I’m always on the lookout for alternatives to painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen because of the damage they do to the system. So, I was pleased to see this report today from Nutrigold about using a mix of EPA and DHA, the fatty acids in fish and krill oil, with Hop Alpha Acids for inflammatory conditions instead.
We don’t mention hops for pain relief very often, actually, but I should as I have seen some really good research on it. It’s not that well-known, yet. Here’s Nutrigold’s excellent Pain factsheet on it for you to start you off. (NB. Nutrigold have informed me that Nurocyte, their Hops product, mentioned in the factsheet is currently being reformulated and will be back on the shelves in a few months they send their apologies!)
Anyway, here’s Nutrigold’s report based on a recent study suggesting that taking Fish or Krill oil for lowering inflammation works better for some than taking aspirin:
FISH AND KRILL OIL BETTER THAN ASPIRIN AS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
The New York study of healthy adults compared taking a single dose of 650mg a day of aspirin, with taking 3.4g a day of EPA and DHA. They also looked at the effect of taking both aspirin and EPA/DHA together. The most effective results were with EPA and DHA alone. Krill oil forms of DHA and EPA are also more efficiently absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract and incorporated into cell membranes and for this reason is the EFA of choice for many.
This is fantastic news for anyone seeking to reduce inflammation and pain without taking medication that may have a number of side effects. Conditions ranging from headaches and arthritis to heart disease and cancer are thought to be related to inflammation. Aspirin side effects range from headaches to damage to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
EPA and DHA are the long chain polyunsaturated omega 3s found in fish and krill oil. They can be converted from the parent form (alpha-linolenic acid) in flax oil but usually very inefficiently. The enzyme required for this, delta-6-desaturase, requires precise conditions and ingredients for the body to produce it, and is thought to be inhibited by certain nutrient deficiencies like Vitamin B6 and magnesium, antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, gluten and coffee.
In addition, EPA and DHA were shown to be better at aspirin countering angiogenesis, which is a sought after property for many cancer treatments. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels, which cancer tumours initiate to provide themselves with nourishment.
Of course it takes time for EPA and DHA to incorporate in cellular membranes and affect a balance in inflammation. For fast-acting pain relief hop alpha acids can be taken. Studies show this unique preparation reduces inflammation and associated pain in the same way as aspirin within 30-60minutes. However hop alpha acids act selectively on the inflammation pathways, unlike aspirin, so avoid any of the dangerous side effects found with aspirin such as increased risk of gastric ulcers, bleeding and even stroke. This makes EPA and DHA combined with short-term use of fast-acting hop alpha acids a double pronged approach to reducing inflammation and pain.