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Fish Oil: It’s All in the Dose!
from Mark Shaw (click to go to Mark’s P-site)

Hi Ed, Mark here, sorry I haven't written for so long. I was interested to read this months letter on Cod liver oil. Over the years of suffering from P, I've taken these for a few months at a time, on and off (one 60mg capsule per day) with no noticeable change to my severe psoriasis.

As I'm prescribed the oral medication Acitretin (Soritane/Neotigason) I have to avoid Vitamin A, which both Soritane/Neotigason and Cod liver oil contain. So I took Omega-3 fish oil, which I think is very similar to Cod Liver Oil, but without the Vitamin A. Again, after two months of taking 1000mg per day I did not see much change in my P, if any. So, to cut a long story short, I decided to increase the dosage to 5000mg/day (5 x 1000mg capsules per day). Now after approximately two months my severe psoriasis became much less flaky, more smooth, less angry and itchy.

It's all in the dosage! If this can help my severe psoriasis, to what extent would it help somebody with only moderate or mild psoriasis?

Of course different things help psoriasis sufferers in different ways, but the message I wanted to give was "It's all in the dosage". Don't forget it can take around two months before people may see any results, so hang in there and don't give up. I recommend people give fish oils a try, they are cheap to buy so, what do you have to lose? Good luck & best wishes, -Mark Shaw


Ed’s Response:  Always a treat to hear from you Mark; this time with good news about fishy business. <Wink> 

Interesting, the dosage you finally found works — 5000 mgs/day — is about what I was getting back in the mid-80s as part of the fish-oil-for-cholesterol-reduction craze.  I’d just had a little “heart thing” and was put on a total-life-habits-overhaul program that involved radical diet change, daily exercise regimen, quit cigarettes and on and on.  The daily mega-dosage of fish oil was only “a drop in the ocean” of change I was going through.  I bring it up because, at the time, they were worried about that much fish oil causing anemia.  After about four months I did not become anemic, but neither did my cholesterol situation improve dramatically.  I’ve written before, but take every opportunity to repeat my response to the doctor’s final query, “Have you had any side effect whatsoever to all that fish oil?”  My response was, “Why yes, I’ve lost my fear of water.”

In reality, what I remember most about those weeks was the awful taste when I burped.  Taking the oil in gelcaps at least enabled me to avoid that dreaded childhood experience of downing cod liver oil by the tablespoon.  But I remember all those memories rushing back when I was poised to take that second bite out of a Philadelphia steak, cheese and onion sandwich and quite out of the blue, burp! … oh Lord let me pass out puhlease.  After that I was psyched.  I thought I could smell fish oil oozing from my pores.  My poor wife-at-that-time.  Smell me there, honey.  Does that smell like raw halibut to you?

Wait.  Rewind.  Do we wonder why Ed had a cholesterol problem when he was chomping down on that Philly steak-cheese-and-onion sammich?

Anyway, as you’re taking Soriatane, I’m sure you’re getting the occasional blood workup that would let you know if you were becoming anemic.  (That was probably an ungrounded concern that’s long since been swept under the rug, along with “leeching.”)

I noticed two links at your web site to more information about Omega3.  Rather than duplicate them here, I’ll send interested flakers to your place to get them.  Dear readers:  Click on Mark’s by-line at the top for a speed-of-light re-routing across the pond.

Don’t stay away so long next time, Markus.  -Ed

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