The material on this web site including essential fatty acids is offered to you for informational purposes only and is not meant to be interpreted as medical advice to diagnose, treat or cure any immune system disorder. You should consult with a qualified health professional whenever your health is in question.
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Immune System Etc.com focus: immune system information, the immune response, immune system support, what you need to be aware of when you boost the immune system, body detoxification, combating immune system stressors, what weakens the immune system, what strengthens the immune system, immune system deficiencies including autoimmune disorders and how you can help the body heal.
Essential Fatty Acids - EFA's - The Good Fats
Essential fatty acids are the good fats we need to get from food because we don’t make them ourselves. Hormone like cellular messengers called prostaglandins are derived from essential fatty acids. Cells respond to their environment through the action of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are short lived and very localized. Providing the raw materials, the fatty acids, in the first place is a nutritional issue. Most significant are the omega 3 fatty acids.
Our diet is notably lacking in these good fats, especially since we decided sometime back that all fats were bad. “Essential fatty acid deficiency is associated with over 60 different health ailments, from acne and PMS, to chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Several large scale nutritional surveys show that over 60% of the North American population is deficient in EFA’s.” Dr. Kris Van Oeveren, D.C.
According to Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades (M.D’s.), ever since the surgeon general recommended in 1988 that Americans severely reduce their consumption of fat - all fat- the race to zero fat has been on. Dr. Barry Sears says our consumption of fat has been going down for the last 50 years.
Prostaglandins - the Good, the Bad
Good prostaglandins [derived from essential fatty acids] inhibit “thick” blood, dilate blood vessels, are anti-inflammatory, control cell proliferation and enhance immune function. This positive action is inhibited by nutritional deficiencies, viruses, heavy metals, “bad” fats, and further inhibited by red meat, sugar and stress.
“Bad” prostaglandins do the opposite as in they promote “thick” blood, constricting blood vessels, are pro inflammatory, promote cell proliferation and suppresses immune function.
“If you are having a heart attack, you are making more “bad” eicosanoids (that promote platelet aggregation and vasocontriction) and not enough “good” ones (that prevent platelet aggregation and promote vasodilation). If you have high blood pressure, you are making more “bad” eicosanoids (vasoconstrictors) and not enough “good” ones (vascodilators). If you have arthritic pain, you are making more “bad” eicosanoids (pro-inflammatory) and less “good” ones (anti-inflammatory). If you have cancer, you are making more “bad” eicosanoids (immune supressing) and too few “good” ones (immune stimulating). “ Dr. Barry Sears, The Anti-Aging Zone
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) – Not As Easy To Come By As Others
The EPA found in omega 3 marine lipid concentrate (uncontaminated fish) inhibits negative action and promotes the production of good prostaglandins and all that goes with that including immune function.