Talk:Omega-3 fatty acid/Archive 2

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Would there be any way to depict these fatty acids visually? jengod 19:41, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Were you meaning like chemical diagrams, the way linolenic acid and stearidonic acid have? Or were you meaning like photos of fish oil capsules? User:Edgar181 did the diagram for stearidonic acid (which also appears on the Essential fatty acid page) and offered to do some more. --David.Throop 03:01, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
A photo of fish oil capsules would be illustrative. I unfortunately don't have a digital camera capable of taking high-quality shots, but maybe someone else does?--Marcus 08:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I just saw this discussion now, and also saw the note recently added in the image caption. I will go ahead and create chemical structure images for this page and for other fatty acid pages too. If anyone has specific suggestions, please let me know. --Ed (Edgar181) 14:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Snake oil and Seal oil

I removed the following text:

Oil from the Chinese water snake is 20% EPA, and rattlesnake oil 8.5% EPA; see more detail at Composition of snake oil. Seal oil is rich source of DPA (22:5 ω-3), see more detail at docosapentaenoic acid.

Reason - reference to Snake oil EPA levels are taken from "one sample taken in a San Fransicso market in 1989 consisting of 75% of an unknown carrier, and 25% snake oil". I wouldnt bet the mortgage on that or on any analysis of a single adulterated sample, no matter how rigorously performed. Seal oil - undoubtedly this may be of interest - taking the obvious link between Inuit diets and cardiovascular health, but it is unreferenced and imprecise. If someone has a specific species with a specific analysis, then please repost the upgraded version (btw, the link to seal is pinniped). Istvan 15:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

"The fat of Chinese water snake, Enhydris chinensis, is the richest known natural source for omega-3 fatty acids. It is estimated the water snake fat may contain up to 20% of EPA. The Chinese water snakes are used in the traditional Chinese medicine to produce snake oil, used as joint and arthritic pain reliever." courtesy of Looks like it is back. --Mig77 09:05, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

incorrect info on health risks and benefits

The info on health risks is incorrect and exaggerated while many health benefits are not mentioned and others are incorrectly presented. Apparently the much too negative presentation is due to a lack of knowledge about the current state of research:

--Espoo 02:39, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Those sites are all selling something. - mako 01:57, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
There are case reports of heart palpitation, in fact you will even find them on the web, there are other examples of risks not yet included here. The fact is that side effects associated to it is more indicative of mechanism of actions and a strong evidences that Omega 3 has associated effects and is not snake oil. Therapeutic dosages of Omega 3 do have side effects, and this shows that it does something to the person that take them. It is true that some benefits are not included, like its efficacity in borderline disorder, gastrointestinal track inflammation (studies on IBD), and many other conditions, but the side effects are not to be dismissed they are to be taken seriously and some are unusual and clearly from my experience, underreported. Another advtamges on the uses of fish oil, is to use the molecule and attach it to another drug, there are research in that direction for the uses in psychotropic drugs, basically antipsychotics. An example is Clozaprexin, which is DHA-clozapine. Fad (ix) 19:33, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Mako, apparently you didn't see the extensive lists of links at the sites i mentioned; they go to to hard, scientifically proven facts reported in research articles. The author of the book and site is a highly renowned researcher himself. Check out the links at his site and the footnotes and bibliography in his book. Everything he says is based on peer-reviewed articles in renowned scientific and medical journals. --Espoo 19:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I did see the lists, and I looked at several abstracts. (I was feeling pithy.) Some of them are merely "this looks interesting and requires more study" sorts of articles/letters. They do not go to hard, scientifically proven facts. Even studies do not 'prove' anything; they merely establish correlation, and correlation does not strictly imply causation. The studies themselves are cautious in their conclusions: "The amount and type of dietary fat intake may be associated with ARM" (Smith, W., P. Mitchell, et al. (2000)). To reach 'fact' status, there needs to be a large enough body of evidence that shows a meaningful link between treatment and effect. And as I said, they're selling it, so they have a vested interest. Listing miscellaneous papers is a fine way to impress the typical consumer.
Current research should wind up somewhere in the article, with the appropriate disclaimers. It's difficult, however, to wade through the (voluminous) research on ω-3. - mako 06:13, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you would list those peer reviewed publications. Medline only lists two peer reviewed articles, from apparently "the author of the book and site [who] is a highly renowned researcher himself":
  • 1: Servan-Schreiber D. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing psychotherapy:a model for integrative medicine. Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Jul-Aug;8(4):100-3. No abstract available. PMID: 12126160 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • 2: Pettegrew JW, Levine J, Gershon S, Stanley JA, Servan-Schreiber D, Panchalingam K, McClure RJ. 31P-MRS study of acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in geriatric depression: preliminary results. Bipolar Disord. 2002 Feb;4(1):61-6. PMID: 12047496 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Jclerman 19:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC) Jclerman 06:38, 21 March 2006 (UTC) shows some of Servan-Schreiber's publications summarises his medical career shows his CV has lots of info on studies that show the effectiveness of Omega-3 against depression and bipolar disorder
and two case studies: --Espoo 20:51, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I work as a scientist with omega-3 fatty acids in arthritis. I'm all for them and research supports them but Espoo those aren't "renowned" journals by a longshot! their impact factors are very low and most are not about fatty acids. those articles that are about fatty acids are data poor... they're are plenty of other people you could quote rather than him. and do people not realise the database of medicine and science, pubmed, is there for you to use?? Its the primary database in the medical and scientific world, run by NIH. do your searches there - not on google, not on websites selling stuff. 14:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)brendan

Fish oil, Oily fish

I suggested in the discussion page for Fish oil that the page be merged with Omega-3 fatty acid. No opinions have been posted in response, but it's only been a few days. The articles on Fish oil and Oily fish provide the same basic background, followed by a description of health benefits (a scanty list compared to those above). I asked if the article on fish oil could possibly have enough information NOT on the omega-3 fatty acid article to remain independent. If so, half-attempts at medical coverage need to be edited or replaced with a link (possibly here) rather than be different on each page.

Whatever though, I'm still looking for opinions on the merge. The current cleanup (which looks very promising!) of this article is opportunity to go through with this merge, or brush off some of the omega-3 revision spirit to those articles who could use it as well.

Is it a violation of WikiPolicy to discuss or propose changes of one article in the page of another? Sorry if it's unorthodox. --Rashad9607 03:09, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

AFAIK You haven't violated any policy. But there is a template for proposing merges and it would be helpful if you used it. There's an example right now in Lipoxygenases / Lipoxygenase.
I don't think the two topics should be merged. They overlap but they are distinct. Flax oil doesn't belong under the fish oil topic, and issues about the demand for fish oil putting pressure on the world menhadden catch don't belong under omega 3. But it does make sense to have a short summary of the Omega-3 material in Fish Oil and then prominently cross reference. David.Throop 12:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I second that they should not be merged. Clearly two distinct topics. Fish oil is NOT the only source of Omega-3.

I also support David Throop's proper suggestion, and urge the "Discuss" link regarding merging to be closed as a completed event. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wemlands (talkcontribs) 01:26, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I also think this is a bad idea. They're distinct topics. --SquidDNA 18:09, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

References Used for Proposed Role in Brain

1) Horrobin citation. (requires Adobe Acrobat)


2) Holman citation. 3) Conditional or Complementing Treatment.


Some physicians also "disallow" us from drinking ourselves to death with tap water. If the word of choice was "prescribe" as opposed to "allow" then the citation would certainly be necessary. After all, unlike water, omega-3's are in no abundant supply in the body in the first place which merits why a physician would allow them based on their proposed role. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scholarch (talkcontribs) 11:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Omega-3_Fatty_Acid re-ordering

Re-ordering was based on priority of information.

People wanting to know about Omega-3 are mostly interested in the health benefits and risks, and as such are unlikely to wade through chemical makeup information. [comment made by copied here by Nunquam Dormio 20:06, 22 August 2006 (UTC)]

Your re-ordering, in effect, destroyed reference [1]. I cannot agree with your priorities. We need to define what it is first and then describe its possible uses. People can use the contents list or just scroll down if they want to skip a section. Nunquam Dormio 20:06, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Uncited Assertions

I'm removing the following uncited assertions:

  • Inducing Omega-6 deficiency, which could worsen the condition for which it is used.[citation needed]
  • A study suggest that those with a history of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation should limit their intake of fish oil since it might be proarrhythmic in some patients.[citation needed]
  • There is no compelling reason that a healthy person consuming a typical western diet should ever need to supplement their diet with omega-6.[citation needed]

Fact check 17:47, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

A question about an unclear phrase

What does this mean:

Cohorts of neck pain patients and of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have demonstrated benefits comparable to those receiving standard NSAIDs.

I'm not a medical professional, so perhaps the word cohorts is being used correctly, but in a way I'm not familiar with?

--Volume1 09:51, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I see how this can be confusing. I have wikilinked the first use of cohort in the article to cohort study. --Slashme 11:03, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Cool, thanks for clarifying. I had a feeling it was just my ignorance lol. But the wikilink will undoubtedly be useful for others. Volume1 07:01, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

On a point of simple logic, I simply do not understand the sentence: "The human body cannot synthesize omega-3 fatty acids de novo, but can synthesize all the other necessary omega-3 fatty acids from the simpler omega-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid". It appears to be self contradictory. Do we have a biochemist who can resolve what this was intended to say? It was close to the top of the article on 10 Feb 2007. Quartic 21:28, 10 February 2007 (GMT)

It means that the human body cannot create an omega-3 fatty acid from any other category of fatty acid (omega-6, omega-9, saturated, etc.). However, the human body can turn one type of omega-3 fats into other types of omega-3 fats. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Frankg (talkcontribs) 22:49, 10 February 2007 (UTC).

helical conformation?

Regarding the statement "Structurally, omega-3 fatty acids are helically twisted, because every cis- double bond, separated by a methylene group, changes the carbon chain's direction", could someone supply a reference? It is nor intuitively obvious to me that it would be so and I couldn't find an article in Pubmed that provides proof for it.--InfoCan 23:02, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I removed the statement for now, due to lack of evidence. --InfoCan 18:34, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Brain sausage?

Removed from the body of the article, since all three paragraphs were added at the same time and at least some of these claims (particulalry the cannibalism and "microcoils" bits) seem rather remarkable to me, but are provided without cites:

DHA is found in significant quantities at the nerve endings or synapses of mammals. Brains and eyeballs are significant sources of DHA, and DHA is incontroversially necessary for nerve function. [citation needed]
There is circumstantial evidence that humans require a source of DHA other than synthesis from ALA. Highland people of New Guinea had no access to DHA from animals nor seafood and their culture uniquely resorted to recycling DHA by eating human brains. Similarly sausage that included either brains or eyeballs has been a significant source of DHA in the diet of landlocked people who had no access to seafood. Several cultures including the Chinese and American Indians prized the eyeballs of fish as a prevention or cure for blindness. [citation needed]
DHA is found throughout the flesh of oily fish in contrast to its restricted location in mammals.. The different tissue distribution of DHA in mammals and fish may be explained by the ability, rather necessity, of the six all cis double bonds of DHA to form a ring. Pi bonded rings are well known to stack and form hollow channels. Such channels would be useful at nerve endings to hold and eject neurotransmitters into the synapse, but such channels have a different function in fish. Fish muscle noticeably lacks blood and a blood circulatory system. Nearly transparent tropical fish are an excellent demonstration of this lack of blood and circulatory system as is the filet of fish you see on display at the fish market. Fish circulate fluid and oxygen gas through the hollow microchannels of coiled and stacked DHA in the fatty tissue between muscles. A wagging motion of the fish body and tail pumps fluid and oxygen through the channels. This wagging motion is exaggerated and readily observed in fish attempting to breath in oxygen depleted water. [citation needed]

Cites, please? -- The Anome 01:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Sea Buckthorn

Checking the SOFA for Hippophae rhamnoides L., n3 results fall into one of three groupings - ~1%, ~15% and ~27% (48 records total). The given value of 32% seems quite generous. As this is the only record in the table not sourced from the SOFA, and in this case (the only one) where the SOFA does not provide an unambiguous result, then it shall stand for now, but if someone else has a source for Sea Buckthorn, please use it here. István 20:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I have replaced sea buckthorn in the table with Camelina sativa as the former is lower in ALA (I do not believe the given reference reflects the average for all cultivars) and the latter exceeds portaluca (described by Simopoulos). I think that level (35%) is as good a standard as any to use for inclusion. István 16:42, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Cell growth?

The article says, "A benefit of omega-3s is helping the brain to repair damage by promoting neuronal growth". Perhaps an old wives tale, but I thought that brain cells do not continue to be produced after a certain age. Is this inaccurate?

--1000Faces 20:37, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Wording of fish section

I have re-entered the peer reviewed and published quantification in the second sentence of the fish section. As a scientist research MUST be quantified. The public need to know why historically and now eating (shell)fish rich in omega-3 is good for them. The most limiting fat in the brain is omega-3 (DHA). Historicaly shellfish (not the oily fish such as mackerel) provided the DHA to allow the human brain to expand. Omega-3:6 balance promotes health and prevents disease. At the time of publication the mean omega-3:6 ratio in the Western world was 1:17 (1:30 in Isreal). A serious imbalance of omega-3:6 in Western diets coupled with excess food energy (a huge buffer against obtaining omega-3:6 balance) causing the "diseases of civilisation." All peer reviewed published scientific facts........

I think this section needs some editing. This sentence is difficult to understand: "Oily fish such as mackerel are indeed a source of omega-3s, but others are just as good and more sustainable." I'm not sure whether I'm the only person who misreads "Oily" as "Only", but even without that: how is the reader to know which other fish, besides mackerel, are in the category of "oily" fish? And is this sentence saying that "others" have no omega-3 but are good in the diet for other reasons, or is it saying that non-oily fish are also a source of omega-3? (How can they contain omega-3 without being "oily"?) What does "sustainable" mean here -- is it asserting that all oily fish are subject to depleting stock? That's interesting, but how about a reference or, perhaps more appropriate here, a link to another Wikipedia page that discusses the environmental situation in more detail?

"Seafood risks are exaggerated" By whom? Who says? How can this not be POV?

The information about pollutants is currently separated into two parts in the second and third paragraphs, with other information in between; it should all be collected into one place. Some citations are needed, and other editing is probably needed, too. --Coppertwig 21:49, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistent Errors

Taken from this page (note that it's talking about Omega 6, not Omega 3):

"Farmed salmon, being grain fed, have a higher proportion of omega-6 than wild salmon."

However, on the Salmon page:

"Work continues on substituting vegetable proteins for animal proteins in the salmon diet. Unfortunately though, this substitution results in lower levels of the highly valued Omega-3 content in the farmed product."

Should this mentioned? Especially when this is the Omega 3 page, not the Omega 6 page? So basically from these two potentially haphazard sources, should we can draw the conclusion that farmed, vegetarian salmon have lower amounts of Omega 3 and higher amounts of Omega 6 than carnivorous wild salmon and just lump that into this article? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

Human evolution and shellfish

I see there is a reference in the article to early human evolution, favouring the littoral theory. Unfortunately, I can't access the article given as support. Is this a generally accepted theory, or just one of many competing theories surrounding the environment of early humans? Also, does it necessarily follow that human dietary requirements have not evolved much since then? --Slashme 14:49, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

This is not a commonly accepted theory. I haven't looked it up in the last few years, but at my last reading, it was largely unsupported by fossil evidence and widely contested. Given that the current wording states a controversial theory as fact and that the evolutionary argument isn't really relevant to this section of the article anyway, I think this reference should simply be removed (and the fish section should begin with what is now the second paragraph). Any objections? -Yawar.fiesta 20:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Although personally I support the Africa theory I agree that it is irrelavent to this article and can afford to be cut. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Botanical sources of Omega-3 fatty acid

I find this table needs further explanation (The citation is no use unless you're a chemist!). For instance, does Kiwifruit (Chinese gooseberry) really have 68% Omega-3? I find this hard to believe... Are we talking about the fruit, or just the seeds of the fruit?

Good catch. Yes, its the oil expressed from the seeds, and yes, it is very high: although there are surely cultivars producing 68% ALA, the average of all published analyses is lower. I will amend the table for clarity. István 16:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

"omega minus 3"

On 2007-04-25, this sentence was added to the first paragraph:

Note that spoken-word and visual media have by and large adopted the technically-incorrect pronunciation of "Omega 3", as opposed to the term used by chemists, "Omega minus 3.")

This was added by the user Mcvfloyd, who has made 1 edit in his/her entire history.

The big question: Are there any references to back this statement? A quick Google search reveals nothing. QZ 01:25, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

I found this:
Actually, they are "Omega minus 3" fatty acids.
The term omega-3 (aka "n-3", "ω-3") signifies that the first double bond exists as the third carbon-carbon bond from the terminal methyl end (ω) of the carbon chain. [1], indicating that it's minus three since you are apparently counting up from the bottom. Might be true... I'll go ask the reference desk. Gzuckier 16:08, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Funny how Wikipedia text is popping up everywhere. This chemist has never heard spoken reference "omega minus three" and has just as often seen η3 as η-3. Interpreting the written ref as "Minus" is unreasonable, as one may not imagine a corresponding "plus" using the terminal methyl group as reference (which is simply one end of the molecule, not necessarily the bottom or the last bit, but rather the omega end). István 17:11, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
This chemist has never seem "omega minus 3 either - it's not a minus it's a hyphen.
I have studied organic chemistry before. I've seen hyphens being used in the names of compounds (e.g. 2-methylpropane, but-1-ene, 1,3,5-cyclohexatriene), but never plus. Or minus.
Oh yeah, here's some relevant info from within Wikipedia =P: IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry

IUPAC's recommendation

Actually, the minus sign is correct (also, the Greek letter ω should always be used on Wikipedia; the English spelling "omega" is only for contexts where ASCII is required, which are nowadays exceedingly rare). The correct term is ω−3 fatty acids. I cite this IUPAC recommendation from 1977 as proof:

If n is the number of carbon atoms in the chain (i.e., the locant of the terminal methyl group) and x is the (lower) locant of the double bond, the position of the double bond may be defined as (n minus x). Thus, the common position of the double bond in oleic and nervonic acids may be given as 18−9 and 24−9, respectively. This structural regularity should not be expressed as ω9.

1977. "The Nomenclature of Lipids. Recommendations, 1976." European Journal of Biochemistry 79 (1), 11–21.

Wikipedia's stated policy is, "In the interest of consistency and clarity the IUPAC standard should generally be used for chemical names in science articles." (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Science) There is an exception for page titles (Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Style guidelines), which should use common names in ASCII, but within the article, we should follow IUPAC nomenclature

This nomenclature is more logical as well; the spelling "ω-3" implies a parallel to "C-3", meaning "the third C atom in the chain", which isn't right. It's not referring to one of three ω atoms. The spelling "ω−3" indicates a C atom which is located at the ω (last) atom, minus three (counting from the carboxyl group). This is exactly what the term refers to. The previous poster's statement that +/− signs are not used in compounds is false; they are used to refer to positive and negative ionic charge, and a minus sign is never reduced to a hyphen in any professional publication (although the electric use of +/− is distinct from the mathematical meaning of +/−, the point stands).

Anyway, I hope this is enough to show why "ω−3" is the correct term. "Omega-3" should still be used in the article title, since ASCII and common names are recommended for technical reasons, but we should go with IUPAC on this issue, most importantly because the difference is very slight and will not interfere with novice understanding of the subject, but will improve Wikipedia's appearance of accuracy.

Werson (talk) 06:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Omacor - Prescription Omega-3

Omacor redirects to this article, and there is no discussion of this prescription product on this page. Should I add to this page or put content on its own page? Thanks, Wattssw 03:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Isn't Docosapentaenoic Acid an Omega 3 Acid?

Isn't Docosapentaenoic acid an Omega 3 acid? From the web research it seems so but I cannot find any reference to it in the article. Apparently seal oil and human breast milk are nutritional sources of this oil. 10:46, 24 August 2007 (UTC)BeeCier

There are two isomers of docosapentaenoic acid. One is an omega-3, one is an omega-6. See the article docosapentaenoic acid for details. --Ed (Edgar181) 11:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


is, specifically, the sort of article where I would not even attempt a significant edit; however, I do wish that these sorts would include much more layperson-speak.

I have heard something about omega-three, omega-six, emotion, et al:

< >.

Thank You,

[[ hopiakuta Please do sign your signature on your message. ~~ Thank You. -]] 13:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

For depression, This study found no effect, but for borderline personality disorder, This study found an effect. I don't really have time to investigate fully at the moment, but maybe someone can add something sensible. --Slashme 14:42, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Flax seed is not fish oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are present in many other foods besides fish, such as flax seed, in some margarines, in special omega-3-rich hens eggs, etc., etc. etc., so it wouldn't make sense to merge this article with fish oil.

WriterHound 17:42, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

"yet utterly promising"


I reverted the comment on genetic modification of oilseeds to increase omega-3 fatty acid content being "utterly promising". I can't see which part of our readership would need us to tell them that, and would need a reference to a general review on plant modification to convince them. --Slashme 08:40, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Sources table

I've deleted three items from the botanical sources table: canola, perah, and sea buckthorn. The first two (and most likely the third as well) have relatively lower levels of ALA and the sea buckthorn result is sourced from a single paper, unlike the others which are sourced from a database of "all" published analyses (and averaged). I have chosen an arbitrary 30% threshhold for inclusion - if anyone wants to lower or raise it then please go ahead, but please keep the entries in descending order for clarity's sake. István 03:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Health benefits

I'm unaware of specific policy referring to section length - but as a person reading the article, I'd say the Health Benefits section is dauntingly large. I feel it could benefit from being divided into sub-sections. Making this section easier to read is likely to be of interest especially since people reading this are more likely to go for this particular section. (talk) 02:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Hemp oil

Hemp oil\ seeds is a source of Omega 3's.... Ive been trying to include this into the article.... but someone deletes it... pretty quickly too.... hemp oil as a 3:1 ratio of omega 6 : omega 3 ; exacly the ratio the body uses —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Warning for persons with CHF

Okay, I put a contradiction tag in this section because its two paragraphs seem to be in contradiction to each other. The first says that if you have CHF, don't use it, then the next one sounds like it could help a person with CHF. The combined message is, "Don't use it, but it is good for you." So which is it? (talk) 19:48, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I've now restored the section to an older version since it was thoroughly damaged by apparently inexperienced Wikipedia editors. I've also removed the unsourced contradicting statement and moving it here: This advice has been updated in favour of ω−3 intake by UK's medical committee, NICE.[citation needed] Someone needs to look into this contradicting claim, and re-add it with details only if a source is available. --AB (talk) 02:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

ω−3 or n−3

A while back I changed the article to consistently use "ω−3" and so on, but that was likely an unreasonable decision on my part. Almost all the references I've seen in this article use n−3 or some variant, so I'm thinking we should just consistently use that (since that's what the IUPAC recommendation I posted above actually says, contrary to how I misread it). I'm gonna change the article to use n terminology. I think that'll be less jarring. If anyone disagrees with me on any of these issues, feel free to completely override me; I won't argue. —Werson (talk) 02:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Academic or industry naming conventions should be followed. Thank you for all your edits. --AB (talk) 02:06, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

This does raise some issues of Wikipedia, as to its mission and audiences. Personally, I think omega-3 should be in Wikipedia articles, especially when the term itself is also used in original technical articles. Since omega-3 is such a popular term in the larger population, a lot of non-chemists will come to read this article. They will find it odd to read n-3 instead of omega-3, especially when the cited references use omega-3 and yet the article keeps using n-3 when referring to them. On the other hand, chemists won't find it too uncomfortable to read omega-3 instead of n-3. Thus in order to best disseminate knowledge to a larger audience, which is one of the mission of Wikipedia, omega-3 should be used instead, unless the term is incorrect in some technical sense. I'm neither a chemist nor a Wikipedian, so I am not sure. Would like to have some feedback. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Effect of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients on learning and behavior problems associated with child ADHD.

'For the first fifteen weeks of this study, the children were given polyunsaturated fatty acids (n−3 and n−6, 3000 mg a day)' According to 's write-up on the study, 'Children were asked to consume 6 capsules/day, providing a total daily supplement of 558 mg EPA, 174 mg DHA and 60 mg GLA.' Does anyone have access to the full text to confirm/deny this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

removed fragment

I removed a sentence fragment and what followed it:

"recommend daily intakes of three n−3 forms: 650 mg of EPA and DHA, and 2.22 grams of ALA, and one n−6 form: 4.44 grams of LA. This translates to a 3:2 n−6 to n−3 ratio. (i.e. 1.5:1)"

It was unsourced and otherwise too unclear for me to complete, and the amts listed do not fit those at Dietary_Reference_Intake. Hope this helps, "alyosha" (talk) 19:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Add a health benefits table?

Someone who is good with tables should consider making a table for the health benefits section. Right now the section is choppy, and the information might be better presented in a table, i.e. Benefit/FDA Status/Test Results/etc (talk) 00:00, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

hempseed oil

You guys know hempseed oil is the worlds best source of omega-3 fatty acids right? Hemp seed contains a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is the closest of any seed oil to the 4:1 ratio required for the human body. Eating too much flax seed can cause an imbalance in omega fatty acids, while hemp does not. Anyone wanna take over this thread and show how hemp pretty much dominates this entire page? I will do it when I get some spare time if you guys dont wanna. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gharmon (talkcontribs) 18:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

not being bold

aren't table 1 and 2 in the food/plant section reversed, with respect to the text? it says table 1 is the seed and table 2 is the whole plant, but it sure looks like table 1 is the whole plant and table 2 is the seed. Gzuckier (talk) 15:49, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Source for ALA Conversion

This source ( seems to be highly erroneous, it's pock-marked with numerous typos, and seems to be coming from a biased source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Schnarr (talkcontribs) 03:55, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I put a problem template. It says it has six times the amount of omega-3 in flax seed. It mentions the conversion factors; however, doesn't seem to come across as saying virtually no omega-3 fatty acids usable by human from flax seed sources. Schnarr 03:39, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Suppression of immune and inflammation responses, and consequently, decreased resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to opportunistic bacteria.

Suppression of immune and inflammation responses, and consequently, decreased resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to opportunistic bacteria.==>>this is a very tall claim.. what(if any) are the sources,and what is the dose that can trigger such side effects? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I believed this is based off the fact that it reduces inflamation. Inflamation in response to microbial infections is an "immune response". Inflamation increases the temperature of the tissue to speed up the immune systems biochemical reactions. (talk) 00:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Belief is irrelevant here on Wikipedia without sources. It's been a couple months, and still no sources. I'm taking it out. I'm also marking all the others in the list that were not sourced. — trlkly 05:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

triglyceride versus ester bioavailability

I have issue with the paragraph or so written about this. It claims that 2 studies have shown no difference between the two, and that the 2 other show improved absorption with the triglyceride version. The problem with this paragraph is that none of the studies linked back up the claim that there is "no difference". Further, 4 studies are not even linked, only 2 are, both of which show that the triglceride absorption is bettter. Were some links/studies removed at some point? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Might one add that the intelligence studies are close to worthless?

I'm most interested in this quick dismissal of the research; could the gist of it be added to this article, or would the vested interest (sales estimated at £116 million in Britain alone in 2007) fight back too determinedly? -- Hoary (talk) 08:36, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Has the writer of the article got the ratio the wrong way round

in the section 'The n−6 to n−3 ratio' he states 'healthy ratios of n−6:n−3 range from 1:1 to 4:1' - it should be 1:1 to 1:4 i think ? [[[User:Seagown|Seagown]] (talk) 16:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)]seagown

no you are wrong. Correct is healthy ratios of n−6:n−3 range from 1:1 to 4:1 by the way, why US RDA for n-6 is 17g/day and n-3 1,6g/day for male adult???? its about 11:1 n-6 to n-3 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

research on the inuit found n-6 to n-3 ratios of 1:2, the only adverse effects seem to be slightly increased risk of hemmoragic stroke. william lands covers this in "fish and human health". n-6 to n-3 ratios of 4:1 may be healthy, but 2:1 or 1:1 are shown to have more benefits. there should probably also be some discussion of total caloric intake from n-6 and n-3 fatty acids, 4% seems be be an upper limit for n-6's (talk) 04:46, 26 July 2009 (UTC)chris

Flax section and conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA

The reference cited for "which is converted in the body to EPA and then DHA at an efficiency of 2–15% and 2–5%, respectively" does not cite any study or scientific literature from which those figures were derived. this paper Provides different values, with males converting to 8% to EPA and < 4% to DHA, while women converted ~ 21% to EPA and ~ 9% to DHA (talk) 07:53, 29 July 2009 (UTC)chris

Article style and citation formatting

I agree that this article is too technical, and too long for most readers to gain useful information. While it's great to see an article that has a lot of information and plenty of resources to back it up, the whole of the article is overwhelming and we need to set a clear outline to give the article a better flow. One area that I think needs to be trimmed back (sadly) is all the research studies. This article should only contain a summary of current research areas, not detailed documentation of each study. Since it would be a shame to throw out the nice collection of research articles we have, perhaps we can place a list of all the accessory research studies under a separate section near, or as a part of the "Further Readings" section.

Speaking of which, we need to tame the overwhelmingly massive "Notes and references" section. (For examples of "Reference" vs. "Notes", see WP:CITEX). I'm sure we'll stick to the footnotes-style referencing that we're all used to, but I think the "additional sources" subsection should be used for for books or large documents where it is necessary to note the page number without having to re-cite all the publishing information. (thus, the intext citation would be (ref)Author, year, pp.#(/ref), and the book information will be listed under "Additional sources".

Also, as another way to reduce the massive size of the references section is to make use of journal abbreviations. Shorten journal titles whenever possible (Am J Clin Nutr insted of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), and use et al. for most articles having more than three authors. There is no need to cite the journal's publisher unless the journal is obscure (i.e. not on pubmed), and when used, it only needs to be applied upon the journals first mention. Giving an article's volume and issue no. bypasses the need to cite the month and day. Those are only needed if the article is published on-line, ahead of print.--Tea with toast (talk) 04:35, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I've just been introduced to two new citing tools: {{Cite pmid|#}} and {{Cite doi|#}}. All one must do is put in the appropriate reference number! Yay! These will make things so much simpler!--Tea with toast (talk) 04:25, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
The article should probably open with the effects/use of Omega-3 fatty acids, a couple dietary sources, and then whatever we've already got. Each section should open with an easy-to-understand summary/overview, too. We can't really dumb down the chemical properties; you either understand them or you don't (and I don't lol). MichaelExe (talk) 03:47, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Newscientist citations not scientifically reputable

Recommend removing all newscientist references and replacing with primary sources. Newscientists is not peer reviewed and has in the past been criticized for sensationalism and lack of objectiveness.--Xris0 (talk) 03:41, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Omega 3

After listening to the BBC radio 4 Omega 6 & 3 program today I thought it best to read more on the subject. This Wikipedia article has backed up much of what I have read and heard in the last 4 years. I did find the article a little scientific however it is important to write precisely on health topics. The style of writing enables the author to convey how the subject has been studied; and the reader to exercise the brain when reading therefore aiding the brain function. I would like to know which are the best fish for the oil and which region to catch them (watch out fish)?--SPDillon (talk) 18:55, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

standardize dashes

n-3/n-6 in the article is spelled with two kinds of dashes. The effect isn't just aesthetic because the web browser's "find" command won't find the ones with fancy dashes. (I was using cmd-f to find a first mention with a definition, and wound up thinking that perhaps it wasn't defined until I scrolled manually.) I suggest plain "-" for that reason, although I don't know if there's an overarching wikipedia policy. (talk) 04:46, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

prevention and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar/manic-depression

I've been following the omega-3 research for about 9 years (as well as taking 5grams of omega-3 fish oil for much of this time), and recently an interesting report came out about omega-3's link to schizophrenia. I am pasting some of the web-links here.

Fish oil pills show promise in preventing schizophrenia [1]

Fish oil may prevent onset of mental illness: Study [2]

Omega-3 Fish Oils Tested as Preventative Approach to Schizophrenia, with Positive Results [3]

Fish oil hope for schizophrenia patients [4]

Low omega-3 linked to schizophrenia risk [5]

Essential Fats Found Deficient in Brains of Men with Schizophrenia [6]

Several years ago I also read research about how taking 5grams of omega-3 fish oil a day helped prevent relapse in manic-depressive disorder.

I think the time for skepticism of the massive benefits of omega-3 is long past, compared to the alternative of taking pharmaceutical drugs to mask illnesses it is really a no-brainer to take a natural oil that can CURE many diseases. This encyclopedia should step past the pro-pharmaceutical media bias and unflinchingly publish the honest truth about omega-3. Many people are needlessly suffering at the mercy of the pharmaceutical/psychiatric establishment who have largely ignored omega-3 as there is no money in finding a natural treatment or cure for diseases. There are many skeptics of game-changing science, but omega-3 truly is a game changer. It is likely that for many psychiatric patients omega-3 could replace psychiatric medication for treatment, with better outcomes and no side-effects. Please if you are interested in natural cures for disease do your research and you will see that they are out there.

cheers, Jamie (talk) 12:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Reference for omega-3 treatment of mood disorders

I recently came across a meta-analytic review of omega-3 treatment studies, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2006. The authors concluded that omega-3 has shown benefit above that of placebo with unipolar and bipolar depression, but not with schizophrenia. Although preliminary, results in regard to impulsivity, aggression, ADHD, and learning disability were also encouraging.

Here is the full-text article online:

Here is the PubMed citation: (talk) 02:49, 23 February 2010 (UTC)TakingOmega3ForHighCholesterolButApparentlyAlsoMood