"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Fish Oils
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important for optimal health.  Recent evidence suggests most people not consuming a diet high in fatty fish are at risk for deficiency in specific polyunsaturated fatty acids known as Omega 3 fatty acids, especially Eicosapentaenoic acid and Docosahexaenoic acid.  These fatty acids are now widely marketed as being able to cure any disease.  I won't get into what there is, and isn't strong evidence for, but will again reiterate that fact that most people are probably on the deficient side of things.

These fatty acids oxidize very easily, in fact when we feed these to mice in the lab, the diet has to be made fresh every 8 weeks even when refrigerated, and fresh diet is given to the mice every 3-4 days when at room temperature.  Look for high quality sources and keep refridgerated and protected from light (i.e. the dark amber bottles), if there are antioxidants in the oil this can slow the oxidation process.  I have heard the actual oils posses a higher bioavailability, but haven't seen any real evidence for this.

Cod liver oil is very high in vitamin D.  A vitamin with a similar deficiency/marketing story as fish oils.
Contains Omega 3s, but NOT EPA and DHA.  For a while Udo argued that the Omega 3 in this oil (alpha linelenic acid aka ALA) has a high conversion rate to EPA and DHA in humans.  Most experts agree this is totally false.

So Udo came out with an oil containing DHA

Coconut oil is a good source of saturated fat.  Hah, thats me being funny.  Seriously though, coconut oil contains some very unique fatty acids, including the medium chain length triglycerides.  It can be argued that these are burned more efficiently for fuel, but I've yet to be overly convinced by any studies (maybe I should look into this more).  There are some things to be said about some of the saturated fats in coconut oil in that they aren't common in a lot of other foods.  Saturated fat probably has a bad name in most households, and I am glad to see that coconut oil is helping people get past that anxiety.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12945828

    I've never used it myself, but there seems to be some solid evidence for creatine supplementation. Encouraging that both studies exhibit similar result via a similar mechanism.

    1. Hi Alex. Creatine is probably the most research supplement out there. I briefly glanced at the articles posted, and while they are interesting, the vast body of evidence suggests creatine is not very useful for endurance exercise. If the authors can come up with a plausible biological mechanism and there are 2-3 more papers in agreement, I would start to be convinced, however for now I think the role of creatine is mostly in the anaerobic phosphocreatine system, rather than a lactic acid buffer. one thing I am aware of is that creatine storage requires extra water molecules, perhaps this could be beneficial to athletes. I will do some more digging. Thanks for pointing out these studies, I hadn't revisted this topic in a while!