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Hveragerthi Views: 2,715
Published: 12 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,712,646

Re: Cholesterol - Heart disease is a scam

 Drop your meat = inflammatory hysteria, it is FALSE. You must mean FACTORY MEAT is inflammatory. I agree with that.

Problem is that it IS NOT false.  I have already posted information on arachidonic acid, which you keep choosing to ignore.  So all I can say is if you care to learn the real truth try researching pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid and its sources.  I will even help you again getting started:

Prostaglandins and Leukotrienes

These potent mediators of inflammation are derivatives of arachidonic acid (AA) a 20-carbon unsaturated fatty acid produced from membrane phospholipids.

The principal pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism are
  • the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway, which produces prostaglandin H2 (PGH2). PGH2 serves as the substrate for two enzymatic pathways: one leading to the production of several
    • prostaglandins (PG); the other leading to the production of
    • thromboxanes (Tx).
  • the 5-lipoxygenase pathway, which produces a collection of leukotrienes (LT)

"Good" Essential Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation

The types of fats we eat can relate directly to the amount of inflammation we have. Inflammation is the prime component of a number of disorders, including arthritis, allergies, asthma, obesity, atherosclerosis and many others.

Arachidonic acids are healthy in moderate doses, and are considered essential fatty acids. For this reason, our bodies convert linoleic acid from plant oils to arachadonic acid as needed. However, we can also obtain arachidonic acid directly from meat and fish. A diet rich in meats and oily fish can cause an oversupply of arachidonic acid. 

Arachidonic acid stimulates the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leucotrienes through in the COX (cyclooxgenase) and LOX (lipoxygenase) enzyme conversion process. Too much arachidonic acid content in the body leads to a tendency to over-respond with inflammation during a healing and repair process. In addition, when the body is overloaded with arachidonic acid, the inflammatory process is more difficult to shunt, or reverse.

The fat content of our diet is also important because our cell membranes are made of lipids and lipid-derivatives such as phospholipids. An imbalanced fat diet therefore can lead to deranged cell membranes, which leads to cells that are less protected and more prone to damage by oxidative radicals.

Interestingly, carnivorous animals either cannot or do not readily convert linoleic acid (found in most plants) to arachidonic acid. Herbivores, on the other hand, readily convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, as do humans.

According to the USDA's Standard 13 and 16 databases, animal meats and oily fish (like salmon) produce the highest amounts of arachidonic acid in the body. Diary, fruits and vegetables produce little or no arachidonic acid. Grains, beans and nuts produce none or very small amounts. Processed bakery goods produce a moderate amount of AA.

This simply means that when we eat an over-abundance of animal fats or overly-processed foods, our body tends to be on a 'hair-trigger' when it comes to inflammation and cellular damage. If we balance our fat intake  with good plant-derived fats, we help mediate inflammation. 

Hundreds of studies have now confirmed that an increase in dietary long-chain fatty acids such as DHA, EPA, ALA and GLA in the diet slows down inflammation in the body. How do they do that? Because these fats convert to other compounds—such as phospholipids used for cell membranes—there is fewer fatty acids available to convert to prostaglandins, leucotrienes and thromboxanes.

Illustrating this, in a 2003 study from Germany published in Rheumatology International (Adam et al.), sixty-eight rheumatoid arthritis patients were divided into two groups. For eight months, one group maintained a typical western diet (meat diet high in arachidonic acid). The other group ate a diet low in arachidonic acid for eight months. Parts of each group also supplemented DHA/EPA oil or a placebo. The western diet group had no reduction in pain and swelling. The placebo (no DHA oil) group in the low arachidonic acid group had a 14% reduction in pain and swelling. The DHA supplemented-western diet group had 11% reduction in joint pain and 22% reduction in joint swelling. The DHA supplementated, low-arachidonic acid diet group had a reduction in joint pain of 28%, and a reduction in joint swelling of 34%. Therefore, while taking a DHA oil supplement can reduce pain and inflammation, the western diet—high in arachidonic acid—continues to push inflammation.

Plant-derived polyunsaturates, monounsaturates, and essential fatty acids like alpha linoleic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) reduce the inflammatory response. Contrary to popular belief, DHA is not exclusively a product of fish oil. Fish get their DHA up the food chain. DHA is actually produced by many species of algae.

See my article on essential fatty acids to find out how to get the right mix of dietary fats. 

Adam O, Beringer C, Kless T, Lemmen C, Adam A, Wiseman M, Adam P, Klimmek R, Forth W. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low arachidonic acid diet and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int. 2003 Jan;23(1):27-36.

Brain Arachidonic Acid: Alzheimer’s, Bipolar, Parkinson’s

A recent review article on brain lipid metabolism discussed the results obtained by looking at how the major omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid is imported and used in brain tissue. Arachidonic acid conversion to inflammatory prostaglandins was monitored by extracting lipids from rat brains after a variety of treatments. Similarly, isotopes (13C) of fatty acids were imaged by PET scans in patients treated for Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease.

The major findings on brain arachidonic acid (AA, omega-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, omega-3) are:

  • Ca. 5% of daily dietary AA and DHA are converted to make prostaglandins in the brain. Converted AA and DHA are rapidly replaced by serum AA and DHA.
  • Brain DHA and AA metabolisms are independent.
  • AA and DHA are rapidly circulated into phospholipids (R2 on the diagram) on the endoplasmic reticulum, move to the cytoplasmic membrane (see diagram, gray and white strands) removed by phospholipase A2 in synapses, converted to prostaglandins, leukotrienes, etc., or recycled to phospholipids. Enzymes that catalyze these reactions are usually different for DHA and for AA.
  • Drugs used to treat bipolar disorder (lithium, carbamazepine, valproic acid, lamotrigine) lower AA conversion in rats, but do not affect DHA conversion.
  • Experimentally induced brain inflammation or neurotoxicity increases AA conversion, but not DHA conversion to prostaglandins.
  • An omega-3 fatty acid deficient diet also increases AA, but not DHA conversion.
  • More AA is converted in Alzheimer’s patients. This is consistent with increased inflammation and neurotoxicity in postmortem examinations.
  • Mice that have been genetically manipulated to eliminate alpha-synuclein, a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease, also show an increase in AA conversion and a decrease in DHA conversion.

Interpretation: Inflammation in the brain is separate from the rest of the body, but is the foundation of many brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease. In these disorders, arachidonic acid is rapidly converted into inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Drugs that reduce symptoms, reduce AA conversion.

A diet rich in omega-3 DHA and reduced omega-6 arachidonic acid reduces the symptoms of these diseases -- an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle should be the first line of defense against brain/mental disorders.

Rapoport SI. 2008. Brain arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid cascades are selectively altered by drugs, diet and disease. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]


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