The cell membrane of nearly every cell in the human body is made up of cholesterol (cholesterol is good for you, by the way, not bad for you) and phospholipids (essential fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahaexanoic acid (DHA)). For example, the brain is made up mostly of fatty acids; the synapses (the connections) between neurons (brain cells) are 80% fatty acids.
So, not only are essential fatty acids critical structural components of our cells, but much of the body’s physiologic function is dependent upon having sufficient essential fatty acids in general and omega-3 in particular. Combined with the importance of these essential fatty acids is the fact that our modern culture is terribly deficient in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Because we eat grains and vegetable oils, and because we eat domesticated grain-fed animals, we eat waaaayyyy to much omega-6 fats. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in most people is so imbalanced it causes people to be unhealthy, very unhealthy. You can’t say this too much.
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The Important O-3 : O-6 Ratio
Research has shown that the human body is healthy when our dietary intake of essential fatty acids is a ratio of 1:2 between omega-3 and omega-6. Current research shows that people today are eating a diet style of processed foods (which contain vegetable oils high in omega-6), and grains (which are high in omega-6), and finally, grain fed animals, creating average ratios of 1:30, even 1:50 in people today. This gross imbalance of essential fats is resulting in many disease processes among modern cultures.
Omega-6 -> Inflammation, heart disease and cancer
When the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 gets too high, dangerous inflammation results, causing many diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- High Cholesterol
- Autoimmune diseases (Lupus)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Premature and low birth weights
- Neurodegenerative dementia diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
- Crohn’s disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Avoiding processed vegetable oils – a key health strategy
There are many researchers, doctors, and scientists who attribute the increase in cancers being partially due to changes in the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio that’s taken place over the past 50 from the prevalence of processed vegetable oils in the modern diet. Omega-6 Linoleic acid from vegetable oils increases oxidative stress in the body of humans, contributing to endothelial dysfunction and heart disease. The consumption of these harmful oils which are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats results in changing the structure of cell membrane which contribute to increased inflammation and the incidence of cancer.
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