In this week's excerpt from Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, Jon Barron concludes his thoughts on dairy.
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In this week's excerpt from Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, Jon Barron explains the story behind omega-3 fatty acids.
The primary sources of ALA supplementation are vegetarian, most notably flaxseed. The primary sources of EPA and DHA are fatty fish such as salmon and krill (cold water, shrimp-like invertebrates). Most of the alphalinolenic acid we consume must be converted into DHA and EPA. Unfortunately, this process, which is governed by a particular enzyme (delta-6 desaturase), is significantly inhibited (up to 50 percent or more) by an overabundance of linoleic acid, which comes from excessive omega-6 fatty acid consumption. The enzyme is 'used up' in the desaturation process involved in getting rid of excess omega-6 fats and no longer available for converting ALA. The delta-6 enzyme is also inhibited by the trans-fatty acids and by high levels of insulin, a problem today when obesity and diabetes are soaring. And the process of delta-6 desaturation slows with aging.
An obvious question comes up when talking about ALA: Why bother if you can just take fish oil or krill oil supplements and not have to worry about conversion? The answer is that each source has its own benefits. Fish oil is good because it is already broken down into the useable EPA and DHA. Krill oil contains phospholipids specially integrated with omega-3 essential fatty acids. This unique structure provides important cell membrane building blocks in the right ratios for use by the body. And as for flaxseed oil, although it needs to be broken down, it also happens to be outrageously high in lignans, phytochemicals shown to have significant anti-cancer properties. Flax picked up a bad rap several years ago based on a bogus study that said it may promote prostate cancer. But no one in the study was supplementing with flax oil—the subjects' high ALA readings came as a result of other oils and fats they were eating, particularly from meat. In other words, the increased incidence of cancer associated with ALA was far more likely the result of a wildly skewed omega-6/omega-3 ratio. So, the "warnings" concerning flax damn a valuable component of a healthy lifestyle based on faulty information and let the true killers--highly refined, high omega-6 oils--go free."
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- Whole foods are rich in phytochemicals-powerful nutrients found in plant foods.
- Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals than processed foods.
- More fiber and beneficial fats are found in whole foods.
- The combination of nutrients in whole foods act synergistically to protect us from disease. Read More