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Diet, Inflammation and Disease, Part 4 (Fish Oil) by Dr. Barry Sears - CrossFit Journal

In Nutrition, Videos

August 28, 2009

Video Article

“If I want to have an al-Qaida battle plan How to Destroy Health Care of America, the USDA food pyramid there would be exactly that. I can think of nothing that would accelerate the development of silent inflammation faster.”

In Part 4 of this series, Dr. Barry Sears pulls no punches in criticizing USDA nutritional prescriptions that are being adopted by countries around the world. Dr. Sears states that a Western diet that causes silent inflammation is one of the reasons for sick citizens and over-burdened health-care systems.

The cure? Adherence to the Zone Diet and the inclusion of large amounts of fish oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Studies have proven that high concentrations of fish oil can be used to dramatically reduce inflammation, resulting in weight loss, improved blood chemistry and better overall health. More clinical research has shown that fatty acids, even when used to supplement a very poor diet, can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, MS, bipolar depression, ADHD, chronic pain and Alzheimer’s—all because fish oils reduce inflammation.

“It’s as close to a miracle drug as I’ll ever see in my lifetime,” Dr. Sears states.

14min 56sec

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23 Comments on “Diet, Inflammation and Disease, Part 4 (Fish Oil)”


Edwin Johnson wrote …

Wow. The studies he mentioned and their findings are amazing. I wish that this were much more common knowledge. From the pieces I've seen that must have been an incredible lecture/conference to attend.


wrote …

So, I hope he's going to give recommended fish oil dosages for various types of people (like me)... As well, maybe how to know when yours is quality or not.

This is amazing stuff.


wrote …

It was a GREAT seminar.....(and FREE) Thanks Coach and Dr. Sears.....Hope to have more of these in the future


wrote …

Did Dr. Sears suggust a method of determining dosage for "average people"? Also, there are lots of fish oil brands and prices available, has anyone found any data to suggest one is better than the other?


wrote …

I am concerned about the statement Dr. Sears mentioned concerning ADHD. He said that after 2 weeks of 15g of fish oil a day, behavior changes were noticed and silent inflammation reduced, but as soon as they stopped taking fish oil, their behavior improvements deteriorated and silent inflammation increased.

It seems like he is suggesting taking fish oil everyday for the rest of your life in order to see the improvements... b/c if you stop, you'll lose it all.

I've always been wary of doing anything to such an extreme and that includes taking fish oil. I wonder if this is a marketing scheme for people to go to his website and buy his high-potency fish oil capsules. Am I being overly skeptical here or does anybody agree with me?


wrote …

I had a back and fourth with Robb Wolf about this on his blog just this week.

The fish oil suggestions like Dr. Sears is given in mega high dosage is for sick people as he explained while giving the various examples.

Robb suggested the high dosage of 1G per every 10 pounds is for SICK people looking to influence or create change. For normal people the suggested dosage is .5g for every 10 pounds which for me at 170 is about 8.5G

To get that from a decent strong fish oil that is still about 16 capsules per day. I'm taking the kirkland brand with the Enteric Coating which makes 2 capsules just over 1g of the essential fatty acids. I am only taking 10 capsules a day right now....Robb said in his blog comments he is taking 45-50 per day.

There is a lot of speculation on sites and boards Sears is merely trying to sell his products as Nicholas slightly suspects but I don't think that's the case. I know Coach has pressed before about how important the fish oils are. Sears does have a vested interest in selling Fish Oils but I also think he'd be happy to hear you're at least taking it, no matter where you're buying it.

Robb Wolf and others suggest the Kirkland Enteric Coated brand from Costco.


wrote …

Has anyone looked into Krill Oil as a substitute for regular Fish Oil? 2 capsules only contain 300mg of Omega-3 but supposedly there are other good benefits.


wrote …

For anyone who is interested, the above link contains a single page of commentary that Andrew Weil puts forth on omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. His position on the topic is nearly identical, albeit less absolute, to Dr. Sear's, and it includes commentary relating to hyberactivity and other mental/behavior issues which can be impacted.

hope this helps.



wrote …

I got certified in San Diego in March and one thing I took with me was the idea of Fish Oil. I have been taking it religiously since then and the results are amazing. I don't get as sore and I have confidence that with a Zone/Paleo diet and Fish Oil I can continue to be healthy and fit for a long time. Thanks to Dr. Sears


wrote …

Are there any drawbacks or contraindications for taking high doses of fish oil? I have heard some Dr's. have concerns about blood thinning and post-op clotting problems w/it.


wrote …

How much fish oil in fish? Wouldn't it be better to eat the fish instead?


wrote …

Fish that are worth consuming for fish oil are those found out in the sea raised on a wild diet, your average farm raised salmon are raised on much cheaper things and would be pretty useless by comparasin.

As far as which fish oils are better, all I can say is that flasks of fish oil are cheaper then those in capsules. and Lemon flavored oil tastes better then regular fish oil. Who wants to burp fish all day?


wrote …

Which fish oil is the better: Look for the product with the highest contents of EPA and DHA.

Contraindications: Fish oil are blood thinning and this can cause problems, for example excessive bleeding when having surgery, so make sure to address the use of fish oil with your doctor if you’re having or about to have any treatment.


replied to comment from Kyle Boyer

What kind and how much are you taking, Kyle?

Concur with Jared's comment about farm-raised fish: they are hopped up on antibiotics and cheap food (often fish scraps). Wild is better.

Thanks to all other commenters on your practical application of Dr. Sears' medical advice.


wrote …

I remember reading that you should ramp up your fish oil intake. Is this true? Rationale?

This was a great talk

Thanks for posting this.



wrote …

The problem with consuming enough fish to get the recommended amounts of EPA and DHA are the heavy metals (mercury etc) found in it.

In good fish oils these get filtered out. Carlson's is very good from a nutritional point of view and nice to use since it's lemon flavored and can be used on salads etc.


wrote …

I agree with the inflamation fighting properties of Omega 3's with the right combination of Omega 6's and 9's. I am 60 yrs old and have been training a little over a year. I can't take fish oil but I have been eating a raw whole food that has the right combination of Omega's for about 8 months. Had both knees operated on 3 years ago and since eating the raw food the pain is virtually gone. Check out at


Matt Deminico wrote …

This is great information.

As far as Dr. Sears selling Fish Oil on his site, and also making these claims about fish oil, I think he simply knows the value of fish oil, and so got into the business of selling it as well.

I mean, it's not like we accuse Bill Henniger at Rogue Fitness of promoting CrossFit because he sells CrossFit specific equipment, that'd be absurd. He does it himself, sees its benefits, opens an affiliate, then says "there's money to be made here selling equipment, I'll do that too". I think Dr. Sears is doing the same thing.


wrote …

To see those pictures Dr. Sears was referring to:

It's a whole page on Manuel Uribe with photos and videos.


Rob Barrese wrote …

Does anyone in the community know what the Zone blocks are for fish oil? Do they factor into a meal, a day, ect? and if so in what dose?


wrote …

Fish oil has ZERO impact on your calorie / block intake, in other words, do not count it at all as calories/ fat/ consumption


Here is a link to the Dr Sears is referring to on ADHD and omega 3 is

I did a bit of research a couple of years ago on ADHD and omega 3, (nutrition science degree)

A couple of things that were interesting. Kids with ADHD have lower omega 3 levels in blood cell membranes than non affected kids even with the same diet. They don't seem to retain omega 3 in their bodies or metabolise it out faster.

There are a number of studies showing that omega 3 improves ADHD problems.

And yes of course you need to keep taking it. Like any nutrient or vitamin, if you don't take in enough or keep taking it at an amount that is right for you the benefits disappear. Our diets today are abysmally low in omega 3. So the only way to get suffient amounts is to supplement.

Everybody's needs are individual, but the minimum for cardio protection is shown to be 1000mg per day EPA+DHA, thats about 3 - 4 capsules of standard fish oil or a serving of wild salmon 4 times a week.

In choosing fish oil look at - has it been tested for oxidation levels, purity, and is it concentrated. Sears one is batch tested to ensure it is high concentrate, high purity and low oxidation. Thats why he developed it. There are others on the market that are also very good - but do research before you buy.

Fish oil has made a massive difference to my health (pain and inflammation) But I highly recommend cutting out any foods that trigger auto-immune issues as well. My joint inflammation disappeared completely with a combination of fish oil, vitamin D (another highly neglected nutrient) and removing grains and legumes from my diet.



wrote …

This lecture series is amazing!

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