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EFA (fish oil) experiment


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is anyone else interested in running a thread that actually tracks when we start taking fish/flax/other EFA supplements, what kind, what amount, for how long and when you start to see improvement?

improvement seems to be a long term thing: it's not immediate.  so that is why i thought having a specific thread to track our results would be helpful.

and it would help me be consistent; i slacked off this summer & need to get back on track.

Mods?  can we pin this or give it a sticky so it always stays on top?  if it gets buried, then people won't see it, won't participate or will forget to report results.  yes, i know this is not very scientific, but i would be interested if several folks would report their results along with me.

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I started fish oil (480 epa, 400 dha) about two weeks ago.  In that time I've gotten more depressed than I've been for about 6 months.  I'm not blaming the fish oil, just my major shift in schedule/living situation/social contact since going back to school.  I'll report on the fish oil thing once I'm more stable, because obviously I haven't seen a positive difference yet. 

I was taking about 3 times more fish oil than I am now from when I started, because I heard some information that bps should be taking around 3,000 mgs of fish oil a day.  I talked to a nutritionist vitamin lady who's daughter is bp and she said the studies on bp weren't long-term so she quit giving her daughter so much fish oil.  Which is fine with me, I have enough damn supplements to take anyways.  But I might try taking more again in the future after I've been on this amount for about 2 months and see if more is better.

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Last year I got all jazzed up about the idea of Omega 3 fatty acids helping beeperism.  So I bought some fish oil caps from the local vitamin store.  I started taking a gram a day broken into two ingestions.  After a month I noticed that The bipolar part of me seemed no different.  Then (at that time I was hanging out at another forum for beepers) a guy who was studying to be a pharmocologist said that in order to make a difference for beepers you would have to ingest  3 to 5 grams daily.  And the cheap stuff was no good.  It had to be one of a few brands (but I cannot remember why now) that cost an arm and leg.

I had been researching the prices on the net and was buying bottles for roughly half of what the vitamin store charged.  I began to up my intake.  All of a sudden I got fish oil burps, which are gawdawful.  They wouldn't go away, even with dropping the amount I ingested daily to the former low level.  All this took place over about 3 months.  I stopped taking them.  I never noticed any improvement, in fact any difference one way or the other in the way I felt. 

This leads to the following questions:

A)  Is it possible that some people (beepers) are improved by taking fish oil caps while others are not?

B)  Does the fact that I began experiencing fish oil burps, even at reduced levels of ingestion mean that I can probably never take them again without the burps?

C)  I know that Eskimos, because of their diet of fish rich in Omaga 3 oils have almost no incidence of heart problems of any kind.  Are any of them beepers?  Or do you think that ingestion of the oils from babyhood "prevents" bipolar?

D)  Are there "burpless" fish oil caps that are not as expensive as owning a BMW Z8?

E)  Is there a published article from an acclaimed writer with credibility who KNOWS how much fish oil we need to consume to help?

F)  Am I full of whale shit to even be wondering about this?

Dan~

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A)  Is it possible that some people (beepers) are improved by taking fish oil caps while others are not?
that's why i'd like to see this as a running thread.  there are several different categories or flavors of bp; it would stand to reason that different types may react differently, just as people have different reactions to meds.

i do know it has to be long term.  2 weeks just isn't long enough to cut it. 

D)  Are there "burpless" fish oil caps that are not as expensive as owning a BMW Z8?

Good question! i sent away for a sample of Coromega but never recieved it.  maybe you should try the flax/borage/black currant instead?  that is what i really had success with (bear in mind i'm MDD/SAD/dysthymia not bp).

i'm really interested in having a running thread on this...

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Does the fact that I began experiencing fish oil burps, even at reduced levels of ingestion mean that I can probably never take them again without the burps?
No. Get the ones that are coated so that the fish oils are not released into your system until they are further through the digestive tract. However, I know nothing about seal farts.

It had to be one of a few brands (but I cannot remember why now) that cost an arm and leg.

For 2 reasons that I can think of; 1) you want pharmaceutical grade fish oil so that the heavy metals and other pollutants have been adequately filtered out, and 2) so that you get the correct ratio of EPA:DHA. The EPA should be equal to or greater than the amount of DHA.

Greeny

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This leads to the following questions:

A)  Is it possible that some people (beepers) are improved by taking fish oil caps while others are not?

B)  Does the fact that I began experiencing fish oil burps, even at reduced levels of ingestion mean that I can probably never take them again without the burps?

C)  I know that Eskimos, because of their diet of fish rich in Omaga 3 oils have almost no incidence of heart problems of any kind.  Are any of them beepers?  Or do you think that ingestion of the oils from babyhood "prevents" bipolar?

D)  Are there "burpless" fish oil caps that are not as expensive as owning a BMW Z8?

E)  Is there a published article from an acclaimed writer with credibility who KNOWS how much fish oil we need to consume to help?

F)  Am I full of whale shit to even be wondering about this?

Dan~

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Briefly:

Yes.

No.

Probably. They are human./I really doubt it.  It would be nice though.

Freezing them helps.

Yes.

No. You would be silly to not.

We have written things somewhere around these parts, and I do too, that answer all or most of this.

I will see if I can find it... [i am really not trying to be an ass- maybe someone else knows the posts that I am talking about. hmm. ]

As far as me personally- I began taking omegabrite capsules several months ago- at the end of March. [ahh.. what a glorious month that was...]

At this point I take 6 500mg capsules of  7:1 EPA:DHA per day. [3,150mg:450mg or total of 3000mg]

Omega3s, no vitamin A.

I began to notice some improvement after about 2 and a half weeks and 5 capsules...

There were a couple weeks that I didn't have them. I didn't realize just how much of an effect they had until I stopped taking them. They really do have a large effect on my mood- also on my  joints, which are a large problem for me.

TaDa!

~navy~

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Does the fact that I began experiencing fish oil burps, even at reduced levels of ingestion mean that I can probably never take them again without the burps?

No. Get the ones that are coated so that the fish oils are not released into your system until they are further through the digestive tract. However, I know nothing about seal farts.

It had to be one of a few brands (but I cannot remember why now) that cost an arm and leg.
For 2 reasons that I can think of; 1) you want pharmaceutical grade fish oil so that the heavy metals and other pollutants have been adequately filtered out, and 2) so that you get the correct ratio of EPA:DHA. The EPA should be equal to or greater than the amount of DHA.

Greeny

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dang, Greeny...my next question was all about seal farts....

Dan~

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We have written things somewhere around these parts, and I do too, that answer all or most of this.

I will see if I can find it... [i am really not trying to be an ass- maybe someone else knows the posts that I am talking about. hmm. ]

Here's a link to a thread where members dug up some pretty informative articles:

Related Fish Oil Thread

And here's another informative thread that deals with fish oil capsules: Questions and comments about fish oil

There are other threads that have dealt with this subject, as well, but since pretty much the same people keep replying to all of them, it's probably best not for me to add any further to the redundancy that already exists.

I take enteric coated fish oil capsules to control my cholesterol, but found it absolutely fascinating that Navy commented about it helping with her joints. My knees have been MUCH better since taking fish oil, but I'd never connected the dots.

Oh, and whoever asked why March was a BAD month for Navy: That was the month that she and Kassiane were involved in a car crash, which left them stranded in Spearfish, SD. This was a hot topic on the old CrazyTalk site, but I'm not sure if it's been mentioned here, or not.

Sam

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  • 2 weeks later...

an update: like anyone cares, i seem to be the thread killer (really, the mods just ought to send me a pm and have me post on any thread they want to go away.....it'll die a fast death once *i* leave a post on it)

i had a major major meltdown about a week ago.....i hadn't felt that bad in decades. seriously.  it coincided with a couple of things: my period (PMDD runs in the family, PMS is just waaaaay to lightweight for what we go through); my SAD is starting and I've been off my flax for about a month (switched to fish oil only).

i made it a point to start up on flax again....and i feel the mood lifting.  literally...like a cloud of weepiness and anger and irritation literally just rose up gently off my body.  the big test will be to see if, like last year, my SAD remains mild and of a short duration.

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  • 2 months later...

Reddog - thanks for posting about flax.  I think I'm going to talk to pnurse about it (and omega 3 in general, and about fish oil) next visit, and I'll post again with his response.

In the meantime, adding some flax to my food couldn't hurt, because I find the little things tasty!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heya reddog, GeekStreak,

OK, so I'm not the *only*thread-killer in these parts?

At any rate, I actually *stopped* taking fish oil to see what would happen, and had some kind of withdrawals for a few days (this had happened before when I missed a dose or two).

On the whole I *think* Lamictal is doing things on its own.

After a chat with my psychiatrist next week to get *his* take on it, I'm thinking that --

-- although it was a huge pain to take all those giant caps every day, oh well, it's also good for my cholesterol (the *other* inheritance I can thank my mom's genetics for), so I'll likely restart them.

Let's see what your psych nurse says, too, GeekStreak.

--ncc--

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nurse says that they've had good results with fishy pills in the past, but I'm not going to start them 'till we get Lamictal straightened out.  My official opinion now is that they're probably a good thing, but they should be taken under the supervision of a pdoc.

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Not MI related but....

Since I got hubby taking his fish pills, with my family history of heart disease, I thought I should take them as well.

I tried the fish oil capsules, but the heart burn and fish burps were too nasty. Then I tried a Flax/Borage/Fish oil capsule and that didn't make me sick. Took it for quite a while, and with all that was going on during the holidays, I didn't notice it was doing anything UNTIL I STOPPED.

Then, my old knee pain (which had been absent for a while) came back. So did other joint pain and inflamation. Didn't make the connection between the joint pain and the lack of EFA until I was talking to my girlfriend about forgetting to take vitamins. Then it clicked. DUH! The pain started after I forgot to take my pills for almost a week straight.

Needless to say, I am taking them again. The joint pain is almost gone. It's working for me people.

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