Essential Fatty Acids



Essential Fatty Acids and Vitamin A & D

Essential fatty acids play a major role in the GAPs Supplementation Protocol and the following group of essential oils meet the GAPs supplementation protocol.

1.  A good seed/nut oil blend in the ratio of 2:1 omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.

Barleans Omega Twin Omega Oils


The seed/nut oil blend needs to supply both parent essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 (2:1 ratio).

Dosage Children:  Start from a few drops added to food (not hot) and slowly build the dose up to 1 – 3 tablespoons a day (5 – 15ml).

Dosage Adults:  Start from one tea spoon a day and slowly increase the dose to 4 – 5 table spoons a day. 

Caution: Due to GAPS patients severe fatty acid deficiency, be sure to introduce these oils slowly to avoid reactions.  However if the patient experiences constipation, the increase of the oils can be beneficial.

After searching the globe for the right seed/nut oil blend, GAPS Australia could only find one that met the GAPS criteria in both quality standards and ratio of omega 3 to 6.  Barlean’s Omega Twin Flax/Borage Oil is a significant advancement in essential fatty acid nutrition.  This product combines organic flaxseed oil (richest source of LNA omega 3 with borage oil, richest source of GLA omega 6.  The 2:1 ration creates a special synergism that may potentiate their effects.  Alternatively you can take a Flaxseed Oil (10ml) with Evening Primrose Oil (5ml) as two separate products but you will need to make sure that the ingredients will not aggravate GAPS conditions.

Nut or seed blend: Can be added to juice, smoothies or drizzled over meals.  Best to be consumed with food. 

 2.  A good Cod Liver Oil

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil

clo2The Cod Liver Oil needs to supply EPA, DHA, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.  Fermented CLO is far easier to digest than regular CLO, absorption is increased and the nutrients are easier to assimilate.  It contains 2 ½ times more of the therapeutic Vitamins A and D, and uses no heat during production therefore retaining the precious enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients that would usually be destroyed by food processing.  Fermentation not only concentrates nutrition, but it also makes that nutrition more bio-available.  Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a tremendous source of EPA, DHA, Vitamins A, D, E, & K, Omega 3, 6, 7, & 9, as well as Price Factor X (Vitamin K2).

Vitamin A deficiency can cause digestive problems.  In fact gut disease is one of the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, because the gut lining is one of the most active sites of cell production, growth and differentiation.  Neither of these processes can happen properly without a good supply of vitamin A.  Leaky gut and malabsorption are the typical results of vitamin A deficiency.  Unfortunately, due to digestive problems, GAPS children and adults usually cannot absorb or use many forms of vitamin A, commonly found in supplements.  A natural form of vitamin A found in cod liver oil appears to be the best form for these patients.

The Weston A Price Foundation have conducted numerous tests to determine the right dosage of Vitamin A and D and have compared and sourced the best brands.  In their findings they identified that the majority of cod liver oil manufacturers undergo a process that removes all the natural vitamins which leaves virtually no vitamin D and very little vitamin A remaining in the product.  In addition to this some also add manufactured vitamin A and D to their purified cod liver oil.  Fortunately, one manufacturer added the natural vitamins removed during processing back into the cod liver oil.  This manufacturer was Green Pastures and their product offers a naturally produced, unheated fermented high vitamin cod liver oil that is developed using a filtering process that retains its natural vitamins.

The Weston A Price foundation have ascertained the appropriate values of A and D to be 1900 IU vitamin A per ml and 390 IU Vitamin D per ml.  Therefore, one teaspoon (5ml) of cod liver oil contains 9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D (approximately 5:1 ratio). These values assist in determining the following calculations for the dosage for Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil.  (Please note that this dose will differ with other brands).

Children aged 3months to 4 years:  ¼ to 1/3 teaspoon of oil (1 – 1.25mls).

Children aged 4 or 5 to 12 years: ½ teaspoon (2.5mls) (Providing: 4650 IU vitamin A 975 IU vitamin D)

 Dr Campbell-McBride recommends building the dose up slowly to 4ml and remain on this dose for the first month and then cut back to 2.5mls for your child’s maintenance dose.  Be sure to build up to the 4ml slowly (½ ml to 1 ml at a time).  A child under 18 months can have one ml.

Adults & Children aged over 12 years: 1 teaspoon (5mls) or 5 – 10 capsules (Providing:  4650 IU vitamin A 975 IU vitamin D)

Pregnant and nursing women: 2 teaspoon (10mls) or 11 -20 capsules (Providing:  19000 IU vitamin A 975 IU vitamin D)

Fermented Cod Liver oil provides many cofactors that may enhance the body’s uptake and usage of vitamins A and D and due to its high qualities, people have reported the same beneficial results with half the recommended dose which is ¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) for children, ½ teaspoon for adults and children over 12 years and 10 capsules for pregnant and nursing mothers.

If the full GAPS diet is implemented correctly for a period of time and plenty of fats and liver are consumed, then Cod Liver Oil does not need to be supplemented all the time, particularly in the summer where there is plenty of sunshine exposure. After 2 years on the full GAPS diet and a significant amount of healing has taken place, CLO can be discontinued.


Fermented Cod Liver Oil is best supplemented on an empty stomach (2 hours after food and 30 minutes before food)  Choosing a time in the afternoon before afternoon tea or after school when you know you child has not eaten for a couple of hours can work well.

3.  Fish Oil with a higher ratio of EPA to DHA. 

Eye Q and Pro EFA Fish oils


Supplementing high levels of EPA has shown remarkable results for GAPS Patients.

Nordic Naturals Pro EFA is an omega 3 derived from fish oil and an omega 6 derived from borage oil.  Pro EFA provides a grater ratio of EPA to DHA.  One teaspoon of Pro EFA liquid provides Omega 3: 675 mg EPA to 450 mg DHA,   Omega 6: 165 mg GLA, & Omega 9:  400 mg OA.

January 13th, 2005, Nordic Naturals, Inc., announced their results of a successful pilot study that showed beneficial effects of essential fatty acids (EFA) on language and learning skills in children with Autism and Aspergers syndrome. 

Eye q Fish Oil is an omega 3, derived from small fish and an omegas 6, derived from evening primrose oil.  Eye q provides an even higher ratio of EPA to DHA than Nordic naturals Pro EFA.  One teaspoon of eye q provides Omega 3: 186mg EPA to 58mg DHA, Omega 6: 20mg GLA (DGLA).  This is a ratio of 3:1 EPA to DHA with additional benefits of evening primrose which has been shown through research to be better at elevating DGLA than borage oil.

The manufacturers of eye q have used wizardry to synthasise DGLA from evening primrose Oil and their clinical trials (including Australian trials) reveal outstanding results for gaps children.  Eye q oils are extracted using a simple mechanical press to ensure minimal contact with heat, light and oxygen to avoid oxidization making the oil go rancid. According to the manufacturers of eye q, it is filtered and never refined. 

Supplementing with eye q plays a role in decreasing inflammation whilst improving neurotransmitter functioning.  Research and clinical trials has shown that supplementing eye q has provided significant improvement in behaviour, attention, eye contact, reading and writing in as little as 3 months. 

Dosage for above oils

 For a therapeutic affect a child can take up to 5 ml with each main meal 3 times a day over a period of up to 12 weeks to build up the long chain fatty acid stores in the body.

Child under 24 months

Start with a small amount and build it up to one teaspoon (5ml)

Children 24 months to 12 years

Start with a small amount added to your child’s food (not hot) and slowly build the dose to 1 – 3 teaspoons (5 – 15 mls) 


Start by taking a small amount with your food or added to your food (not hot) and slowly build the dose to 3 – 4 teaspoons (15 – 20 mls) or the equivalent in capsules.   

Measurement comparison

5 mills of eye q = 2 eye q capsules, where as 5 mills of  Pro EFA oil = 5 capsule.)  You can view fact sheets on both these oils at the GAPS Australia website under the shopping cart items.

Dosage can be increased or decreased at any time monitoring the signs and symptoms of improvement.  There are no toxic levels with these oils.  Remember to start with small amounts.


Never give fish oil on an empty stomach because the gall bladder will empty its bile into an empty duodenum in order to deal with the oil which can cause cramps, belching and nausea.  It is good to supplement this oil with some kefir or yoghurt.

Whilst a fish oil containing Evening Primrose oil is preferred, it should not be supplemented for people who have seizures as it has recently been advised as a possible trigger.  In this case, Borage Oil can be used but for all others, evening primrose provides effective results.

4. Supplementing large amounts of AA

Arachidonic Acid makes up 12% of all brain fat and is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain.  Research shows that GAPS patients have reduced amounts of AA because it leaks from cell membranes.  This deficiency disrupts the neurotransmitter pathways, immune cells and other cells within the body.  The GAPS protocol is designed to take out processed carbohydrates and sugars that contribute to the reduction of AA whilst promoting large servings of food sources rich in AA like meat, (including its fats) dairy and eggs.  Be sure to supplement your diet with AA by including lots of meat with high FATS, 3 – 4 eggs a day and fermented dairy (yoghurt or kefir).


The products listed below are based on our analysis at GAPS Nutrition Consultancy.  GAPS Australia have searched the globe to find the most compatible and beneficial GAPS supplements based on Dr Campbell-McBride’s recommended ratios and quality standards to assist you and your family.

Reseach papers on the effects of essential fatty acids with a higher ratio of EPA to DHA

 eye q

The Role of Fatty Acids in Childrens Learning

The Australian Adeliade Eye q Trials

The Oxford Durham Trials

Benefits on EFA supplementation on language and learning skills for children with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome

GAPS Essential Fatty Acid Supplementation Protocol Criteria

sup criteria