Friday, October 17, 2008

Inflammation : The Omega Remedy

An inflammatory response is caused by many things including an invading virus, bacteria, or yeast/fungal infection as well as injury to joints, muscles, or tendons. Less well known causes are food allergy and/or deficiency. I'll be explaining that cause more in depth in this post. When inflammation occurs we should take notice of the symptoms and act immediately as inflammation starts off as a helpful indicator, but can also become a chronic deteriorating condition.

A quote taken from another website about inflammation states: "In some diseases, however, the body’s defense system (immune system) inappropriately triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal."

Only one problem with that statement, "no foreign substances.." Allopathic doctors have yet to figure out that a foreign substance doesn't have to be a virus or bacteria, it could simply be food. Food that your body is allergic to as a result of inflammatory response from a lack of essential fatty acids like Omega 3,6, and 9. These essential, meaning absolutely necessary and not synthesized by the human body, fats are necessary for proper brain and nerve sheath development, as well as immune function on a cellular level. Let's examine a few facts about fats and their uses.

Brain Development- The brain is 60% fat and needs a balanced amount of EPA/DHA for proper development and function. Studies have shown that children with less of these essential fats, found in breast milk, suffered lower test scores and more ADD/ADHD symptoms that those with more. DHA has been linked in the making of neurotransmitters and the nerve sheath.

There have also been cases where skin blemishes because of hormonal imbalances have cleared up as a result of supplementing Omega 6, or GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid).

Immune function- Omega fatty acids are vital for the healthy permeability of cellular membranes. Without these fats to maintain healthy cells an inflammatory response will result as homeostasis is interrupted. Homeostasis is the maintenance of static, or constant, conditions in the internal environment of the cell and, on a larger scale, the human body as a whole. In other words, with a disturbance in cellular membrane structure or function, virtually all cellular processes are disrupted. In the article on homeostasis it also discusses how too much permeability has a negative effect. Over-permeability will result in toxins easily penetrating the cell membrane because they don't have filters to keep them out.

To sum up this means if there is no penetration to nourish our cells, or too much penetration allowing toxins to freely enter our cells, they will die.

We get mainly Omega 6 fatty acids in our diet, but it's in dangerously high amounts. They are mainly derived from processed grains that have altered Omega 6 from it's healthful state. This causes an imbalance of Omega 6:3 which should be about 4:1. Most diets cause it to go up to as high as twenty, thiry, or even fifty to one.

Even with the imbalance, or the over consumption, of Omega 6 vs 3, I still find that when I give my clients an excellent source of GLA their hot flashes, PMS/PMT, and other immunodeficient symptoms ease or cease altogether. Thus proving that it's not only the amount but the source that is to blame. Know your sources of Omega fatty acids before you ingest them. For those of you who have an allergy to fish or seafood, flax oil is a excellent source of Omega 3. Women with hormonal imbalances can use starflower(borage) oil or evening primrose oil to deliver their hormones to where they need to be.

Some dry, but interesting articles on the topic of fats and blood aggregation, hormones, and cancers are here.