DO YOU SUFFER FROM
Low back pain?
Old sports injuries?
Or any other painful condition that keeps recurring?
DO YOU USE
Or any other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) more than three times a month?
DO YOU ALSO EAT
Hydrogenated vegetable oil
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
Or any foods that contain these substances?
YOU MAY BE CAUSING MORE HARM THAN GOOD!
Margarine, Crisco, and other hydrogenated fats are not natural food substances and take a long time to break down in the body. If the body is overwhelmed trying to break down these chemically transformed fats, it cannot digest and utilize natural fats and oils.
Overuse of aspirin and other NSAIDs stimulates leukotriene production in the body. Leukotrienes are produced by white blood cells and are highly inflammatory. They can keep injuries from healing and can cause pain. NSAIDs can cause inflammation and pain!
Some people know that aspirin doesn’t agree with them, but for others, aspirin and other NSAIDs seem to help. If these drugs help, there is a nutritional deficiency, indicating that NSAIDs won’t correct it. Ultimately, it is better to address pain nutritionally than take aspirin. I’ll explain how balancing fat metabolism will keep pain from recurring.
FATTY ACID METABOLISM
Natural fats and oils are needed for energy production, hormone production, immune stimulation, and the protection of nerve cells. There are three families of natural fats and oils, each of which are converted into particular hormones called prostaglandins (PGs). Our bodies need all three types of fats in balanced amounts because we need all three groups of PG hormones to make our cells work well.
Unfortunately, most of our diets are too high in fats from meat and dairy. These fats produce too many PG2 hormones. When there are more PG2 hormones than PG1 and PG3 hormones, it contributes to many common degenerative illnesses in our society. Excess PG2s increase blood clotting, blood pressure, swelling, destructive inflammatory processes, and tumor growth. They can also contribute to asthma and menstrual cramps. PG1 and PG3, if found balanced in the diet, will block the harmful effects of excess dairy and meat fats and the PG2 hormones they cause to proliferate.
The Three Family of Fats
|Prostaglandin Family #1||Prostaglandin Family #2||Prostaglandin Family #3|
|PG1s are produced from linoleic acid, which is found in most vegetable oils, including peanut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, corn oil, and evening primrose and black currant seed oils, which are used as nutritional supplements.||PG2s are produced from arachidonic acid that comes from red meats, organ meats, dairy fats, shellfish, and mollusks.||PG3s are produced from alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from walnut, flax, chestnut, wheat germ, canola, soy, and other bean oils. PG3s are also produced from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which comes from fish oils.|
|They are commonly referred to as warm-weather oils.||Most western diets include large amounts of these fats.||They are commonly referred to as cold-weather oils.|
HOW ASPIRIN AND OTHER NSAIDS WORK
Aspirin and other NSAIDs block the conversion of meat and dairy fats (arachidonic acid) into inflammatory PG2, hence their short-term effectiveness. Unfortunately, it also blocks the conversions of warm and cold weather fats, including fish oils (linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and eicosapentaenoic acids), into PG2 and PG3, thereby robbing the body of necessary hormones. If NSAIDs help with pain and inflammation, there is an imbalance, and it is better to supplement the diet with PG1 and PG3-producing fats and oils.
When aspirin and other NSAIDs are taken regularly (as little as 2-3 times a month), arachidonic acid from meat and dairy fats stimulates white blood cells into producing leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are highly inflammatory, much more inflammatory than the PG2 substances, and up to 1000 times as inflammatory as histamine. Many people then are caught in a cycle of pain, taking NSAIDs for the pain, which increases inflammation, edema, and vasodilation, thereby causing more pain.
THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF MARGARINE, CRISCO, AND TRANS FATS
Trans fatty acids are the main ingredients of margarine and Crisco. Trans fatty acids are unnatural fats produced from natural fats by the chemical processes of hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation. They are found in almost every fat-containing product in grocery stores. The food industry uses them because it takes a long time for them to spoil. Unfortunately, they are unnatural, and the body has difficulty breaking them down. Trans fats have a half-life in the body of 51 days. In other words, if you eat a teaspoon of margarine, it will take almost two months for your body to process and break down half of it.
Trans fats also contribute to inflammation. Trans fats block enzymes necessary to convert warm weather oils (linoleic acid) into PG1 hormones, and cold weather and fish oils (alpha-linolenic acid and GLA) into PG3 hormones, causing an imbalance. With this imbalance, there is excessive PG2 production, causing inflammation, as was discussed earlier.
Another problem is that the fats that don’t break down into their respective hormones may go back into the bloodstream, contributing to heart conditions, or become stored in fat tissue, contributing to obesity. Hydrogenated fats are poisons and should be eliminated from the diet.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY CONDITION
Read labels and eliminate all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats from your diet.
Stop taking aspirin and other NSAIDs.
Incorporate cold weather, warm weather, and fish oils into your diet. Use only cold-pressed, virgin, or expeller-pressed oils because heat can break them down, and they are not processed using chemical solvents. They can be found at health food stores.
Cut back on meat and dairy fats.
It may also be necessary to incorporate supplements such as zinc, selenium, B-6, quercitin, and vitamins E and C into your diet. Use only high-quality supplements. Seek professional help if you need it.
It may take up to three weeks to see the effects of a change in fatty acid metabolism. If you need help with this or other problems, please contact me.
Update 5/16/2010: My understanding from the Weston Price organization is that butter, eggs, and meat from grass-fed animals have great anti-inflammatory properties. Read this to understand “Why Butter is Better.” Also, we are eating too much from the PG1 group.
This work is based on the works of Walter Schmitt D.C. and Donald Rubin M.D. and was written with help from Jordan Brown.