Omega-3 and Sports Injuries (more)

Anonymous found, to his surprise, that his martial-arts injuries healed faster after he started taking flaxseed oil (2 T/day). A comment about Popeye vitamins led him to stop taking flaxseed oil. Within ten days, his gums got worse, and his sports injuries became more painful. He has written again:

After going off flaxseed oil for about ten days and seeing all sorts of negative side effects, I have now been back on it for about ten days (this time with four tablespoons a day instead of two), and I am totally back to where I was before I stopped. Gums aren’t bleeding at all, joints and tendons don’t ache, and I feel great. Anecdotal evidence yes, but very persuasive to me. I have kept taking four tablespoons instead of the previously normal two because I think it increases my mental acuity

Very persuasive to me, too, regardless of what it is called.

10 Replies to “Omega-3 and Sports Injuries (more)”

  1. I had a very similar experience. I’m a recreational cyclist, 30 years old, and I ride a decent amount–maybe 100m/week. I actually started cycling when I developed severe Planar Fasciitis as a runner and required surgery about 2 1/2 years ago.

    For a long time I battled knee pain when I rode, but I was able to control it with exercise to balance my leg strength to make the kneecap track properly and a professional bike fitting. During this time (about a year ago) I started doing SLD with flaxseed oil (after having lost 25lbs. on sugar water the year before in an effort to take some of the weight off of my feet but being unable to run), and I noticed that the pain went away, along with most of the foot pain. I also had a much easier time during allergy season and experienced less symptoms of exercise asthma that I usually get during the winter.

    Anyway, about 2 months ago I did sort of an accidental experiment on myself by running out of fish oil capsules (I switched to these because I don’t tolerate swallowing the oil well) and being too busy/lazy to go buy some more. Within a week, the knee pain was right back to where it was. I could hardly make my 5 mile commute by bike without moderate to severe knee pain. I finally got around to replacing my fish oil supply, and then within 5 days of resuming my regimen, the knee pain was gone completely.

  2. How long does it take to notice the effects from flax oil when you start it (mood and energy)?. A week in general?. I also notice a difference between flax and fish oil. Thanks.

  3. I noticed an improvement in balance from flaxseed oil within about 12 hours. In my recent experiments it takes about 2-3 hours to see improvement in brain function. Keep in mind that I have lots of the necessary enzyme because I have been taking flaxseed oil for months. A beginner may not. So if you have enough of the enzyme, the effects of a large-enough dose should occur in hours. Effects on gums take longer — perhaps a week or two to reach full strength.

    What difference did you notice between flax & fish oil?

  4. Flax oil seems to give me more energy than fish oil, but I did not compare equal doses.

    Do you mean the anzyme that converts EFA to EPA?. I did not know the enzyme upregulates when more omega 3 is available.

    I started taking one tablespoon of flax oil about two weeks ago, so maybe I still have to wait.

  5. yes, the enzyme that converts short-chain to long-chain. Many enzymes work that way: when there is more stuff to be converted, more of the enzyme is made.

    You might try 2 T/day flaxseed oil to see effects more clearly than with 1 T/day.

  6. Great information about flaxseed oil!

    I’ve been taking it for a little over a week, and noticed my lower body joints no longer hurt. Before the flax, it would hurt to walk downstairs, the day after running.

    My question is, when do you take flax? I try to take it before lunch so my stomach is pretty empty and nothing will hinder the digestion process. But I don’t know when the optimal time is.

  7. I don’t think it matters when you take it. I take it at all different times — before lunch, after lunch, before bedtime. I don’t take it at meals so that it acts to reduce my weight.

    As this post shows, the effects take about a week to build up. That kind of slow build up means that the exact timing is unlikely to be important.

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