Omega-3 and Sports Injuries (part 4)

Anonymous writes again:

I got caught in a nasty achilles lock the other day–it’s an MMA [mixed martial art] submission move–and while trying to escape, I accidentally dislocated my fibula at the knee. It made a LOUD popping noise, to the point where everyone in the gym stopped. It popped it back in immediately, and other than some instability, it felt OK. Thankfully there was a doctor there (by chance–he does MMA and was in my class). He spent like 15 minutes examining my knee and said that other than some stretched ligaments, it was fine. His quote (I’m paraphrasing):

“That’s amazing. You should need reconstructive surgery right now. I don’t know how that happened, you must have rubber ligaments.”

I told him about taking 4 tablespoons of flax seed oil every day, and he was shocked, and said he was going to research it to see if that could be why I got so lucky. Told him to Google you, it’s all there.

The injury happened Friday. Today (Tuesday) the doctor looked at my knee again in class, and he was amazed not only at the lack of swelling, but that I was able to roll today (not full speed, just lightly).

I have played sports my whole life and have had at least half a dozen various knee injuries. Things like minor cartilage tears, hyperextensions, strains, etc.–none that were this major (a dislocation of a bone at the joint). Of those injuries, I was out longer and recovered much slower than I have with this one. I know this isn’t proof of anything, and I don’t know how much the flaxseed oil has had to do with what happened, but even the doctor is shocked.

More about omega-3 and sports injuries here and here and here.

Addendum. He uses Whole Foods flaxseed oil without lignans.

9 Replies to “Omega-3 and Sports Injuries (part 4)”

  1. As a skeptic of largely everything, I think this might be an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy as the anonymous alludes to at the end of his comment. That noted, it clearly warrants further research.

  2. Any way to find out what type of flax oil Anonymous is taking? I’m curious about the lignan content comments from other posts which suggested lignans might be a source of nauesea, and wondering whether they may have other effects on the benefits, or lack thereof, of flax. I’ve always taken flax with lignans and haven’t experienced such benefits.

  3. As per Roger Williams’s “Biochemical Individuality,” there is an incredibly wide range of responses to everything, including nutrients.

    Having owned a health food store for a lot of years, it was obvious to me that some things were miraculous for some people, neutral for others, and harmful to another group.

    That’s why Seth’s approach is so important. It’s all about experimentation and learning what things to to your body, and learning how to be objective about that (as far as that’s possible).

    I was taking flax seed oil at one point for weight loss, and then I realized that it was improving my mood. Unfortunately I didn’t trust that observation (about fatty acids) until years later, when it was validated by reading some studies about fatty acids and the brain. So again, Seth’s approach to all these things, and the rigor with which he approaches them, is something to emulate.

  4. Charles, I agree, biochemical individuality is one big reason self-experimentation is important. So you can figure out what works for you.

    Self-experimentation is a bit like the two sides of a bridge, the on ramp and the off ramp. Self-experimentation (on ramp) will often be the only way to come up with a new idea worth testing conventionally. And even after this or that treatment is shown to work via conventional research (bridge), individuals will still need to use self-experimentation (off ramp) to make sure it is working for them.

  5. I suspect the idea of biochemical individuality will never be proven. I’m reminded of the popularity of “Eat Right for Your Type” several years ago. Both seem plausible but a long way from truth and of course, not testable as a hypothesis.
    What should be recognized, however, is that the body is a complex system, its output expressed by the myriad rules that govern it and the initial conditions. Different initial conditions yield different results.
    When it comes to the efficacy of omega 3 we can not isolate the daily dose of fish oil/flax seed from our current and past diets (omega 6: omega 3 intake; types of omega 3 – ALA, DHA or EPA; low-fat Vs low-carb; saturated fat: MUFA/PUFA; other supplements that may work for or against omega 3, etc.) and your physical & psychological environments (high intensity Vs endurance exercise; how you manage stress). The permutation is endless with endless possibilities without ever resorting to biochemical individuality as an explanation.
    Self experimentation may be the only way to settle some hard cases.

  6. Seth .. this may be a strange question, but Im wondering how your hair is doing?
    Ive experimented with flaxseed oil myself, but I noticed my hair got thinner as a result of using flax-oil.
    On the net I also found alot of reactions from people who also experienced hairloss because of flaxseed oil.
    Thanks for your reaction

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