3 fatty acid content. The resulting enriched eggs provide a convenient way for people to improve their omega-3 intake and achieve better health.

Using flaxseed as 10 or 20% of a poultry ration can increase the ALA content of egg yolk fat from 0.4% in the ordinary egg to 4.6% and 8.9%, respectively.

What Is the Effect of Flaxseed Rations on Yolk Fatty Acids?

When feeding milled flaxseed to laying hens, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the yolk increases proportionately with increasing dietary inclusion. For example, feeding 5% milled flaxseed yields approximately 8.5 mg/g yolk ALA, 10% yields an average of 16.3 mg/g of yolk, 15% provides about 19 mg/g yolk, and 20% has been reported to provide 30 mg/g of yolk. Accordingly, researchers have reported amounts of ALA as 5.8 and 8.8% of total yolk fatty acids following feeding of 8 or 16% full-fat flaxseed, respectively.

Studies also show an increase in yolk docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) following flaxseed supplementation. Several studies have reported DHA yolk content from flaxseed in rations to range between 5-7 mg/g of yolk.

Flaxseed Laying-Hen Rations

Length of feeding time

The incorporation of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) into egg yolk from flaxseed-enriched rations is a gradual process, occurring over several weeks. Researchers have determined egg-yolk fatty acids after 14, 90, and 180 days. Consistent yolk ALA was obtained between 14 and 90 days of feeding. Scientists have reported that yolk ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic (DHA) contents stabilized after four weeks of feeding.

Importantly, once the desired yolk omega-3 fatty acid contents are obtained, the dietary supply of omega-3 fatty acid must remain consistent. Researchers reported a 20% reduction in yolk ALA following just one a week of feeding an omega-3 fatty acid-free-ration to previously supplemented hens.

Addition of vitamin E

Researchers have reported a 2% increase in hen/day egg production when hens fed either typical or omega-3 fatty-acid-rich rations were further supplemented with 50 IU of vitamin E per kg diet. Researchers have reported that excess dietary vitamin E is deposited in egg yolk such that yolks may contain up to eight times the content normally found in an egg. This excess yolk vitamin E could further enhance the nutritional quality of omega-3 fatty acid- rich eggs. The flavour quality of vitamin E/omega-3 fatty acids enriched eggs may also be superior to eggs solely containing enhanced omega-3 fatty acids.

Current practice in feed formulation is to stabilize flaxseed with the addition of a tocopherol/ Vitamin E antioxidant at the level of 10 mg/100g of feed.


The opportunity for economic gain from the production of omega-3 fatty acid enriched eggs is significant. As omega-3 enriched eggs offer a taste and quality similar to regular eggs, but with enhanced nutrition, this segment of the egg market should continue to grow. At present, in Canada, omega-3 enriched eggs account for about 4% of the shell egg market.

In a consumer survey conducted in Texas in 1994, more than half of those surveyed suggested a willingness to pay more per dozen for these nutritionally enhanced eggs. As consumers become more informed about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, the popularity of the enriched eggs will become more widespread.

At a website ( we read the following about the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats:

Technology is a generous benefactor. To those who have wisely used his gifts he has bestowed freedom from drudgery, freedom to travel, freedom from the discomforts of cold, heat and dirt, and freedom from ignorance, boredom and oppression. But father technology has not brought us freedom from disease. Chronic illness in industrialized nations has reached epic proportions because we have been dazzled by his stepchildren -- fast foods, fractionated foods, convenience foods, packaged foods, fake foods,embalmed foods, ersatz foods -- all the bright baubles that fill up the shelves at our grocery stores, convenience markets, vending machines and even health food stores.

The premise of this book is that modern food choices and preparation techniques constitute a radical change from the way man has nourished himself for thousands of years and, from the perspective of history, represent a fad that not only has severely compromised his health and vitality, but may well destroy him; and that the culinary traditions of our ancestors, and the food choices and preparation techniques of healthy non industrialized peoples, should serve as the model for contemporary eating habits,even and especially during this modern technological age.

The first modern researcher to take a careful look at the health and eating habits of isolated traditional societies was a dentist, Dr.Weston Price. Fifty years ago, Dr. Price traveled the world over to observe population groups untouched by civilization, living entirely on local foods. While the diets of these peoples differed in many particulars, they contained several factors in common. Almost without exception, the groups he studied ate liberally of seafood or other animal proteins and fats in the form of organ meats and dairy products; they valued animal fats as absolutely necessary to good health; and they ate fats, meats, fruits,vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains in their natural, unrefined state.

A high portion of these primitive diets consisted of raw foods, of both animal and vegetable origin. In all of these groups -- from isolated Irish and Swiss, from Eskimos to Africans -- Dr. Price observed superb health in almost every member of the tribe or village. They were free of chronic disease, dental decay and mental illness; they were strong, sturdy and attractive; and they produced healthy children with ease, generation after generation. Dr. Price found many occasions to compare these healthy primitives with their civilized counterparts, living on the products of the industrial revolution refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk and sugar. In these peoples, he found rampant tooth decay,diseases both infectious and degenerative, and infertility.

Children born to primitives who had adopted the white man's diet had crowded and crooked teeth, narrowed faces, deformities of bone structure, susceptibility to infectious illness and chronic disease. Studies too numerous to count have confirmed Dr. Price's observations that the civilized diet, particularly the Western diet of refined carbohydrates and devitalized fats and oils, undermines and despoils our God-given genetic inheritance of physical perfection and vibrant health. Later research on the diets of primitive and non industrialized peoples has focussed on their food preparation techniques.

Technology can be a kind father, but only in partnership with his mothering, feminine partner -- the nourishing traditions of our ancestors. These traditions require us to apply more wisdom to the way we produce and process our food, and yes, more time in the kitchen, but they give highly satisfying results -- delicious meals, increased vitality, robust children and freedom from the chains of acute and chronic illness. The wise and loving marriage of modern invention with the sustaining, nurturing food folkways of our ancestors is the partnership that will transform the Twenty-First Century into an age of gold; divorce hastens the physical degeneration of the human race, cheats mankind of his unlimited potential, destroys his will and condemns him to the role of undercitizen in a totalitarian world order.

Trans Fatty Acids

Trans Fatty Acid Fact Sheet From the Desk of: Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

Trans fatty acids that are products mainly of partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, were introduced into human foods in the U.S. beginning in 1910. Greatly increased amounts of partially hydrogenated vegetable fat products were added to human diets in the U.S. beginning in the 1950s.

Four decades ago several researchers tried to alert the medical community and the consuming public to the possible dangers of a high intake of trans fatty acids from the partially hydrogenated fats. Three decades and two decades ago some of the same researchers and some new researchers tried to alert the Congress and several government agencies to the concerns they had about ties to heart disease and cancer from consumption of these partially hydrogenated vegetable fats and oils. Each time this happened, the edible oil industry found various voices willing to help suppress the information. Some university researchers were coopted and several industry white papers were written and widely distributed. The amounts of trans fatty acids in the foods became known through research done at the University of Maryland beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Again the food industry found willing helpers to write coverup pieces and to allay the concerns of those who wondered what to do. These coverup pieces came from trade associations such as the Margarine Manufacturers Association, the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) the American Soybean Association.

Beginning in 1990, research from the Netherlands and the U.S. has been periodically pointing a critical finger at the widely consumed trans fatty acids. The latest research to be reported comes from Dr. Walter Willett's group at the Harvard School of Public Health, and it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reviewed by, e.g., the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This is the ideal place to design your own custom page, filled with whatever you can imagine.

This is the ideal place to design your own custom page, filled with whatever you can imagine.