Friday, April 27, 2012

Fish Oil: The Magic Pill

Let me tell you a little story about me, and fish oil.  About two weeks ago, after a seriously heavy squatting session, I walked back to my dorm with burning hot knees, feeling like they were on fire every single time the ligaments moved at all (which they were doing quite frequently while walking...surprise surprise.)  I knew it was every Olympic lifter's nightmare:  patellar tendinitis.  This is where the tendons across the front of the knee (the patellar tendon and surrounding tissue) become inflamed and swollen, and therefore are very resistant to sliding smoothly like they should.  The cause?  Overuse.  It's a quite common injury among lifters, as well as runner, jumpers, and any athlete who runs, jumps or squats day in and day out.  For an Olympic lifter, it can be extremely depressing, as it means that future squatting sessions will be full of pain and misery.  And taking time off from training unfortunately ISN'T an option.  Any time not spent under the bar is progress lost toward new PR's, podium placings and gold medals.  Patellar tendinitis isn't dangerous, just VERY uncomfortable and debilitating.

So what did I do?  At first, I started ice massage, which helped a little, but never seemed to make any progress in the grand scheme of things.  Every workout after that was pain and suffering just as bad as before.  So I did a little more research, and through countless hours of internet searching I found what I hoped to be a possible cure:  Fish oil.

I read that Olympic weightlifters, when faced with patellar tendinitis, often go on a mega dosing fish oil regimen.  That called for 5000 mg a day for the first week, and an additional 2500 mg a day ever week after that.  I read that the condition should improve noticably in 10 days, and be almost gone by day 30.  I figured it couldn't hurt, and so I picked myself up 300 caps of 1000 mg fish oil pills.  The very next day I started in on 5 pills, spread throughout the day.  Well my friends, it's been ten days, and I'm pleased to tell you that my knees feel SOOOO much better.



Sure, I kept icing, massaging, stretching, and foam rolling, but I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that fish oil is a nearly "magic" cure for joint pain.  If you don't believe me, just read the countless testimonies by other happy consumers who have loosened up and feel tip top thanks to a pill filled with oil from a fish.  But after I started dosing, I did some reading on the pills.  Turns out fish oil is far more beneficial than I ever could have imagined.  Honestly, I would recommend EVERYONE get on fish oil pills, because what they do to your body is absolutely astounding.  Let's look at these magic capsules a little more closely, and really see what I mean about their truly remarkable power at improving your health and well being.

Omega-3:  A lot of the magic in fish oil pills comes from this substance right here, omega-3 fatty acids.  This stuff is like liquid gold.  It's probably some of the best cardiovascular support you could ever get, and will lower bad cholesterol considerably if regularly dosed.  It also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory, which helps bloodflow, joints, and pretty much everything else in your body work smoothly and pain free.  There are a few types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and ALA.  The two most biologically available and important of these are EPA and DHA, and both are found in significant amounts in fish oil.  ALA isn't as important in our body, and can be found more often in flax oil.  These are called "essential" fatty acids because our body cannot produce them on its own and yet requires them to function.  That's why fish oil supplements are an extremely good choice, especially for those who don't get much fish in their normal diet.

On a side note, in order to achieve maximum health status, you need a good ratio of omega-3's to omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.  The two latter are often found in other fatty foods such as nuts and seeds, and therefore we usually get plenty of them.  However omega-3 fatty acids are usually lacking in the average individual's diet, and therefore it's very important to supplement fish oil.

Decreased Stroke Risk:  Strokes are caused when plaque builds up in your veins to the point where it begins to break off and cause a clot in your brain's blood vessels.  That's NOT good.  Luckily, fish oil has been proven to break down the plaque in your veins, drastically decreasing the chance of suffering from a stroke.  I'll take that and run with it, thank you very much.

Improved Mental Health:  Fish oil has actually been shown to support proper levels of serotonin production in the brain, which will help treat/prevent conditions such as depression.  It has also been shown to aid in memory and overall cognitive ability.  I think that's awesome, don't you?

Healthy Skin:  Fish oil has been proven to improve the health of your skin, allowing for greater elasticity through optimum collagen production.  It'll keep you looking young and wrinkle free.  I'm not saying it works miracles, but hey, healthy skin is always a nice thing to have, don't you think?

Fat Loss:  Haha ok, I'll go into a little more depth on this one, as I can guarantee it'll peak the interest of a few more people.  Fish oil is an EXCELLENT tool for fat loss, and I'd say it's essential for anyone wanting to see real results as quickly as possible.  Fish oil increases the production of leptin, which both increases your metabolism and decreases your appetite.  A faster metabolism means more fat burning power, something many people would absolutely love.  Secondly, fish oil is able to increase insulin sensitivity, which allows your body to release less insulin when it senses ingested carbohydrates.  This ensures that you'll be less likely to store excess carbs as body fat.  Thirdly, fish oil actually helps build lean muscle mass, which will also increase your metabolism and cause your body to hold onto less body fat.  Fish oil, despite being 100% fat, actually is probably one of the most powerful fat loss tools you could ever have in your arsenal.  Cool huh?



Joint Health:  OK, I saved this one for last because I've already sort of discussed it.  Fish oil is one of the best tools out there for maintaining healthy, pain free joints.  Its anti-inflammatory properties keep things sliding smoothly, and hey, the slippery properties of oil don't hurt either.  Thousands upon thousands of people have obtained amazing pain reducing effects from dosing fish oil on a regular basis, and if you think it's too good to be true I IMPLORE you to give it a go for yourself.  You'll be very surprised at how effective this stuff is.

Fish oil has been touted as the only supplement worth taking.  While I don't completely agree with this, I do agree that it is almost 100% necessary for any serious gym-goer, casually active individual, or couch potato. Seriously, this stuff will do you nothing but good.  If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.  Pick up a bottle, start your dosage at 3 a day, and see what changes start to occur in your body.  I can almost guarantee you'll love this stuff as much as I do by the time you're done.

Love the fish, keep healthy and happy, and as always, GOOD LUCK!


References:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/315158-the-truth-about-fish-oil-fat-loss/
http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/patelladisorders/a/patellartendon.htm
http://fishoilbenefitshq.com/
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet

9 comments:

  1. Hi I loved reading your post and I have a question. What brand of fish oil were you taking? I am currently trying to breat patellar tendonitis and want to make a fast recovery and reading your article gave me hopes in getting better. I have had pattelar tendonitis for 6 weeks now and it is very frustrating not being able to be active. I bought nature made and it says 1400 mg and 1000 mg omega-3 the bottle also says 1 per day . I was wondering if you took the fish oil with 300 omega or 1000 omega. Idk if making any sense to you I just want to give your recommendation a try and I want to take the correct amount of fish oil. I would really appreciate a response thank you!!

    -Jessica

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  2. Hi Jessica, glad you liked the article! I was, and still am taking "Sundown" brand fish oil, the 1000mg variety. It has 300mg of omega-3 per pill. If you're really looking to beat patellar tendinitis, the good thing to do is actually mega-dose fish oil, as in take anywhere from between 3-7 grams per day. That means for me it was about 5-7 pills, and for you it may be 4-5. If you're not squatting every day like me (or doing similar things like running, jumping, or any other actions that may be taxing on the knees), you'll most likely recover quickly using the lower end of the mega-dose spectrum (3-5g per day.) If you ARE doing the activities that irritate your tendinitis on a DAILY basis, don't be afraid to take 5-7g a day. You may even find that as it starts to get better (and you SHOULD notice results in 10 days or so), you may need to increase the dosage each week by a pill or so. You should be fully healed in about 30 days, and you can back off the heavy dosage after that and keep the irritation at bay using only about 1-3 pills a day and icing your patella directly after strenuous activity. I will tell you up front I'm not a doctor, so don't take what I say as pure fact, I've just noticed through my heavy research and experimentation that this method works very well. If you have any more questions please let me know, I'll do my best to answer them.

    Seth

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  3. Thank you for replying to me Seth I greatly appreciate it. I have been doing countless hours of internet searching for the "cure" to patellar tendinitis and your article was the most intriguing to me. I am willing to give fish oil a try because quite frankly I am getting very depressed not being able to be active and getting back to running which I LOVE! I have not been doing any exercise since I got hurt. I hurt myself running 2 weeks post partum and have not been out running since HOPING it would get better but it has not. I really hope this turns out because im itching for working out and not doing anything is killing me. I have been to the to the physical therapist but the exercises they have made me do at home have not made me improve. It I very discouraging to hear all the horror stories in the Internet about this debilitating condition. Reading things like it might take month or even years to heal does not make me feel better. But I'm really hoping this works out (: I will keep you posted thanks once again. I apologize for my grammar I am doing this through my phone and it keeps kicking me out and freezing so I'm typing this a fast as I can before I kicks me our again.

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  4. I have just one more question if you don't mind. I have read that fish oil will ONLY help you if you have patellar tendinitis that swells up. I never experienced any swelling just pain when bending my knee( left one) and cannot bare any weight on my knee when kneeling down. How is your patellar tendonitis? Did yours swell up?

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    1. I never noticed much, if any swelling at all. However the whole definition of patellar tendinitis is an inflamed, irritated patellar tendon, so even if there isn't visible swelling from the skin, you can bet it's swollen in there. Fish oil is a powerful non-NSAID anti inflammatory, which is why it works so well at calming the inflamed patellar tendon (not to mention all the other AWESOME benefits of fish oil.) In short, no I don't believe that you need to "see" swelling in order for the fish oil to have a very profound effect. Just try the fish oil, while it may not produce ridiculous immediate relief, it will over time help to eliminate the inflammation if dosed properly.

      Just as a side note, I know how depressing this injury can be. While it is 99% of the time completely harmless, it sucks to be in pain when doing your favorite activities, which for me was lifting, and you running. Don't despair, if you treat it right the pain WILL go away. Ice, massage, fish oil, stretch, and determine how much rest you're willing to take while it heals. I don't know if it will apply to you, but Olympic weightlifters such as myself often wrap a piece of tape or ace bandage right below the knee over the patellar tendon very tightly, which while squatting can have a HUGE effect on relieving the pain. This works because as the tendon slides under the tape, it's forced to spread out and is effectively "massaged" with every squat. Maybe try the same thing with just your every day walking around, or try some shallow squats in an attempt to massage/strengthen the tendon. Here's a picture which depicts (sort of) what I'm talking about: http://www.return2fitness.net/products/lpmaxwrap692patella_large.jpg It's up to you, I just want to give you all the advice I know.

      I wish you the best of luck, and let me know if you have any more questions.

      Seth

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  5. I just bought a bottle of fish oil because of your article.

    Your side note is beyond true--I've hit rock bottom because I haven't been able to exercise at ALL in the past year (I'm an extremely active person) and I've had to go into therapy and have called the suicide line several times (my patella tendonitis is so bad I can't walk/stand for very long, and can only wear tennis shoes)

    I've tried everything and have to use KT tape every day just to make walking semi-bearable, I'll update after a month to see if this works. Thank you for your post.

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  6. Thanks for this article! I'm starting my fish oil pills today in hopes of eliminating my patellar tendinitis. Hope it works!

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  7. Thanx for ur post and giving us a hugefull information, i also read somewhere The omega-3 fatty acids found in Fish Oil possesses many health benefits.and recomended by many Health Autorities as a part of Balanced Diet. Fish Oil contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, specifically Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). One of the Health Benefits linked to Fish Oil is a low risk of Heart Attack. very healpfull for Blood Circulations. is this true..????

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  8. Suffering from joint inflammation? Omega 3 Capsule is best option for you. - http://www.shreyomega.com/Joint-Inflammation.php

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