Health Update: Inflammation from Energy Surplus…Say What?

Hello everyone:

This is a very intriguing paper on a subject that affects 75% of us and that is the balance of essential fatty acids in our diet. It turns out that the modern dietary changes (which refers to an increase in processed foods loaded with damaged Omega-6 oils and reduced Omega-3’s) alter cellular communications. This translates to reveal that an imbalance in, and/or an excess of nutrients is a form of metabolic stress that leads to negative alterations in the immune system that leads to chronic inflammation and further abnormal function.

Gradually this chronic overload of food energy expands fat tissue that leads to oxygen stress and negative alterations in immune function. In our country, there is a profound shift in consumption of greater and greater amounts of saturated and Omega-6 fats, and lower and lower amounts of Omega-3 fats. This in turn results in the formation of a massive amount of pro-inflammatory molecules creating an inflammatory expression leading to immune and cardiac and other metabolic destructive health issues.

Abstract: Chronic low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue has been recognized as a key step in the development of obesity-associated complications. In obesity, the accumulation of infiltrating macrophages in adipose tissue and their phenotypic switch to M1-type dysregulate inflammatory adipokine production leading to obesity-linked insulin resistance. Resolvins are potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators endogenously generated from omega-3 fatty acids that act as “stop-signals” of the inflammatory response promoting the resolution of inflammation. Recently, a deficit in the production of these endogenous anti-inflammatory signals has been demonstrated in obese adipose tissue. The restoration of their levels by either exogenous administration of these mediators or feeding omega-3-enriched diets, improves the inflammatory status of adipose tissue and ameliorates metabolic dysfunction.

Mechanisms of resolution in adipose tissue inflammation: Cellular processes involved in resolution of inflammation include macrophage (a type of white blood cell) engulfment of apoptotic neutrophils (efferocytosis), macrophage efflux into lymphatics, phenotypic switching of macrophages to a pro-resolving phenotype and recruitment of Tregs. Many of these cellular processes are facilitated by SPM during the initial resolution phase to effectively repair and restore tissue architecture and function.

Bottom Line:

Find ways to consume more Omega-3’s daily and reduce your amount of Omega-6’s. Here is a partial list of those oils high in Omega-6’s:

  • Sunflower; safflower; corn; soy; peanut; avocado; canola; sesame, and many more.

Omega-3 sources:

  • Flax; chia; hemp hearts; walnuts; pumpkin seeds, seafood; beans; seaweeds; many vegetables such as brussels sprouts

Please note that RESOLUTION of inflammation is an immune process and that many of those processes rely on Omega-3 essential fatty acids that are metabolized into SPM’s (Selective Pro-resolving Mediators). I routinely test patient’s blood for their levels of Omega-6’s and 3’s and at least 75 to 80% of the time the 3’s are too low and the Omega 6:3 ratio is too high. In other words, having too much 6’s and too little 3’s is an extremely common problem. Since inflammation causes, aggravates, or perpetuates virtually every known ailment, getting your dietary fats balanced is a crucial component to lower inflammation and assist in the recovery from chronic conditions as well as improve preventive maintenance efforts. Get yours checked!!! If you are taking Omega-3 supplements, you do not need more than 3000 mg. per day to get great results. Taking more than that can interfere with blood clotting, so be careful.

We do need Omega-6’s for optimal health, but we absolutely do not need processed, treated, or damaged Omega-6’s that are found in nearly all processed foods…even those that are organic. The Omega-6’s that we should avoid are those found in prepared, packaged, and processed foods…so avoid the 3 P’s!!

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