Deadlier Than Sugar
Linoleic acid is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). What that means in plain-speak is PUFAs lack hydrogen atoms and so have many double bonded carbon atoms (chemistry? really??? yup, it's part of life). This makes them extremely unstable as they want to oxidize in order to have stability (everything is seeking homeostasis, humans also seek stability in life so can you blame the cells?). Once they oxidize with oxygen, though, reactive oxygen species is created which are your free radicals- ya know the reason you try to consume anti-oxidants.
"A build-up of ROS in cells can cause damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins, and can cause cell death."
Bear with me: your cells contain mitochondria, these are the powerhouse, the driver of what happens within the cell. The mitochondria contain a specific fat called cardiolipin.
Cardiolipin is imperative to energy metabolism and in apoptosis (programmed cell death).
It is directly indicated in diabetes and heart failure.
When oxidation of omega-6 fats occurs in the cardiolipin it signals excess cellular damage and the cell breaks down and dies. Pretty intense, right? Linoleic acid specifically blocks the energy generation to mitochondria.
This creation of ROS that inhibits the mitochondria and accelerates autophagy (normal cell cleanup of dead cells to pave the way for new, healthy cells to form) has been linked to as a causative factor in the following conditions:
Linoleic acid creates an atmosphere of inflammation that suppresses the immune system and inhibits healing.
WHAT CONTAINS LINOLEIC ACID
Here is what makes LA so much worse than sugar, it is in most everything.
As you can see it isn't all junk food that contains LA. One of the biggest sources of LA in our diets is from oils:
The amount of vegetable oil purchased in the USA has increased from 700g per person per year in 1909 to 5,000g per men per year today! This is largely due to the campaign to consume vegetable oils over lard, butter, tallow, etc. (saturated fats, basically).
If you think you're in the clear by eating chicken, take a look at that list again. Commercial chicken is fed grains that generate linoleic acid that passes to the consumer through the meat, another reason to buy local from a farmer you know and trust.
Olive oil, while not listed, is another form of linoleic acid to be weary of. This is because inexpensive olive oil contains vegetable oils (much like the gas you buy contains ethanol, olive oil isn't always pure- same is true for honey, again another reason to buy your honey local from a farmer you trust and your olive oil from a well researched, trustworthy source).
WHAT TO DO
What can you do?
If you think that upping your omega-3 fatty acid intake will offset the damage, think again.
It really won't have the impact you're looking for.
Aside from limiting your LA intake as much as possible, eating red meat will help.
Red meat contains carnosine which is not found in plants.
Carnosine seeks out ROS to gobble up preventing oxidative stress from occurring.
It is a neurotransmitter in the brain, reduces plaque build up in the arteries, reduces: diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic kidney failure, and other degenerative diseases. There are several other benefits this molecule possesses within the body that should give you incentive to increase your red meat intake!
While you won't be able to completely eradicate LA from your environment, know that you can consume more red meat to empower your body to fight back.
Need help? Need ideas? Let's meet up and plan your best strategy, email me and get started today!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, SFG