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Research Articles & Papers - Dog Cancer Treatment Options - Omega Oils
Omega DHA and The Immune System
Immune Health and Autoimmune Illnesses
Research indicates that EPA and DHA from cold water fish oils are required for healthy immune function. Scientific evidence also indicates that a deficiency in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids can lead to altered immune function increasing the chance of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Crohn's disease.
Studies in populations consuming sufficient amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids show decreased incidence of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Epidemiological studies like this provide even more evidence of the essential role of EPA and DHA for proper immune function and thus the prevention of autoimmune disorders and other immune function related illnesses.
Research has also shown Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to be of significant benefit for people who have already developed autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn's disease (see section on Digestive Health).
The scientific literature indicates that for proper immune system function and for the prevention of autoimmune conditions sufficient intake of EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids is vital. Without sufficient intake of these essential nutrients proper immune function is simply not possible.
Immune Health and Cancer Prevention
As immune system function is intricately linked with both neurological and hormonal signalling and inflammation it should come as no surprise that scientific research is providing incontrovertible evidence regarding the importance of EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids for healthy immune function and cancer prevention and survival/recovery. The research that EPA and DHA are essential for proper nerve signalling, hormonal production and regulation, immune function, and the regulation of inflammation is overwhelmingly conclusive.
Other likely physiological connections between EPA and DHA sufficiency and cancer prevention are the link between membrane fluidity, insulin resistance, and sex hormone binding globulins which are required to reduce the amount of free circulating hormones. An increase in free unbound circulating hormones is very highly correlated to an increase risk of cancer. Deficiency of EPA and DHA is linked with cell membrane rigidity which can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes a decrease in sex hormone binding globulin and an increase in circulating insulin both of which have been linked to significant increased cancer risk.
It is also significant that an increase in the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to increase the risk of cancer. As previously mentioned, the average Western Diet is dangerously toxic with Omega 6 fatty acids and dangerously deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA.
Supplementing with EPA and DHA from fish oil has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer and to decrease the rate of tumor growth in patients who have already developed cancer.
Skin problems are recognized as one of the most common signs of Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency. Research links Omega 3 deficiency with dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema and improvements with supplementation of fish oil EPA and DHA have been well documented in the scientific literature.
See the References page (this site, in the menu) for supporting research papers.
Healthy Regulation of Inflammation and Pain
Contrary to popular belief, both inflammation and pain are healthy, necessary parts of healing from acute stress and injury. Inflammation and pain can however become chronic and 'hyper' when the body is in a chronic state of imbalance or toxicity or deficiency.
Sufficiency of EPA and DHA Omega 3 EFAs plays a major role in regulating inflammation via substances called prostaglandins. EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins while Omega 6 fatty acids produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Having a diet that is toxic with Omega 6 or deficient in Omega 3 EFAs creates a pro-inflammatory state within the body. This is very significant because inflammation is at the root of virtually all of the common chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression as well as the autoimmune and atopic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Inflammation is also a major factor in dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain and/or cramping), headaches, and back and neck pain.
It is well documented that restoring Omega 3 sufficiency and restoring the proper Omega3:Omega6 fatty acid ratios with EPA and DHA supplementation ( is effective at reducing excess inflammation and the pain and illnesses associated with it.
The health and function of the digestive tract is dependent on healthy cell structure and function. Digestive tract cells are exposed to many toxins and require a great deal of protective coating and repair and replacement. As EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids are an integral part of cell membrane structure they are also an integral part of digestive health and vitally important for the prevention and healing from digestive tract injury and inflammation. Inflammation is a common problem associated not only with EPA and DHA deficiency but with digestive tract disorders such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Another crucial role of EPA and DHA in digestive health is their role in supporting the colonization of the digestive tract with healthy bacteria or probiotics. Probiotic bacteria are now highly recognized as one of the most important aspects of healthy digestion and healthy immune function. Probiotic bacteria help to digest food, to produce certain vitamins and other nutrients and they play a crucial role in controlling the numbers of harmful bacteria and fungi like yeast.
Supplementation with EPA and DHA as found in has been shown to improve digestive tract health, prevent digestive tract inflammation and illness, and to significantly help those already suffering with digestive tract illnesses such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. EPA and DHA have also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Research Info on DHA Omegas by Dr Gregory Ogilvie, Veterinary Oncologist of the Angel Care Centre (USA)
Angel Care’s director Dr. Gregory Ogilvie, has been exploring the therapeutic potential of nutrients to treat veterinary cancer patients since 1984 and has published over 100 scientific articles on the subject.
A client education booklet published by the center notes there is also much evidence to support supplementation with omega-3 (n-3 series) fatty acids, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long chain fatty acid that has been shown to have a number of benefits for the veterinary cancer patient. Most notably, DHA :
The booklet goes on to say that DHA from algae may be preferred, since fish sources can be contaminated with heavy metals and organophosphates (chemicals used in pesticides).
Algae-based DHA is available in gel caps at natural health pharmacies. Small dogs and cats should receive 200 mg once daily; medium sized dogs 200 mg twice daily; large breed dogs 200 mg three times daily; and giant breeds 200 mg four times daily.
See the References page (this site, in the menu) for supporting research papers.