Dr. Weeks Comment: For decades I gave patients fish oil capsules. No more. Read The PEO Solution or study this website.
WARNING: DHA (and fish oil) Impede Critical Cardiac Enzymes
For over a decade I have warned physicians and their patients about the dangers of fish oil supplementation. Independent experimentation showed that fish oil’s EPA/DHA would DISPLACE the Critical Parent Omega-6 in tissue and mitochondria.
The IOWA Screening Study (2010) conclusively showed that PEOs improved arterial flexible and increased blood flow. What amazed physicians was that patients previously taking fish oil, and then converting to PEOs had an even better outcome – fish oil worsened their arterial health. I intuitively knew this because Parent omega-6 is what capillaries and intima (inner lining of the arteries) are comprised of, and its derivatives cause increased blood flow through natural vasodilation, etc., the cardiovascular system would significantly benefit. But I wasn’t aware that Fish Oil would impede critical cardiac mitochondrial enzymes, too. Now, with a recently published paper, we can explain precisely why that pathway is impaired, too. Anything impairing enzymatic activity is critical; never forget that the way poisons work is by blocking respiratory enzymes, killing you. The newly published 2018 medical paper (Sullivan, E. Madison, et al., “Docosahexaenoic acid lowers cardiac mitochondrial enzyme activity by replacing linoleic acid in the phospholipidome,” Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018, 293: 466-2018 Jan 12;293(2):466-483) is not surprising to those that follow my work.
The opening paragraph regarding diabetic patients is shocking because diabetes is the #1 epidemic in the world, with no end in sight. Diabetic patients have 2Xs-4Xs the amount of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil has previously been reported to increasing fasting blood sugar levels in diabetics. Now, we see a marker in diabetic patients of elevated DHA! While extended use of Fish Oil should not be considered, this is especially true of diabetic patients. The researchers reported:
- “Here, we first confirmed that cardiac DHA levels are elevated in diabetic humans relative to controls (by 1.7-fold).
- “Here we used dietary intervention as a tool to study remodeling of mitochondrial\ phospholipids on respiratory enzyme activity.
I had previously written about how cardiolipin (CL) in the mitochondria (cellular powerhouses) require significant amounts of fully functional Parent omega-6 (LA)—the only EFA that should be in its membrane. Diabetic patients with CVD are depleted in Parent omega-6, lowering critical cardiac enzymatic activity. The study showed:
• “…[I]n diabetic cardiomyopathies, CL acyl chains undergo modifications that broadly include the depletion of the most abundant CL species, (18:2)4[Parent omega-6]….”
This paper explains that the lipid membrane is a combination of various lipids including saturated fats, cholesterol, etc. (Note: 25%-33% of tissue cell membranes are Parent omega-6 / -3) DHA energetically impedes the required structure!
• “Replacement of (18:2)4CL [Parent omega-6] with (22:6)4CL [DHA] prevents the formation of lipid domains by influencing the Gibbs free energy of lipid-lipid mixing.”
Thankfully, the impairment can be easily remedied.
- “(18:2)4CL [Parent omega-6] rescues the major remodeling in the cardiolipin lipidome induced by long-term intake of DHA.”
- “Cardiac mitochondrial complex I, IV and V activities are rescued uponintroduction of (18:2)4 [Parent omega-6] CL into the mitochondria of mice consuming DHA.”
The authors stress, confirming again, that a “high-fat diet had no impact on the cardiac enzymatic activity:
• “These results were in agreement with our previous work that showed a high fat diet had no influence on mouse cardiac enzyme activity upon moderate remodeling of phospholipids.”
The authors warn that DHA can lower important liver enzymes, too”
• “In contrast [to the high-fat diet,], remodeling of the phospholipidome upon dietary supplementation with EPA and DHA led to diminished enzymatic activity of select complexes. These results were consistent with a study showing that fish oil can lower liver mitochondrial complex IV and V activities.”
Next, the study proved unequivocally that that is isn’t simply the lack of dietary intake of Parent omega-6 causing the cardiac problems, but the replacement of Parent omega-6 caused by the supra-physiologic overdose of fish oils EPA/DHA.
“These results demonstrate mechanistically that it is not the loss of linoleic acid alone that drives the impairment in enzyme function since the Western diet alone did not impair enzyme activities. Instead, it was the replacement of linoleic acid with DHA that promoted the reduction in activities…. Our data suggest that linoleic acid [Parent omega-6] is key for cardiac mitochondrial enzymatic activity….
“The (18:2)4 [Parent omega-6] CL rescue data advances the field by highlighting the importance of n-6 PUFAs in mitochondrial membranes.”
This paper clearly illustrates with detailed graphs that cardiac enzymatic impairment can reach close to 50% decrease in activity. Sadly, many scholarly papers are lost in a sea of mediocrity, and for that reason I felt compelled to share it with you. I hope you will find this paper useful in your practice.
Author The PEO Solution