Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Omega-3s and MMP-9

Omega-3s and MMP-9

Original Publish Date: 12/10/22


I won’t go into PUFAs and the safety of the oils, as I’ve already discussed it in length in the PUFA article

I’ve found clinically that many clients with very dry skin, peeling lips, sluggish liver, and gallbladder imbalances may need more omega-3s. We run a personalized symptom burden report and after so many clients, we can easily spot when someone likely needs more omega-3s. I recommend supplementation if they aren’t willing to eat fatty fish a few times a week.


omega 3 fatty acid deficiency


Another way we test for omega-3 to omega-6 ratios is through a blood spot test. I love that this test shows the real “dangers” of omega-6, especially linoleic acid. News flash, it never is as high as people fear-monger.


This client is in the mid-range of linoleic acid but is very thin. Linoleic acid causing obesity doesn’t necessarily add up in clinical practice.



I vet the companies I work with and trust that they are safe. I’ve called and emailed asking for their sourcing and packaging procedures. While no supplement will be 100% safe, I trust it enough to have my family take them, as my boys don’t love salmon or sardines unless I make a chicken-salmon avo-mayo mix.

I’ve seen the online tendency where one research paper is shared, and then all the influencers jump on the bandwagon to share the same things. I get it. We don’t know if fish oils are 100% safe, but we also don’t know if they are 100% not safe.

Here’s the main reason I advocate for omega 3s, especially with chronic illness and chronic inflammation.

Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (or MMP-9) is a transporter molecule. It binds to a cytokine (immune cell important in cell signaling) made in a cell, burrows through the cell wall material, gains access to the bloodstream, carries the cytokine to where it will do its work (or damage in chronic inflammation), and drops the cytokine off.

White blood cells (activated macrophages) activate the enzyme MMP9, which creates holes in the basement membranes of endothelial cells, allowing inflammatory compounds to penetrate into tissues. This is an important normal function of the immune system so that inflammatory “helpers” can get to sites of inflammation; however, with a continuous stimulus like biotoxins, this becomes destructive.

High doses of Omega-3s help limit the production of MMP-9 by downregulating the receptor which turns on MMP-9 production. Thus the cytokine cannot be transported to do damage. Additionally, large glucose swings seem to inhibit the effects of Omega-3s.

Elevated MMP-9 is seen in several inflammatory illnesses, such as Multiple Sclerosis.

  • High MMP-9 will increase blood-brain barrier permeability

MMP-9 Studies: (SourceSourceSource)


cirs carnivore diet mmp 9


You can easily test your MMP-9 at any Lab-Corp, MMP-9 (Matrix Metalloproteinase-9) (LabCorp #500124). The Normal Range is 85-332 ng/mL.

I know I pick on Ray Peaters, and that may be why I keep getting back into Instagram jail. But they are adding more fruits and orange juice (glucose that inhibits omega-3s inhibition of MMP-9) AND they are also reducing omega-3s (PUFAs) to almost none…


On a serious note, I hope they all test their MMP-9 levels, especially if they suffer from autoimmune, chronic illness, or inflammation.

MMP-9, when uncontrolled, can cause a lot of damage to the body. Your hsCRP can show no inflammation but you can still have inflammation with MMP-9. 

I know it’s easy to follow the narrative, even in the wellness space. But omega-3s are essential for my CIRS patient-clients and also for many other clients. PUFAs oxidize and make people fat, they say… but there’s more to the story with PUFAs, including Omega-3s.

Here are two omega-3s I recommend to my patient-clients: One and two. There are some people who need the SPM resolvin versions, and while they are more expensive, they are also much more effective.  


Of course, stick to fatty fish in food, but if you need omega 3’s, a quality supplement is the next best option. And now you know why.


In health,


Nutrition with Judy

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