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Can Essential Fatty Acids may help treat certain medical conditions?
Essential Fatty Acids Deficiency Conditions and Diseases
EFA supplementation has shown promise in the prevention and treatment of a number of medical conditions…
It has been suggested that most of the "diseases of civilization" - heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation and skin diseases - are caused by a disturbance in fat metabolism. Each essential fatty acid plays a specific role in the body. Just like other essential vitamins and minerals, all are necessary for good health. Furthermore, a diet rich in EFAs can be helpful in many diseases.
Recent research has shown that EFAs can have a profound effect on several medical conditions including: arthritis, skin conditions, cardiovascular diseases, diabetic neuropathy, immune function, premenstrual syndrome as well as aid in infant brain development.
Clinical research has discovered that GLA is an important factor contributing to prevention and improvement of neuropathy - nerve damage that affects between 60% and 70% of all diabetics. Anyone with diabetes may consider supplementing with Borage Oil as a preventive measure against neuropathy. Patients with existing neuropathy may experience improvement in symptoms with GLA supplementation.
Recent research suggest that ALA can regulate immune response and may play a beneficial role in the clinical management of auto-immune disease. GLA may also modulate or regulate immune function.
Women have long used GLA to help combat the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Research has shown that women who deficient in GLA are more likely to experience premenstrual breast pain. GLA deficiency may also be responsible for other PMS symptoms such as depression, irritability, fluid retention and overall body sensitivity.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases of the heart and arteries and includes arteriosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease, angina, emboli, heart failure, heart enlargement, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, abnormal blood clotting and other conditions affecting the heart and/or circulatory system.
The only common abnormal characteristic in observation studies of patients with CVD is solid fat encircling the normally lean heart muscle. These deposits or "bat fat" are a result of a dietary lack of optimally balanced PUFAs and EFAs directly affecting the generation of heart action.
Every heartbeat controls the mount of blood flow in and out of the heart. Freshly oxygenated blood (from the lungs) fills the left ventricle and the un-oxygenated, fatty acid-containing blood fills the right ventricle. If the un-oxygenated blood is filled with SAFA and trans-fatty acids there is lack of new electrical impulses. Once the heart realizes that its electrical potential is being affected, it begins to reject these "bad fats". This is immediately recognized anatomically and can be accurately measured. The fatty acids then build up in the coronary vessels and eventually on the entire muscle. In addition, oxygenation of blood in the lungs is affected and the heart is forced to pump the same amount of blood throughout the body several times to oxygenate issues.
Hempseed oil is used to prevent heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels. The main role of cholesterol is to fine-tune fluctuating cell membrane fluidity, which is dependent on dietary fat. A diet rich in PUFAs and EFAs means that more cholesterol will be built into cell membranes, rather than being removed from cell membranes and entering the bloodstream. Every cell produces enough cholesterol to maintain it's own membrane fluidity, therefore it does not need to be provided in our diet.
It is important to note that since cholesterol consumption has remained consistent for the past 100 years it cannot be targeted as the primary cause of the dramatic increases in CVD in the past 100 years.
Cancer represents the most extreme form of nutritional degeneration. It has been proven that the only abnormal characteristic of cancerous cells, as opposed to healthy cells, is isolated fat deposits in the cell nucleus, body or cytoplasm.
A diet rich in PUFAs and EFAs assures a sufficient and continuous supply of oxygen to our cells and tissues. We know that in cancer cells oxygen uptake is inhibited and cell division often remains incomplete. We also know that lack of oxygen in tissues lowers their metabolic rate and depresses all cell functions. Both can result in leaky or defective cell membranes and decreases energy production. Otto Warberg, a Nobel Prize winning researcher, discovered in the 1920's that by depriving tissues of oxygen (35% less than normal), he could induce cancer in tissues almost at will.
Other studies have shown that blood samples of persons with cancer lack phospholipids - containing linoleic acid (LA), which is essential for the proper development and division of healthy cell membranes. The blood also lacks albumin, a water-soluble, fatty acid-carrying lipoprotein that carries essential lipids between intestine, liver and body cells.
Diabetes is the name for a variety of disorders characterized by the body's inability to balance insulin and glucose production and/or carbohydrate metabolism. The essential balance between insulin and glucagon (a form of glucose) enables the body to maintain blood sugar at optimum levels. Studies have shown dietary EFAs given to diabetics caused an insulin-sparing effect, indicating that the effectiveness of insulin may depend on them.
In diabetics, blood sugar levels build up in the blood and the body produces excess insulin. High blood sugar levels inhibit the release of linoleic acid (LA) from adipose cells, the storage cells in fat tissues. The LA remains stored and unavailable to the rest of the body. Blood samples of persons with diabetes revealed a lack of LA containing phosopholipds (PL), fatty materials needed to develop healthy cell membranes. They also lack albumin, fatty acid-carrying lipoprotein that carries EFAs between intestine, liver and body cells.
Excess insulin causes symptoms such as excess thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, tingling or burning in the fingers and toes and other conditions known as Syndrome-X. Syndrome-X has been known to cause obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension. In 1997, 48 people diagnosed with Syndrome-X were assigned to either low-calorie, high carbohydrate diet or a diet high in EFAs. After one year, those consuming the high carbohydrate diets has higher glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. Persons consuming the EFAs diet had enhanced insulin sensitivity, elevated high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and lower triglycerides and blood pressure.
The evidence clearly suggests that diets rich in optimally balanced EFAs can have significant impact on diabetes prevention and treatment. Hemp seed oil and hemp nut contain what is considered to be the ideal (3:1) ration of essential omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Arthritis is a general term to describe the conditions of joint inflammation and is traditionally treated with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories. Dietary essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially alpha-linoleic acid (LNA), are precursors for prostaglandins (PG), a biological hormone-like substance that reduces inflammation. EFAs are also necessary to build and deposit bone materials and produce secretions that lubricate joints.
The most common forms of arthritis are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). RA attacks the synovial membranes surrounding the lubricating fluid in joints. The body replaced the damaged tissue with scar tissue, causing the spaces between the joints to become narrow, to develop folds and to fuse together. OA is marked by the degeneration of cartilage and bone around joints.
LA and GLA is converted to DGLA in the body and is then converted to PGE-a, a potent anti-inflammatory. The effectiveness of these omega-6 fatty acids in RA has been validated in recent test. Clinical studies have also shown that EFAs increase osteoblast proliferation and can be used to prevent or control bone degeneration.
Arthritis can develop in any joint in the body. Symptoms are bone deterioration, dryness and stiffness of the joints and chronic pain.
Peptic ulcers are a reversible digestive condition resulting from the abnormal breakdown of proteins. Clinical studies have shown that dietary PUFA intake plays a beneficial role in this disease, which often strikes in the lower part of the esophagus, in the stomach and in the small intestine.
In many cases, being overweight is a result of fatty degeneration or water retention. In either case, proper dietary intake of essential fatty acids (EFA) can be beneficial.
EFAs increase metabolic rate, oxidation rate and energy production. EFAs also disperse solid fats such as SAFAs and trans-fatty acids, turning body fat into body fluids. As a result, more fat and glucose is burned and less fat deposition takes place around the body. This also decreases high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The essential alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) is the precursor for the PG3 family of prostaglandins. These specific hormone-like substances help our kidneys get rid of excess water held in body tissues - a condition know as edema. Less water retention equals less excess weight.
Stress is defined as physical, mental and emotional tension or pressure that disturbs the homeostasis of an organism. Proper dietary intake of EFAs increase the amount of stress that a person is able to bear because EFAs heighten the capacity for electric tension across our cell membranes. This is known as membrane potential.
Like a battery, life energy flows between two poles; positive and negative. Biochemically, sulfur-rich proteins containing many slightly positively charged sulphydryl groups are the positive pole and PUFA and EFA-rich fats containing many slightly negatively charged cis-double bonds are the negative pole. These two groups of substances, the essential proteins and essential fats, are the two most abundant substances in our cells and form the main structure and functional components of our entire body.
More stress requires more essential fats and/or proteins. When our body's demand for these substances exceeds the dietary supply, our body begins to run down causing deficiencies and degeneration.
To prevent and treat stress related conditions, essential fats and proteins must be continually replaced through foods. Hempseed oil and hemp nut provide the essential fats in their optimum balance. Hemp nut also provides all nine indispensable amino acids (IAA), including the high sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine.