Fish Oil Supplements Can Treat Eczema Symptoms

Within the eczema community, awareness about the benefits of using supplements of essential fatty acids (EFAs), continues to emerge.

Taking a good quality fish oil supplement product can bring about an immediate improvement in eczema symptoms.

Many sufferers of eczema have reported reductions in itch, redness and flaky appearance of the skin after taking fish oil supplements.

Many recent double-blind studies have shown that supplementation of the diet with 10 – 12 grams of fish oils daily can bring about an immediateimprovement in eczema symptoms.

A 2008 study cited by Health Information Resources found that participants with eczema reported relief of their symptoms with a daily dose of essential fatty acids.

Doctors typically prescribe topical anti-inflammatory ointments containing corticosteroids to combat eczema. They don’t cure anything, but they might kill the itch, as long as you use them, but in most cases once you stop using them the irritation resumes.

Many young eczema sufferers are prescribed hydrocortisone or other steroids. They clear up the complaint while they are in use, but they are not designed for long-term use and once someone stops using the preparation the eczema returns.

Long term use of steroid creams has its side effects. Among them is the thinning of the skin and the suppression of the adrenal glands over time.

How can fish oils have an effect on eczema symptoms?

Fish oils are rich in omega 3 fatty acids – DHA and EPA – which are not only beneficial for proper functioning of nervous system and immune system, but are also helpful in the prevention of various skin-related diseases like acne, formation of red spots, wrinkles and eczema.

Essential fatty acid foods especially foods that contain eicosapentaenoic acid, a major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in fish oil, interfere with the body’s production of inflammatory chemicals, more specifically arachidonic acid, the chemical which causes eczema lesions to swell and turn red. Arachidonic acid is turned into another pro-inflammatory chemical, leukotriene B4, which is known to accumulate in the lesions of eczema sufferers.

Omega-3 oils benefit eczema by nourishing the cells of the body with the proper essential oils that are so sorely lacking in our typical American diet.

Omega 3 fatty acids provide your skin with elasticity and agile skin that is less prone to wrinkling as well as many types of skin cancer protection.

It is no secret that Americans consume lots of meats and starches but pitifully not enough of green vegetables and fish, which are rich sources of omega-3 oils.

Research shows omega 3 fatty acids help your body make chemicals called eicosanoids. These hormone-like substances help fight inflammation.

While a helpful form of Omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, and a few other foods, the most beneficial form of Omega-3 – containing two fatty acids, DHA and EPA, that are essential to fighting and preventing both physical and mental disease can only be found in fish.

A highly recommended fish oil product for eczema is cod liver oil.

scientific studies have already proven the effectiveness of cod liver oil

Researchers found that consuming 5-6 grams of it daily for 12 weeks shows significant improvement from eczema symptoms!

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The reason cod liver oil works so well for the skin is the vitamin D in it. Our skin must have the vitamin D. Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D and getting this necessary nutrient is extremely important to skin health and every function for bone health.

A highly recommended brand of cod liver oil is Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil.

From the deep unpolluted waters near Norway, Carlson brings you the finest cod liver oil which is naturally rich in vitamin A, Vitamin D3, EPA and DHA. Only cod fish caught during the winter and early spring are used, as the liver oil content is highest at this time of year. The oil is separated from the liver tissues without the use of chemicals.

Carlson Fish Oils are regularly tested (using AOAC International protocols) for potency and purity, by an Independent, FDA registered laboratory, and found to be free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB’s, dioxin, and 28 other contaminants.

For most people, a safe dosage of cod liver oil is approximately two teaspoons per day.

Vegetarian sources of essential fatty acids

1. Flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil may reduce the itching, swelling, and redness associated with certain skin disorders such as eczema.

Many eczema sufferers have reported a noticeable decrease in eczema symptoms after using flaxseed oil supplements. Flaxseed contains amino acids which help to heal inflamed skin such as results from psoriasis or eczema.

Flaxseed oil is found in flaxseed or flaxseed meal. Flaxseed oil is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing approximately 55 to 65 percent of the essential fatty acid ALA. It also contains the natural antioxidants beta-carotene (vitamin A) and carotenoids.

Flax Oil and flax seeds are nature’s richest source of the omega-3 fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid. ALA is an essential fatty acid that is essential for proper health.

Flax seeds are also rich in the B vitamins, protein, and zinc.

How can flax oil have an effect on eczema symptoms?

Flax contains ingredients that interfere with the production of arachidonic acid, (a natural substance found in red meat and dairy products), which promotes the inflammatory response, and makes the lesions of psoriasis turn red and swell.

Flax seeds are beneficial only when ground up or pressed into oil. Whole flax seeds will just pass through the intestinal tract whole without being assimilated into the body.

Many people with eczema can testify that after several weeks of flax oil therapy they began to notice that their skin is no longer dry, itchy, or flaky and their their eczema is disappearing.

2. Evening primrose oil

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence as well that supports the use of evening primrose oil for eczema and other skin rashes in both adults and children.

More than 30 human studies report the benefits of Evening primrose oil for eczema . A study of 1,207 patients reported that EPO was beneficial for skin conditions, including itching, crusting, edema (fluid, swelling), and redness. EPO can be used in children and adults with skin conditions.

The University of Maryland Medical Center in the US, reports that more than 30 human studies — including one consisting of more than 1,200 eczema sufferers — have shown it to be an effective treatment for eczema.

Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose, a wildflower that is native to North America and also grows in Europe, South America and other countries. Its name comes from its yellow flowers that open in the evening and close by the next morning. The oil contains both linolenic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are valuable omega-6 fatty acids that the body needs but does not produce on its own.

GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) is one of the two main types of essential fatty acids. These are “good” fats that are as necessary for your health as vitamins. Specifically, GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid

The body ordinarily makes all the GLA it needs from linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid found in many foods. In certain circumstances, however, the body may not be able to convert linoleic acid to GLA efficiently. These include advanced age, diabetes, high alcohol intake, eczema,  viral infections, excessive saturated fat intake, elevated cholesterol levels, and deficiencies of vitamin B 6, zinc, magnesium, biotin, or calcium.  In such cases, taking GLA supplements may make up for a genuine deficiency.

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