Fish Oils & Mythological Membranes



By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

I’m often asked, “If fish oil and algae are not suitable sources of DHA [docosahexaenoic acid], where can I get it?”

Docosahexaenoic acid IS fish oil — IS algae oil — IS cod liver oil — IS krill oil — and so forth.

The same goes for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus other lesser known highly-unsaturated fatty acids.


Medical Science promotes DHA & EPA (the nasty stuff you find in fish oil and cod liver oil) with hogwash such as …

“This is proof of the ability of fish oil DHA to readily incorporate into phospholipid cell membranes, showing a superior ability compared to EPA to support blood pressure and heart health.”

“Natural and synthetic fatty acids modify the physical properties of lipid membranes.”

“Structurally, DHA comprises 22 carbons and six double bonds, making it the most unsaturated fatty acid in cell membranes and an important ingredient in increasing the fluidity of cell membranes.”

“DHA modulates key cell membrane properties like fluidity, thereby affecting the behaviour of transmembrane proteins like G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).”

“DHA is a key component of all cell membranes and is found in abundance in the brain and retina.”

Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. etc., etc., etc. …

Cyberspace overflows with this “scientific” nonsense.


Now let’s cut to the real nitty-gritty …

Membranes — as scientists define them — don’t exist.


Ray Peat (“Membranes, plasma membranes, and surfaces,” 2006-2016) wrote …

“The lipid bilayer membrane was an early guess, and the pumps were added later, as needed. Gilbert Ling reviewed the published studies on the various ‘membrane pumps,’ and found that the energy needed to operate them was 15 times greater than all the energy the cell could possibly produce.”

According to the same source …

“Cells can be treated with solvents to remove practically all fats, yet the cells can still show their characteristic membranes: Plasma membrane, mitochondrial membranes, even the myelin figures. The proteins that remain after the extraction of the fats appear to govern the structure of the cell.

“A small drop of water can float for a moment on the surface of water; this is explained in terms of the organization of the water molecules near the surface. No membrane is needed to explain this reluctance to coalesce, even though water has a very high affinity for water.”


In a book edited by Gerald H. Pollack, Ivan L. Cameron, and Denys N. Wheatley (Water and the Cell, 2006), Gilbert N. Ling wrote about …

“The Complete Disproof of the Membrane (Pump) Theory and Its Ancillary Postulations.”

“Disproof of the Sieve-like Cell Membrane Concept.”

“The Disproof of the Membrane Pump Theory.”

“The Disproof of the Free Cell Water Postulation.”

“The Disproof of the Free Cell Potassium Postulation.”

“The Disproof of the Postulation of the Existence of All Intracellular Proteins in the Conformation Conventionally called ‘Native’.”


Gilbert N. Ling, Gerald H. Pollack, and Ray Peat — all mentioned above — are “Fourth Phase of Water” folks.

So is Thomas Cowan — “The Heart Is Not a Pump” doctor.

Ditto for Mae-Wan Ho (1941-2016).

The Fourth Phase of Water is also called Structured Water, EZ Water, Gel Phase Water, Colloidal Phase Water, Superconducting Quantum Coherent Water, Living Rainbow Water, Miracle Water, H3O2, etc.


There are other maverick scientists (lots of them!) who disagree with the college-textbook Membrane Theory.

Harold Hillman (1930-2016) was one of them.

According to Wikipedia …

“Hillman caused controversy in biological fields with his insistence that structures seen in cells under the electron microscope were little more than artefacts. He maintained that up to 90 percent of the brain is made up of ‘a fine, granular material that is virtually liquid’ and that the brain only has two cell types, as opposed to four.”

Harold Hillman (“A Serious Indictment of Modern Cell Biology and Neurobiology”) wrote …

“All standard textbooks of biology show the orientation of the lipids and proteins in the cell membrane, but, unfortunately, these models are only hypotheses. It may be concluded that it is impossible to know the chemistry of the cell membrane, its width, its structure, and the orientation of molecules within it.”

Dr. Hillman also wrote …

“It is concluded that the chemistry in life of the membranes or the mitochondrial contents, cannot be known, and may never be.”

And …

“It seems to me that [Gilbert] Ling’s hypothesis is more sound physicochemically and less mysterious, than the concept of ion pumps.”


IF THERE IS NO MEMBRANE PUMP how can Joanne Bradbury be correct when she wrote (“Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An Ancient Nutrient for the Modern Human Brain,” May 2011) …

“These recent advances in understanding the influence of the highly unsaturated DHA molecule in the membrane phospholipids has fuelled speculation that it may work as a metabolic ‘pacemaker’ for cells, and perhaps influence the metabolism of the whole organism via an impact on the basal metabolic rate. This theory was tested by Turner et al., who demonstrated a positive linear relationship between the high molecular activity of the enzyme Na+K+ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) and membrane concentration of DHA in the surrounding phospholipids in brain, heart, and kidney tissue of samples from both mammals and birds. Further, the highest concentration of DHA was found in the mammalian brain as was the highest activity rate of the pump. This is significant as the sodium-potassium pump accounts for some 20% of the basal metabolic rate but approximately 60% of the energy utilization in the brain.”


IF THERE IS NO MEMBRANE PUMP how can Jack Kruse be correct when he wrote (“Organization of Structure and Failure #9: DHA, Stress, and Scale,” Aug. 22, 2014) …

“DHA allows our cells to power up electrons with photons. DHA fundamentally takes light and turns it into electrical signals in cell membranes everywhere but especially our brain. Our mitochondria have two sets of cell membranes. Inner and outer and its chemistry is huge in tunneling electrons. If it does not work we get a redox shift in our Q cycle. When this happens we lose the ability to move electrons from foods in our mitochondria.”

'Fish Oils & Mythological Membranes' have 5 comments

  1. February 8, 2017 @ 6:27 pm Atom

    Ray Peat (“Membranes, plasma membranes, and surfaces,” 2006-2016) wrote …

    “If you want to use a polyunsaturated oil as a drug, it is worthwhile to remember that the “essential fatty acids” suppress metabolism and promote obesity; are immunosuppressive; cause inflammation and shock; are required for alcoholic liver cirrhosis; sensitize to radiation damage; accelerate formation of aging pigment, cataracts, retinal degeneration; promote free radical damage and excitoxicity; cause cancer and accelerate its growth; are toxic to the heart muscle and promote atherosclerosis; can cause brain edema, diabetes, excessive vascular permeability, precocious puberty, progesterone deficiency, skin wrinkling and other signs of aging.”–e-books.php#Yellow-Fat-Disease-III


  2. February 8, 2017 @ 6:32 pm Atom

    Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw, Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach, 1982) wrote …

    “We know that polyunsaturated fats are much more susceptible to oxidation and the subsequent generation of free radicals. Since there is a high content in the brain of the very highly polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexanoic acid (the precursor of which is dietary linolenic acid, also polyunsaturated), it is likely that a major part of brain aging is due to free radicals generated during the abnormal, inadequately controlled oxidation of these fatty acids. Possibly the decline in sensory perception associated with age may be due at least in part to free radical damage in the brain. Sensory nerves involving vision, hearing, taste, and smell all contain large amounts of very easily peroxidized docosahexanoic acid.”–e-books.php#Yellow-Fat-Disease-III


  3. February 8, 2017 @ 6:34 pm Atom

    Farley Mowat (People of the Deer, 1951, 1952, 1975) wrote …

    “There was a reason why the Ihalmiut had never learned to make and to use nets; for they were perfectly well aware of the fish that could be had for the taking. But they also knew that the results of fishing on a large scale are simply not the kind of results that can support human life in the Barrens. It all comes back again to the problem of fat. No inland fish, and this applies equally to hares and ptarmigan, can supply even a fraction of the fat requirements of the People. Fish are fine in summer as a dietary supplement when there is plenty of food in any case. In winter, a prolonged diet of fish would be as disastrous as poison to the People, and starvation in the form of fatal deficiencies would smite those whose bellies are distended with fish as violently as it smites those whose bellies are empty. Later I will tell you of a race of Northern natives who were weaned over from deer meat to fish. It is evident that the tragedy which resulted did not make its mark upon the official minds of men in high quarters.

    “The deer must feed the People, and the deer alone can give the People life.”–e-books.php#Yellow-Fat-Disease-III


  4. February 8, 2017 @ 6:37 pm Atom

    Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) can be found in …

    algal oil

    anchovy oil

    cod liver oil

    DHA-fortified foods

    DHA-fortified prenatal vitamins

    DHA-fortified supplements

    herring oil

    green-lipped mussel oil

    krill oil

    lake trout oil

    mackerel oil

    marine phytoplankton

    microalgal (single cell) oil

    omega-3 eggs

    sablefish oil

    sardine oil

    seal oil

    shark liver oil

    tuna head oil



  5. February 8, 2017 @ 6:40 pm Atom

    The Mastery of Pain returns us to the highest level of all — the BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS (the Ouch! level of existence) …


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