Tag Archives: Healthy Fats

Prediabetics Have Fewer Gut Bacteria

Updated 8/29/2014,  9/7/2015, and 4/15/2016.  NOTE added at end of post on 9/6/2015. Last updated 10/22/2016.

diabetic

In the global diabetes epidemic, rates of new cases are rising rapidly. I hope this post will help you avoid becoming one of them.

 

Number of People Diagnosed with Diabetes

Millions, by region

MC_1403_outlook

Source: IDF Diabetes Atlas, Sixth Edition; Managed Care calculation of percentages using data from The World Factbook, published by the CIA

TYPES 1 & 2 DIABETES: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

 

(Source: igennus.com)
(Source: igennus.com)
During digestion, most of our food gets broken down into glucose (a form of sugar that’s the body’s main source of fuel), which then  passes into the bloodstream. Insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) must also be present in the blood for glucose to be able to make it into our cells to nourish them.
Type 1 diabetes is known to be a serious autoimmune problem of the metabolism. An autoimmune disorder or disease is a result of chronic inflammation in the body’s immune system, causing it to turn against a part of the body – to attack it as if its cells were dangerous, invading pathogens. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. (WebMD, 2008)
Type 2 diabetes is now also largely viewed as the result of a different type of  autoimmune reaction: one in which B and T immune cells cause inflammation in the fatty tissue surrounding organs in the body. The inflammation occurs when rapidly growing fat cells outstrip their blood supply and begin to die off. These dying cells spew out their contents, and macrophages (another type of immune cell) are called in to clean up the dead cells. “The resulting onslaught by the immune system inhibits the ability of the remaining fat cells to respond to insulin and causes fatty acids to be shed into the blood. This sets in motion a physiological cascade that leads to fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and further insulin resistance throughout the body.” (Conger, 2011)

 

 

TYPE 1 DIABETES

(Source: www.imagekb.com)
(Source: www.imagekb.com)
In Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, the immune system mistakenly kills off pancreatic cells that make the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys these pancreatic cells so they no longer make enough insulin.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of diagnosed diabetes in the US.

 

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces enough insulin but the cells in the body have become unable to make effective use of the hormone, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin production eventually decreases. So, as in Type 1 diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being properly delivered to the cells in the body where they’re needed for fuel.
(Source: www.webmd.com)
(Source: www.webmd.com)
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity, older age, family history of gestational diabetes, and physical inactivity. About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes is also increasingly being seen in younger people, even children and teens.

 

 

PREDIABETES

(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
A prediabetic condition indicates the amount of glucose in the blood is above normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. Prediabetic people are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

 

 

 

DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US

 

(Source: eschooltoday.com)

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association Report, 2014 show the magnitude of the problem in the US:
  • PREVALENCE: In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
    • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.
  • UNDIAGNOSED: Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed and another 8.1 million were undiagnosed.
  • PREVALENCE IN SENIORS: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • NEW CASES: The incidence of diabetes in 2012 was 1.7 million new diagnoses/year; in 2010 it was 1.9 million.
  • PREDIABETES: In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.
  • DEATHS:  Based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death in 2010, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States that year. In 2010, diabetes was also mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 234,051 certificates.

CAUSE OF DEATH UNDER REPORTING

  • Diabetes may be under reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and only about 10-15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

DIABETES IN YOUTH

  • About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.25% of that population.
  • In 2008—2009, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,436 with Type 1 diabetes, 5,089 with Type 2 diabetes.

 

population-with-diabetes

 

Some other diabetes statistics showing the seriousness of the problem:

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

diabetes-cost

 

63d24_130306130848-cost-of-diabetes-5-01-horizontal-gallery

Below are diabetes prevalence data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of reported cases tripled between 1980 and 2008. The CDC estimates that “the number of Americans with diabetes will range from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 by 2050.”

 

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And here’s information from the International Diabetes Federation comparing reported cases of diabetes in 2013 with projected cases by 2035 for countries around the world – an expected increase of 55%.

huq64v

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA & DIABETES

 

(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
Researchers are discovering changes in normal gut bacteria that take place before either Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes turns into a clinical condition. Since we now know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our GI tract, where digestion takes place, you can see how a serious imbalance in the bacterial make up of the gut microbiome could lead to the development of diabetes in people with a genetic predisposition for it.

(Source: ink361.com)

 “Mounting evidence suggests that the bacteria resident within our GI tract – and the immune response to those bacteria – influence the permeability of the gut mucosa. This idea — which has become to be known as the “leaky gut” hypothesis  — proposes that a cycle of dysbiosis, dysregulated immune response, and unintended gut permeability leads to the peripheral host immune system being unbalanced towards a pro-inflammatory response. This in turn is suggested to lead to (some of) the imbalances that are thought to be causative of diabetes and other non-metabolic disorders.” (Moore, 2015)

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES

 

(Source: probiotics.org)
(Source: probiotics.org)
A team of scientists led by Dr Ben Boursi, a Post Doctoral Researcher in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, found people who have taken multiple courses of antibiotics were 37% more likely to develop Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The team also found the greater the number of courses of antibiotics, the higher the risk for developing diabetes.
Dr Boursi notes, “Our findings are important, not only for understanding how diabetes may develop, but as a warning to reduce unnecessary antibiotic treatments that might do more harm than good.”

 

(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
Several studies in humans have shown that early childhood exposure to antibiotics is associated with increased risk of obesity in later life – and obesity has long been recognized as risk for developing diabetes.
There’s also growing evidence that imbalances in the gut microbiome’s composition contribute to the development of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
The Boursi team’s future research will focus on identifying the species of gut bacteria necessary to prevent and reverse diabetes, potentially working towards the possibility of transplanting prebiotic and probiotic microbes into the gut as a therapeutic strategy for diabetes. (Arendt, 2015) & (Davenport, 2015)

 

 

PREDIABETICS HAVE FEWER & LESS DIVERSE GUT BACTERIA

 

(Source: www.mayo.edu)
(Source: www.mayo.edu),
A research team led by Dr Elena Barengolts, an Endocrinologist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, found irregularities in the composition of the probiotic bacteria in the guts of prediabetic patients: Compared with subjects whose glucose tolerance was good, the prediabetics had fewer and less diverse populations of bacteria living in their gut microbiomes.
There were 116 participants in the study, all African-American veterans. Their ages ranged from 45 to 70. Their intestinal bacteria were measured by stool samples at the start of the study and again 12 months later.
Participants were divided into four groups based on their body’s ability to regulate blood sugar:
  • Group 1 – Those with stable glucose tolerance (normal)
  • Group 2 – Those with stable impaired fasting glucose or stable impaired glucose tolerance
  • Group 3 – Those with worsened glucose tolerance
  • Group 4 – Those with improved glucose tolerance
The study found that men whose blood sugar control  remained normal over the year (Group 1) had higher numbers of beneficial gut bacteria while the men who continued to be prediabetic had fewer beneficial bacteria and higher numbers of harmful bacteria in their guts.
Furthermore, the group whose blood sugar management improved over the course of the year (Group 4) had a higher number of a strain of healthy bacteria (Akkermansia) than the group who had maintained normal blood sugar control over the year (Group 1). (Gray, 2015)

 

(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
At the phylum level, this study found significant differences in the bacterial composition between Groups 1 and 2: Group 2 (people with impaired but stable fasting glucose or glucose tolerance) had higher levels of Bacteroidetes and lower levels of Firmicutes than people in Group 1.
The Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio was 1.9 vs 0.9 respectively for Groups 1 and 2 and 1.9 vs 1.1 respectively for Groups 1 and 3.
The number of Proteobacteria decreased over the 12-month study period in Groups 2 and 4 compared with Group 1. Proteobacteria are a major phylum of gram-negative bacteria that include a variety of pathogens – such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Vibrio, Helicobacter, and Yersinia. (Wikipedia, 2015)

 

(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
At the family and genus levels, Group 2 had fewer Prevotella and a higher Bacteroides/Prevotella ratio than Group 1: 5.6 vs 2.7. Group 2 also had fewer   Enterobacteriaceae (a large family of  bacteria that includes the pathogens Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia pestis, Klebsiella and Shigella) and  more Ruminococcae and Veillonellaceae.
“We speculate that lower abundance of Prevotella may be associated with worsening glycemia, and, conversely, higher abundance of Akkermansia might be associated with improving glycemia, thus corroborating suggestions from previous studies,” the researchers said.
Barengolts notes, “Changes in the gut microbiota occur in the early stage of diabetes development. The gut bacteria signature — the composition and abundance — could be a useful tool in assessing a person’s risk for developing obesity and diabetes.” (Ciubotaru et al, 2015) & (Brown, 2015)
Other studies are currently underway in Italy and China investigating gut bacterial transplants as a treatment for diabetes.

 

 

ALTERED GUT BACTERIA PRECEDE TYPE 1 DIABETES IN CHILDREN

 

(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)
(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)

 

A small study followed 33 babies from Finland and Estonia who were at increased genetic risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. Analysis of their stool samples charted changes in the multitude of microorganisms living in their guts.
By age three, four of the children developed Type 1 diabetes.  Huge alterations in the gut microbes of those those four children were seen about a year before onset of the disease. As with the men in the veterans’ study, there was a marked drop in the diversity of the overall microbial community. This drop in gut diversity was accompanied by spikes in inflammation-favoring organisms, gene functions, and serum and stool metabolites. These changes in gut microbial levels did not occur in the at risk children who didn’t progress to Type 1 diabetes.
Researcher Dr Aleksandar Kostic, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Biology and Experimental Biology at MIT and Harvard, hopes the study’s results will lead to an early diagnostic test for Type 1 diabetes. (Kostic et al, 2015) & (Norton, 2015)

 

 

PREVENTING & TREATING DIABETES VIA THE GUT MICROBIOME?

 

Bacteria in the Human Gut

(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
Given what we already know about the gut microbiome’s role in keeping the body in a balanced state so it remains healthy, it makes sense to focus on diet and nutritional supplements for preventing and treating diabetes.
For example, we know there is considerable variation among people in the microbes that live in and on us. We also know that an individual’s microbial populations are always changing.
The following is from an easy to read summary of changes in the various human microbiomes from birth through old age. It was prepared by the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center (2015). You might want to take a look at it – it provides useful information along with some delightful drawings:

“Before birth, we’re all more or less sterile—we have no microbes. Within a few years, we’re covered in thousands of different species of microbes, and they colonize every millimeter of the body that’s exposed to the outside world. By the time we enter kindergarten, we have vastly different populations living in the different habitats around our bodies. Even as adults and into old age, our microbiota continue to shift.

” … Because so many things affect our bodies’ ecosystems, there is a huge amount of variability in microbial populations even among individuals of the same age. Just like our fingerprints vary, we vary in the microbial species we have as well as their relative abundancies. Our microbes vary with gender, diet, climate, age, occupation, and hygiene. Even differences in our genes influence our microbial populations—indirectly by affecting things like the acidity of the digestive tract, and also more directly through variations in proteins on our cells that communicate with microbes.

“Even with all this variability, there are some trends. Microbial populations differ more among body sites than between individuals. For example, the microbes living on the forearms of two different people tend to be more similar than the microbes on the forearm and ear of the same person. And there are certain species of bacteria that will only live in the gut, others that will live only on the teeth, and so on.”

 

GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS

 

(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
We also know this about autoimmune diseases: DNA IS NOT DESTINY
Chronic diseases, especially autoimmune ones, are only 25% determined by genetic inheritance. The other 75% is affected by other factors. It’s a matter of genetics vs epigenetics. You may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes but also have a large say in whether your DNA expresses that predisposition in your body.

“We know from twin studies, from identical twin studies, that 25% of autoimmunity is your genetics, and 75% is from the environment. … So that’s an enormous amount that we have control over and can influence.”

  • Amy Myers, MD. (Sanfilippo, 2015)
If we know that both the composition and abundance of micro-organisms living in our guts  change over the course of a lifetime, shouldn’t it be possible to learn how to make deliberate changes to our gut microbiome – changes that prevent diabetes from developing even if we have a genetic predisposition for it?

 

epigenetics-4-728

 

 

 

TO AVOID OR REVERSE INSULIN RESISTANCE

 

images

These are Dr Robert Mercola’s suggestions for turning insulin resistance around (Mercola, 8/23/2015) & (Mercola, 8/27/2015):

 

AVOID SUGAR
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)

 

 

EAT REAL FOODS INSTEAD OF PROCESSED ONES

Realfood-1

Almost all so-called foods that come in a bottle, can, jar, bag, or box have had sugars added to them, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

 

 

EAT FRESH FRUIT INSTEAD OF PURCHASED FRUIT JUICES
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
Commercial fruit juices are loaded with added sugar.

 

 

AVOID “DIET” FOODS AND DRINKS
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They promote insulin resistance and other health problems. “The artificial sweeteners saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame decrease function in pathways associated with the transport of sugar in your body, and can induce both gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance. Research also shows that artificial sweeteners promote diabetes and weight gain by disrupting your gut microbiome. Sucralose (Splenda) was found to reduce beneficial gut bacteria by as much as 50 percent!”

 

AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Grains turn into sugar in your body, sharply raising your glucose and insulin levels, and contribute to insulin resistance. Many grains also contain gluten, which triggers inflammation in the intestines, leading to a state of chronic inflammation in the body and autoimmune diseases.
Consuming a lot of refined grains (and even whole grains) is also highly inflammatory for another reason:  Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every 1 part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body. (Kratka, 2011)
“Grains are almost single-handedly responsible for the removal of omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet….  There have been over 2000 studies done on omega-3 and for good reason: the omega-3s in our diet (or the lack their of) have massive implications on our health.  It all boils down to ratios: the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is so crucial, it goes down to the cellular level.” (Kratka, 2011)
Better alternatives to grains are non-GMO almond meal, coconut flour, buckwheat groats, and sweet potatoes. They are much gentler on your blood sugar than grains. Mercola points out that even these healthier alternatives will hamper your body’s ability to heal if you’re already insulin resistant. “Once the clinical signs of insulin resistance have resolved, you can relax your carb restriction.”
In addition to the Omega-3s in my diet, I take Standard Process Tuna Omega-3 Oil (1 2X/day).

 

 

FOCUS ON HEALTHY FATS
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
Eat fewer saturated and trans fats (unhealthy) and more mono and poly unsaturated fats (healthy).  Examples of healthy fats include avocado, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, cheese, raw dairy, organic pastured eggs, raw nuts, grass-fed meats, and coconut oil.

 

(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)
(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)

 

Due to the high percentage of nutrient-poor foods, refined carbohydrates, bad fats, and refined sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD), along with consumption of multiple OTC and prescription pharmaceuticals, we are far from getting the optimal ratio of 1:1 for Omega-6s (inflammatory) and Omega-3s (anti-inflammatory). The ratio in our modern Western diet is often as high as 20:1, creating excessive, chronic inflammation in the body – and chronic inflammation is a precursor to many diseases.

 

(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )
(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )

 

 

GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D3
Having a sufficient blood level of Vitamin D is essential for maintaining good health and preventing a wide range of autoimmune and neurological diseases: Type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, susceptibility to infection (including viral respiratory infections) among them.
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
Vitamin D3 is vitally important for healthy immune functioning – and most of us are seriously D3 deficient. Unless we work mostly naked outdoors in a sunny climate without slathering our skin with sunscreen, we can benefit greatly from adding a high quality D3 supplement to our daily diets.
Some good sources of Vitamin D3 are:
Exposure of the skin to sunshine (without sunscreen), salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, cheeses, butter, shiitake and button mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sprouts, and high quality supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org) In addition to sunshine, you can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, egg yolks, low fat milk, non-dairy milk alternatives, 100 percent orange juice and supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org)
Guidelines for the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D were updated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2010 and are currently set by age: For those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily.  This is thought by many as far too low.
Due to a mathematical error, the IOM’s widely cited RDA’s for Vitamin D underestimate the body’s need for it by a factor of 10.
The IOM recommends a Vitamin D serum level of 20 ng/ml but we should actually aim for a blood level of 40 ng/ml, supplementing with whatever amount is necessary to reach and maintain that level. (Mercola, 5/10/2015)
See The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended for information on how how the RDA for Vitamin D should be correctly calculated and how to get an adequate amount of it.

 

VitaminD

One of my alternative health care providers recommends 5,000 IU/day in the summer time and as high as 10,000 IU/day the rest of the year. (Miller, 2011). I like Metagenics, D3 5000, 120 Softgels (1 2X/day). 
Vitamin D serum levels should be monitored with periodic blood tests.
(4/15/2016: I reduced my D3 intake to 5,000 IU/day after my D blood serum level was too high.)
(10/22/2016: A few months ago, I needed to reduce my D3 intake even further – to 5,000 IU/day during the darker months and the same amount every other day during the sunnier months.)

 

See Alzheimer’s and Vitamin D Deficiency and Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins for additional information on Vitamin D3.

 

SIT LESS/EXERCISE MORE
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
Over 10,000 studies show that prolonged sitting harms your health. 8-10 hours of sitting a day, even if you exercise 30-60 minutes daily and are very fit, promotes dozens of chronic diseases – including obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“The reason for this is because, at the molecular level, the human body was designed to be active all day long. When you stop moving and sit still for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death. As soon as you stand up, a number of molecular cascades occur that promote and support healthy biological functioning.
“For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol — which are mediated by insulin — are activated.  Surprising as it may sound, all of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your body weight upon your legs. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
“So, the remedy is simple: Avoid sitting and get more movement into your life. Ideally, aim to sit less than three hours a day. Also consider walking more, in addition to your exercise regimen. In short, rest is supposed to break up activity — not the other way around. This kind of non-exercise physical movement appears to be really foundational for optimal health, and if you’re currently inactive, this is the place to start even before you get going on a workout routine.” (Mercola, 8/23/2015)

 

Sitting-vs-Exercise

 

 

Don’t let this be true for you:
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com) )
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com)

 

 

NOTE ADDED ON 9/6/2015

I’d asked Warren Fraser, MD, to look over this post. Dr Fraser is an experienced board certified endocrinologist and Co-Chair of the Institutional Review Board at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA.  He sent these helpful comments:

I think your post is very good.

I hadn’t thought of autoimmune diseases as being a result of chronic inflammation, but it makes sense.  It’s seems as if more and more disorders are being linked to chronic inflammation.  Cardiovascular disease has, and one of the studies I reviewed this week is looking at a drug which reduces chronic inflammation (the drug is already approved for use in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, now commonly called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) to see if it will lower the incidence of a second cardiovascular event in people who have had one heart attack.

In reference to the TYPE 2 DIABETES SECTION:

The pancreas actually over secretes insulin in the early phases of the disease to combat the insulin resistance.  This was quite a surprise to investigators when the insulin assay was developed (late 60’s or early 70’s I think).  As you pointed out, insulin production eventually decreases, which may be due to, at least in part, pancreatic ‘exhaustion’ from chronic hypersecretion.  High insulin levels are almost always seen in prediabetes (insulin resistance syndrome) and measuring insulin levels is useful in making the diagnosis.

In reference to the section on DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US:

The increase in new cases may be due in part to a greater awareness of the disorder and more people being tested for it.

I certainly concur that diabetes is under reported as a cause of death.  The cause is often attributed to a complication of the diabetes.  Back in the 80’s, when Lee Iacocca addressed the annual meeting of American Diabetes Association, he said that he wanted his wife’s death certificate to tell the truth:  she died from diabetes.

In reference to the section on GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES:

I certainly agree with the harmful effects of excessive antibiotic use.

Again, this is a very good review and my comments aren’t meant to be suggestions to change anything.

– Fraser, 2016

 

GMO vs NON-GMO FOODS:

In the section AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE, I’d written “Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part of Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body.”
Dr Fraser also asked for clarification on the meaning of “non-GMO”. Here it is with respect to the foods we consume:
The short answer is that NON-GMO plant foods are ones that have not been genetically modified and NON-GMO animals are ones that have not been fed genetically engineered grains or other plants.
GMO foods have been genetically engineered, for reasons completely unrelated to health or nourishment, to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup (a glyphosate-based weed killer). GMOs are created using the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology to inject DNA from one species into another species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that don’t occur in nature or through crossbreeding methods.
Glyphosate  causes serious damage to the beneficial microbes living in our guts (our gut microbiome) and is regarded by many scientists as the most important factor in the development of the many chronic diseases and conditions plaguing Westernized societies.
The process of genetically modifying foods is relatively new in agriculture. The first genetically modified seeds for commercial use were planted in the US in 1996. In 2014, 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted biotech crops, with the highest acreage by far here in the US. Worldwide planting of GE crops covered 181.5 million hectares (448 million acres) by 2014.

 

 

The Center for Food Safety estimates that about 3/4 of all grocery store products now contain one or more genetically modified ingredients.
England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, China, Indonesia, and more than 25 other countries around the world require GE foods to be labeled so consumers can choose to avoid them. England, Japan, Brazil, Norway, India, Thailand and some other countries have even completely banned some GE food crops.
Monsanto and the other big biotech companies have joined together to spend huge sums of money to make sure these GMO foods remain unlabeled in the US.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has declared genetically engineered food unsafe for consumption. They cited animal studies indicating serious health risks associated with GM foods – “including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM advised physicians to tell their patients to avoid GM foods.
“Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.” (Institute for Responsible Technology, 2014)
Studies of people in the US and Germany have found high levels of glyphosate in human urine, blood, and breast milk as well as in drinking water supplies.
For more information on GMO vs NON-GMO, see:

 

 

Intestines of Pig Fed NO GMOs vs Pig Fed GMOs

(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)
(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Diabetes Association. (2015). Statistics About Diabetes: Data from the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (released June 10, 2014). See: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Arendt, R. (2015). Gut microbiome transplantation, and use of probiotics and prebiotics as new treatment for both diabetes type 1 and 2. See: http://patientcircle.org/english/2015/4/3/gut-microbiome-transplantation-and-use-of-probiotics-and-pre.html

Barengolts, E. (2013). VITAMIN D AND PREBIOTICS MAY BENEFIT THE INTESTINAL MICROBACTERIA AND IMPROVE GLUCOSE HOMEOSTASIS IN PREDIABETES AND TYPE 2 DIABETES. Endocrine Practice,19:3,497-510. See: http://search.proquest.com/openview/cd67c546597d8fe8652f2b6671281eef/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

Barrett, M. (2014). Mike Barrett’s article, 3 Studies Proving Toxic Glyphosate Found in Urine, Blood, and Even Breast Milk. See: http://naturalsociety.com/3-studies-proving-toxic-glyphosate-found-urine-blood-even-breast-milk/#ixzz3kyT2fMKq

Ciubotaru, I. et al. (2015).  Significant differences in fecal microbiota are associated with various stages of glucose tolerance in African-American male veterans.  ENDO 2015; Abstract FRI-597. See: https://endo.confex.com/endo/2015endo/webprogram/Paper21179.html

Conger, K. (2011). Type-2 diabetes linked to autoimmune reaction in study. Stanford Medicine News Center. See: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2011/04/type-2-diabetes-linked-to-autoimmune-reaction-in-study.html

Davenport, L. (2015). Do Antibiotics Raise Diabetes Risk via Gut Microbiota? Medscape Medical News. See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842409

Fraser, W. (9/6/2015). Personal communication.

Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah. (2015). Your Changing Microbiome. See: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/changing/

Gray, N. (2015). Gut microbiota shifts could predict diabetes risk, suggests study. See: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Gut-microbiota-shifts-could-predict-diabetes-risk-suggests-study

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/01/25/whole-food-supplements-bio-available-vs-otc-synthetic-vitamins/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). ALZHEIMER’S AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/11/30/alzheimers-gut-bacteria-music/

Institute for Responsible Technology (2014).  GMO Dangers. See: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

Kostic, A.D. et al. (2015). The dynamics of the human infant gut microbiome in development and in progression toward type 1 diabetes. Cell Host & Microbe, 17:2, 260-273. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25662751

Kratka, P. (2011). Whole Grains: How do grains affect the human body? See: http://bonfirehealth.com/whole-grains-affect-human-body-omegas/

Mercola, R. (8/23/2015). Effortless Healing Guidelines for Friends and Family New to Natural Healing. See:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/23/effortless-healing-guidelines.aspx?e_cid=20150823Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150823Z1&et_cid=DM85321&et_rid=1085872322

Mercola, R. (8/27/2015). Free Vitamin D Continuing Education Courses Now Available, PLUS Key Nutritional Strategies to Optimize Your Health. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/27/key-nutritional-strategies.aspx?e_cid=20150827Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150827Z1&et_cid=DM85847&et_rid=1092851133

Mercola, R. (5/10/2015). The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/10/vitamin-d-recommended-dietary-allowance.aspx?e_cid=20150510Z1_SNL_B_art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150510Z1_SNL_B&et_cid=DM76062&et_rid=946969954

Miller, D. (2011). Personal communication.

Moms Across America. (2014).  Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water.  See: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results

Moore, K. (2015). Diabetes prevention &/or treatment – Focus on the gut and nutrition? Role and benefits of biomarker discovery and validation. See: http://blog.medbiomarkers.com/diabetes-focus-on-the-gut-role-and-benefits-of-a-biomarker-consortium/

NON GMO Project. (2015). GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS. See: http://www.nongmoproject.org/about-gmos-2/

Norton, A. (2015). Change in Gut Bacteria May Precede Type 1 Diabetes in Kids:
Small study offers hope for a diagnostic test some day, researchers say. Healthy Day News. See: http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/misc-diabetes-news-181/change-in-gut-bacteria-may-precede-type-1-diabetes-in-kids-696231.html

Sanfilippo, D. (2015). Podcast Episode #178: The Autoimmune Solution with Dr. Amy Myers. See: http://balancedbites.com/2015/02/podcast-episode-178-autoimmune-solution-dr-amy-myers.html

WebMD. (2008). Diabetes Overview. See: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-overview

Wikipedia. (2015). Proteobacteria. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteobacteria

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

 

 

Omega-3 versus Omega-6 Fatty Acids

 

 

omega3-vs-omega6

 

 

The story of Omega-3 versus Omega-6 fatty acids for our health stated in its simplest form (Gunnars, 2014):

  • A diet low in Omega-3s but high in Omega-6 but low in Omega-3 produces excessive inflammation.
  • A diet that includes a balanced amount of each reduces inflammation.
  • People eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) are consuming a much higher level of Omega-6s relative to Omega-3s and the excessive inflammation resulting from this imbalance causes a whole range of serious health problems – including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimers, many types of cancers, and others.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: Conditions occurring together (high blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels) that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

 


Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids are poly-unsaturated types of oils the human body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce for itself so we must get them from our diets or supplements.
These types of fatty acids differ from most other fats in that they are not simply used for energy. They are biologically active, playing essential roles in processes such as blood clotting and inflammation.
Without both Omega-3s and Omega-6s in proper ratio, we are highly likely to become sick.

 

 

 

(Source:  cornerstonewellnessmd.com)
EFFECTS OF OMEGA-3 DEFICIENCY  (Source: cornerstonewellnessmd.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (Watson, 2014)

 

Omega-3 essential fatty acids support heart, brain and mental health; reduce cancer risk and help cancer patients recover; help prevent and ease arthritis; reduce the risk of eye problems; and keep the skin and scalp healthy.

 

 

(Source:  www.drsinatra.com)
Omega-3s and Heart Health. (Source: www.drsinatra.com)
OMEGA-3s FOR HEART HEALTH
  1. Help lower cholesterol levels
  2. Reduce triglycerides (unhealthy fats in the blood) by as much as 30%. High triglyceride levels are linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  3. Decrease the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) which can lead to sudden death
  4. Can help prevent blood clots from forming, breaking off and blocking an artery to the heart (causing a heart attack) or an artery to the brain (causing a stroke
  5. Can slightly lower blood pressure – high blood pressure is another risk factor for heart disease.
  6. Reduce inflammation all over the body, helping prevent blocked arteries.
  7. Prevent the re-narrowing (re-stenosis) of coronary arteries after angioplasty surgery.

 

 

 

 

(Source:  omega3foods.arccfn.org.au)
(Source: omega3foods.arccfn.org.au)

 

 

OMEGA-3 AND CANCER
  1. Fish oils, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, have been found to suppress the grown of certain types of cancers in animals.
  2. May reduce the risk of hormone-fueled cancers such as breast cancer
  3. May inhibit the growth of lung, prostate and colorectal cancers.
  4. May help cancer patients survive their disease
  5. Since there is a known link between excessive inflammation in the body and the development of certain cancers, Omega-3s likely reduce the risk of developing all cancers.

 

 

 

 

 

Omega-3 is a crucial nutrient for the brain and for good mental health. Countries where people eat more fish have fewer cases of depression. (Source:  www.wileysfinest.com)
Omega-3 fatty acid is a crucial nutrient for the brain and for good mental health. Countries where people eat more fish report fewer cases of depression. (Source: www.wileysfinest.com)

 

 

OMEGA-3 AND MENTAL HEALTH
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids promote blood flow in the brain and are essential for brain health.
  2. People getting insufficient Omega-3s in their diet are at increased risk of developing dementia, depression, ADD, dyslexia and schizophrenia.
  3. Omega-3s keep the synapses (tiny gaps across which nerve impulses must pass) in the brain working properly. Nerve impulses need to get through the membrane surrounding the neurons in the brain – and the cell membranes are made mostly of fats, including Omega-3s.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids improve learning and memory.
  5. They improve mood in people who are depressed.
  6. They fight age-related cognitive decline due to dementia.
  7. Infants require DHA so their brains develop properly, especially during the first two years of life.
  8. A study found that babies born to mother with higher DHA blood levels scored higher on tests of attention and learning than those whose mothers had lower DHA levels.
  9. Another study found that children of mothers who had taken fish oil supplements during pregnancy had higher IQs than the children of mothers who took a placebo.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower for Arthritis: A cup of cauliflower contains 0.2 grams of Omega-3s - 8% of the recommended daily value.  (Source: www.arthritis-health.com)
Roasted Cauliflower for Arthritis: A cup of cauliflower contains 0.2 grams of Omega-3s – 8% of the recommended daily value. (Source:  www.arthritis-health.com)

 

OMEGA-3 AND ARTHRITIS
  1. Arthritis is the result of the immune system’s autoimmune (abnormal) response to the body’s own joints – as if they were infectious agents, foreign invaders needing to be destroyed. The resulting inflammation produces swollen, stiff, painful joints.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  3. The body also converts Omega-3s to even more potent anti-inflammatory compounds such as resolvins (a family of bioactive products).
  4. Arthritic patients taking Omega-3s have been able to reduce – or even stop – using corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

 

 

 

Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (including salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts)  have been known to give skin an almost instant glow.
Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (including salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts) have been known to give skin an almost instant glow.
OMEGA-3 AND THE SKIN
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially eisosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential for healthy skin and hair. EPA helps regulate oil production, keeping the skin hydrated.
  2. Omega-3s protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation  from the sun. UV exposure produces harmful substances called free radicals, which damage cells and can lead to premature aging and cancer. Omega-3s act as an antioxidant protecting the body from these free radicals.
  3. Omega-3s also help repair skin damage by preventing the release of enzymes that destroy collagen.
  4. Research suggests that Omega-3’s help prevent certain types of skin cancer.
  5. The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3s help relieve  autoimmune responses expressed through the skin – such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
  6. Insufficient Omega-3 levels can cause the scalp to get dry and flaky (dandruff) and the hair to lose its luster.
  7. Omega-3s can also be given to pets to improve their skin and coat health.

 

 

 

“Omega-3 fatty acids are most important, as they bring balance to our hormones, reduce inflammation, regulate our blood sugar, prevent blood clotting, keep our cholesterol and triglycerides in balance, relax our blood vessels, and and make our cells healthy and resilient.”
– The Natural Hormone Makeover by Phuli Cohan

 

 

(Source: www.allaboutvision.com)
(Source: www.allaboutvision.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 TYPES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS FOUND IN NATURE
The principal Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA), primarily found in certain fish. α-Linolenic acid (ALA), another Omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plants such as nuts and seeds.
Wikipedia’s entry for Omega-3 fatty acid lists these as the most common Omega-3 fatty acids found in nature (Wikipedia, 8/28/2014):

Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA)
α-Linolenic acid (ALA)
Stearidonic acid (SDA)
Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE)
Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA)
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), Clupanodonic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Tetracosapentaenoic acid
Tetracosahexaenoic acid (Nisinic acid)

 

 

images

 

 

 

FOODS NATURALLY HIGH IN OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

 

 

Food Sources of Omega-3's
Food Sources of Omega-3’s

 

 

Foods high in Omega-3s are naturally delicious to the palate.
Foods Rich in Omega-3s:
SEAFOOD:
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Oysters
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Tuna(fresh)

 

FRESH PRODUCE CONTAINING ALA OMEGA-3s:

Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, are rich in ALA, a form of Omega-3 fatty acids. Although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, these vegetables also have fiber and other nutrients, as well as Omega-3s.

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

 

OILS CONTAINING ALA OMEGA-3s:
  • Canola oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnut oil
Here are some charts to help you make good choices.

 

(Source: www.cancercoachchris.com)
(Source: www.cancercoachchris.com)

 

 ***********

 

SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:  ALA , EPA and DHA are most common Omega-3 fatty acids, generally found in sea food.   (Source:  chemistry.tutorvista.com)
SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
ALA , EPA and DHA are most common Omega-3 fatty acids, generally found in sea food. (Source: chemistry.tutorvista.com)

 

 ***********

 

9 FOODS RICH IN OMEGA-3s  Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats, fiber and antioxidants top the list of foods to include in your diet.  (Source:  mollymorgan-nutritionexpert.blogspot)
9 FOODS RICH IN OMEGA-3s
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats, fiber and antioxidants top the list of foods to include in your diet. (Source: mollymorgan-nutritionexpert.blogspot)

 

***********

 

A list of seafood containing Omega-3's: Seafood sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (Source:  www.1vigor.com)
Seafood sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (Source: www.1vigor.com)

 

 

You can check out the Omega-3 foods you commonly eat on SELFNutritionData’s comprehensive list of the FOODS HIGHEST IN TOTAL OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.  (Millen, 2014-a)

 

 

SOURCES OF OMEGA-3s FOR VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS
Vegetarians and vegans can obtain adequate levels of Omega-3s without eating fish or fish oil-based supplements.
The table below summarizes some of the basic relationships between Omega-3s and types of diet:
Diet Type ALA Food Sources EPA and DHA Food Sources
Vegan many plants sea plants; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Generally vegetarian but including fish many plants and most fish eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt, especially when obtained from grass-fed animals but in varying amounts depending on additional factors; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Generally vegetarian but including eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt (without fish, sea plants, or meat) many plants; eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt most fish; sea plants; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Plant-eating and meat-eating (but without fish or sea plants) many plants; many meats many meats, especially when obtained from grass-fed animals, but in varying amounts, depending on additional factors; possibly land plant foods when fermented with the help of certain fungi
Source:  The George Mateljan Foundation

 

 

 

Vegetarian-Sources-of-Omega-3s

 

 

 

 

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of Omega−6 fatty acid.
The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of Omega−6 fatty acid.

 

 

OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS

 

Elevated Omega-6 intakes are associated with an increase in ALL inflammatory diseases – which is to say virtually all diseases. The list includes – but isn’t limited to (Kresser, 2014?):

 

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • All Autoimmune Diseases
For more information on the role of inflammation in the development of disease, see INFLAMMATION.  For a list of  80 autoimmune and autoimmune related diseases, see AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.

 

Four major food oils (palm, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower) provide more than 100 million metric tons annually, yielding over 32 million metric tons of Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) and 4 million metric tons of Omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).
Dietary sources of Omega-6 fatty acids include:
 (Wikipedia, 7/19/2014)

 

 

 

 

33 66

 

OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO

A distorted ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is a hallmark of the Western diet – and one of its most damaging characteristics.  The Standard American Diet (bearing the apt acronym ‘SAD’) has us consuming huge amounts of Omega-6s and way too few Omega-3s.

 

 

Americans eat too little Omega 3 and way too much Omega 6 (Source: www.meandmydiabetes.com)

The Standard American Diet (SAD)  –  too little Omega-3 and way too much Omega-6
(Source: www.meandmydiabetes.com)

 

 

Our Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio tends to be 25 times higher than it should be. Small wonder we are ill with ailments from allergies to heart disease to cancers. (Kresser, 2014?)
Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. Omega-3s are neutral. Diets containing a lot of Omega-6 and little Omega-3 increase inflammation. Diets containing a lot of Omega-3 and little Omega-6 reduce inflammation.
The human body requires both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to perform many essential functions.
Omega-6 is found mostly in plant oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils as well as in nuts and seeds. The American Heart Association recommends we consume about 5-10% of our food calories from Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3s come primarily from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel as well as from walnuts and flax seeds. The American Heart Association recommends that people without coronary heart disease have at least two servings of fatty fish per week. They recommend that people with known coronary heart disease eat more, about 1 gram of EPA and DHA daily, preferably from fatty fish. (Jaret, 2014)

 

This chart shows how Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body and how Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 contains linoleic acid (LA) while Omega-3s contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) yielding EPA and DHA.
HOW OMEGA-3 BECOMES ANTI-INFLAMMATORY IN THE BODY & OMEGA-6 BECOMES INFLAMMATORY (Source: www.psycheducation.org)
FATTY ACID PATHWAYS IN THE BODY: How OMEGA-6 fatty acids become inflammatory in the body & OMEGA-3s become anti-inflammatory
(Source: www.psycheducation.org)
Linoleic acid (LA), the shortest-chained Omega-6, is an essential fatty acid. Arachidonic acid is a physiologically significant Omega 6, the precursor for prostaglandins (mediator cells with a variety of regulatory functions in the body), endocannabinoids (a group of neuro-modulatory lipids),
and other  physiologically active molecules.
Excess Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils interfere with the health benefits of Omega-3 fats, in part because they compete for the same rate-limiting enzymes. A high proportion of Omega-6 to Omega-3 shifts the physiological state in the tissues to become pro-thrombotic,  pro-inflammatory and pro-constrictive – and hence push bodily tissues toward the development of many diseases. (Wikipedia, 7/19/14)
A chart showing the Omega-6 versus Omega-3 contents of various food oils – you can see that fish oils are the healthiest (anti-inflammatory) for us while safflower and sunflower oils are the unhealthiest (inflammatory):
To correct this ratio you can supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids or eat lots wild fish, while avoiding the polyunsaturated fatty acids that have high levels of Omega-6s. (Source: anabolicmen.com)
To correct a poor intake ratio, you can supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids or eat lots wild fish, while avoiding the polyunsaturated fatty acids that have high levels of Omega-6s.
(Source: anabolicmen.com)

 

 

The graphic below provides an inkling of how our diet is making us sick: Industrially produced eggs deliver 20 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 while the ratio for range-fed eggs is much more balanced. Industrially produced beef delivers 21 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 while the ratio for grass-fed beef is considerably better.

 

 

omega63ratios

 

Add to that the vast amounts of potato chips, French fries, micro-wave popcorn, margarine, most salad dressings, frying oils, and processed foods we consume and it’s not at all surprising that chronic, degenerative diseases pervade our culture.
You can check out the Omega-6 foods you commonly eat on SELFNutritionData’s comprehensive list of the FOODS HIGHEST IN TOTAL OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS.  (Millen, 2014-b)

 

 

 

(Source: www.juvenon.com)
(Source: www.juvenon.com)

 

 

 

Joseph Hibbeln, MD, a researcher studying Omega-3 and Omega-6 intake at the National Institute of Health (NIH) observed about the rising intake of Omega-6:

The increases in world linolaic acid (LA) consumption over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality.

(Kresser, 2014?)

 

 

 

 

OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS

 

 

images-3

 

Omega-3 supplements must be taken in a form that delivers the fatty acids in a bio-available form or your body won’t be able to get the benefits.
These are some high quality Omega-3 supplements recommended by my health care providers to augment my Omega-3 intake from foods:

 

  • Carlson’s Super Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate 1,000mg soft gels
            The dose for me is 1 soft gel 2x/day.

 

CSN147_Xl_1

 

  • NutraSea 2X Concentrated 1250 mg EPA + DHA
           The dose for me is 1 soft gel 3x/day.

 

ASC-00548-1

 

            This company also makes a vegan version. It’s a liquid, not a soft gel.  I don’t know the dosage.

 

 

$T2eC16FHJG!FFm3f6!SiBR,8gd)8R!~~_32-260x260-0-0

 

 

  • Integrative Therapeutics’  Eskimo-3 Fish Oil gel caps
The dose for me is 2 gel caps 2x/day.

integrative-therapeutics-tyler-eskimo-3-105-softgels

 

 

 ********************

In addition to omega-6 fatty acids, most polyunsaturated oils are highly prone to oxidation and rancidity, which turns these so-called ‘heart healthy’ oils to toxic liquids. (Source: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au)
In addition to Omega-6 fatty acids, most polyunsaturated oils are highly prone to oxidation and rancidity, which turns these so-called ‘heart healthy’ oils to toxic liquids. (Source: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au)

 

********************

 

REFERENCES

Cohan, P.  (2008). The Natural hormone Makeover: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate Your Health and Rediscover Your Inner Glow.  See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Natural-Hormone-Makeover-Rejuvenate/dp/0471744840

Gunnars, K. (2014). How to Optimize Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio. Authority Nutrition: An Evidence-Based Approach. See:  http://authoritynutrition.com/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio/

Jaret, P. (2014). Understanding the Omega Fatty Acids. WebMD.  See: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/omega-fatty-acids

Kresser, C. (2014?). How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick. See:  http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick

Millen, K. (2014-a). Foods Highest in Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids. SELFNutritionData.  See:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000140000000000000000.html

Millen, K. (2014-b). Foods Highest in Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids. SELFNutritionData. See:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000141000000000000000-1w.html

Watson, S. (2014). Benefits of Omega-3. How Stuff Works. See: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/benefits-of-omega-31.htm

Wikipedia. (8/28/2014). Omega-3 fatty acid. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#List_of_omega-3_fatty_acids

Wikipedia. (7/19/2014). Omega-6 fatty acid. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-6_fatty_acid

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.