Confused about Omega oils?

I first heard of Evening Primrose oil about 25 years ago and heard it was helpful to those who had food allergies.

Then the health buzz words changed from Evening Primrose Oil to Omega 6 and how this could help with breast tenderness and female hormonal related conditions especially PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).

from Herbal Remedy Online

Omega 6 is found in Evening Primrose Oil but is richer in Starflower (Borage) oil, so everyone who wanted Omega 6 turned to Starflower oil.

from Indian Essential Oils

Although Starflower oil is a richer source of GLA, the important fatty acid that is the key part of Omega 6, the body doesn’t convert the GLA in Starflower oil as well, and it has been discovered now that Evening Primrose oil is a better source of GLA for the body.

Now I am reading that we are consuming too much Omega 6 and this can cause disease and inflammatory conditions.

What is going on?

Why did Evening Primrose or Starflower oil help PMS if now too much of it can cause ill-health?

Read on.

Evening Primrose oil does help PMS and the body needs both Omega 6 (from evening primrose oil) and Omega 3 (fish oils) in a ratio of 4:1 apparently. 4 parts of Omega 6 to 1 part of Omega 3.

The omega 3 fish oils should be as pollutant free as possible and screened. Omega 3 fish oils are from the fleshy part of the fish and contain more of the important fatty acids – DHA and EPA. Cod liver oil is from the livers of cod.

But how are we consuming too much Omega 6?

By all the seeds and nuts that we are eating more and more of and the food industry is using more and more refined vegetable oils and these refined oils are from seeds and most seeds contain Omega 6 (plus other omegas).

Although these oils that the food industry uses are generally refined oils they will not contain much of the important GLA from Omega 6 oils because of the refining process.

Refined oils can be found in bread, cakes, biscuits, pies, pizzas, crackers, crisps, soups, sauces, mayonnaise, dips, snacks, chocolate, sweets, puddings, deserts, ice-cream in fact everything; and of-course cooking oil whether it is sunflower oil or corn oil is refined and then there is MARGARINE full of refined vegetable oil plus another very nasty fat called Trans Fat.

What is refined oil? I think this quote best describes it:

The following quote is from Dr Sears

Most of the oils you’ll find in the supermarket have not only been extracted with heat or solvents, but have also been refined with potentially toxic substances. These processes improve shelf life and make oil cheap to produce, but they take the product further away from its natural state and leave chemical residues behind. If the label does not boast that the oil is “unrefined,” you can assume that it has been through some kind of chemical process that makes it worse for your health.

The Dr Sears website is useful but I totally disagree with what he says about coconut oil so check The Coconut Research Center

Soya is also causing awful health issues, click on this link: Soya

Soya can be found in most food products either for its protein or for its oil or for its fat especially a fat called lecithin. Where you see lecithin on a label it is highly likely to be soya lecithin.

Refined oils have no nutrients left in them after the refining process or perhaps to be more specific the delicate essential fatty acids so vital to our diet have been destroyed by the refining process.

While the seed oils that have been refined are from the Omega 6 category of fats, they do not contain the essential nutrients one would expect to find in oils termed Omega 6. It is not Omega 6 oils that can cause poor health conditions but refined omega 6 oils without the essential nutrients that are the cause of ill-health.

The food industry seems to be jumping on a health band wagon and mis-using the information to sell its product. We do need more Omega 3 category of oils to complement Omega 6 but it is the unrefined cold-pressed Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils that we need.

Supplementing Omega 3 fish oils will not compensate the effects of the refined oils in our diet. We need to stop consuming the refined oils to halt the bad effects.

from Omacor

While some reports suggest that we require a 4:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, Udo Erasmus who is I would argue the foremost individual authority on Omega oils, suggests a ratio of 2:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6. This may be because of the seeds and nuts that contain Omega 6 that we have more and more of in our diet.

But no wonder I am confused about these oils!

Professor Puri developed an oil called VegEPA which is EPA from fish oils and a little unrefined virgin evening primrose oil. He has also written a very persuasive book about the subject. Click on the link under the image.


I believe that VegEPA is for the specific purpose of delivering one component of the important fish oils and that is EPA. VegEPA is in a form that the body can easily assimulate when ill-health or a weakness means that the body cannot make the conversion of natural fish oils very well.

I disliked this oil because it seems to me to be a type of medication rather than a natural substance because the fish oils have had the DHA taken out, therefore to my way of thinking, the natural fish oils have been denatured.

Prof Puri has produced a book on the subject which explains that VegEPA contains only EPA and no DHA plus an enzyme found in Omega oils that helps the body make the conversion of EPA to DHA.

The brain is mainly DHA and DHA it is a very necessary and essential fatty acid!

Prof Puri points out that the body can make the DHA as and when it needs from the VegEPA supplement.

(However from personal experimentation I have found that purified and screened fish oils with both DHA and EPA have been extremely beneficial to me and my ME. I did try the vegEPA but came out in a particularly distressing rash all over my body which went when I stopped the supplement. I put this down to the capsule shell as I couldn’t believe it would be the oil itself.)

It is all such a confusion all the time. Just what does the body really need?

Now the Food Industry and supplement companies are introducing more Omega 3 fish oils into our food. Will this address the imbalance?

No I don’t think so. The Food Industry jumps from one band wagon of a health issue to another as an advertising ploy to sell their food to us.

So what do we need as far as Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils are concerned?

Read all that Udo Erasmus says about Fats that heal and Fats that kill Click on the words and the link will lead you to some interesting FAQs on the subject. Alternatively click on the link under the image of Udo Erasmus’ book and that will lead you to more about the man himself.

Udo Erasmus

Enter yet another Omega Oil – Omega 9. What is this? Do we need it? Well the short answer is ‘No not as a supplement.’ We only need it as it appears in nature alongside all the other good components that make up plants and animals. But the long answer is that the health ‘experts’ haven’t discovered a reason to make it a health concern … yet.

We don’t just need Omega 3 fish oils we also need Omega 6 unrefined oils. We need them both in balance alongside Omega 9 and Omega 7 and all the other Omegas we have yet to hear about.

I think that the reason it is thought that we desperately need Omega 3 fish oils is because research has shown that Omega 3 is needed for healthy heart, depression, schizophrenia, alzheimers, hyperactivity in children, cancer and memory loss and also as far as ME is concerned, it aids sleep and energy. These illnesses are causing the NHS a lot of money, not to mention a lot of stress to the suffering individuals.

The brain is mainly DHA a fatty acid found in Omega 3. Click on Omega 3 and also this review I was asked to conduct: Omax3

However if we could have a natural un-adultered diet then we wouldn’t need supplements, surely?

As has been mentioned before some health experts tell us that the best ratio for the Omega 6 & 3 oils is 4:1. 4 parts of Omega 6 to 1 part of Omega 3.

Now for the scary bit, it has been found that the best ratio of Omega 3 fish oils of EPA to DHA is 1000 mgs of EPA and 250 mgs of DHA. (Click on: Omax3) So our consumption of the Omega 6 having to be 4 times greater than the fish oils would have to be about 6000 mgs. However if you are consuming foods high in Omega 6 (sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc) you will probably not need to take so much. But how are you to know?

Quite frankly the maths is ridiculous!

So where does that leave Omega oils and what to take and what not to take? And why take it anyway?

Unless you are suffering with ill-health then I would leave well alone except to change to a better diet.
Make your own bread, pastries, pizzas and biscuits from organic grains and seeds you trust.
Never buy take-aways as these are full of refined oils.
Never buy snacks, not even plain crisps with only sunflower oil and salt as the sunflower oil will be refined
Eat oily fish 3 – 5 times a week.
Eat more green vegetables and more fruit. We prepare vegetables to eat, so take time out and prepare fruit to eat.

And what is Omega 7 anyway? Omega 7 is found in Sea Buckthorn and is beneficial for good mucus membranes … apparently.

So how do we improve the status quo? How do I make myself healthy?

If Udo Erasmus can be believed by taking his oil blend that appears to be a cure all. The only way to find out is to try it! I haven’t … yet. I am not good with taking oil by the spoonful but it is on my TO DO list!

But back to the oils. If we can’t have them in the processed foods we buy from biscuits to pies, when can we have them?

Unrefined oils are only healthy for you when eaten cold. This is important to understand, you must never heat unrefined oils because the healthy aspects are destroyed with heating and then the oil becomes unstable and toxic.

The only oils to use to cook with are Extra Virgin Oil or Virgin Olive Oil, Animal Lard or Butter (Udo Erasmus suggests to only use Butter or Lard). These are safer to cook with, as they contain high amounts of Vitamin E an antioxidant that safeguards us against oxidants – the bad chemicals formed whenever you burn anything. The trick is to not burn the oil!

All other oils should only be used unrefined, cold pressed and COLD and within their sell-by-date. Use your imagination to use them. Sprinkle on salads or to flavour new potatoes or vegetables.

To recap:

  • We need a balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils with a little of the other omegas
  • The healthy oils are cold pressed, UNREFINED and pollutant free
  • The food industry is flooding the market with refined oils which are bad for us and can cause ill-health
  • We are also eating more seeds and so getting a supply of Omega 6 oils
  • It is best to eat foods as naturally as possible
  • If we need to supplement then the supplements that are best are those that are organic and as near to their natural state as is healthy.
  • When supplementing Omega 6 look for unrefined evening primrose oil in capsules of 500mgs and purified and screened Omega 3 fish oil in capsules of 1000 mgs or more giving approximately 160 mgs EPA and 100 mgs DHA. Omax 3 give much higher proportions but I will leave that up to you and your body to decide if you need that.

How to cook with Olive oil, butter or animal lard:

Put some water into a frying pan and add the chopped onions or vegetables you want to cook.
Cook (effectively this is almost steam cooking because the water will evaporate) the veg until soft and then add Olive oil or butter or lard at the end of cooking for a minute to quickly seal the food and give flavour. NEVER allow the oil, butter or lard to burn.
When ready to eat pour on any unrefined oil for a unique taste.

When buying Olive Oil remember this:

Oils or fats can go rancid – you can tell when they smell sour and fatty with no other fresh smell. Olive oil (and all unrefined oils) has a shelf life of one year from the day it is produced. Oils are better kept in the fridge but Olive Oil may look cloudy although this is perfectly normal.

Spanish oil is produced in Dec/Feb. The harvesting of the olives takes place every year between December and February depending on the growing region.
Some of the OLD spanish olive oil is sold in November to Italy and the spanish oil vats are thorougly steam cleaned in preparation for the new oil. Never keep your olive oil for longer than a year and always keep it in a cool, dark place.

Olives grow on trees and are at first green and then go black. Many years ago olives were pressed through a screw pressure press and then pressed more and more hence the terms first and second pressings. Nowadays with a centrifugal system there is no first or second pressing.

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil must contain less then 1% free fatty acids (oleic) the olives picked tend to be green and just before they ripen to black.
  • Virgin Olive Oil must be more than 1% free fatty acids (oleic)and no more than 2% when the olives are turning black and contain more of the essential fatty acids and a milder more rounded flavour.
  • Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil (no more than 3.3% free fatty acids) and only sold in Spain to wholesalers. It is possibly refined.
  • Lampante Olive Oil is the last of all the olives when they have got damaged or bruised or been on the tree for too long. This oil was only used to burn in lamps hence its name. If it is high heat treated and refined it is then safe to be consumed but most of its vital nutrients have been destroyed along with the toxic elements. Consuming lampante oil that has not been refined is highly toxic.

I have not been able to find unrefined Virgin Oil in the UK but I have found something called Light Olive Oil – this appears to be treated (refined) lampante oil or refined virgin oil with some Extra Virgin Oil added.

I can purchase Extra Virgin (<1%) direct from a Cooperative in Spain where I used to live.

I can get the oil delivered directly to your door. 5 litres will cost approximately £45 including post and packaging and will arrive in a tin container. You will be purchasing the freshest most flavoursome Extra Virgin Olive oil you will have ever tasted in your life!

5 litres of oil may seem a lot but it will keep for a year. I use Olive Oil in cooking all the time, and if you click on Skincare you will notice I also use it on my skin. I also use it as a household polish.

I think I must use about 20 litres of oil a year which is about 1 and a half litres a month. It sounds a lot but it isn’t really especially as I also use it for massage on my clients. This is because I then know I am using ‘fresh’ oil and that the client will get the full benefit of unrefined fresh healthy omega oils on their skin.

Nothing but the best as far as I am concerned!

If you are interested please contact me on the contact’s page. I can only accept payment through paypal.

2 thoughts on “Confused about Omega oils?

  1. I know this is an old post, but I came across it while searching for good fish oil.

    My brother has schizophrenia and I have major depression, and when I started taking the Vegepa years ago, it made a HUGE difference. We tried it because we read on a schizophrenia website the theory that schizophrenics have a problem converting EPA to DHA. The website recommended Vegepa because the EPA and DHA had already been extracted and no conversion was needed.

    Again, it made a huge difference to both of us. I have had medicine resistant depression, and the Vegepa made me feel like a normal person. I had to take the huge recommended amount, but it worked.

    So, then they changed it to exclude the DHA, with the assumption the EPA will convert to DHA if we need it. It took me about three months to totally go downhill on the new stuff, and I was disappointed beyond belief.

    Also, from what I understand, the new, improved, everyone’s-gotta-have-it EPA is an ethyl EPA that has been chemically changed.

    I have to wonder who did those studies on it and if their product went through the roof because of it, and how real it is to do a study on your own product.

    So, its left me and my brother high and dry. I use regular fish oil, but again, without the DHA distilled out of it, it doesn’t have the same effect at the original Vegepa. It does, however, work better for me than the new anti-DHA Vegepa product did.

    • Dear Sherri
      The brain is DHA and glucose dependant.
      It must have DHA and a drip-drip effect of glucose.
      DHA is found in eggs, meat, fish and milk provided those animals have been given the normal diet they naturally should eat, are allowed to roam in the fields to eat grass or peck at the dirt or swim in rivers to consume the algae that has been growing in the sunshine. DHA is found in the fatty components of the animals. We should all be eating more animal fats and the best form of milk is raw whole milk from grass fed cows.
      Glucose is best obtained from whole grains that have been fermented first and fruits.

      I am writing a serious book about what has made me well. My fish oils used to be by xtendlife. Very good, but expensive. I now get my fish oils from Nature’s Aid and they contain DHA.
      I did try the vegepa but came out in an all over body rash. You and brother may also need calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement as this helps the brain (as well as the whole body) and you must avoid all foods with artificial sugars and additives in as some of these kill neurons in the brain.

      All the best with your health and thank you for your comment.

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