Since 1998 when this article was written, the scientific
community has built an even stronger case for fatty acids.
As you will read the effects of Omega 3 fatty acids in
relation to our health, are FAR reaching.
Weighty Evidence for Consuming Fatty Acids
By Bill Sardi
In 1929 at the University of Minnesota, scientists placed
rats on a totally non-fat processed food diet. The rats
soon showed signs of dry skin, bloody urine and kidney
disease. Later it was found that two types of fats
initially found in flax seed are essential for sustaining
life -- unsaturated fats of the omega-3 and omega-6
Not long thereafter epidemiologists found, among a
population of 2,400 Greenland Eskimos, only three cases of
heart disease and no cases of diabetes. The Eskimos ate a
diet which consisted almost totally of seal and whale
blubber, with about 40 percent of their calories coming
from fat. The Eskimos were compared to the Danish who
consume about the same percentage of calories
from fat, the difference being the Eskimo diet consisted of
much more omega-3 fat. In almost every disease category
studied the Eskimos were far healthier
than the Danes.
By 1937 C.C. and S.M. Furnas wrote a book entitled The
Story of Man and His Food which said "life without fat is
impossible" and noted that fat is required for proper
development and function of the brain and nervous system.
The book noted then that newborn children have a higher IQ
when fed breast milk which is high in omega-3 fatty acids
compared to formula. Only recently have nutritionists
confirmed this finding. Have these lessons from the past
The Forgotten Omega-3s
The message that omega-3 fats are required to maintain
human health has been lost over the past six decades.
Commercial interests rule and more and more products
provide man-made hydrogenated fats, omega-6 fats or simply
no fat, to the exclusion of the essential omega-3s.
In 1957, the discovery that omega-6 fatty acids in corn oil
lower cholesterol brought about the publication of a book
entitled Vegetable Oils in Nutrition. The book was
published by Mazola Corn Oil and distributed to physicians
nationwide. Now endorsed by doctors, widespread use of corn
oil margarine and cooking oils followed which resulted in
an actual increase in the incidence of heart disease and
Today nearly a third of Americans are considered to be
obese, fat-phobia reigns and fat-free or low-fat products
in stores give naive consumers the idea they will be
healthier by ridding their diet of fat, all kinds of fat.
Michael Fomento's new book The Fat of The Land (Viking
1997) describes America's misinformed approach to weight
control and mistaken ideas about dietary fat.
Fomento dispels the idea that obesity comes from bad genes
and lays the obesity problem simply upon eating too much
food and leading a couch-potato existence. It's a book
every American should read. Fomento's book indicates
dietary fat does not necessarily add pounds, but makes no
mention of the good fats/bad fats argument.
The omega-3 good fats have all but vanished from the
American diet in the last 150 years. While wild game, eggs,
whole grains and fish were the most common sources of
omega-3 fatty acids for human populations for thousands of
years, today populations in advanced countries who largely
consume processed and prepared foods are likely to be
deficient in the omega-3s.
The last regular source of omega-3 oils, grandma's bottle
of cod liver oil, disappeared from the American ice box
when researchers figured out how to synthetically make
vitamin D & provide it in fortified milk to prevent
The Consequences of Omega-3 Deficiency
It's difficult to fathom that such a wide range of health
problems can be traced to a simple dietary deficiency.
Health problems linked to omega-3 deficiency include such
life-threatening diseases, as cardiovascular disease,
diabetes and cancer to nervous and mood disorders including
multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's
disease, schizophrenia, clinical depression, post-partum
depression, attention deficit disorder, low
IQ, hyperactivity in children, glaucoma and retinal
Then there are auto-immune diseases where the body mounts
an attack against glands (thyroid, lacrimal, adrenal),
joints (arthritis) and other organs (eyes-- uveitis, kidney
disease, colitis). Also add chronic headaches,
high triglycerides, menopausal discomfort and skin
disorders to the list.
The Omega-3 Book List
A growing number of books continue to extol the health
benefits of omega-3 fats. The list starts about a decade
ago with the publication of Fats That Can Save Your Life by
Bob Erdman. Says Erdman, "man has made an enemy out of fat
instead of a valued friend."
Then Fats and Oils followed, authored by Udo Erasmus (Alive
Books 1986). Eramus' epic text is meant for the serious
student of fatty acids. Erasmus provides excellent
descriptions of modern processes used to produce cooking
oils, hydrogenated oils and fatty acids as dietary
A decade went by before Donald 0. Rudin, M.D., and Clara
Felix wrote Omega-3 Oils (Avery 1996) and showed how one
doctor used omega-3 fats among a group of 44 patients to
clear up a wide variety of conditions such as glaucoma,
irritable bowel, fatigue, immune disorders, mood problems &
Dr. Rudin says the deficiency of omega-3 has brought a
plague upon mankind that is likened to the dietary
deficiencies that caused pellagra and beri-beri.
The latest and possibly most significant new entry of texts
that extol the health properties of omega-3 fatty acids is
The Omega Plan by Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., and Jo Robinson
(Harper Collins 1998). Dr. Simopoulos
certainly brings prestige to the issue as she is the
president of The Center for Genetics and Human Nutrition in
Washington, D.C., editor of World Review of Nutrition and
Dietetics, and chaired for nine consecutive years the
Nutrition Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes
Dr. Simopoulos doesn't overemphasize science even though
she presents conclusive evidence in her book. Instead, she
shares a traditional diet that has been backed by
scientific findings. Dr. Simopoulos found that the ideal
diet to promote health, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is
that of her native country of Greece.
Dr. Simopoulos cites a study from the 1960s where among
12,000 men surveyed in seven different countries (including
the United States), the healthiest men were found on the
Greek isle of Crete. The men on Crete, who
consumed more omega-3 fatty acids than their male
counterparts around the world, had half the cancer rate and
one twentieth of the mortality from coronary artery
disease. Their death rate was half that of Japanese males
and surprisingly was half that of Italian men eating a
Dr. Simopoulos says Americans are consuming one tenth of
the amount of omega-3 fatty acids required for normal
functioning and that an alarming 20 percent of the American
population have omega-3 fatty acid levels that are so low
they defy detection. . . .
A recurring theme in The Omega Plan by Simopoulos and
Robinson as well as in Ann Louise Gittleman's new book,
Before The Change (Harper 1998) is that omega-3 oils can
often stop fat craving and produce weight loss. Gittleman,
a popular nutritionist, says "even if you do nothing else
in the way of diet and exercise, you can lose up to five
pounds by regularly using omega oils as salad dressing."
It's no wonder Gittleman's book is now into its third
printing in just its first few months of publication. A
recent report showed that symptoms experienced by
middle-aged women peak just before menopause.
Correcting The Imbalance
After Americans read these books, how are they going to
turn around the imbalance of omega-6 fats over the
omega-3s? According to William Lands, PhD, at the National
Institutes of Health, the ratio of omega-6 over omega-3 in
human tissue is about 200-to-1. The ratio of omega-6 to
omega-3 in 40 species of mammals is about 4-to-1. . . .
Dr. Donald Rudin, in his book Omega-3 Oils, indicates it
often takes months of omega-3 supplementation before
deficiency disorders resolve. . . .
Commercial Interests Prevail
Not everybody read books. Commercial interests do prevail,
flooding the television airwaves with commercials about fat
blockers in potato chips, touting how fat has been reduced
in canned tuna fish, cottage cheese and baked
goods. Nabisco's low-fat and non-fat Snackwell cookies now
sell at the clip of $600 million per year.
According to medical journalist Michael Fomento, the Snack
Food Association reports every company in their industry is
working on low-fat and reduced-fat products. Add the
current fat phobia to the American diet that is
already deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and you really
have a problem making itself worse.
Some attempts are being made to add omega-3 fatty acids
back into the food chain. A Dallas egg producer now feeds
their hens flax seed oil so their eggs will resemble
omega-3-rich Greek eggs. But until Americans find other
sources of omega-3s, widespread food supplementation may be
the only practical method of restoring fatty acid balance.
Excerpted from: Health Foods Business, July, 1998.
Bill Sardi is a health journalist.
WHY SELECT SHAKLEE’S Omega-3 Complex?
Shaklee Omega-3 Complex is obtained from sardines that are
obtained in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean; far from
land and potential exposure to environmental contaminants.
Furthermore, the fish oil used in Shaklee Omega -3 Complex
is tested for a number of toxins, including heavy metals
such as mercury and arsenic.
It does not require or undergo molecular distillation to
Each batch of fish-sourced raw materials that goes into
Omega -3 Complex is laboratory tested to ensure that it is
free from harmful contamination or toxins, including pcb's
and heavy metals. We adhere to strict specifications, and
our testing process for each Omega-3 Complex raw material
is part of our routine screening and preliminary
We retained two reputable independent laboratories to test
Shaklee Omega-3 Complex.
One laboratory performed an organo-chlorinated screen and
PCB test and found none detected for all substances. The
second laboratory conducted dioxin testing and found that
all substances either were not detected or were below the
limits of calibration. The tests were conducted using
Environmental Protection Agency methodology. With regard
to GLA, the term, "cold pressed," is the process used for
extracting oil such as sunflower oil and borage oil.
Essentially, the seed is crushed and the oil from the seed
is expressed out, as opposed to extracting oil from
a seed using a solvent.
We hope the information proves helpful.
Shaklee is aware that some companies use flaxseed oil for
While we are aware of the benefits being touted about flax
seed oil in terms of omega fatty acids, we are not
considering it for our product line because the body does
not convert the alpha linolenic acid in flax seed oil into
Omega-3 Complex and DHA in significant amounts. As a
result, we believe the best way to get omega-3 fatty acids
is from fish sources.
Health & Hapiness,
Barefoot in the Garden