...updated June, 2008
Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Fat
by Alan Graham (with Alfred Lehmberg)
We are being lied to (perhaps explicably!) by doctors and dieticians concerning FAT. This is unfortunate because in this country we have an essential fatty acid deficiency which is epidemic in proportion. Because essential fatty acid (EFAs) deficiencies can result in virtually every disease afflicting a person, it is easy to hide the true root of a disease's problem... and doctors can continue to sell the hapless individual expensive, dangerous, and ineffective pharmaceuticals a person doesnít want or shouldn't need!
-You- must become semi-knowledgeable about fats because what you don't know can provoke illness, even kill you... or, at best (!) make you stupid. Here are just a few of the lies about FAT addressed in this paper:
The following will answer the above misstatements of fact and provide the reasons why we're being lied too...
Fats in General
We -are- fat. But I mean that in a good way... it is an absolutely essential component in the make-up and construction of every cell in our body. It -is- the cell actually! For the optimum performance of each and every cell, the right kinds of the different kinds of fat are REQUIRED (in ratio or a relationship to one another), as food. Presently this country endures a pandemic of deficiency with regard to the "right kinds" of essential fatty acids in the everyday diet. Allowed to continue, this pandemic contributes the lion's share of responsibility to the descending spiral of impaired bodily cells... or, obesity, miserable illness, impaired cognition, and early death... presently enjoyed by rank and file Americans! Knowledge regarding essential fatty acids in (or not in!) our foods is key to realizing optimal health, maximized intelligence, increased energy, and an expanded quality of life!
[Read through it once so you'll know what to come back to!]
<<<REFER TO THE GRAPHIC AT BOTTOM OF PAGE>>>
Fatty acids (FAs) are a long chain of carbon atoms, with or without two hydrogen atoms attached to each one. The chain might have six to twelve carbon atoms (-medium- chain fatty acids) or eighteen to twenty-two (-long- chain fatty acids).
Concerning saturated fat, every carbon atom is saturated with two hydrogen atoms, causing a straight chain that packs together easily, compelling it to be solid at room temperature. With -un- saturated fat, the chain is missing one or more sets of hydrogen atoms, allowing it to bend, resulting in a liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are either MONO unsaturated (one set of hydrogen atoms missing) or POLY unsaturated (more than one set missing).
<OK... from here things get a little tense, for awhile, but you don't have to get it on the first read, and it's the unassailable support for contentions revealed in this paper with direct impact on ~you~!
Prostaglandins (bear with me, you will be a better person if you slog through this stuff!) -- These magical hormone-like compounds are the catalyst for many, if not most, of the critical bodily processes (everything from blood platelet sticky-ness to sperm production to brain cell function) and are found in every cell. Prostaglandins are tantamount to super hormones that control the hormones. There are two separate cascading pathways (Omega-6 and Omega-3) that lead to numerous reactions that can be good, bad, or both. There are loops, feedbacks, cancellations, synergies, and roadblocks in these processes, making this an evolving and convoluted fat -science-! Moreover, it is important to understand these basics to appreciate how we are being lied to!
Prostaglandins are produced in every cell through different enzymes acting on EFAs! The most important consideration is the number of DOUBLE BONDS (DBs) in the carbon chain because that determines each step, and which fork, in the path for it to take. This will determine, ultimately, which protaglandin (good or maybe bad) will be activated. The series 1 and 3 prostaglandins reduce inflammation and are more stable and slow moving -- these are kept in balance by series 2, which increases inflammation etc, and is more reactive and high speed.
This pathway (PW) starts with a two DB, eighteen carbon FA, like corn oil. In the first step it is changed to a three DB fat called gama-linolenic acid (GLA) by the enzyme Delta 6 Desaturase (D6D). You can bypass the first step and enter the pathway here by eating foods or supplements with GLA (seeds, nuts, borage oil, etc).
Next, the GLA is elongated with an enzyme to a twenty carbon FA called dihomogama linolenic acid (DGLA). You can enter the pathway here by eating foods rich in DGLA like liver and organ meats. Now we are at a fork in the road. If the DGLA does not encounter any further enzymes it will enter the beneficial series 1 prostaglandin, which decreases inflammation and platelet sticky-ness (just to name two out of dozens of positive effects).
However, if the DGLA encounters the D5D enzyme, it will change from a 3 DB to a 4 DB called Arachidonic Acid (AA) commonly associated with saturated animal fat. AA is the precursor to the series 2 prostaglandin which is generally considered bad because it increases inflammation, platelet sticky-ness, blood pressure, etc. However, this is a simplistic view, Series 2 is not bad, it is just necessary.
For example, you would probably consider series 1 and 3 reducing platelet stickiness a good thing, but if you didn't have series 2 you would bleed out in a few minutes if scratched. So, it's all about BALANCE. However, due to our diet of sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) and a lack of omega-3, we don't activate the series 1 and 3 enough, and over-stimulate the series 2 resulting in too much inflammation, platelet stickiness, etc. Series 2 is also used for rapid response and stressful situations like childbirth, unlike the slower plodding effects of series 3.
Because the PW can be entered here by eating AA rich foods like butter, animal fat, organ meats, and egg yolks, dieticians tell you to avoid these foods because of their supposed negative prostaglandin reaction. This is only true; however, if your saturated fat/AA consumption is excessive in relation to your Omega 3 consumption (which is a completely different PW, but still very much connected because they use the same desaturase/elongase enzymes!).
In fact, if your AA intake is remotely close to being in balance with the other fatty acids, eating eggs, butter, and animal fat is actually very beneficial. It makes the other fatty acids work even better (synergy). But if your satfat/AA consumption is excessive you can still get away with it if you make a couple of dietary changes that dieticians don't tell you about.... like eliminating sugar and HVO and adding omega-3 to your diet. AA, just like Omega 3, is an important constituent of the cell membrane. That's why mother's milk is rich in AA...
This PW starts with a 3 DB, eighteen carbon chain FA, called alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and is found in flaxseed, Hempseed and green leafy vegetables. Then it is changed to a 4 DB FA by the same D6D enzyme of the -other- pathway. Eventually it is elongated and changed again to a 5 DB FA called, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The pathway can be entered here by eating EPA rich foods like cold water fish and fish oil.
The D5D enzyme that produces EPA was also used by the other pathway (Omega-6) to create AA, the precursor to a series 2 but here it's used by the omega-3 pathway to do the opposite thing (series 3)! Interestingly, when the the D5D enzyme is in the presence of the 3 DB Omega-6 FA and the 4 DB Omega-3 FA, it will always choose the Omega 3, thus activating the series 3 prostaglandin! But, if there is no Omega-3 (which the D5D prefers) then it has no choice but to change the beneficial Omega-6, 3 DB to the -not- so beneficial 4 DB (AA), the precursor to the series 2 prostaglandin, or that which increases inflammation and platelet sticky-ness.
Because we get most of our AA through diet, we generally don't need our bodies to manufacture more by converting Omega-6 DGLA to AA, we would rather have the DGLA activate the series 1 prostaglandin. So it's ironic that to maintain an efficient Omega-6 pathway, requires less Omega-6 and more Omega-3. A portion of the EPA might continue down the pathway and not take the series 3 exit, but instead be changed by the D4D enzyme into the 6 DB docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The pathway can be entered here by consuming foods or supplements with DHA... human milk, egg yolks, fish liver oil and organ meats. DHA is absolutely essential for a fetus/baby's brain development. Oddly enough, this is why Mia Farrow (in Rosemary's Baby) felt compelled to eat raw liver while carrying her baby.
Discussion Regarding Different FATS
(...and well through the numbing stuff...)
Unburnt animal Satfat is essential for development and good health as long as it is in balance with the other EFAs! If you never ate SATFAT your body would produce it anyway because it is the superior form for energy storage... and a plethora of other purposes!
SATFAT is stable with a fairly long shelf life, thus in our body it protects other EFAs from becoming rancid. SATFAT also improves the body's utilization of the other EFAs. There is a real positive synergy here as long as everything is, reasonably, close to being in balance. Interestingly, because we evolved occasionally consuming excessive amounts of animal Satfat (...gorging at a carcass before a saber tooth tiger came strolling by...) mother nature takes these episodes of conspicuous consumption into consideration by converting some of the Satfat 18 carbon chain (steric acid) into the unsaturated fat eighteen carbon chain (oleic acid) which is the health promoting mono-unsat fat (Omega-9) found in olive oil.
When satfat consumption is excessive as much as half of it can be converted to Omega-9 by the Delta 9 desaturase (D9D) enzyme which removes two hydrogen atoms at the ninth carbon atom. This is why people that abuse the Atkins diet by consuming excessive Satfat (moderate Satfat consumption is better) can still show a lipid profile improvement (HDL up, LDL down). Unfortunately, this neat little desaturase trick won't work if you consume pHVO and sugar, which blocks the D9D enzyme!
b. Coconut oil (Lauric Acid or MCT's) --
This medium chain triglycerides (12 carbon atoms) is found in coconut and mother's milk. This misunderstood and magical stuff should be in a class all its own because even though it is a saturated fat, it doesn't act like one. This is because being only 12 atoms long it can be easily broken down by saliva and stomach acid without needing your, sometimes scarce, enzymes. That is why it is in mother's milk because an infants desaturase enzyme system doesn't work very well, making long chain FAs hard to digest.
Medium chain fatty acids (MCFA or MCT) do not need to be bundled into lipoproteins and deposited into the blood stream for further processing! Consequently, it can't make you fat or stick to your arteries because it never enters the bloodstream! Instead it goes straight to the liver and is able to zip quickly through the mitochoandria membrane, to provide INSTANT energy! The long chain FAs take a long time to break down because they require enzymes that may have already been used up, so the fat becomes FAT... and not ENERGY.
Medium chain FAs or medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can help you lose weight through thermo-genesis. An analogy can be made with a wood fire. Long chain FAs are like throwing wet logs on the fire, but medium chain FAs are more like throwing on gas soaked newspapers. Consequently, you not only get a big burst of energy, but the aforementioned wet-logs (long chain FAs) are also consumed by the fire and heat. So, all things being equal -- you lose weight. Medium chain FAs also improve the Omega 6 prostaglandin pathway, causing Omega 6 to accumulate in the tissue where it belongs even when levels of EFA are low.
i. Omega 6 polyunsaturated oil, both food and medicinal
1. FOOD OIL (2 DB Linoleic acid [LA]) Corn, soy, safflower, peanut, grapeseed, cottonseed oils, sunflower, etc.. Commercially processed polyunsaturated food oils get hot even when cold pressed. So before they are sold to you they are deodorized to cover the rancid smell! And because they have already started turning into the toxin lipid peroxide, there is no situation where these oils are considered healthful! ...Even though dieticians will tell you otherwise... ...Do you remember 15 or 20 years ago, the safflower oil campaign... where it was touted to be more healthful than other oils because it was very light in color and taste and had the lowest percent of SATFAT at only 7% as opposed to corn oil, for example at 17%. Now we know that safflower is by far the worst of all because it has the highest percent of poly (80%), which means that 80% of that bottle of oil is already rancid and toxic when brought home! In all fairness there is one beneficial product derived from safflower oil called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Data is fairly new, so the jury is still out concerning its beneficial effects, but it appears to have significant cancer fighting properties and might help a little with weight loss. If you want to try CLA buy a top quality, higher priced capsule. The cheapy no name brand might not be carefully refined -- which is critical for all polyunsat oils.
2. MEDICINAL OIL (gamalinolenic acid [GLA]) This Omega-6 FA is found naturally in seeds, nuts and legumes or in processed medicinal oils, like black currant, borage, primrose & a small amount in hemp seeds & hemp oil. Because of their highly reactive nature (3 DBs - the more double bonds the more unstable), they must be kept cold through refrigeration while pressing. Cold pressing alone won't do because even though no heat is added, it still gets too hot under pressure. Medicinal oils must also be refrigerated after opening. GLA is healthy only within a fairly narrow window. If you consume even moderate amounts of omega 6 (corn oil, etc) and don't consume any (or very little, if any) Omega 3, then the medicinal oils rich in GLA could actually be harming you. First, this is because in order to reap the beneficial effects of Omega-3, the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 should be about 4 to 1 or less. However, most Americans are closer to an out of whack 20 to 1 ratio! Now if, on top of that, you take primrose oil for the GLA you are actually making the ratio worse because you are not only adding 9% GLA, but the 72% Omega 6 (LA) that is also in primrose oil. Second, after the GLA is converted to DGLA it will not take the desired prostaglandin "fork in the road," but will likely take the undesired prostaglandin series 2 "fork." It would not take this undesired path if you had consumed enough Omega-3 to use -up- all the D5D! However, if you did not consume any additional Omega-6, and did consume adequate Omega-3 (resulting in a ratio of two or three to one), then you could take medicinal Omega-6 and still wind up about 4 to 1. At the proper ratio, prostaglandins of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 reduce inflammation, platelet stickiness, blood pressure & allergies. But when OUT OF BALANCE, the beneficial Omega-3 pathway never gets going and now the GLA, in the Omega-6 pathway, will probably take the WRONG fork in the road (series 2) that causes inflammation, etc..
ii. Omega 3 Polyunsaturated medicinal Oils --
1. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 3 double bonds) Ground Flax seed/Flaxseed oil, Hemp seeds/Hemp oil and green leafy vegetables. Flax seed is mother natures richest source of plant derived Omega-3 (3 DBs) Also called the Parent Omega-3 because it can give birth to the pair of superior EFAs found in fish/krill oil -- EPA (5 DBs) and DHA (6 DBs). Unfortunately, less than 15% of the ALA is converted to EPA and DHA. If a person were opposed to eating animals it might be difficult for them to get adequate EPA and DHA from plant Omega-3 only (ALA). If they want to achieve super-healthiness, they would also consume supplemental EPA and DHA. I can't recommend dietary EPA because cold water fish has too much lead and mercury, but according to Consumer Reports there are numerous brands of fish oil capsules that meet the potency requirements and are pretty much toxin free. I would not only pick a moderately priced well known name brand, but it should say specifically that any toxins have been filtered out. You could probably meet all your omega 3 requirements with fish oil; however a combination of Krill or fish oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed ( about 3000 mg ALA) is superior to fish oil only... This is because: one, flax seed is a very cheap way to consume large amounts of ALA that can eventually be incorporated into the phospholipid membrane (cell wall) of every cell in your body, to keep it pliable and healthy. Two, in order for DGLA (along the Omega-6 pathway) to take the beneficial series one prostaglandin, and not the undesirable series two, it must not contact any D5D enzyme. Consequently, you need ALA cascading down the other PW (Omega-3) to use up all the D5D in the conversion of ALA to EPA. Three, you are assured that the small percentage of EPA and DHA that comes from ALA is toxin free and is mother nature's highest quality EPA. Four, flax seed has lignans that are converted by the gut into a pair of powerful cancer fighters. Flax seed has 100 times the amount of lignans found in other plants. Flax has mucilage that protects us from toxins and absorbs starch resulting in lower blood glucose and insulin. Five, the ground flax seed coat is the Cadillac of soluble and insoluble fibers. Six, some ailments like bowel disease actually respond better to ALA than EPA. However, EPA is better for most of the biggies like stroke and heart disease. In all fairness, ALA does have a couple of shortcomings other than the aforementioned ALA to EPA conversion rate: One, people with diabetes, likely, will not be able to convert ALA, so they would definitely need supplemental EPA/ DHA. Two, just like most babies, some adults have an inefficient desaturase enzyme system, so they don't readily convert ALA to EPA. Three, with the advent of refined polyUNSAT oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and refined sugar, Omega-3 ALA and Omega-6 GLA cascading pathways can be blocked. The polyunsat oil (Omega-6 LA) overpowers the Omega-3 by changing the desired 4 to 1 ratio to an undesirable 15 or 20 to 1 ratio. Also pHVO and sugar inhibit the D6D enzyme which is the first step down the pathway for both Omega-6 AND Omega-3. So even with adequate amounts of EFAs , they won't do you much good if you load up on Twinkies (the fluffy white crap is hydrogenated vegetable lard, whipped with sugar.)
2. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid , 5 double bonds) is found in cold water fish and krill/fish oil. EPA (with DHA below) are the superior forms of Omega-3. This is because the 5 DBs in EPA make it the precursor to the beneficial series 3 prostaglandins which reduces inflammation and platelet stickiness. EPA does not always take the series 3 exit. Sometimes it continues down the pathway, and after a slow laborious process it turns into the brain food for babies DHA. Because this conversion process is not terribly efficient it's recommended that you take supplemental DHA (fish/krill oil), eat several raw egg yolks every day (soft scramble the egg whites to convert the glycoprotein that binds to Biotin) , or like Mia, eat raw organ meat (but I wouldn't recommend it).
3. DHA ( Docosahexaenoic Acid, 6 double bonds) Not only can you make DHA out of EPA, but if you consume dietary DHA (human milk, egg yokes, caviar, or organ meats) the pathway can magically go in reverse and convert (or reconvert!) the 6 double bond DHA (from either source: dietary or manufactured from EPA) into (or back into!) the 5 double bond EPA! All EFAs are important, but DHA is ESSENTIAL for development and function of the brain -- that is why pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies over four months old & old people (and everybody else for that matter) should daily consume several raw egg yolks or soft poached eggs. Soft scrambled whites (in olive oil or butter... NEVER margarine). And to be completely safe, also take supplemental DHA.
4. Which One - Krill or Fish Oil ? Both have the magical Omega-3's (EPA & DHA) but fish oil gram per gram has much more of both & it is considerable cheaper than Krill Oil...so why use Krill Oil ? Krill is rich in the natural antioxidant Astaxanthin, (not found in fish oil) that not only protects you but also protects the sensitive Fatty Acids (EPA & DHA) from oxidation. Also, supposedly the EPA & DHA are better absorbed from Krill Oil.
>>>...End of Tedious (but necessary) Stuff...<<<
..Now that you are an -expert- on fats (no kidding!),
lets look briefly at the craven lies Doctors/dieticians perpetuate...
i. Canola is just -barely mono-unsat at 54% compared to olive oil at 76%! However, more importantly this means that canola has 30 to 37% poly-unsat oil to go rancid/toxic during processing as opposed to olive oil at only 8% poly-unsat.
ii. ďHalf the SATFATĒ means exactly NOTHING because, as you have now learned, moderate amounts of natural unburnt SATFAT is actually good for YOU!
iii. The 7% Omega-3 is a blatant red herring because being commercially processed, the highly reactive Omega-3 has already turned toxic and rancid. In all fairness, for more money on the web you can find unrefined canola oil that was kept cool during processing so the Omega-6 and Omega-3 oils might not be rancid, but you still have to contend with too much Omega-6 screwing up the healthful 4 to 1 ratio. Additionally, unrefined canola oil must also be kept refrigerated after opening.
i. If you meet your EFA requirements by eating fish you are consuming too much lead and mercury. So you must supplement with flax seed and or fish/krill oil.
ii. Consuming poly-Unsat cooking oil (allowed by the pyramid) will negate most beneficial effects of the (raw by the way... heat destroys the good stuff!) cold water fish you ate in the preceding!
iii. Consuming pHVO (smarmily allowed by the Pyramid) will inhibit the utilization of EFAs. Oh yeah... additionally? It will kill you!
iv. Sugar -- (allowed by the pyramid) inhibits EFAs and suppresses your immune system.
v. Trace minerals have been leeched from our soil so they are not in our food.
i. SatFat raises HDL (good stuff) -- HVO lowers it.
ii. SatFat does not inhibit insulin binding -- HVO does.
iii. SatFat does not increase C-reactive proteins which causes arterial inflammation -- HVO does!
iv. SatFat supports the immune system -- HVO interferes.
v. SatFat when incorporated into the cell wall of every cell in your body makes it permeable, flexible, and healthy -- HVO makes it stiff and inefficient at removing waste and absorbing nutrients.
By putting TFA/HVO and Saturated Fat on equal footing, they hope to trick you into thinking that if you cut out either one... itís the same thing! They hope you cut out meat and eggs so you can have your Twinkies! Mmmmmmm! Fluffy sweet goodness! Not!
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