In his book Enter The Zone, Barry Sears makes clear that AA-derived eicosanoids produce the histamine and inflammatory responses that typify modern medical conditions. But the one question remains: What are the AA-derived eicosanoids responding to? What is causing the excessive AA action? From my reading of Erdmann, Budwig, and Erasmus, there are appear to be several answers, all stemming from the introduction of trans fats and degenerate fatty acids (collectively: TFAs) into our diet with the advent of industrial processing methods.
The trans fats and other degenerated fatty acids that result from commercial refining methods and hydrogenation (Erdmann 66-69 and 76-79, Erasmus 328-330) have been shown to act as "decoys" that the body uses in place of CIS fats it needs. Because they are not chemically active, and because they have never existed before in the history of man's evolution, the body does not how to recognize and avoid these decoys. So they act as metabolic poisons.
They have three main effects:
These three scenarios are realistic consequences of trans fats and degenerated fatty acids in our diet. (Erdmann gives a blood-chilling account of the processing of "cold-pressed" olive oil that would convince the most die-hard skeptic.) Pauling describes limitation of the antihistamine response with Vitamin C. Sears suggests regulating AA-derived eicosanoids through insulin-regulation. GLA supplementation has also been suggested (Graham, Kurilla). But if real cause of excessive AA action is TFA accumulation, then all of these approaches, as effective as they may be, amount to treating symptoms rather causes. If that is the case, then symptomatic relief must be regarded as an initial, stop-gap measure to buy time until the underlying condition can be cured.
The interesting question therefore remains: If the accumulation of trans fats and degenerated fatty acids in the body is the major problem, what is the best way to eliminate them?? Sears points out that with a good diet, the body will largely rebuild itself in two years. So that is clearly one method.
Fasting is another interesting option. Budwig notes that triglyceride levels are raised at the start of fasting in subjects that have been fed saturated fats, but not in subjects that have been fed polyunsaturates. So fasting can rather rapidly restore the right balance of saturated fat and unsaturated fat in the body. Can it also help eliminate the "impostor" trans fats that have occupied positions where CIS fats are needed? This is an interesting topic for research.
If nothing else, it may be that fasting accelerates the tissue breakdown process, so that in subsequent feeding repairs are given highest priority. The overall effect may be to speed up tissue replacement by some factor which reduces the two-year replacement period to one that occurs in a matter of months. This would account for the high level of importance placed on the post-fasting diet by those who recommend fasting.
That is the only alternative I am aware of, at this time. It may be the only alternative there is for people with severe conditions of trans fat accumulation. Regardless of the method used to limit the impact of past TFA accumulation, it is imperative that we stop the intake of the dangerous TFAs found in margarine, fried foods, and partially hydrogenated anything.
A real eye opener by a 7-time nominee for a Nobel prize in medicine. She's spent a lifetime studying the quantum physics of lipids (fats & oils) and how they combine with sulfur-containing proteins. Poorly translated and difficult to follow, but shows how good fats work with proteins to combine with oxygen, absorb photon energy from the sun, and serve as miniature molecular "batteries" for the cells.
A well-written, easy-to-read description of fats & oils that shows how vital the rights one are, how deadly the wrong ones are, and how "modern" refining methods turn good oils into bad ones.
A well-written, enlightening synopsis of the mechanisms that give good and bad fats and oils their powerful effects. Excellent description of CIS and TRANS fatty acids, and an eye-opening description of the way even "Extra Virgin" Olive Oil is processed. Read this, and you'll never touch a partially hydrogenated anything again.
By a devotee of Herbert Shelton who became an MD. This is the first book to present a strong scientific case for the process and benefits of fasting. It shows how many diseases of modern civilization are caused, and how they can be cured through fasting.
A summary of the studies done with Evening Primrose Oil and of the biochemical mechanisms by which it works.
An insightful and thought-provoking series of articles arguing for GLA supplementation as an alternative to Sears' recommendations for minimizing GLA intake.
A classic introduction to nutritional biochemistry by a two-time Nobel Prize winner. Strong emphasis on Vitamin C metabolism, by the pioneer in Vitamin C research.
Copyright © 1998,
by Eric Armstrong. All rights reserved.
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