FATS and OILS

Most doctors and health-policy leaders have taken their cues from a diet researcher named Ancel Keys (famous for K-rations), who believed that Americans succumbed to more heart disease because their consumption of fats had escalated compared to that of their parents.

But countries famous for some of the grandest cooking in the world, France, China, Spain, Mexico and even Italy (famous for its olive oil), rely on animal fats to add flavor and texture to many traditional dishes.  Those animal-fat loving countries have neither the obesity nor the levels of heart disease that we exhibit in the United States.

Excessive avoidance of total and saturated fat with their accompanying fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) as well as pigments may result in nutrient shortcomings leading to depression, cardiovascular disease risk and overall health.  Fats and oils (especially saturated) have a bum rap because of medical myth creating cholesterol fear and a public relations ‘hatchet job’ done on foreign competing palm and coconut oils by corporate soybean and corn industry lobbyists.

The liver uses saturated fat to add to the digested protein molecule to make it assimilable.  Soaked seeds have the perfect combination of proteins and fats. 

Vitamin K2 (occurring in fat in meat, cheese and milk products) reduces coronary calcification, but not vitamin K1 (occurring in green vegetables).  Vitamin K1 is primarily involved in carboxylating blood coagulation factors (in the liver) for their function; while vitamin K2 primarily carboxylates extra-hepatic proteins (like matrix-gla protein) and osteocalcin for strong bone metabolism.  

 

Vitamin K can also be synthesized by gut bacteria.  Undercarboxylated osteocalcin is used to assess vitamin K status indirectly.  Vitamin K2 has been used in milligram doses (45-90 mg) as treatment for osteoporosis in Japan while vitamin K1 is typically recommended in microgram doses and in U.S. 3mg is an available dose of K2.

It is the artificially saturated or hydrogenated oils of commerce that are dangerous to our health.  Highly concentrated and refined seed oils were never seen in nature and have unpredictable hormone-like effects on the body.  ‘Statin’ drugs and polyunsaturated oils lower cholesterol numbers, but ‘event’ risk and arterial calcification continues.  Reducing intake of natural total or saturated fat does not really lower risk to heart attack or stroke.

Although multiple individual genes likely explain the differences in blood lipid responses to dietary fat changes, variants in the apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotype have been shown to interact with quantity and quality of dietary fat to modify LDL subclasses.  The apoE4 allele is associated with a more atherogenic lipoprotein profile than apoE2 or apoE3.  

ApoE4 carriers (roughly 14% of the population) do derive substantially more benefit from aiding detoxification, stopping smoking or reductions in dietary fat and cholesterol than carriers of apoE2 or apoE3 alleles who are naturally better detoxifiers.  Identification of these genes involved in blood lipid responses to dietary changes can lead to more individualized dietary interventions to reduce coronary and heart disease risk.

The three most prevalent types of saturated fat are stearic acid, palmitic acid and lauric acid.  Each naturally occurring food contains varying ratios of each type of fat, meaning that certain foods contain theoretically more beneficial fat profiles than others. 

Saturated fatty acids constitute at least half of cell membranes.  They are what give our cell walls necessary stiffness and integrity, leading to efficient nerve transmission.  They play a vital role in the health of our bones.  For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, around half of our dietary fats would ideally be saturated.

Saturated fats lower Lp(a), a lipoprotein in blood that indicates proneness to heart disease.  They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol.   Saturated fats enhance the immune system.  Essential elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats.  Saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are preferred foods for the heart, which is why fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated.  The heart draws on this fatty reserve in times of stress.

Stearic acid is found in animal fat and cocoa butter (white chocolate) in higher ratios than other foods.  New research shows that stearic acid has no negative impacts on heart disease risks.  Most studies have found that it is either neutral or beneficial.  In fact, our liver converts stearic acid into monounsaturated oleic acid, which is rich in heart-healthy olive or avocado oils.

Lauric acid is another beneficial saturated fat.  Lauric acid increases HDL ‘good cholesterol’ levels significantly, but it is also a most difficult fat to attain in the standard American diet (SAD).  Lauric acid even has powerful immune-boosting effects.  It is currently being studied for treating viruses, HIV/AIDS and cancers.  Tropical oils such as coconut and palm are the best sources of beneficial lauric acid. If you buy coconut oil, be sure to obtain extra virgin coconut oil.  It should have the aroma of coconuts and a fairly tropical taste to it.

Palmitic acid is the other main component of saturated fat and also tends to increase HDL good cholesterol to the same, if not greater extent than LDL bad cholesterol, thereby making it either neutral or beneficial, but certainly not harmful.

To get optimal dietary ratios of healthy saturated fats, include a healthy amount of organic eggs, range-fed red meat, wild cold water seafood, avocados, dark chocolate, soaked seeds and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), and light use of organic cold-pressed oils: avocado, olive, macadamia, sesame, red palm and coconut oils.

The smoke point is the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down.  The substance smokes or burns, creates molecular stress messaging similar to AGEs and gives food an unpleasant taste.  Butter and coconut oil both smoke at 350°F, conveniently cooking below 365°F to prevent formation of most AGEs.  Lard can be safely used to 370°F.  Ghee makes it to 485°F.  Olive oil ranges from extra virgin at 375°F to extra light olive oil at 468°F.  Avocado oil can handle 520°F.   

Unrefined flax seed oil or unrefined safflower oil is very tender and not to be used in cooking since they smoke at 225°F.  Remember that cooking proteins and grains over 365°F creates the most dangerous AGEs.  Refined safflower oil can handle 510°F.  Grape seed oil is useful for cooking to 420°F.  Unrefined sesame oil smokes at 350°F; semi-refined sesame oil does not crisp until 450°F.  Unrefined walnut oil smokes at 320°F; refined walnut oil makes it to 400°F.

Spices possess antioxidant activity that preserves the integrity of lipids and reduces lipid peroxidation.   The relative antioxidant activity of spice extracts decreases in order of cloves, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, garlic, mint and onion.  Spice mixes of ginger, onion and garlic; onion and ginger; and ginger and garlic show cumulative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, exhibiting synergistic antioxidant activity.  Antioxidant activity of the spice extracts is retained even after boiling for 30 minutes, suggesting that spice constituents are resistant to heat denaturing.

Food sources best promote sustainability and be as healthy as possible.  Better that fish is not farmed, but wild Alaskan or cold water caught.  It also means that one’s preferable meat sources are "grass fed" or "open/free range".  These animals would ideally not be ‘fattened and finished on grains because grains distort the type of fats found in meat tissue.  Healthier meats and wild game have better omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratios than standard commercial feed lot meats and help provide satisfaction and satiety.

Purchase: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD (NewTrends Publishing 2000, www.newtrendspublishing.com 877-707-1776)

Avocado oil is a mild and buttery-tasting edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado).  As food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, as well as cooking oil.  It is also used for lubrication and in cosmetics where it is valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties.  It has an unusually high smoke point of 491°F (255°C), and functions well as carrier oil for other flavors. 

Cold pressing of avocados produces very tasty high-quality monosaturated oil with very low levels of acidity and oxidation products while retaining its vitamin E content, and is high in monounsaturated fats.  Since the avocado is a year-round crop, some olive oil plants, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, process olive oil during the olive season, and avocado oil during the rest of the year.  As culinary oil, avocado oil compares very well with olive oil.

Avocado oil is one of few vegetable oils not derived from seeds; it is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit.  Although classified as a vegetable oil, the avocado is really a fruit since it has a stone.  The fruit yields rich and extremely deep penetrating oil, full of vitamins A, D and E, lecithin, as well as potassium.  It also contains proteins, lecithin, beta-carotene and more than 20% essential unsaturated fatty acids.  Fatty acids are palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic. 

It is also high in sterolins, which are reputed to reduce age spots, help heal sun damage and scars.  It is the sterolins (also called plant sterols or steroids) in the oil that helps to soften the skin and imparts a superior moisturizing effect.  It is an ideal ingredient to include when formulating for people with dehydrated, sun or climate damaged skin, as it is an extremely good moisturizing and nourishing compound, assisting in skin regeneration and rejuvenation. 

Avocado oil significantly increases the amount of collagen in the skin, which normally declines as we grow older.  Avocado oil is easily absorbed into deep tissue, and with its wonderfully emollient properties, makes it ideal for mature skins.  It also helps to relieve the dryness and itching of psoriasis and eczema.

Borage oil is from borage seeds, one of few plant sources that contain gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an omega 6 fatty acid that readily converts to prostaglandin-1 local eicosanoid hormones.   Prostaglandin-1 has both anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant properties as well as excellent dilative qualities for the body’s tubes (bronchioles and arteries).  Evening primrose and black currant are two other plants known to possess GLA, but borage is the richest source of this fatty acid, containing 20-30%, more than twice that of the better known evening primrose oil source.  Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a good fat, and it also helps to hold back onset of male pattern balding. 

The two most important sources of dietary GLA in terms of market availability are evening primrose oil and borage oil, with 10% and 20% GLA respectively.  Consumption of black currant oil, which contains 15–20% GLA, is very limited due to supply restraints.  Hemp seed oil, which contains up to 5% GLA, is also an excellent source of ALA.  GLA is helpful for infant nutrition, atopic dermatitis, eczema, diabetic neuropathy, breast pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and reducing general inflammation.

 

Diabetic neuropathy is a painful and debilitating complication of diabetes.  It develops over time as a result of abnormally high levels of blood sugar creating leathering (browning) of membrane structures making membranes less fluid.  Nerve membranes become less able to carry a soliton, creating neuropathy.  Fatty acid abnormalities have been demonstrated in diabetics, particularly low DGLA and ARA in nerve membranes and red blood cell membranes. 

 

Low DGLA levels result in reduced levels of PGE1 and prostacyclin, impairing circulation.  Low PGE1 also increases phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity, resulting in release of ARA from membranes and increasing membrane stiffness.  Free ARA forms vasoconstrictors, restricting circulation and creating a deterioration of motor and sensory nerves.  GLA (in evening primrose oil) has repeatedly been shown to improve nerve conduction velocity and improve established diabetic neuropathy symptoms.

Borage oil has been shown to contain small amounts of such pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) as lycopsamine, amabiline and thesinine.  Some pyrrolizidine alkaloids, particularly unsaturated ones, may be toxic to the liver even in small amounts.  Use of borage oil should be avoided unless the preparations are certified to be free of these potentially harmful, unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.  

Unencapsulated borage oil should be refrigerated after opening to keep it stable, as GLA is damaged by oxidation.  Blending small amounts of vitamin E or vitamin C into the oil will also help to slow oxidation.

The long-term use of herbal borage in medicinal preparations is not recommended.  Some minor side effects have been reported when borage preparations are taken internally, even when taken in appropriate forms and in therapeutic dosages. These side effects include bloating, nausea, indigestion, and headache.  External contact with fresh borage leaves may cause skin rashes in sensitive persons.  

Adverse interactions have been reported between borage and three types of prescription medications: anticoagulants (blood thinners), anticonvulsants (drugs to prevent seizures) and anxiolytics (tranquilizers).  Borage may prolong bleeding time if taken together with anticoagulant medications.  Borage has also been reported to lower the seizure threshold if taken together with anticonvulsant medications.  Lastly, borage has been reported to increase the degree of sedation when taken with tranquilizers.

Beta-sitosterol is one of hundreds of plant-derived "sterol" compounds (including sterols and sterolins) that have structural similarity to the cholesterol made in our bodies as the base of our steroid hormones. The most prevalent phytosterols in the diet are beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol.  Plant oils contain the highest concentration of phytosterols.  Nuts and seeds contain fairly high levels and all fruits and vegetables generally contain some amount of phytosterols.

Benefits include Immune system support (especially during stress), relieves allergies, reduces cancer risk (prostate, breast, colon) and inhibition of epithelial cell division tends to reduce atherosclerosis.  It has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving activity and lessens symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH).  Beta-sitosterol also appears to modulate immune function, inflammation and pain levels through its effects on controlling the production of inflammatory cytokines. This modulation of cytokine production and activity may help control allergies and reduce prostate enlargement.

Phytosterols, such as beta-sitosterol, can influence the structure and function of cell membranes in both healthy and cancerous tissue. This effect is known to alter cellular signaling pathways that regulate tumor growth and apoptosis (cell death) and providing a possible explanation for the stimulation of immune function observed following beta-sitosterol supplementation. 

Beta-sitosterol has been shown (in humans) to normalize function of T-helper lymphocytes and natural killer cells following stressful events (such as a marathon) which normally suppress immune system function.  As an immune-enhancer, beta glucan has much more evidence of effectiveness, but beta-sitosterol appears to be quite beneficial in maintaining immune function during periods of heightened stress (such as exercise recovery).  Beta-sitosterol also normalizes the ratio of catabolic stress hormones (cortisol) to anabolic (rebuilding) hormones such as DHEA.

Beta 1,3-D Glucan  is derived from mushrooms, barley, oats and broken cell walls of yeast.  Beta Glucans are also capable of reducing unhealthy levels of serum cholesterol and boosting immunity.  Beta Glucan is a powerful stimulator of cellular immunity, activating powerful gobbling macrophages.  This plant messenger molecule not only has a positive action on macrophages, but on B lymphocytes, natural killer cells and balancing suppressor T cells.

Beta 1,3-D Glucan is also an effective antioxidant and free radical scavenger.  Beta Glucan is a safe, non-toxic, and orally effective supplement to enhance immunity.  Beta Glucan helps prevent coronary heart disease by significantly lowering LDL blood cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.  To get the same amount of beta glucan obtained from a 200 mg tablet, one needs to eat 32 bowls of oatmeal porridge.

The best way to obtain beta-sitosterol is to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (which obviously brings numerous other benefits as well).  The typical daily dosage of beta-sitosterol for immune-function benefits is 300-600 mg.  BPH usually requires 600 mg daily and the cholesterol lowering benefits usually require at least 300 mg per day and up to 1000 mg daily.  A handful of roasted peanuts or a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter will contain only about 10-30 mg of beta-sitosterol.

Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk.  It is used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications such as baking, sauce making, and frying.  Butter consists of butterfat, water and milk proteins and should contain essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and pigments derived from animals experiencing sunlight and eating seasonally appropriate forage and grasses.

Most is usually made from cows' milk, butter can also be manufactured from that of other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, and yaks.  Salt, flavorings and preservatives are sometimes added to butter. 

Rendering butter produces clarified butter or ghee, which is almost entirely butterfat and free of milk proteins casein and whey.  Ghee is better suited for sautéing and excellent for those with allergies to milk protein.  Butter remains a solid when refrigerated, but softens to a spreadable consistency at room temperature, and melts to a thin liquid consistency at 32°–35 C (90°–95 F).

Butter generally has a pale yellow color, but varies from deep yellow to nearly white.   Its color is dependent on natural grass pigments in the animal's diet but is commonly manipulated with food colorings in the commercial manufacturing process, most commonly annatto or carotene.

Commercial butter is about 80% butterfat and 15% water; traditionally-made butter may have as little as 65% fat and 30% water.  Butterfat consists of many moderate-sized, saturated hydrocarbon chain fatty acids.  It is a triglyceride, an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acid groups.  Butter becomes more flavorful and ‘rancid when these chains break down into smaller components, like butyric acid and diacetyl.

Before modern factory butter making, cream was usually collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into butter. Butter made from a fermented cream is known as cultured butter, sometimes labeled European-style butter in the United States. 

During fermentation, the cream naturally sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid.  The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more "buttery" tasting product.  These days, cultured butter is usually made from pasteurized cream whose fermentation is produced by the introduction of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria.

Since man began to make and use butter, he made it from ripened matured cream, sour cream.  A change to unsoured or sweet cream butter came only during the 1940's.  The reasons for the change were purely technical.  Machines work most economically and profitably when they run permanently.  Buttering machines were constructed that transformed sweet cream endlessly into butter.  Sour cream at this time resisted this process.  You had to fill the churn with one batch of sour cream, finish buttering, clean the churn and start again.  Thus for purely technical reasons, today people use sweet cream butter.

The standard book about butter making from 1915, Principles and Practice of Butter Making by McKay and Larson, does not even mention sweet cream butter.  Here is what they say:

“The chief object of cream-ripening is to secure the desirable and delicate flavor and aroma so characteristic of good butter.  These flavoring substances, so far as is known, can only be produced by a process of fermentation.  The best flavor in butter is obtained when the cream assumes a clean, pure, acid taste during the ripening.  For this reason, it is essential to have the acid-producing germs predominate during the cream ripening; all other germs should, if possible, be excluded or suppressed.  When cream has been properly ripened, it is practically a pure culture of lactic-acid-producing germs, while sweet unpasteurized cream contains a bacterial flora, consisting of a great variety of desirable and undesirable germs."

Lactic-acid-producing germs (very helpful for our digestion) are able to suppress all other unwanted, even pathogenic, germs.  Lactic-acid fermentation is far superior to heating of milk (pasteurization) in suppressing pathogenic germs.  Pasteurization of the milk dramatically changes the fine composition of raw milk.  Even warming to 120 degrees Fahrenheit alters this fine composition that includes various proteins, vitamins, sugars and enzymes.  Homogenization destroys the butterfat globules so much that the cream can no longer rise in the milk.  The milk becomes denatured.

Spices, herbs or other flavoring agents can be mixed into ‘raw’ softened butter, producing what is called a compound butter or composite butter (sometimes also called composed butter). Compound butters can be used as spreads, or cooled, sliced and placed onto hot food to melt into a sauce.  Sweetened compound butters can be served with desserts; such ‘hard sauces’ are often flavored with spirits.

Melted butter plays an important role in the preparation of sauces, most obviously in French cuisine.  Beurre noisette (hazel butter) and Beurre noir (black butter) are sauces of melted butter gently cooked until the milk solids and sugars have turned golden yellow (preferable) or over heated to dark brown (more AGEs); they are often finished with an addition of vinegar or lemon juice. 

Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are emulsions of egg yolk and melted butter; and are in essence mayonnaises made with butter instead of oil.  Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are stabilized with powerful emulsifiers in the egg yolks, but butter itself contains enough emulsifiers, mostly remnants of fat globule membranes, to form a stable emulsion on its own. 

Beurre blanc (white butter) is made by whisking butter into reduced vinegar or wine, forming an emulsion with the texture of thick cream.  Beurre monté (prepared butter) is melted but still emulsified butter; it lends its name to the practice of "mounting" a sauce with butter: whisking cold butter into any water-based sauce at the end of cooking, giving the sauce a thicker body and a glossy shine, as well as a buttery taste.

Butter contains only traces of lactose, so moderate consumption of butter is not a problem for the lactose intolerant, especially if lactobacilli acidophilus gut cultures which produce lactase are supplemented.   Folks with milk allergies best avoid butter, which contains enough of the allergy-causing casein proteins to cause reactions.  The milk of factory-farmed and primarily grain-fed cow has a totally different quality and is more allergenic than the milk of a free-range cow fed with grass and hay.  

Reduce allergies by restoring cellular immunity with an early light dinner and getting to bed 2-3 hours later generating a good night’s sleep; see and feel morning and noon sunlight and enjoy a sustaining complete early breakfast.  Ingest friendly bacteria and yeasts in pills or fermented foods with each meal to tone immunity and avoid disabling cellular immunity phagocytosis capacity by consuming too much of anything, especially sugar all at once.

Grass-fed dairy contain digestive bacteria that produce five times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than grain-fed! CLA is among the most potent cancer fighters in all foods and offers other health benefits as well.  CLA and its precursor vaccenic acid (a naturally occurring trans fatty acid) in milk fat may protect against the development and progression of atherosclerosis. 

Commercial grains (soy, corn and cottonseed) fed to cows often contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticide residues.  Mycotoxins from mold in stored grains can pass into the milk and adversely affect the health of the cow.  If organic farmers feed grains, they are certified organic, GMO-free and pesticide-free."

Butter provides satiety.  A small amount added to low fat foods such as vegetables increases contentment and may stave off feelings of hunger.  Fat soluble vitamins, including true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors are needed to provide maximum benefit.   Raw cultured organic butter is America’s best source of these critical nutrients.  Vitamin A is more easily absorbed and utilized from butter than from other sources.  The fat-soluble vitamins occur in large amount only when the butter comes from cows eating green grass. 

The Wulzen Factor is called the “anti-stiffness” factor; is present in raw animal fat.  Researcher Rosalind Wulzen discovered that this vitamin K2-like substance protects humans and animals from calcification of the joints (degenerative arthritis).  It also protects against hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland.   Calves fed pasteurized milk or skim milk develop joint stiffness and do not thrive. Their symptoms are reversed when raw butterfat is added to the diet.  Pasteurization destroys the Wulzen factor, present only in raw butter, cream and whole milk. 

Discovered by Dr. Weston Price, Activator X is a powerful catalyst which, like vitamins A and D, helps the body absorb and utilize minerals.  It may be the vitamin K2 or the CLA of today and was found in organ meats from grazing animals and some seafood.  Butter can be especially rich source of Activator X when it comes from cows eating rapidly growing grass in the spring and fall seasons.  It disappears in cows fed cottonseed meal, high protein soy based feeds or even hay.  Fortunately, Activator X is not destroyed by pasteurization. 

Butter from pasture fed cows also contains a form of rearranged CLA, which has strong anticancer properties.  It also encourages buildup of muscle and prevents weight gain.  CLA disappears when cows are fed dry hay or even small amounts of grain and processed food.  

Glycosphinogolipids protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly.  For this reason, children who drink skimmed milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink raw whole milk.  Butter contains about 12-15% short- and medium chain fatty acids.  Saturated fat glycosphinogolipids do not need to be emulsified by bile salts but are absorbed directly from small intestine to the liver, where they are quickly converted to energy. 

These fatty acids also have antimicrobial, antitumor and immune system supporting properties, especially 12-carbon lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid not found in other animal fats.  Highly protective lauric acid is a conditionally essential fatty acid because it is made only by the mammary gland and not in the liver like other saturated fats.  Besides the breast, we must get it from one of two dietary sources: small amount of butterfat or large amounts of coconut oil. 

Four-carbon butyric acid is dietarily practically unique to butter.  It has antifungal properties as well as antitumor effects, feeding cells lining the colon directly.  Omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids occur in butter in small but nearly equal amounts.  This excellent balance between linoleic and linolenic acid prevents the kind of inflammatory problems associated with overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids. 

Lecithin is a natural component of butter that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constitutes.  Mother’s milk is high in cholesterol because it is essential for growth and development.  Cholesterol is also needed to produce a variety of steroids that protect against cancer, heart disease and mental illness.  Many trace minerals are incorporated into the fat globule membrane of butterfat, including manganese, zinc, chromium and iodine.  In mountainous areas far from the sea, iodine in butter protects against goiter.  Butter can be rich in selenium, a trace mineral with antioxidant properties, perhaps containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.

Canola oil is a hybridized rapeseed oil that is about 61% monosaturated.  In the late 1960s, plant scientists used traditional plant breeding methods to get rid of rapeseed’s undesirable qualities (erucic acid and glucosinolates).  Its name is a hybrid too: Canola, from Canadian oil, low acid.

Erucic acid is produced naturally (together with other fatty acids) across a great range of green plants, but especially so by members of the brassica family.  It is highest in some rapeseed varieties, along with kale and mustard, followed by Brussels sprouts and broccoli. 

Based on animal studies in adult pigs and piglets, it is likely that, in human infants that have not yet been weaned, enzymes necessary to digest long-chain fatty acids are in short supply (as the mother's milk is the normal food source during this period), although not totally absent.  Because of this, babies should not be given foods high in erucic acid.

Glucosinolates or isothiocyanates are unpleasantly bitter strong-tasting sulfur-containing compounds that have anti-cancer properties. In mice, isothiocyanates inhibit the development of tumors in esophagus, mammary and lung tissue. Isothiocyanates seem to act by interfering with the metabolism of cancer agents and even increase the detoxification and removal of proliferative estrogens from the body. The cancer-fighting properties of cabbage, cauliflower and the other members of the mustard family are likely due to their isothiocyanate content.

Much food grade canola, including the varieties sold in health food stores, is deodorized from its natural stink with 300 degree F. (high–temperature refining).  You cannot cook a vegetable oil at that temperature and leave behind anything that promotes health.

In an abstract of a Canadian study, researchers stated: “Ingestion of oils containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the n–3 and n–6 series results in a high degree of unsaturation in membrane phospholipids, which in turn may increase lipid peroxidation, cholesterol oxidation, free radical accumulation and membrane damage.”  Vitamin E protects against this damage.  Canola oil (high in PUFAs) somehow depleted studied piglets of vitamin E to dangerously low levels.  Other vegetable seed oils did not appear to cause the same problem in piglets.

Researchers fed pregnant and lactating mice a diet high in either corn oil, which contains 50% omega-6 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats), or canola oil, which contains only 20% omega-6 PUFAs.  Canola oil also has a much greater percentage of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat (10% compared with 0.5% in corn oil.  Pregnant and lactating mice fed the corn oil diet gave birth to females with a greater risk of developing breast tumors than those who ate the canola oil diet.

 

Research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, determined that as much as 4.6% of all the fatty acids in canola become "trans" isomers (deformed fatty acid chains) due to the refining process. It is the trans fats that alter the very structure of organelle and cell membranes, interfering globally with energy production and intracellular communication.

Many people in China cook with unrefined rapeseed oil, which is not processed to remove contaminants and contains no antioxidants. Temperatures during wok cooking in China are about 100o F (38oC) higher than those used in Canada and the U.S. This combination of frying with unrefined rapeseed oil at very high temperatures (to the point where the oil produces a thick, black smoke) can produce harmful emissions from Canola or most other oils.

Consumers in other countries use more refined vegetable oils (never rapeseed oil) and at much lower cooking temperatures. These two factors prevent these harmful emissions. Vegetable frying oils used in Canada and the U.S. (and many other countries) are refined and frequently contain antioxidants which help prevent harmful emissions during frying.

Monsanto announced in April 1997, that it was recalling genetically engineered canola seed because an unapproved gene slipped into the batch by mistake. The canola seed had been genetically manipulated to resist the herbicide toxicity of Roundup, which is Monsanto's top money making product. The recall involved 60,000 bags containing two types of canola seed, which is enough to plant more than 700,000 acres. Both types of seed have the wrong gene in them. The genes in the recalled seed have not been approved for human consumption.

Canola was developed using traditional plant breeding techniques, so it was not developed using biotechnology. However, about 80% of the canola grown in Canada has now been genetically modified using biotechnology to make it tolerant to herbicides. Stay away from Canola oil unless it is cold-processed and you know it is not GMO.

Conjugated linoleic acid is both a trans fatty acid and a cis fatty acid. The cis bond causes a lower melting point and likely the observed beneficial health effects.  Unlike artificially hydrogenated or other trans fatty acids, CLA is not harmful, but beneficial.

CLA is conjugated, and in the United States, trans linkages in a conjugated system are not counted as trans fats for the purposes of nutritional regulations and labeling. CLA and some trans isomers of oleic acid are produced by microorganisms in the rumens of ruminants.  Non-ruminants, including humans, produce certain isomers of CLA from trans isomers of oleic acid, such as vaccenic acid, which is converted to CLA by delta-9-desaturase.

Antioxidant and anti-cancer properties have been attributed to CLA.  In animal studies, very small amounts of CLA have blocked all three stages of cancer: 1) initiation, 2) promotion, and 3) metastasis. Most anti-cancer agents block only one of these stages.  Even more intriguing, CLA has slowed the growth of an unusually wide variety of tumors, including cancers of the skin, breast, prostate and colon. 

There are 28 possible isomers of CLA, each one with a slightly different arrangement of chemical bonds.  The type most commonly found in meat and dairy products has double bonds between the 9th and 11th carbon atoms and is referred to as "cis 9, trans-11 CLA" or "rumenic acid."  Mothers consuming mostly organic milk and meat products have about 50% higher levels of rumenic acid in their breast milk.

CLA in human diets tends to reduce body fat (particularly abdominal fat), improves serum lipid profiles and decreases whole-body glucose uptake.  The maximum reduction in body fat was achieved with a daily dose of 3.4g.   Trial participants in Norway using 3.2g CLA per day lost about 5.6% body weight over 6 months. 

CLA supplementation has, however, been shown to increase C-reactive protein levels, possibly to induce oxidative stress, to diminish insulin sensitivity and to increase lipid peroxidation.  Other studies suggest that CLA protects cells from oxidative damage by increasing glutathione levels without inducing lipid peroxidation.  It is likely that markers of increased lipid oxidation simply indicate desirable lipolytic effects.

Kangaroo meat may have the highest concentration of CLA.   Food products (mutton and beef) from grass-fed ruminants are good sources of CLA, and contain much more of it than those from grain-fed animals.  In fact, meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can produce 300-500% more CLA than those of cattle fed the usual diet of 50% hay and silage, and 50% grain.  Eggs are also rich in CLA, and it seems that CLA in eggs survives temperatures encountered during frying.

Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (technically castor seed as the castor plant, Ricinus communis, is not a member of the bean family).  Undecylenic / Undecenoic Acid (10-undecenoic acid) is an organic unsaturated fatty acid derived from natural castor oil.  It is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and perfumery including anti-dandruff shampoos, anti-microbial powders and as the aroma musk in perfumes. 

Undecylenic acid, a castor oil derivative, is also FDA-approved for over-the-counter use on skin disorders or skin problems. It is the active ingredient in medications for skin infections, and relieves itching, burning, and irritation.  Undecylenic acid is a natural fungicide.  It is used against fungal skin infections such asathlete's foot or ringworm, (Candida albicans).  It is also used in treating psoriasis.  Undecylenic acid is also proven to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that are effective on viral skin infections like herpes simplex virus.

Electrically polar castor oil penetrates deep into the skin thanks to its low molecular weight of 298 u.  Research on transdermal absorption indicates castor oil will penetrate the skin’s stratum corneum since it is below the 500 u. required to do so.

Use of cold pressed castor oil in folk medicine predates government regulations.  Cold pressed castor oil is tasteless and odorless when pure.  Uses include skin problems, burns, sunburns, skin disorders, skin cuts and abrasions.  Castor oil can also be used to draw out sties in the eye by pouring a small amount into the eye and allowing it to circulate around inside of the eyelid. 

Undecylenic acid is produced by cracking of Castor oil under pressure.  Undecylenic acid is a natural fungicide and is FDA approved in over-the-counter medications for skin disorders or problems.  It is the active ingredient in medications for skin infections, and relieves itching, burning and irritation.  It is used versus yeast and fungal skin infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm, Candida albicans, and is also used in treatment of psoriasis.  Undecylenic acid is also proven to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that are effective on viral skin infections such as the herpes simplex virus.

Castor oil is like the queen oil in lip balms and lipstick for its fabulous glide.  It promotes healing of the umbilicus in a newborn; and increases milk flow in lactating women when applied to the breasts.  Castor oil applied to sore, irritated or inflamed nipples works faster than any commercial salve, and no need to worry about washing it off before the next nursing.  Any trace of oil that the baby may get in by mouth is definitely not going to harm him!

Physiological effects of the castor oil pack include, but are not limited to: stimulating the liver, increasing eliminations, relieving pain, increasing lymphatic circulation, improving gastrointestinal function, increasing relaxation, and reducing inflammation. The oil is also used as a rub or pack for various ailments, including abdominal complaints, headaches, muscle pains, inflammatory conditions, skin eruptions, lesions, and sinusitis. 

A castor oil pack is made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil, then putting it on the area of complaint and placing a heat source, such as a hot water bottle, on top of it.  Plastic wrap is used to protect clothing or bedding.  This remedy was often suggested by the American Healing Psychic, Edgar Cayce, given in many healing readings in the early mid-1900s.

A pack using this oil will help restore normalcy to a hyperactive child, or speed up the healing of hepatitis, or help to get rid of gallstones, or even help heal abrasions and infections.  According to Cayce, Peyer's patches produce a substance which facilitates electrical contact between the autonomic and cerebrospinal nervous systems when it reaches those areas via the bloodstream.  Castor oil is a very electrically polar molecule. 

The health of the entire nervous system is regulated and promoted through cytokines produced by the Peyer's patches when they are healthy.  Castor oil pack therapy of minimal two-hour duration produces an increase in the number of T-11 cells within a 24-hour period following treatment, with a concomitant increase in the number of total lymphocytes.  This T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body's specific defense status, since lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins.  T-cells identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancer cells.

The FDA has categorized castor oil as "generally recognized as safe and effective" (GRASE) for over the-counter use as a laxative, with its major site of action the small intestine.  However, it is not a preferred treatment for constipation, since magnesium oxide or sulfate works so well. 

Castor oil can also be used to induce childbirth, but doing so is cautioned against because it can messy at home and lead to complications for the childbirth process, including dehydration of the mother and other risks associated with any inducement of pregnancy, such as fetal distress from excessively strong contractions, increased risk of uterine rupture, unintentional prematurity of baby and increased pain for mom.

Dr. McGarey (who wrote The Oil That Heals) successfully used castor oil packs in clinical setting for numerous conditions, including liver and gall bladder disturbances, abscesses, headaches, appendicitis, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, constipation, intestinal obstructions, hyperactivity in children and to avert threatened abortions in pregnant women.

Cholesterol is necessary, among other things, for building cell membranes and for making essential hormones.  Lack of cholesterol compromises ability to make multifunctional vitamin D, sex and steroid hormones.  Cholesterol in cell membranes gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability, and is necessary in brain and nerve development and repair.  When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, so cell walls actually become floppy and flabby.

One of the main jobs of the liver is to make sure all the tissues of the body receive the cholesterol and triglycerides they need to function.  Whenever possible (for about 8 hours after a meal), the liver takes up dietary cholesterol and triglycerides from bloodstream.  During times when dietary lipids are not available, the liver produces cholesterol and triglycerides itself.

The liver then packages cholesterol and triglycerides, along with special proteins, into tiny spheres called lipoproteins.  The lipoproteins are released into the circulation, and are delivered to the cells of the body. The cells remove the needed cholesterol and triglycerides from lipoproteins, as needed.

The human body uses cholesterol to synthesize bile acids, which are important for the digestion of fats and elimination excess hormones or poisons.  Bile acids are amphipathic, having both water-soluble and water-insoluble (or fat-soluble) parts. Emulsifying agents are amphipathic molecules that are able to mix fats with water. Eggs contain an amphipathic substance called lecithin that makes them useful as emulsifying agents in cooking.  In order for the human digestive system to digest fats, they must be emulsified into the digestive juices, because the enzymes that break them down are water-soluble.

Cholesterol production in the liver rises when we are under stress so more cortisol can be made or if there is a block to making enough steroid sex or stress hormones.  Cholesterol rises if we eat too much sugar or imbibe too much alcohol.  Cholesterol also rises if we are poisoned with a bile-soluble substance like an organophosphate pesticide or petrochemical. 

Cholesterol is used to bandage the inside of an artery damaged by uncontrolled inflammation. Simply reducing cholesterol is like ‘shooting the messenger of bad tidings’ and shutting down defensive detoxification by eliminating the body’s primary mechanism to cope with poisons.

Paraoxonase, an enzyme that is known to protect against the effects of certain pesticides also helps digest fatty plaque clogging up arteries.  Levels can be assessed by a drop of blood from a finger tip.  Pesticide exposed people might want to have their paraoxonase levels checked to find out how sensitive they are to pesticide poisoning, since blood levels of the enzyme vary widely from person to person.  Perhaps paraoxonase levels are a better indicator of risk to atherosclerosis in our modern petrochemically poisoned environment.

Simplistically primarily using polyunsaturated fats or taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol creates problems like muscle pain or weakness, fatigue, memory and cognitive problems, sleep problems and neuropathy. Erectile dysfunction, problems with temperature regulation (feeling hot or cold, or having sweats), are among other problems reported.

In bile acids, the hydroxyl (OH) groups are water-soluble, and the methyl (CH3) groups are fat-soluble.  Hydroxyl groups all face one direction, while methyl groups face the opposite direction, making one side of the bile acid water-soluble and the other side fat-soluble.  This allows bile salts to break up large globs of fat, connecting to the fat on one side, and connecting to the water on the other, thus mixing fats and water together.

Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain.  Serotonin is the body's balancing natural 'feel good' chemical.  Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.  Dietary cholesterol can help reverse the effects of declining memory with age.  Mary Enig, PhD, cites a study in her Know Your Fats, which found that the cholesterol in eggs helps improve memory in the elderly.

Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, author of The Cholesterol Myths, says that the lie is that cholesterol in your food causes cholesterol in your blood and that high cholesterol in your blood causes death from heart disease.  That is false data. High cholesterol (over 240) simply means excessive intake of calories and/or alcohol or that the body is poisoned.  Deal with the causes.

People with normal cholesterol (190-238 except post menopausal women where normal rises to 275) live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one's brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance.  Yet the fact that people with high normal cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers.

Coconut oil is the best tasting cooking oil.  Natural saturated fats were vilified by the American soybean industry as part of capitalistic marketing practices.  Components of coconut oil and palm oil have instead been found to have remarkable physiological effects as boosters of metabolism, as antihistamines, anti-infective/antiseptics, and promoters of immunity as well as acting as a glucocorticoid antagonist and nontoxic anticancer agent.

Fats rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) have significant benefits.  The only rich natural sources of MCT are found in breast milk, coconut and palm kernel oils.  Coconut oil is composed predominately of MCT and its effects on the body are characterized by these fats.  Diets containing MCT result in an increase in energy, a rise in metabolism, increase burning of calories, decrease in food consumption, lower body fat mass and reduced body weight.

The medical cholesterol-lowering fiasco for a long time centered on the ability of polyunsaturated oils or statin drugs to slightly lower serum cholesterol.  For years, the mechanism of that action was not known, which should have suggested caution.  Now, it seems that the mechanism is just one more toxic action, in which the liver defensively retains its cholesterol, rather than releasing it into the blood.  Coconut oil, added regularly to a balanced diet, lowers cholesterol to normal by promoting its conversion into pregnenolone.

Large scale human studies have provided overwhelming evidence that whenever statin drugs or the unsaturated oils, were used to lower serum cholesterol, mortality increased, and quality of life decreased by increasing depression and from a variety of causes including violence and accidents, but mainly from cancer.

Since the l930s, it has been clearly established that thyroid suppression raises serum cholesterol (while increasing mortality from infections, cancer, and heart disease).  Restoring thyroid hormone brings cholesterol back to normal.  The thyroid does not suppress synthesis of cholesterol, but rather promotes its use to form cell membranes, make beneficial stress and sex hormones as well as bile salts.  

When the thyroid is functioning properly, the amount of cholesterol in the blood entering the ovary governs the amount of progesterone being produced by the ovaries.  The same situation exists in all steroid-forming tissues, such as adrenal glands, gonads and brain.

Progesterone and its precursor, pregnenolone, have a generalized protective function: antioxidant, anti-seizure, antitoxin, anti-spasm, anti-clot, anticancer, pro-memory, pro-myelination and pro-attention.  Any interference with the formation of cholesterol will interfere with all of these exceedingly important protective functions.

Coconut oil improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth while protecting against osteoporosis by reducing inflammation and supporting tissue healing and repair.

It reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis and helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.  Coconut relieves symptoms associated with Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers. It also improves digestion and bowel function as well as relieving pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.

Coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS and other illnesses. It kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea as well as fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, dandruff, thrush and diaper rash. Coconut oil expels or kills tapeworms, lice, Giardia, and other parasites.

Since it boosts immunity and is anti-viral, if you have a cold, try a tablespoon (or even a few) of coconut oil in your tea, right before drinking it (so that the water isn’t too hot).

Applied topically, the oil helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.  It reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.  Coconut oil supports the natural chemical balance of the skin and softens skin to help relieve dryness and flaking. It prevents wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots as well as promotes healthy looking hair and complexion. Coconut oil also provides protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet radiation.

Coconut butter is mostly coconut oil. Coconut butter contains some of the whole flesh of the coconut.  It is also spreadable when slightly soft.  Some call it coconut cream because it is so creamy when soft.  Raw coconut butter is best made using a low-temperature process (below 115° F.) that preserves the vital enzymes, vitamins and proteins from organic coconut.

Coconut butter is soft at above 78-80° F. and solid at lower temperatures. You can soften it by putting the jar inside a bowl of warm water; then stir well for a creamy, smooth texture.  In general, when coconut oil is solid, it is referred to as coconut butter and when it is melted it is referred to as coconut oil. Unrefined coconut butter contains coconut solids and should be subjected to only low temperatures.  More refined, and able to take more heat without smoking, with all solids removed is coconut oil.

It can be added to smoothies, fruit salads, sauces, salad dressings and baked goods. Use it as a topping for ice cream, mix with cacao nibs or fruit to create your own dessert sensations, or eat it right out of the jar. Delectable!

Coconut Orange White Fudge from Julie Mathews, who blogs at ‘Nourishing Hope.’

1 cup coconut butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons honey
If desired, add baking extract such as orange extract vanilla extract or citrus oils. Orange, lemon or tangerine rind adds antioxidant power (a tablespoon of orange zest).

Add coconut butter to food processor and chop into fine chunks.  Melt coconut oil (not too hot) and add to food processor while spinning. Slowly add honey and extract/rind. Taste as you go to achieve desired sweetness.

Place waxed paper on cookie sheet. Scoop mixture onto paper and spread thinly (1/3 -1/2 inch) and put pan in refrigerator to chill. Take out and cut into small 1/2 inch squares. Peel off paper and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is the pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat of the cacao bean.  Used to make solid white chocolate bars, it is mixed with varying amounts of cocoa powder to produce solid pieces of chocolate.  White chocolate or cocoa butter is extracted from the cacao beans retaining a mild chocolate flavor and aroma. 

In addition, chocolate powder and cocoa butter contain cocoa mass polyphenols (CMP), substances that inhibit production of immuno globulin IgE.  IgE is known to aggravate symptoms of allergy, dermatitis and asthma.  CMP actually helps suppress excessive T-cell activity in the immune system, which could help treat conditions associated with imbalanced and overactive immune systems, such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Massaging the skin with cocoa butter relieves stress, boosts the immune system and even reduces risk to cancer.  Researchers in Japan reported that CMP inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumors by reducing active oxygen levels in the body.  Pregnant women have long used to cocoa butter formulations to prevent and treat stretch marks.  Because of the melting temperature of cocoa butter, it is often used in pharmaceuticals as a base for suppositories.  One can store it at room temperature, but cocoa butter readily melts at body temperature, releasing its medication.

Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known, containing natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity and give it a storage life of two to five years, making it a good choice for non-food products.  The smooth texture, sweet fragrance and emollient property of cocoa butter make it a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products, such as soaps and lotions.

Cod liver oil is most famous for contributing to bone health, preventing and reversing rickets and tooth decay in children and pain with softening of the bones in adults.  Before the discovery of cod liver oil as a source of vitamin D, many children suffered greatly with deformed bones of rickets. Juvenile tooth decay may simply be infectious rickets.

Rickets is a disease of growing bone that is unique to children and adolescents. It is caused by a failure of osteoid to calcify in a growing person.  Failure of osteoid to calcify in adults is called osteomalacia.  Vitamin D deficiency rickets occurs when liver and kidney metabolites of vitamin D are deficient.  Less commonly, a dietary deficiency of calcium or phosphorus may also produce rickets.

Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol) is formed in the skin from a derivative of cholesterol under the stimulus of ultraviolet-B light.  Ultraviolet light or cod liver oil was the only significant source of vitamin D until early in the 20th century when ergosterol (vitamin D-2) was synthesized from irradiated plant steroids.

During the Industrial Revolution, rickets appeared in epidemic form in temperate zones where the pollution from factories blocked the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Thus, rickets was probably the first childhood disease caused by environmental pollution, especially warming fires in the short days of winter.  June weddings would then produce children who grew with straight legs, since in the springtime and summer, sunshine was most plentiful.

Natural nutritional sources of vitamin D are limited primarily to fatty, ocean-going fish.  In US, dairy milk is fortified with vitamin D (400 IU/L).  Human milk typically contains little vitamin D, generally less than 20-40 IU/L.  Infants who are breastfed are at risk for rickets, especially if mom does not get much sun.  Also at risk are those who receive no oral supplementation and those with darkly pigmented skin, which blocks penetration of ultraviolet light.

Cholecalciferol (ie, vitamin D-3) is formed in the skin from cholesterol.  This steroid undergoes hydroxylation in 2 steps.  The first hydroxylation occurs at position 25 in the liver, producing calcitiol (25-hydroxycholecalciferol), which circulates in the plasma as the most abundant of the vitamin D metabolites and is thought to be a good indicator of overall vitamin D status.

The second hydroxylation step occurs in the kidney at the 1 position, where it undergoes hydroxylation to the active metabolite calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol).  Cholecalciferol is not really a vitamin but is an important steroid hormone regulating every cell in the body.

Calcitriol acts at three known sites to tightly regulate calcium metabolism.  Calcitriol promotes absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine, increases reabsorption of phosphate in the kidney, and acts on bone to release calcium and phosphate.  Calcitriol may also directly facilitate calcification.  These actions increase the concentrations of calcium and phosphorus in extracellular fluid.  The increase of calcium and phosphorus in extracellular fluid, in turn, leads to the calcification of osteoid, primarily at the metaphyseal growing ends of bones but also throughout all osteoid in the skeleton.  Parathyroid hormone facilitates the 1-hydroxylation step in vitamin D metabolism.

There is usually sufficient vitamin A in the current American diet to facilitate sufficient vitamin D activation.  Modern refined cod liver oil might only have 3-60 units of vitamin D per tablespoon but between 150-12,000 times as much vitamin A.  In the vitamin D deficiency state (or vitamin A excess), hypocalcemia develops, which stimulates excess parathyroid hormone (and all other stress hormones) which stimulates renal phosphorus loss, further reducing deposition of calcium in the bone.  Excess parathyroid hormone also produces changes in the bone similar to those occurring in hyperparathyroidism.

Today, nearly all brands of cod liver oil provide only small amounts of vitamin D, typically 400-1,200 IU of vitamin D per tablespoon but anywhere from 4,000-30,000 IU of vitamin A. This is inherently unbalancing.  Typically the lowest dietary ratio seen is ten times more vitamin A than vitamin D but, it can be as excessively high as 12,000 times as much vitamin A.  Practically all Americans are vitamin D deficient during the winter months.  Therapeutic dosage of vitamin D is from 2,000-10,000 IU per day, depending on body weight and other factors, such as skin color and level of regular sun exposure. (Some folks may require, and can safely take, as much as 20,000 IU daily.)

Early in the course of rickets, the calcium concentration in the serum decreases.  After the parathyroid response, the calcium concentration usually returns to normal reference range, though phosphorus levels remain low.  Alkaline phosphatase, which is produced by overactive osteoblast cells, leaks to extracellular fluids so that its concentration rises to anywhere from moderate elevation to very high levels (but, zinc deficiency is suspected if values below 50).

Intestinal malabsorption of fat and diseases of the liver or kidney may produce the clinical and secondary biochemical picture of nutritional rickets.  Anticonvulsant drugs (eg, phenobarbital, phenytoin) accelerate metabolism of calcitriol, which may lead to insufficiency and rickets, particularly in children who are kept indoors in institutions.

Calcium and vitamin D intakes are low in infants who are fed vegan diets, particularly lactovegans, and monitoring of vitamin D status is desirable.  During puberty, lack of vitamin D can hamper growth and also cause weight gain in girls.  Young women with vitamin D insufficiency were significantly heavier, with a higher body mass index and increased abdominal fat, than young women with normal levels.

Dr. Weston Price stopped tooth decay in children with cod liver oil and raw high vitamin butter.  Thinning bones respond to vitamin D and K as well as to cod liver oil with increased density.  Sufficient elongated omega-3 oils found in cod liver oil are one of the keys to keeping and rebuilding bone.  In women, higher levels of vitamin D from cod liver oil improve bone mineral density.

Ratios of essential vitamins A and D likely should be reversed from those typically seen in modern refined cod liver oil, as we tend to need far greater amounts of vitamin D than vitamin A.  Two of the symptoms of low levels of vitamin D are inflammatory bone pain and muscle pain.  This may manifest as pain in the legs, muscle weakness and difficulty climbing stairs.  Cod liver oil is effective in treating arthritis as well.  Elongated omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil reduce both pain and damage in inflamed joints.  Cod liver oil greatly improves heart function, preventing heart disease and treating it even in advanced stages, after a heart attack and after heart surgery.

Cod liver oil alters the linings of the arteries in such a way as to improve healing after damage.  This is attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids but vitamin A, D and K all have important roles to play in facilitating mineral absorption, improving muscle function and supporting elasticity of the blood vessels.  Inflammation-reducing prostaglandins made from EPA help reduce inflammatory response in arteries.  The heart-protective effect was also associated with changes in cardiac muscle response to serotonin, increasing the heart's ability to "relax."

Metabolic syndrome X is partly the result of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids along with deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.  In numerous studies, the elongated omega-3 fats found in cod liver oil have been shown to improve brain function, memory, stress response, immune response, allergies, asthma, learning and behavioral disorders, including bipolar syndrome and manic-depression.

Pregnant women using cod liver oil have infants with a lower risk for juvenile type 1 diabetes. This effect was found only in mothers taking cod liver oil, not in mothers taking multivitamin supplements.  Cod liver oil taken by nursing mothers improves the fatty acid profile in breast milk to promote optimal brain development and also increases levels of vitamin A to prevent infections.  Interestingly, cod liver oil does not increase vitamin D in breast milk.

Cod liver oil given to infants after birth and during the first year had no protective effect against type 1 diabetes but it nevertheless is an important source of nutrients for optimal infant health. In more than forty trials, vitamin A has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality of children.  Cod liver oil was the supplement of choice in many of these trials.  Books on feeding infants published in the 1930s and 1940s routinely recommended cod liver oil, starting with 1 teaspoon at the age of three weeks.

Concerns about vitamin A toxicity have been exaggerated.  While some forms of synthetic vitamin A found in supplements can be toxic at only moderately high doses, fat-soluble vitamin A naturally found in foods like cod liver oil, liver and butterfat is safe at up to ten times the doses of water-soluble, solidified and emulsified vitamin A found in some supplements that produce toxicity.

Vitamin D, E and K found in cod liver oil and butterfat from pasture-raised animals protects against vitamin A toxicity, and allows one to consume a much higher amount of vitamin A before it becomes toxic.  Liver from land mammals is high in vitamin A but low in vitamin D, and should therefore be consumed with other vitamin D-rich foods such as lard or bacon from pasture-raised pigs, egg yolks and oily fish, or during months in which UV-B light is sufficient to provide one with adequate vitamin D.

As a general guideline, the following doses of vitamin A are recommended from cod liver oil, along with vitamins D and K as well as nutrient-dense diet containing other vitamin A-rich foods:

Children age 3 months to 12 years: Daily dose of cod liver oil provides about 5000 IU vitamin A.
Children over 12 years to adults: Maintenance cod liver oil provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A.
Pregnant and nursing women: A daily dose of cod liver oil provides about 20,000 IU vitamin A.

Individuals under stress or wishing to use cod liver oil to treat a disease condition may take much larger doses, even up to 90,000 IU vitamin A per day, for a period of several weeks.

The recommended dosages for cod liver oil provide about 500 IU vitamin D for children, 1000 IU vitamin D for adults, 2000 IU vitamin D for pregnant and nursing women and up to 9000 IU for those taking large amounts of cod liver oil to deal with stress and disease.  Some brands of cod liver oil contain very little vitamin D compared to vitamin A.  The ratio of A to D in cod liver oil should be at least 10 to 1. (In one popular brand, the ratio of A to D is almost 100 to 1.)  Vitamin A and vitamin D work synergistically and without enough vitamin D, vitamin A could be toxic.

Green Pastures provides blue ice fermented cod liver oil (www.greenpasture.org).  Many historical cultures relied on fermented fish or fish oils to ensure strong body, mind and spirit.  One teaspoonful provides 17,500 IU’s vitamin A, 3,000 IU’s vitamin D, 700mg EPA, 375 DHA along with vitamins E and K as well as omega3, 6, 7 & 9 and quinones too.  They also make a therapeutic high-vitamin cod liver oil (5000 IU's vitamin A, 500 IU's vitamin D), plus 100mg of high vitamin butter oil in each dose.

Evening primrose oil is one of the most concentrated sources of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid (of the omega 6 family) with anti-inflammatory properties.  The body converts the GLA in evening primrose oil into prostaglandins, substances that function like hormones and help to regulate body processes.  Cell membranes depend on GLA.  

Evening primrose oil calms over-reactive immune response.  Evening primrose oil is used for a variety of conditions, including skin problems, premenstrual symptoms and inflammation.  Many women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome have low levels of GLA, which is why evening primrose oil supplements often help to alleviate symptoms of the condition.

Evening primrose oil is often recommended to reduce breast tenderness and pain caused by fibrocystic breasts, and it can also help to ease menstrual cramps, endometriosis and mood swings related to the menstrual cycle.  As an anti-inflammatory agent, evening primrose oil is also effective in treating flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome, and studies show that it may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis pain as well.

The GLA in evening primrose oil may also help to prevent and even repair nerve damage caused by diabetes.  Symptoms like tingling, numbness and loss of sensation associated with diabetic neuropathy improved when patients took supplements of evening primrose oil.  In addition, inflammation in kidneys, joints and skin associated with lupus may improve with the use of evening primrose oil.

Further, damage caused by inflammation in people multiple sclerosis, as well as other inflammatory processes may be reduced or prevented with evening primrose oil supplements. Evening primrose oil is also thought to be capable of encouraging transmission of nerve impulses, making it of possible use in treating memory problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and also helps compensate for deficiencies in GLA associated with aging.

Most proven of the benefits of evening primrose oil appears to be its ability to treat dry, scaly, or itchy skin conditions, such as rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis. The prostaglandins produced by evening primrose oil contract blood vessels that become inflamed with these skin conditions. Evening primrose oil may also help prevent pores from becoming clogged, and it may reduce reliance on corticosteroids by patients with other skin conditions as well.

Evening primrose oil is available in capsules and in liquid form. The usual anti-inflammatory dosage is up to three grams per day for most conditions, best balanced 1/3 GLA to 2/3 EPA/DHA.  Side effects are uncommon but may include bloating and abdominal discomfort in a small percentage of people, perhaps indicating the need for more lipases and pancreatic support.

To minimize any unpleasant side effects from the use of evening primrose oil capsules, it is best to take them with food.  This will also help to ensure adequate absorption of GLA.  Other nutrients that are important for the body to utilize the GLA in evening primrose oil are zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins and magnesium.   When evening primrose oil is used to treat skin conditions, it may take several months to notice positive effects.

Fish Oils include cod liver oil and other oils from cold water fish (which are lower in potentially toxic vitamins A and D).  Vitamin A and D fears are highly exaggerated.  Several tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil per day are safe for all but the smallest infant.  The various types of fish which can be a good source of fish oil are mackerel, rainbow trout, lake trout, halibut, herring, sea bass, sardines, swordfish, oysters, albacore tuna, blue fin tuna, yellow fin tuna, turbot, pilchards, anchovies and salmon.  This oil naturally contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, have a very positive effect on inflammatory response.  Via several mechanisms, they regulate and reduce inflammation, which prevents and relieves many painful conditions like arthritis, gastritis, periodontitis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in "itis."   Fish oil aids heart diseases, high cholesterol, weight loss, depression, anxiety, AHDH, immunity, cancer, pregnancy, diabetes, IBD, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, eye disorders, macular degeneration, skin care, psoriasis, acne, ulcers and fertility.

Fish oils are widely used by sports doctors at doses of up to 10 grams per day for injury and inflammatory pain as an alternative to the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), with their legion of side effects.  Fish oil, blueberries, curcurmin and pantethine all help boost the production of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor).  BDNF is key to keeping nerve cells alive and stimulating growth of new nerve cells.  Mice fortified with nerve growth factor learned the new maze faster than the control group, and the challenge of learning a new maze aided in neuron growth. 

More than two thirds of the dry weight of the human brain is fat, and of that fat, one quarter is DHA.  In the brain, DHA, along with other important fats like phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylcholine (PC), is an important building block for the membranes surrounding brain cells. This includes the areas where one brain cell connects to another (synapse) so DHA gets to the heart of brain activity. From just a structural point of view, DHA plays a fundamental role directly in the transmission of information from one neuron to the next.

Phosphatidyl serine (PS) enhances the synthesis and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.  PS supplements also enhance the cerebral cortex's output of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with our ability to think, reason, and concentrate.  PS also stimulates the synthesis and release of dopamine, related to heightened states of attention.  People taking phosphatidyl serine showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism and scored higher on cognitive tests.  Behavioral factors were also measured in elderly subjects; Phosphatidyl serine positively affected mood.  PS supports brain functions that tend to diminish with age. 

In vivo production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is enhanced by several compounds which are contained in edible, perennial plants such as Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei Koidzumi), hops (Humulus luplus), edible flowers of chrysanthemum, and Gajutsu (Curcuma zedoaria Roscoe, one strain of turmeric).  Active constituents were isolated from the extracts and their molecular structures were determined. Four coumarin compounds including two novel ones and one chroman compound were identified in the extract from Ashitaba.  A xanthohumol compound, one of chalcones, was identified in the extract of hops.  Two sesquiterpenoid compounds were also identified in edible flowers of chrysanthemum.

L-Huperzine-A is a potent inhibitor of cholinesterase which penetrates into the brain and produces a dose-dependent increase of acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine in rat cortex.  Following 2 hour exposure of astrocytes to 10micromol/L Huperzine A, there was a significant up-regulation of mRNA for NGF and P75 low-affinity NGF receptor.  The protein level of NGF was also increased after 24 h treatment with Huperzine A.  

Huperzine has a neurotrophic activity, which might be useful in treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Huperzine A (in animals) can be used as a protective agent against organophosphate intoxication and it reduces glutamate-induced cell death.  Medications or herbs  that prevent acetylcholine breakdown often produce side effects, including nausea, vomiting, excess saliva and tear production and /or sweating.

Lion's Mane is the most important mushroom for supporting brain function.  Japanese research reveals that lion's mane produces compounds called Eninacines, which are strong stimulators to nerve growth factor synthesis.  These compounds stimulate neurons to regrow, which supports normal cognitive function, muscular coordination and response as well as neurological repair.

The protein family of the neurotrophins, consisting of NGF, BDNF and Neurotrophin-3, -4/5, and -6 (NT-3; NT-4/5; NT-6) is well known to enhance the survival and to stabilize the phenotype of different populations of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems.   NGF is synthesized in minute amounts in all vertebrate tissues, plays an essential role in the differentiation and survival of several nerve cell populations in the peripheral and central nervous system.  These effects are mediated via binding to specific tyrosine kinase receptors (Trks) and to the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor. 

Neurotrophins acutely affect intraneuronal Ca2+ levels and influence molecular components of the transmitter release machinery, which could underlie the presynaptic modifications, whereas BDNF-induced phosphorylation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors could account for postsynaptic effects.  BDNF- and NT-3-induced enhancement of glutamatergic synapses is mediated by increasing the efficacy of glutamate release from the presynaptic neuron. However, neurotrophin-dependent postsynaptic enhancement of NMDA (but not AMPA) receptor responsiveness has also been shown.

In vivo activity of xanthohumol from hops and dry powders of Ashitaba was examined in rats by oral administration.  Contents of NGF in the submandibular gland, the brain and/or the gastrocnemial muscle were compared after four days of oral administration.   Xanthohumol was orally given once daily for four days at the dose of 3 mg/kg of body weight.  NGF content in the gland was more than 80-fold higher in the treated group than in controls.  Rats orally given xanthohumol had as high as 20% increase of brain NGF contents.  Rats were fed a diet containing 1% Ashitaba dry powders (estimated dose: 750 mg/kg/day) for four days.  The rats showed as much as 20% increase of NGF concentration in the gastrocnemial muscle compared to animals given a normal diet. 

Dementia and peripheral neuropathy may be prevented by routinely taking medicinal food such as Ashitaba and hops.  NGF content in the brain can be increased by oral ingestion of xanthohumol.

Activity-dependent release of neurotrophins at frequently used synapses modulates synaptic efficacy at these junctions.  Neurotrophins operate as locally released feedback modulators of synaptic transmission, a cellular correlate for certain aspects of information processing in the mammalian brain.  If neurotrophin supplies run low then one cannot tolerate stress properly.  You are more likely to be or become depressed, your brain is prone to excess inflammation, and you are set on a path of decline.  Conversely, having adequate BDNF helps you keep up with the demands in your life.  It means that you have the potential to keep your mind and nerves in good working condition.

For example, when you have adequate BDNF then old memories do not bother you or come back to haunt you at the most inopportune times.  Having adequate BDNF may be a key, along with being a good person, to maintaining healthy relationships.  Running is the best exercise to boost levels of BDNF.  Running can rejuvenate your heart and even brisk walking can effectively lower high blood pressure.

Fish oils are most famous for relieving depression and bipolar disorder at 3-5 grams per day, even though it may take weeks or months until effects are felt, usually along with other salutary side benefits.  They are helpful for relieving depression, sadness, anxiety, restlessness, mental fatigue, stress, decreased sexual desire, suicidal tendencies and other nervous disorders.

Enhancement of the immune system is partly due to fish oil–induced serotonin production, a hormone that makes people more balanced and happy.  Happiness enhances dealing with emotional issues more effectively, thus promoting well-being.  Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce stress and the resulting overwhelmingly high stress hormones that derail and dismantle repair systems of the body.

Fish oil is useful for reducing wrinkles and preventing sunburn.  Remember, sunburn is a failed oxidative-stress test, indicating increased risk to all stress-related diseases.  In just one month volunteers were noticeably less likely to burn than before taking fish oil, rising to 33% less likely in three months.  A second group who suffered sun allergies doubled their skins' defense against UV rays after six months

Fish oil also aids in weight loss.  Fish oil improves the efficacy of exercise in reducing weight. Volunteers given fish oil diet showed greater weight loss as compared to those who did not consume fish oil.  Exercise combined with fish oil had a positive effect on the body shape and body composition.

Fish oils tend to prolong gestation.  This knowledge provides hope and a positive therapy, especially useful for women who have previously experienced stressful premature delivery or the emotional trauma created by spontaneous abortion, along with its heavy emotional impact.  Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great influence on the future intelligence and happiness of their babies by supplementing with fish oil. 

For adults, omega 3 improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus.  If one suffers from hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, inability to complete tasks, emotional instability, wavering attitude, poor coordination, short attention span, short term memory, low concentration, tendency to interrupt others, recklessness, hastiness, impetuosity, impulsiveness, low IQ or learning disorders, fish oil supplements, tablets, pills or capsules are a proven remedy.  Children (and adults) labeled with ADD and ADHD experience a greatly improved quality of life.  

Omega 3 fish oil has been shown to help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer – breast, colon and prostate.  They accomplish this in three ways. They stop the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and causing apoptosis (cellular suicide) of cancer cells.  Taking fish oil inhibits growth of human papilloma virus.  HPV may lead to cervical or oral cancer, especially if one is poor methylator.  This is another good reason to take B vitamins as well. Even more remarkable is that fish oils inhibit growth of already cancerous cells in a benign tumor.

When plaque builds up inside arterial walls and then breaks loose, it can cause a blockage with a thrombosis, or clot.  If a clot gets stuck in a brain vessel, it causes a stroke and when it plugs a heart muscle artery, the blockage causes a heart attack.  Omega 3 fatty acids stabilize plaques more effectively than any pharmaceutical drug.  They make the blood more fluid and help dissolve potential blockages before they can cause any damage, avoiding numerous sudden cardiac deaths. 

Following surgery, postoperative atrial fibrillation (a potentially lethal form of irregular heartbeat), developed in 15% who received omega-3 fatty acids compared to a much higher 33% who were not given omega-3 fatty acids.  Patients treated with omega-3 fatty acids were also hospitalized for significantly fewer days following surgery.  Even people with pacemakers benefit.  Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids results in a dramatic reduction of atrial arrhythmias.

Patients with ulcerative colitis found that a daily "nutritionally balanced cocktail of fish oil, soluble fiber, and antioxidants" significantly reduced their symptoms.  Fish oils provide health benefits for arthritis, lupus, and Reynaud’s patients by reducing inflammation and pain.  Lupus patients taking omega-3 fish oil showed significant improvement in all areas of measurement, including improved blood vessel function and a reduction in cell damaging molecules, resulting in potential cardiovascular benefits.

There are three types of necessary omega 3 fatty acids, namely alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  All three are important for the body.  Vegetable sources including flax seed oil, soybean oil, hemp oil, canola oil, walnut oil, rapeseed, perilla, chia and tofu are rich in ALA.  The human body has the ability to convert ALA to DHA and EPA, though there are many limitations to this conversion.  ALA is also useful in treating heart problems; however, the exact mechanism is yet unknown.

GLA is an important omega-6 fatty acid and shows promise in the treatment of cancer.  GLA is useful in treating various problems including arthritis, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin problems, breast pain, premenstrual syndrome and diabetes.  The best researched source of GLA is from evening primrose oil, although borage oil seems a viable alternative.  Optimal supplementation ratio is about 2/3 EPA/DHA to 1/3 GLA.

Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant.  Flaxseed oil and flaxseed contain substances that promote good health. Flaxseed oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that appears to be beneficial for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and a variety of other inflammatory conditions.  Omega-3 fatty acids may also prove helpful in protecting against certain infections and treating a variety of conditions including ulcers, migraine headaches, preterm labor, emphysema, psoriasis, glaucoma, Lyme disease, lupus and panic attacks.  Flaxseed, in addition to ALA, contains lignans which play a role in prevention of cancer.

ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are found primarily in fish while ALA is mostly found in flaxseed oil and other vegetable oils.  Similar in structure, the benefits of ALA depend on the body’s ability to convert it to EPA, and DHA.  Essential fatty acids are used to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing in burn victims.  Omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy balance of proteins in the body, important for recovery after sustaining an injury or burn.

The proper metabolism of fats affects every vital function and organ of the body, including cell regeneration and death. When new cells grow there is a di-polarity between the positive charge of the nucleus and the negative charge of the cell membrane. During the division phase of the cell cycle, the new or daughter cell must have enough energy to completely divide off from the old cell.  It is electron rich fatty acids that facilitate this process.  When this process is interrupted because di-polarity is missing through lack of electron rich highly unsaturated fat, cells do not completely divide from each other.

Return di-polarity and resolve the stagnated cell cycle by providing the body with food that restores necessary components.  The molecular configuration of flax oil, with its two unsaturated fatty acid components composed of three pi-electron double bonds between atoms of the molecule is capable of transferring an immense amount of energy, allowing the body much greater assimilation and transport capacity of oxygen.  This causes any tumors present to dissolve, and the range of symptoms indicating lack of di-polarity to disappear.  From Dr. Johanna Budwig’s research:

“The moment two unsaturated double links occur together in a fatty acid chain, the effects are multiplied and in highly unsaturated fats (linoleic acids), there is generated a field of electrons, a veritable electrical charge which can be efficiently and quickly conducted into the body, thus causing a recharging of the living substance (especially brain and nerves).  

It is exactly those highly unsaturated fatty acids which play a decisive role in   respiratory functioning of the body.  Without these fatty acids, the enzymes in the breath cannot function and we asphyxiate, even when given extra oxygen (in hospital).  The lack of these highly unsaturated fatty acids paralyses many vital functions.  Primarily, it cuts off the air we breathe.”

Flaxseed oil contains 50-60% omega-3 fatty acids. This amount is roughly double that contained in fish oil.  Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and soft gel capsule forms.  Flaxseed oil easily turns rancid if not kept cold.  Flaxseed oil requires special packaging because it is easily destroyed by heat, light and oxygen.  The highest quality flaxseed products are manufactured using fresh pressed seeds, bottled in dark or opaque containers, and processed at low temperatures in the absence of light, heat or oxygen.  Once opened, use them up quickly.  Reseal and return to refrigeration right away.  Perhaps add vitamin E to retard spoiling. 

Smell and taste oil before use.  If it smells like oil paint or leaves a scratchy sensation in the back of your throat it is rancid and should be discarded.  Discard if oil tastes bitter. 

Good advice to gain even more benefit from flaxseeds is to buy organic seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder right before use.  Not only will this help to preserve the oil's quality and reduce its ability to go rancid, but by using whole ground flax seeds you will not only benefit from its oil, but from the lignins, fiber and other nutrients contained in the seed coating.  Better yet is to soak flaxseed (and other seeds, nuts and grains) overnight before tossing in ordinary small blender.

Grape seed oil contains plentiful antioxidants, as well as helps to lower cholesterol levels.  Its healthful qualities have been appreciated for over 100 years.  High in antioxidants, grape seed oil contains Vitamin E, and a group of bioflavonoids known as procyanadins.   Grape seed oil is polyunsaturated oil that is rich in omega-6 linoleic acid, one of two essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce.

Grape seeds derive their medicinal effects from compounds called proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins have demonstrated antioxidant activity and are believed to play a role in the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin, two critical proteins in connective tissue that support organs, joints, blood vessels and muscle.

Grape seed extract (97 percent polyphenols) inhibits anaerobic bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, bacteria responsible for both periodontitis and bad breath.  Moreover, grape seed extract can penetrate the biofilm that surrounds and supports bacterial colonies.  Starchy biofilm serves to protect bacteria against antimicrobial agents and dental plaque’s biofilm is particularly complex.  Grape seed extract can be used in oral hygiene for the prevention of periodontitis.

Grape seed may be useful in relieving a number of conditions including vision difficulty, chronic venous insufficiency, lymphedema, varicose veins, cancer, premenstrual syndrome, dental cavities, and variety of circulatory disorders.  It does not aggravate acne, and is purported to have regenerative and restructuring virtues due to its essential fatty acid content, which is important for skin and cell membranes. Its slightly astringent nature may also help tone the skin.

GPC (glycerophosphocholine) also called Alpha-GPC (alpha glycerelphosphorylcholine) is a water-soluble naturally occurring phospholipid precursor and metabolite derived from soy lecithin.  GPC's ample presence in human mother's milk suggests it can be conditionally essential.  It is a helpful supplement for memory.  Taking 250-500mg daily increases endogenous human Growth Hormone (hGH) secretion by the anterior pituitary in conjunction with Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH); both GPC and GHRH act together to stimulate release of hGH. 

Oral intake of GPC in clinical trials is usually 1,200mg per day, taken early in the day on an empty stomach.  A reasonable dietary supplementation regimen is 1200mg/day, taken in divided doses (AM and PM) between meals for 15-30 days, and thereafter 600mg/day for maintenance.  Symptomatic subjects may take 1200mg/day until adequate improvement is noted.  Young, healthy subjects may experience benefit from daily intakes as low as 300mg. GPC is very safe, being compatible with vitamins and nutrients and with pharmaceuticals. In comparisons, GPC's benefits surpassed the nutrients acetyl-carnitine and CDP-choline.

Stimulation of enzymatic synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in nerves, muscle cells and all cell membranes counteracts age-related decrease in phospholipid (PC) biosynthesis; thus, GPC contributes directly to improved mental focus and stimulation of cognitive function.  The Caucasian snowdrop plant is a traditional treatment for the central nervous system containing galantamine both inhibiting the breakdown enzyme, acetylcholine esterase and enhancing efficiency of the acetylcholine receptor.  L-Huperizine A is a potent alkaloid that also increases acetylcholine in the brain, aiding memory and cognition.

GPC acts as a precursor to acetylcholine; facilitating cholinergic transmission which permits the development of more strength from work-outs and training programs, plus reducing levels of somatostatin in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.  GPC produces improved balance and coordination when combined with 'skill set' practice and training due to normalized membrane function and nerve transmission.  GPC also improves memory and cognitive performance in patients with dementia, and benefits those recovering from cerebral ischemic attacks.

Elevations in blood and tissue levels of the essential nutrient, choline supports improved lipotrophic functions (methyl group transferases) in the liver. Foods richest in choline are: fatty pork, liver, eggs, beef, tofu, nuts, cream, milk and fatty cheeses.  Take necessary digestive lipases.

Fatty liver, a condition associated with obesity, diabetes and heavy alcohol or high-fructose-corn-syrup consumption, often leads to cirrhosis of the liver and eventually to liver failure.  Fatty liver can be prevented and possibly even eliminated with increased levels of choline.  GPC also acts synergistically with the body's store (and/or supplementation) of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM or SAMe) and folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 to facilitate methyl group transfers in the brain and liver.  GPC also supports kidney as well as liver functions, including renewal and detoxification.  GPC promotes fertility, both for sperm performance and for fertilization.

Orally administered-GPC is absorbed quickly from the gastrointestinal tract and is transported in the blood to all cells and tissues, especially the brain.  GPC crosses the 'blood-brain' barrier and acts as a central nervous system cholinergic stimulant while it simultaneously increases the GHRH-stimulated secretion of hGH by the somatotrophic cells in the anterior pituitary. 

GPC increases hGH secretion in the pituitary by two separate but interacting neuro-endocrine mechanisms: 1. Modulatory – GPC results in increased cholinergic tone leading to decreased levels of somatostatin (produced by the hypothalamus); 2. Regulatory - stimulation of hGH synthesis resulting from 'up regulation' of Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone/Factor (GHRH/GHRF) in conjunction with receptor-linked stimulation of cyclic AMP (adenylate cyclase), protein kinase C (PKC) and inositol triphosphate (IP3), which are intracellular control mechanisms regulating hGH synthesis at the genomic level and its subsequent secretion by the anterior pituitary.

One of the dangers of surgery is the anesthesia that accompanies it.  Solvent anesthesia often leads to brain damage which appears later as memory loss and other forms of mental impairment.  GPC has been researched in surgical patients, and has been found to have powerful protective effects on the brain.  After surgery, GPC significantly reduced memory loss and mental impairment that typically occurs in the days and months following procedures.

Hemp oil contains 57% linoleic (LA) and 19% linolenic (LNA) acids, in the three-to-one ratio that ideally matches human nutritional needs.  These are the essential fatty acids (EFAs)-so called because the body cannot make them and must get them from external sources. The best sources are oils from freshly ground grains and whole seeds, but EFAs are fragile and quickly lost in processing.  EFAs are the building blocks of longer chain fats, such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that occur naturally in the fat of cold-water fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, bluefish, herring and tuna.

Adding these foods to the diet lowers risks to heart attacks.  Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, enhance fluidity of blood and improve blood fat profiles.  They also have a natural anti-inflammatory effect that makes them useful for people with arthritis and autoimmune disorders.  A rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids is flax oil. Flax oil is pressed from the seeds of Linum utilitatissimum, the source of linen fiber and an oil better known as linseed oil, the base for oil paints.  Linseed oil is usually classified as a "drying oil" rather than a food oil because its chemical characteristics cause it to combine readily with oxygen and become thick and hard.  This tendency to harden on exposure to air quickly turns linseed oil rancid and unfit to eat, but makes it useful as a vehicle for pigment on canvas. (The word "canvas" by the way is a relative of "Cannabis," because true canvas is made from hemp fiber.)

For dietary purposes flax oil must be pressed at low temperatures, protected from light, heat, and air, stored at cool temperatures, and used quickly once the containers are opened.  Most flax oil is not delicious.  That is why soaking flax seeds and then grinding them and their gel (along with goat yogurt and berries) is my preferred morning method of gaining perfect oil along with beneficial lignins and phytochemicals of abundance.

Some people try flax oil as a dietary supplement for autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions, but about half of them cannot tolerate it.  Some say it makes them gag, even when concealed in salad dressing or mashed into a baked potato. This is usually due to the same bitter rancidification products that occur as soon as the bottle is opened and the oil exposed to air.  Many folks resort to taking flax oil capsules, which are protected from oxygen, but are large and more costly.

Udo Erasmus, author of the classic book, Fats and Oils (Alive, 1986), [and
Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, The Complete Guide to fats, oils, cholesterol and human health, Second Printing of Fats and Oils, (Alive, 1996).  His books are excellent.  Udo says that the problem is freshness. Unless you get flax oil right from the processor and freeze it until you start using it, it will already have deteriorated by the time you buy it.  Hemp oil contains more EFAs than flax and also tastes good.  It is nutty and with a slightly better shelf life, tends to be free from objectionable undertones of flax oil.  We use it on salads, baked potatoes and other foods and would not consider putting it in capsules.

Like flax oil, hemp oil is best stored in the refrigerator, used quickly, and never heated.  Unlike flax oil, hemp oil also provides 1.7% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).  Many people take supplements of GLA in the form of capsules of evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil.  It simulates growth of hair and nails, improves the health of the skin, and can reduce inflammation.  This is one good oil that supplies both omega-3s and GLA.  Perhaps the ideal fatty acid supplementation ratio is 2/3 EPA/DHA to 1/3 GLA.

One of the questions that people are sure to ask about hemp oil is whether it has any psychoactivity. The answer is no. The intoxicating properties of Cannabis sativa reside in a sticky resin produced most abundantly in the flowering tops of female plants before the seeds mature. The main psychoactive compound in this resin is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Strains of hemp grown for oil production have low resin content to begin with, and by the time the seeds are ready for harvest, resin production has dropped even further. Finally, the seeds must be cleaned and washed before they are pressed. No THC is found in the final product.

Krill oil, like fish oil, contains both of the omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but hooked together in a different form.  In fish oil these omega-3 fatty acids are found in the triglyceride form whereas in krill oil they are hooked up in a double chain phospholipid structure. (The fats in our own cell membranes are in the phospholipid form.)

Attached to the EPA leg of the phospholipid is a molecule of astaxanthin, an extremely potent anti-oxidant.  The phospholipid structure of the EPA and DHA in krill oil makes them much more absorbable and allows for a much easier entrance into the mitochondria and the cellular nucleus.  In addition to EPA and DHA, krill oil contains a complex phospholipid profile including phosphatidyl choline, a potent source of reductive-stress-reducing choline, which also acts as a natural emulsifier.

Although humans synthesize choline in small amounts, the body does not produce a sufficient amount for its requirements.  Most of the choline in the human body is located in phosphatidyl choline.  Choline and the compounds derived from it serve many vital functions.  Choline is used in the synthesis structural components of all human cell membranes. 

Choline-containing phospholipids, phosphatidyl choline and sphingomyelin are precursors for intracellular messenger molecules diacylglycerol and ceramide.  Choline is used to make the cell signaling molecules, platelet activating factor and sphingophosphorylcholine.  Choline is a precursor for acetyl choline an important neurotransmitter, involved in muscle control, memory and many other functions.

Protein-energy malnutrition in lactating pigs leads to a lower body and intestinal weight; malnourished piglets also showed structural and functional alterations, especially in the jejunum.  Protein and DNA contents were significantly reduced, as were intestinal cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides.  Fatty acid composition of the intestinal mucosa was also severely affected; the relative proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) were lower and those of monosaturated omega-9 fatty acids higher in malnourished animals.  These differences, together with those in the distribution of phospholipid species, were associated with reduction in activity of membrane-bound hydrolytic enzymes.

In malnourished piglets, dietary cholesterol deprivation alters the biophysical properties of the microvillus intestinal membrane as well as disaccharidase activities.  There is greater uptake of antigens due to mucosal-barrier defects in the intestine of newborns with malnutrition induced by dietary restriction.  Omega-3 LC-PUFA has a trophic effect on jejunal mucosa in rats, associated with increased mucosal surface area; this effect is accentuated by the presence of dietary cholesterol.  Supplemented phospholipids were obtained and purified from pig brains and contained a small amount of cholesterol, 0.24 g/100 g (final formula). 

The small intestine of piglets fed the LC-PUFA–phospholipid supplemented formula recovered more completely from cellular structural changes and biochemical alterations caused by the malnutrition process than the small intestine of those fed the control formula without phospholipids.  The combination of LC-PUFA, cholesterol and phospholipids in the diet allows improvement because malnourished piglets could use those dietary phospholipid components and save the energy cost of their synthesis for cell proliferation.

Krill oil contains vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is, like astaxanthin, a potent anti-oxidant.  The anti-oxidant potency of krill oil when compared to fish oil in terms of ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) values, is 48 times more potent than fish oil.

The astaxanthin found in krill oil provides excellent protection against ultraviolet light and UV-induced skin damage.  Krill oil is tremendously effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol, raising HDL-cholesterol and lowering blood sugar.  It is effective in treating the pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and aches and pains in general.  Compared to fish oil, krill oil has tremendous benefits in terms of symptom reduction in PMS and dysmenorrhea, and it has been effective in the treatment of adult ADHD.

Due to the rapid absorption of krill oil and the high anti-oxidant content there is virtually never fishy burping and aftertaste sometimes experienced with fish oil.  There may be a problem for people allergic to shrimp.  Be cautious in taking krill oil if you have shrimp allergy.

Brain and eye tissue recycles 10% of its phospholipids per day.  As an alternative to Krill oil, Vectomega contains 60% phospholipids derived from salmon (including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidyalserine, phosphatidylinositol and sphingomyelin).  Phospholipids are amphiphilic, with a polar water-soluble end attached to a water-insoluble end of oily EPA or DHA.  This allows for easier crossing of cell membranes and better absorption than ‘neutrally charged’ fish oils, requiring fewer pills.  Vetomega reduces cardiovascular risk by improving blood fat balances.  It helps concentration and short-term memory, improves quality of sleep, speeds physical recovery and reduces ‘agitations.’

Lard is one of the few edible oils with a relatively high smoke point, attributable to its high saturated fatty acids content.  Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it produces little smoke when heated and has a distinct taste when combined with other foods. Many chefs and bakers deem lard a superior cooking fat or shortening because of lard's range of applications and taste.  Consumers seeking a higher-quality source of lard typically seek out artisanal producers of rendered lard, or render it themselves from pork leaf lard or fatback.

To render lard, grind it or chop it (easiest when partially frozen).  Put it in a 300-degree oven in a shallow casserole. Stir it often, and cook until the lard melts and the cracklings, called chicharrones in Spanish, are floating.  For a roasted pork flavor, render the lard in a 350-degree oven until the cracklings are brown.  Cook until the cracklings sink to the bottom.  Strain rendered lard through cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter.  Cool and refrigerate for up to two months or freeze.

Frozen lard lasts for more than a year. Save the cracklings to enrich breads, burritos or tamales. Home-rendered lard adds wonderful flavor to baked goods like cornbread and sugar cookies as well as enriching refried beans (thenourishinggourmet.com).

Because of the relatively large fat crystals found in lard, it is extremely effective as a shortening in baking.  Pie crusts made with lard tend to be flakier than those made with butter.  Many cooks employ both types of fat in their pastries to combine the shortening properties of lard with the flavor of butter.

Lard or pork fat is about 40% saturated, 48% monosaturated (including small amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and 12% polyunsaturated.  Like the fat of birds, the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in lard will vary accordingly to the diet of the pigs.  Duck, goose and chicken fat are semisolid at room temperature, containing about 35% saturated fat, 52% monosaturated fat (including small amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and about 13% polyunsaturated fat.  The proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids depends on what the birds have eaten.  Duck and goose fat are quite stable and are highly prized in Europe for frying potatoes.

Lard holds up well under high heat and has strong antimicrobial properties.  French farmhouses have long made confit of goose, duck or pork and sealed the rich meat with its own fat.  Some cheese makers smear lard on the cheese to prevent deterioration.

In the tropics, lard may also be a source of lauric acid if the pigs have eaten coconuts.  Like duck and goose fat, lard is stable and a preferred fat for frying.  It is an excellent source of vitamin D, especially in third-world countries where other animal foods are likely to expensive.  Some researchers believe that pork products should be avoided since pigs are so much like humans, pork may lead to autoimmunity or increased risk to cancer.  

Others suggest that only pork meat presents a problem and that pig fat in the form of lard is safe and healthy.  In British cuisine, lard is used as a traditional ingredient in mince pies and Christmas puddings, lardy cake and for frying fish and chips, as well as many other uses.

Stearic acid (C18:0) has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels, whereas other long chain saturated fatty acids such as lauric (C12:0), myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) acids increase blood cholesterol levels.  Stearic acid influences CHD risk independently of an effect on blood cholesterol levels.  Compared to a palmitic acid-rich diet, a stearic acid–rich diet has been shown to have beneficial effects on thrombogenic and atherogenic risk factors.

Stearic acid is a saturated fat that is found mainly in animal products.  It is also in some plant foods like chocolate.  Very stable in storage and during frying, a relatively large percentage of stearic acid consumed is converted to oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat).  Even though stearic acid is a saturated fat, it has little effect on blood cholesterol levels, because such a high proportion is converted to oleic acid.

Numerous studies demonstrate that restricting total and saturated fat is often accompanied by an increase in dietary carbohydrate which leads to a blood lipid profile associated with increased risk of CHD.  A low fat, high carbohydrate diet reduces LDL cholesterol, but also decreases HDL cholesterol and ApoA1 (the major transport protein for HDL) and increases blood triglyceride levels.  Low blood HDL and ApoA1 levels and elevated triglyceride levels are associated with increased risk of CHD.  Increasing HDL cholesterol levels helps to protect against the development of CHD and possibly stroke.

Atherogenicity of LDL and HDL cholesterol varies with their particle size and density.  Not all LDL cholesterol is equally “bad,” nor is all “HDL” cholesterol good.  To-date, seven different LDL subclasses and five different HDL subclasses based on their particle size and density have been identified.  In the case of risky LDL cholesterol, small, dense particles predominate.  

In postmenopausal women with CHD who consumed a total fat intake of 25% of energy, greater saturated fat intake was associated with a more favorable lipoprotein profile (i.e., higher HDL cholesterol, higher ApoA1, lower triglycerides, and a lower ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol) and less progression of coronary atherosclerosis over a three year period compared to a lower saturated fat intake. In contrast, intakes of polyunsaturated fat and carbohydrate were associated with increased progression of CHD.

Chicken fat (about 31% saturated, 47% monounsaturated and 21% polyunsaturated, similar to olive oil) was lovingly saved from many chickens until there was enough to melt down into schmaltz.  Traditionally in Eastern Europe, this chicken schmaltz was like liquid gold, a special magic ingredient.  Eastern European Jews were forbidden by their Jewish dietary laws to fry meats in butter or pork lard, the common forms of cooking fat in Europe. They could not obtain the cooking oils, such as olive oil and sesame oil, that they had previously used in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean.

Skin and fat was cut off the weekly chicken and add it to the store collected in the freezer.  When enough was accumulated, it was cut up into small pieces, and then sautéed in a big pan with finely-chopped onion, a little salt and some chopped apple. A little bit of apple adds a rich sweetness to schmaltz.

As the chicken fat melts, it is poured from the pan and strained with a fine sieve, leaving a clear golden liquid, essential for matzoh balls as well as for chopped chicken liver.  The tastiest part remained in the strainer: the "cracklings" or in Yiddish, gribbines. Chicken fat you cut yourself has bits of chicken skin clinging to it. The fat melts away, and the remaining skin fries up into (never enough of) little crispy delicacies bursting with savory flavor that disappear quickly after being lightly salted, necessarily doled out and served while still warm.

Beef and Mutton Tallows are 50-55% saturated, about 40% monounsaturated and contain small amounts of polyunsaturated fats, usually less than 3%.  Suet, which is the fat from the cavity of the animal, is 70-80% saturated.  Suet and tallow are very stable fats and can be used for frying.  Traditional cultures valued these fats for their health benefits.  They are a good source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid.

Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fats. In the digestive system MCTs are broken down into very small medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Unlike other fatty acids, MCFAs are absorbed directly from the intestines into the portal vein and sent straight to the liver where they are, for the most part, burned as fuel.  MCTs thus function more like energy producing carbohydrates, rather energy storage fats.  Unlike other fats, medium-chain fatty acids are not packaged into lipoproteins and stored to any significant degree as body fat.  Medium-chain fatty acids produce energy.  Other dietary fats produce body fat.

The fact that MCT digest immediately to produce energy and stimulate metabolism has led knowledgeably athletes to use them as a means to enhance exercise performance.  Combining MCTs with protein intake measurably improves the body’s ability to utilize nitrogen, and thus enhance building muscle and losing fat.

Besides increasing energy level, MCTs provide another benefit associated with boosting metabolic rate, they help protect you from illness and speed healing. When metabolism is increased, cells function at a higher rate of efficiency.  Injuries heal more quickly, old and diseased cells are replaced faster, and young, new cells are generated at a faster rate to replace worn-out ones.  Even the immune system functions better.

Ultra-virgin olive oil is often used for dressing salads and foods to be eaten cold. It is used for frying ingredients (e.g., onions) which are used in stews and similar dishes.  Olive oil, particularly the unrefined grades, gives a pronounced flavor to foods, and is used either where the flavor is desired, or because of ready availability.  The flavors of cold-pressed olive oils vary considerably and choosing olive oil can be similar to selecting a wine.  It is not simply a matter of better and worse oils; individual tastes differ, and different oils may be more suited for different dishes.

A factor which is rarely realized in countries which do not produce oil is that the freshness makes a big difference; very fresh oil is noticeably different from older oils transported from afar.  Oils deteriorate as they age and become stale.  Buy oil in small sizes, or split larger bottles with friends, if buying expensive oils.  Oil purchased in bulk should always be poured into smaller containers, preferably in a can or a dark-colored bottle.

Olives are fruit; olive oil is a fruit juice.  Air, heat and light will cause olive oil to turn rancid (rancid is the bitter flavor which is imparted in an oil after it has undergone the process of oxidation.  Since prolonged contact with oxygen is the root cause of oxidation, rancidity is a common defect, so it should be stored in a dark cool place in an airtight container).  If oil has a bitter taste, then it's probably rancid.

The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57°F (or 14° C), although a normal room temperature of 70ºF works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant.  A kitchen cabinet located away from the warm stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well.  If you have a wine cellar, store your olive oils there and keep a small amount in your kitchen.  Do not put olive oil in a container without a tight cap.

Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavor. When chilled, or in cold weather, olive oil may turn cloudy and even solidify.  Such oil will clear again as it warms, so cloudiness should not be taken as an indication that the oil is part its prime.  Be sure bottles are tightly sealed.  

Refrigeration will extend the life of olive oil without harming the oil.  Doing so will cause it to congeal and turn cloudy, but should not affect flavor.  If refrigerated, olive oil will return to its original, liquid state when warmed to room temperature again.

Tinted glass, porcelain or stainless steel are best materials for containers.  Oil should never be stored near heat, in plastic or in reactive metals.  Clear glass bottles should be boxed or stored in the dark.  Stay away from plastic containers as the oil can absorb PVCs.

Oleocanthal from olive oil is a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme similar to classical NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen.  It has been suggested that long-term consumption of small quantities of this compound from olive oil may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease associated with the Mediterranean diet.  It is olive oil's phenolic content, rather than its fatty acid profile, that is responsible for at least some of its cardioprotective benefits. 

Folks who consumed olive oil high in polyphenol antioxidants exhibited increased arterial elasticity, while after consumption of olive oil containing fewer polyphenols, they displayed no significant change in arterial elasticity.  Increased elasticity of arterial walls reduces vascular stress and consequentially the risk to two common causes of death: heart attacks and stroke.

Palm oil represents one of the most abundant natural sources of tocotrienols. The distribution of vitamin E in palm oil is 30% tocopherols and 70% tocotrienols.  The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is native to many West African countries, where local populations have used its oil for culinary and other purposes. Large scale plantations, established principally in tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America are mostly aimed at the production of oil, which is extracted from the fleshy mesocarp of the palm fruit, and endosperm or kernel oil.

 

Palm oil is different from other plant and animal oils in that it contains 50% saturated fatty acids, 40%unsaturated fatty acids, and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Because of its high saturated fat content, palm oil has not been very popular in the United States.  Artificially hydrogenated fats contain high levels of trans-fatty acids which are now thought to have adverse health effects.  The US FDA’s final ruling on trans fatty acid labeling issued in 2003 has caused rapid change in the fat and oil industries.  Palm oil is free of trans-fatty acids and is rapidly gaining wider acceptance by the food industry.  Primary applications include bakery products, breakfast cereals, wafers and candies.

Red palm oil is known to be healthier than refined (discolored) palm oil.  This is a result of several mitigating substances found in the red palm oil.  These compounds are: beta carotenes (present in higher amounts than in regular palm oil),  co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone),  squalene, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.  Palm oil and palm kernel oil are composed of fatty acids, esterified with glycerol just like any ordinary fat.  Both are high in saturated fatty acids, about 50% and 80%, respectively. 

The oil palm gives its name to the 16-carbon saturated fatty acid palmitic acid found in palm oil; monounsaturated oleic acid is also a constituent of palm oil while palm kernel oil contains mainly lauric acid.  Palm oil is the largest natural source of tocotrienol, part of the vitamin E family.  Palm oil is also high in vitamin K and dietary magnesium.

Dura is the main variety found in natural groves, and has been the source of palm oil for decades, well before modern methods of oil palm cultivation were introduced to Africa.  The Tenera is considered a better variety for commercial industrial purposes because of high yields, but it produces inferior oil for food consumption.  Environmental sensitivity and taste considerations suggest seeking the dura variety.

Palm oil is applied to wounds, just like iodine tincture, to aid the healing process. Like coconut oil, unrefined palm oil has additional antimicrobial effects.  Red palm oil is also widely used on the skin as a moisturizer and healing agent.

Palm oil has increased the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and reduced the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood.  Palm is a better solid fat to use in products where trans fats would otherwise be chosen.  The palm oil industry emphasizes that palm oil contains large quantities of oleic acid, the healthful fatty acid also found in olive and canola oil, and claims that palmitic acid also affects cholesterol levels much like oleic acid.  Monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid are as effective in reducing serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels as polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linoleic acid.

Sea Buckthorn is known in China, Russia and Europe as one of nature’s most incredible medicinal plants.  Its small, bright orange berries have been cherished for centuries for their truly incredible healing, nutritive, and therapeutic qualities.  The thick, richly colored red/orange oil produced from sea buckthorn berries is so abundant in vitamins, antioxidants and other healing compounds that many believe that sea buckthorn must have been created by some ancient plant-breeder.  Sea buckthorn berries have no match in the plant kingdom for their content of carotenoids (pro-vitamin A), tocopherols (vitamin E), phylloquinone (vitamin K), as well as other vitally important healing and health-promoting vitamins, fatty acids and micro-elements.

Legend said that before 12 century BC, the ancient Greeks were surprised to find that some sick horses let loose to die a natural death, became strong and energetic again, bearing a vigorous coat of hair.  The source of this magic was traced to a kind of shrubbery.  They named the sea buckthorn shrub Hippophae rhamnoides L; meaning trees that make horse’s hair shine. Sea buckthorn seed oil containing shampoo which promotes scalp & hair health and encourages hair growth is just the ticket to get rid of dandruff caused by fungus.  Sea buckthorn seed oil in particular, is a fungus killer.  Athlete's foot, vaginal yeast infections, nail fungus, these conditions all respond to being killed by sea buckthorn oils.

Sea Buckthorn is the richest known natural source of carotenoids, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin K1, and beta-sitosterol, and an outstanding source of a unique array of other health-promoting natural components.  The most potent concentrate of biologically active compounds is the rich therapeutic oil contained in the bright orange sea buckthorn fruit.  The flavonoids of sea buckthorn (mainly from fruit pulp; also in the leaves) and the oils of sea buckthorn (primarily in the seeds, but also in the fleshy part of the fruit) are the two items specially extracted for medicinal use. 

The fatty acid profile of sea buckthorn berry oil is also quite remarkable. It contains from 35- 40% of a 16-carbon monounsaturated fatty acid called palmitoleic acid, also known as omega-7. The only other known plant source of this rare omega-7 fatty acid is macadamia nut oil, but sea buckthorn oil contains almost twice as much (and many times as much as any other source of palmitoleic acid, whether plant or animal).  

Palmitoleic acid has potent antiviral, antibacterial, and healing effect in humans.  With similar lipids to naturally occurring in skin sebum, it provides important healing and anti-aging benefits for problem skin.  Sea Buckthorn oil has been successfully used to treat such widespread skin problems as rosacea, eczema and acne.  In Russia and China, pulp oil has also been used topically to treat skin burns from radiation.  Due to its ability to absorb UV rays, pulp oil is used to reduce risk of radiation burns for Russian astronauts working in space.

Syrupy sea buckthorn oil is unusually rich (1-2 %) in phospholipids (primarily lecithin and cephalin), which are an important part of brain tissue and cell membranes, and are believed to positively affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.  Phospholipids are essential for all vital cell processes, and are most important membrane building compounds that occur in human, animal and plant cells.  Most practitioners recommend using 1 tablespoon or four to five 500 mg capsules daily.  To preserve freshness sea buckthorn oils need to be kept cool, between 40-69 degrees F after opening.  Berry oil will get thick when cold.  Sea buckthorn seed oil sometimes does.

Sea buckthorn oil is an effective natural remedy for all health problems related to damaged mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, including: mouth ulcers (also called aphthae, or canker sores), sore throat and strep throat, esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) and Barrett’s esophagus, acid reflux (GERD), treatment-resistant peptic ulcers and chronic erosive gastritis, ulcerative colitis (inflammation and ulceration of colon mucosa),  Chron’s disease, diverticulosis and diverticulitis.  For patients with liver cirrhosis, sea buckthorn extracts helped normalize liver enzymes, serum bile acids as well as immune system markers involved in liver inflammation and degeneration.  Sea buckthorn oil also protects the liver from damaging effects of toxic chemicals.

Sea buckthorn fruit oil can improve the phagocytic function in mice, increase spleen weight and heighten splenic indices; raise spleen plaque forming cell content of mice and accelerate hemolytic generation in vivo; promote E-rosette formation in vivo and improve lymphocyte transformation function.  Both fruit and seed oils have visible promotion action on non-specific immunologic function, humoral immunity and cellular immune function in mice.

Sea buckthorn fruit oil has evident stimulatory effect on the immune function of natural killer lymphocytes and phagocytes and on the cytotoxicity and activity of spleen natural killer lymphocytes, so it is reputed that the cellular immunity system participates in enhancing antineoplastic force in vivo. With this property, this oil can be successfully used as an auxiliary during an operation and chemically treating patients with malignant tumor(s) at different stages. Between different special treatments, it can be used to prevent tumor transfer.

An active 75 year old woman suddenly developed quite a sizeable skin-tumor, on the back of her neck.  She was encouraged to see the doctor, but she would not; she does not like to use medicines.  She then remembered stories about wonder-working sea buckthorn berries, and decided to give them a try.  So, every day, she applied an external compress of the pulped berries.  Six months later, the tumor had completely gone!

Sea buckthorn oil protects cell membranes from harmful effects of chemical contaminants, inhibits formation of atherosclerotic plaque and reduces high cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure and prevents arrhythmias, acts as a powerful immune system booster, improves the condition of hair and skin, optimizes the activity of the pancreas, reduces inflammation and promotes tissue regeneration.

The oil of sea buckthorn fruit in its undiluted and concentrated deep amber form will stain skin, surfaces and clothing.  Use caution, spread evenly and dilute.  Since omega 7 rich sea buckthorn fruit oil is highly pigmented, it is often used in a 10% mixture with sea buckthorn seed oil when applied topically.  Sea buckthorn seed oil will bring whatever toxins or mites in the skin to the surface after about a week of continued usage.  Skin may initially break out more, and then eventually clear up with continued use.

Sea buckthorn seed oil is packed with wonderful bioactive substances and nutrients.  Nearly 90% of sea buckthorn seed oil is unsaturated fatty acids including linolenic acid (omega 3), linoleic acid (omega 6), oleic acid (omega 9), palmitoleic acid and others.  It is also exceptionally rich in Vitamin E with fat soluble pigments as well as vitamins A, D, C, D and K.  Active ingredients include carotenes, flavonoids, phytosterols, serotonin, amino acids and trace elements including iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, selenium, iodine and more, that are so important to good health.

This seed oil contains 106 bioactive elements.  Of the14 fatty acids almost 90% are unsaturated and the two essential unsaturated fatty acids linolenic acid (Omega 3) and linoleic acid (Omega 6) are in almost perfect 1:1 ratio.  A rare source of vitamin E, it also provides other vitamins including Vitamins A, C, D, K, etc, carotenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, amino acids, serotonin and 28 trace elements: iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, iodine and more.  It is cardio tonic, stomachic, dermatropic, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-radiation (protects white blood cells), anti-constipation, maintains healthy cholesterol level, softens hardened blood vessels, reduces risky blood fats and promotes circulation and natural healing.

Trans-fatty acid (artificially hydrogenated oils) consumption is known to have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health, and on asthma, but now its role is being defined in digestive tract cancer.  Those in the highest quartile of dietary trans fat intake are 86% more likely to have adenomas (benign tumors or polyps that develop from epithelial tissue, lining of the colon, mouth, throat and sinuses.  Polyps have potential to become cancerous.

Trans-fatty acids are formed when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil (hydrogenation) to form a solid shortening, and commonly used in commercial baked, fried, and processed foods.   These artificially saturated trans fats extend shelf-life and are used for making a very wide range of food products including bread, biscuits, cookies, pastries, cakes, chocolate, peanut butter, non-dairy creamer and ice-cream.  Trans fats are also often used for deep frying.  Thus, they are commonly found in French fries, fried chicken and other fried foods, in fast food and yes, even in high-end restaurants.  Trans fats are known to reduce energy production and raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

In the competitive marketplace, naturally harder (saturated) fats have been falsely maligned.  Trans fats raise Lp(a) (indicating they cause heart disease), while saturated fats lower Lp(a).  Trans fats interfere with immune function, while saturated fats enhance immune function. Trans fats inhibit the body’s use of omega-3 fatty acids and the production of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while saturated fats enhance the body’s use of omega-3 fatty acids and the production of the long-chain versions.

 

When a breastfeeding woman consumes trans-fats, she may be harming not only herself, but also passing on health problems to her child, both as an infant and as an adult.  Lactating rats were fed either a regular diet supplemented with soybean oil or with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. 

 

In the hydrogenated oil group, trans fats made up 11.75 % of the total fat intake.  After weaning, rat pups were fed the same diet as their mothers for another 60 days.  At 60 days after weaning, the hearts of rats with trans fats had a decreased ability to absorb sugar from the blood.  This insulin insensitivity increases risk to Type 2 diabetes (also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease).  Pups in the trans fat group also had hampered insulin sensitivity once they developed into rat adults, another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

 

Trans fats contribute to weight gain, while some types of saturated fats (medium chain triglycerides) boost metabolism and help with weight loss.  Trans fats are associated with increased cancer and decreased fertility.  Sources of saturated fat, such as organic butter and meat fats, contain many nutrients that fight against cancer and promote fertility.

Hydrogenation is an unnatural process that uses high heat (500ºF - 260ºC) as well as high pressure.  At such high temperature and pressure, oil molecules become damaged and harmful to health.  Hydrogenation also requires the use of catalysts such as nickel.  These carcinogenic and toxic catalysts are theoretically removed after hydrogenation, but traces inevitably remain.

According to Dr. Patricia Kane, an expert in the fatty acid metabolism of autistic children, the majority of autistic children do not properly metabolize fats and oils.  Hydrogenated oils (oils thickened with nickel) are especially toxic as they have long-chain molecules that are not broken down properly by autistic children.  Hydrogenated oils may be yet another source of heavy metal toxicity for these children who detoxify poorly.  

Even if it does say "Trans Fat 0g", READ THE INGREDIENTS.  The labeling law is not sufficient to completely eliminate trans fats from foods.  Food products can claim "0 %" and still contain up to 2.2 grams per serving.  There are really no safe levels of trans fats.  A metabolic poison is a metabolic poison.  It is the same with mercury, lead, cyanide or arsenic.  There are no safe levels, although government and industry has science come up with ‘tolerable’ levels.

There are many links between trans fats and obesity, diabetes and cancer.  These are the more visible and dramatic effects.  The subtle universal distorting effect on cell membranes, however, is the most significant danger of trans fats.  Even mitochondrial membranes (our cell’s energy and hormone factories) become distorted and inefficient in the burning of nutrients, producing less energy, more damaging free radicals and fewer hormones. 

The sign of mitochondrial inefficiency is increased serum cholesterol and eventually sebaceous cysts, as the liver increases necessary precursors for energy and hormones.  When the membranes are affected, every part of the body is affected, including the burning of nutrient fuels as most fundamental in life's energetic processes.

Lipids, and some proteins within membranes, are in constant motion.  In bacteria or a white blood cell, a single phospholipid will travel from one end to the other in a single second.  Membranes are in effect flowing two-dimensional solutions of an array of rhythmically and electromagnetically oriented vibrating molecules dancing about and temporarily linked with changing partners on a glycoprotein substructure, creating an intelligent environmentally-responsive ever-changing multi-functional fluid mosaic.

The cell wall not only has a physical barrier made up of the normally healthy essential fatty acids made into phospholipids, but it has an electromagnetic barrier as well.  This field creates a barrier and helps the cell to identify viruses, bacteria and pathogens, many of which have a positive ionic charge.  Positive ions cause oxidation of the cells and are typically known as "oxidants".  Healthy nutrients and bacteria have a negative ionic charge.  Nutrients with a negative ionic charge are also known as "anti-oxidants".

Cells use these mechanisms to help identify which substances to allow through that force field and which to repel.  The cell would typically attract and allow materials with negative charges to pass through while repelling those with positive charges.  If physical and electromagnetic functions of the cell wall are compromised due to the presence of wrong-sided hydrogenated oils, the cell is no longer able to identify friendly nutrients from foreign invaders.

This opens the flood gates for invaders to enter the cell and destroy it from within. With the cell wall functions now compromised and with little or no nutrients getting into the cell, it is basically defenseless and all manner of serious negative health effects can arise.  Cellular toxicity will also rise at the same time due to the increased presence of waste matter that hydrogenated oils trap inside the cells.

When the integrity of cell membranes is reduced, the barrier membranes of the mouth nose, throat, lungs, digestive tract, and internal organs attract and become a sieve for allergens, undigested foods, viruses and even potential carcinogens.

One way to counter this and help strengthen the electromagnetic field of our cells is to practice deep breathing exercises.  When we practice deep breathing we're taking in large amounts of chi and negative ionic energy into our bodies.  Best done mid day or bedtime, breathing exercises, chanting, singing or light calisthenics create systemic alkalinity by blowing off the source of the body’s carbonic acid buffer, carbon dioxide. 

Extra ionic energy greatly strengthens electromagnetic fields of all cell membranes in the body and can help counter the negative effects of hydrogenated oils should we consume any at restaurants or buy some ‘hidden in the label.’
This is one of many ways to make the body more alkaline or "Yin" (negative) and can help to decrease the overall incidence of disease.  Since many of today's most common problems and ailments are diseases of excess positive ionic energy, keeping the negative ion fields of the body as strong as possible becomes a major factor in constant battle against disease.

On the other hand, continued excessive deep breathing (often due to prolonged chronic anxious mental states) shifts us towards the alkaline side.  Too much alkalinity allows hyperactive response of the tubes of the body, leading to high blood pressure, migraine and asthma.  It is important for the body to have its acid tides from early awakening to brunch time and from early evening dinner to bedtime.  This rhythm can be compromised with chronic ‘learned’ excessive emotional ventilation creating respiratory alkalosis.

Although membranes are considered lipid bilayers, almost 50% of the membrane is composed of protein which serves many structural and functional roles.  The sugar residues of glycolipids (sphingosine + fatty acid + sugar, such as sphingomyelin) and glycoproteins (sugars attached to membrane proteins) are found protruding on the outer surface.  Cholesterol sandwiched between membrane fatty acids prevents their crystallization.  Cholesterol, as well as the length of fatty acid tails and their degree of saturation, affects membrane fluidity.

Membrane fluidity has wide implications for many body systems and functions, including nerve transmission as a solitron, immunity and brain function.  People who eat large amounts of margarine and other foods containing trans fats, have been found with cell membranes that contain up to 20% trans fats.  Neuropathy means that cell walls have lost their integrity, becoming rigid, distorted and weak. 

Liquid oil or solid fat molecules are made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms in a chain.  Some chains are short and they are called short-chain fatty acids, or short-chain triglycerides (chemical word for "fats”).  There are also medium-chain fatty acids / medium-chain triglycerides as well as long-chain fatty acids / long chain triglycerides.  The neck of a fatty acid is stiff.  The tail portion contains cis- double bonds, is highly active, and oscillates at a million vibrations per second.

In regular vegetable oils the chains are bent.  The hydrogen atoms are on either side of the chain.  Missing (less saturated) hydrogen molecules allow a greater bend.  The chain of carbons bends because of the opposing charges of the hydrogen atoms.  When playing with magnets, one recognizes that North and South poles of two magnets pull towards each other.  But when one magnet is turned around and an attempt is made to try to put the two North poles or the two South poles together, they push apart. 

The same thing happens at the molecular level.  The fully saturated chain of hydrogen atoms on one side each carry a negative charge and repel each other causing a bend on the opposite unsaturated side where the hydrogen molecule is missing.  A more unsaturated carbon chain results in a bigger bend in the molecule.

Because of the bend, the tails of the fat molecules freely vibrate and cannot be packed closely together, so the fat is more fluid.  Two hydrophobic kinked tails are attached to a hydrophilic glycerophosphate creating a phospholipid with electric and magnetic polar characteristics that creates the magical bilayer membrane.  Electromagnetically suspended on both sides by organized water molecules, these dancing, shimmying, oscillating and vibrating oily tails of temporarily tethered phospholipids form the fluid mysterious sentient inner zone of the bipolar membrane that somehow intelligently accepts, sequesters and shuttles electrons.

In trans fats, the chain of carbons is somewhat straightened, with a slighter kink.  Because of this, the fat molecules can be more closely packed together, vibrations lessen and the fat becomes less fluid or harder.  Margarine becomes more solid and harder than the liquid vegetable oil from which it was made.

The specific spatial configuration and electronegative discontinuity of essential fatty acids permit linkage with sulfhydral protein groups in membranes to form pi electron quantum mechanical membrane potentials that affect the transport of oxygen into tissues.  The membrane is not a static sac, but the brain of the cell, an intelligent barrier complex of interlocking chemicals with gates and pumps to control chemical and ionic balances, receptors for stimuli and signal generators.  It is made up primarily of phospholipids, protein, glycolipids and cholesterol, which can come directly from food or are synthesized locally from components of food after they have been broken down by digestion.

The biological membrane is not static, but contains millions of fatty acid tails vibrating at millions of times per second, with deletions and substitutions in constant process and biochemical doors selectively opening and closing permitting the passage of food and waste.  It is life itself, a dynamic, an action more than a structure and literally beyond comprehension.  The magical membrane can be described with words, like infinity, but not ever rationally fully grasped.

When one supposes that fatty acids compose our full-body brain, the linked membrane structure of all cells and their enclosed organelles, the significance of choices in dietary oils and fats begins to emerge.  Membrane fatty acids are indeed gatekeepers of life.

Percent fat on a food label is meaningless in determining the healthiness of a product.  Are the fats saturated or unsaturated?  If unsaturated, what are the ratios of omega 9's to 6's to 3's?  Would not soaked seeds, nuts, beans and grains as well as some seafood, wild game, organic eggs and dairy provide the freshest and best sources?

Have the fats been artificially hydrogenated? If so, what are the levels of potentially toxic trans-isomers? Are they fake fats like Olestra or Simplesse reducing our intake of critical fat-soluble nutrients or causing diarrhea? Are the lipids oxidized or complexed with other nutrients such as protein? Does the product contain nutrients which were associated with the lipid in its natural context, such as antioxidants, certain vitamins and minerals?

What is the oil’s freshness and stability when subjected to time, heat, light and air?  Oil’s ideal vessel is glass, but most uneducated shoppers prefer clear glass which permits light generated oxidation of the oil.  Darkened glass containers are ideal for protection from light.  Clear glass bottles filled with oil can be boxed and stored someplace cool and dark.  Rancid oil has a bitter taste and should be discarded.  A stale or "off" odor is a sign of rancid oil.  However, a pungent, peppery or spicy taste or smell is an attribute of high quality, unrefined extra virgin olive oil.

All polyunsaturated vegetable oils (flax oil, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil) are partly rancid and become more poisonous if used in cooking.  Do not use these oils; get rid of them now.  Throw away commercial salad dressings made with these oils as well.  Use soaked (and perhaps then ground or blended) seeds to safely consume these polyunsaturated oils.

Avocado or olive oil is useful because it is primarily monounsaturated and, therefore, much more stable than polyunsaturated oils.  Used mostly for salads one may also use monosaturated oils for low temperate cooking.  Store in the refrigerator and use it up within a month or so.

Fats best used for moderate to high temperature cooking are saturated fats like lard, butter or ghee, palm and coconut oil.  Lard has a high smoking point so it makes good high temperature cooking oil.  Coconut oil is highest in saturated fat so it makes excellent all-purpose cooking oil. It is very stable under heat, but has a relatively low smoking point, so keep frying temperatures below 350 degrees F.

Pour any cooking oil (Canola, olive, corn, sunflower or peanut) over an insect and it will suffocate.  Vegetable oils in general are recommended by many horticulturists as a non-chemical, more environmentally friendly insect control method.