Friday, January 18, 2013

Dr. Abelson's – Essential Nutritional Program Part 2


All fats are not bad for you, this vendetta against eating any type of fat is insane.  Your body needs fats to construct every cell in your body.  The protective membranes in each cell that serve as defensive barriers are made from fatty acids.  The hormone-like molecules that regulate your bodies immune responses are made from fatty acids. Fatty acids are indispensable in cell-to-cell communication.  The list of functions that fatty acids play in your body is extensive.

Fats and Inflammation 

Good fats promote anti-inflammatory activity in your body, bad fats promote destructive inflammatory processes.

Keeping inflammation under control is one of the primary reasons you need to consider the type of fats you are putting into your body. Inflammation is part of the natural immune response that is triggered by injury, allergens, disease or poisonous chemicals.  During this immune response, fatty acids are released from your cell membranes.  These fatty acids are then transformed into substances called Eicosanoids

There are good and bad Eicosanoids, some will reduce inflammation and encourage healing while others will create states of destructive inflammation. This will all depend on how much of certain fats you have stored in your cell membranes.  If you have stored healthy Omega-3-fatty acids, from good dietary habits, then your body will heal faster and cope with any aggressive inflammatory states.  If you have a history of consuming high levels of Omega-6-fatty acids (bad oils) destructive Eicosanoids will be released and your body will have to deal with increased aggressive inflammatory states.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids cannot be made by the body, but must be taken in as food or supplements. Nutritionally important essential Omega-3 fatty acids are: α-linolenicacid (ALA), eicosapentaenoicacid (EPA), and docosahexaenoicacid (DHA). These essential fatty acids are crucial for the construction of healthy cell membranes, the development and functioning of your brain and nervous system, and as we mentioned the manufacture of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids. Eicosanoids also help control other bodily functions such as blood pressure and immune functions including inflammatory responses.

Reservoirs of Bad Fats

Most people have been putting the wrong types of fats into their bodies for so long that their cell membranes have become reservoirs of bad fats.  

The typical North American Diet is high in saturated fats, arachidonic acid and trans fatty acids.  Both saturated fats and trans fatty acids result in stiff, non-permeable cell membranes, which decrease cell communication and limit sufficient transport of nutrients into your cells.  Arachidonic acid is an Omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in meat and dairy (this does not mean I am saying to avoid meat and dairy products).  Arachidonic acid is the precursor to immune molecules that create inflammation and can contribute to chronic inflammatory conditions and heart disease (more research needs to be done on the heart disease issue).

Another major problem is that we have been consuming these bad fats for so long that our bodies cells have become insulin insensitive or resistant. Insulin resistance occurs when the normal amount of insulin secreted by your pancreas is not able to unlock the door to your cells.  To maintain a normal blood glucose, insulin resistance causes the pancreas to secrete additional insulin.

Trans Fats

One of the really bad fats to avoid is called trans fats (hydrogenated oils).  If you see the word hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated it has trans fat in it. The process of hydrogenation of oils, with the removal of essential fatty acids (good fats), is used in the food industry for the purpose of extending the shelf life of processed foods (bottom line - maximize profits). A study from the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 found eating just one gram of trans fats a day for 10 years increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 per cent. Another study from Harvard Medical School, has shown high trans fat intake (as in fried foods) represents a significant risk for developing premature diabetes. The average North American is now  consuming about 8.5 grams of trans fat per person per day.

Comparing the results of two meals

Lets compare the results of eating a meal containing bad fats to a meal containing good fats. Different hormones will be produced in your body as a result of eating these meals, each of these hormones can have a significant impact on your health.  Also consider how these meals are going to affect you if you already have an injury and you are trying to heal yourself. 

Bad fats meal:   Hamburger, French Fries, and a shake

Produces the hormone Prostaglandin-E2
  • Constricts blood vessels
  • Increases pain
  • Increases swelling

Produces the hormone Thromboxane-A2
  • Constricts blood vessels
  • Constricts airways
  • Increases blood clotting
  • Reduces circulation

Produces the hormone Leukotrienes-4series
  • Constricts airways
  • Prolongs duration of inflammation
  • Promotes inflammation

Good fats meal:   Fish, Salad with avocado, flax oil dressing and fresh vegetables.

Produces the hormone Prostaglandin-E1
  • Improves circulation
  • Increases protective stomach secretions
  • Reduces blood clotting
  • Relaxes muscle spasms

Produces the hormone Prostaglandin-E3
  • Decreases sensitivity to pain
  • Improves circulation
  • Promotes anti-inflammatory response
  • Relaxes blood vessels

Produces the hormone Leukotrienes-5 series
  • Increases circulation
  • Promotes anti-inflammatory response
  • Relaxes airways
  • Relaxes blood vessels 


The solution to this problems is quite simple, stop consuming the bad fats and start consuming omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon (use wild fish if possible), tuna, and halibut, they are also found in certain nuts and nut oils.

Research has shown that daily supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids within just three months will give you a considerable improvement in insulin sensitivity, decreases overall inflammation, faster body repair, less pain, decreases heart disease and diabetes, weight loss and gives you a much younger you.

In Part 3 of "Dr. Abelson’s– Essential Nutritional Program"  we will talk about the importance of staying hydrated.   

Do you want more information about this, and other topics. Our books (eBooks and hard-copy) provide more information about soft-tissue injuries, rehabilitative exercises for injury recovery, and how to use these to activate and restore all the structures of your kinetic chain. 

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