Importance of oleic acid and EPA

This article, shows the importance of another fatty acid balance in our bodies. Oleic acid ( a mono-unsaturated fat) can protect our cells from damage caused by palmitic acid (a saturated fat) which our bodies can make or obtain from our diet. When we overeat carbohydrates, our cells make palmitic acid as the first step in storing fat. We can also get it directly from our diet. Excessive amounts of palmitic acid in the cell can cause cell death. The palmitic acid can also be turned into ceramide which contributes to insulin resistance. This article shows how the excess of palmitic acid in our cells contributes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also points out that oleic acid and eicosanoic acid (also known as the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA) can prevent the damage caused by palmitic acid by preventing the formation of ceramide.

This explains at least one way fish oil works to prevent both heart disease and diabetes, but it also shows that oleic acid will work as well. Real butter has both oleic acid and palmitic acid ( ), but the oleic acid content is over twice as high as the palmitic acid. That explains why the saturated fat in real butter is not as harmful as might be expected.

The fact that our bodies make palmitic acid when we consume an excess of carbohydrates and then turns that into the ceramide that causes insulin resistance also explains how a low fat (high carb) diet contributes to diabetes.


Oil or fat?

This is the first article I have seen that shows how excess saturated fats can cause damage in our bodies. I will have to modify my diet to include a little more oleic acid. This is where the benefits from avocados, nuts, and olive oil come from. As for palmitate, it can come from meats, but our bodies will make it from carbohydrates if we eat more carbs than we burn. If we are overweight, we will very likely have excess palmitic acid in our cells. This article shows that consuming oleic acid can protect the cells from the damage caused by palmitic acid. I still think it is important to maintain a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats in our bodies as well. If all unsaturated fats work, then it would probably be best to consume foods high in linolenic acid if your 6/3 ratio is already too high.

I should also point out that real butter, although it does contain saturated fat, actually contains over 30% oleic acid. Coconut oil is also a saturated fat, but approximately 50% of it is lauric acid, a 12 carbon fatty acid that must be elongated to make palmitic acid. It does contain about 10% palmitic acid, but it also contains 5 to 10% oleic acid.

This article implies all saturated fats are harmful, but the scientific article it references only mentions palmitic acid and the ceramide that is formed from the palmitic acid. The article also implies that the consumption of saturated fats is the source of the palmitic acid, but we are probably more likely to make it ourselves when we consume excess carbs. When we consume more carbohydrates than we burn, we will convert that excess energy to saturated fatty acids or cholesterol, both of these contribute to heart disease and diabetes. Carbs, especially sugar and high fructose corn syrup, are much more likely to be the source of saturated fats in our cells than what we consume directly.

Following the Oil Change Diet with its emphasis on balancing your omega-6/3 ratio, the use or real butter and/or coconut oil and keeping the intake of carbs low has helped me lose over 50 pounds, improved my cholesterol, blood pressure and virtually eliminated my arthritis pain.


Public Release: 27-Apr-2015

Saturated fatty acids might directly damage heart

Olive oil is universally considered a much healthier alternative to meat fat. Plant-derived oils (such as olive oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil) largely consist of unsaturated fatty acids, whereas animal fat is richer in the saturated ones. After a typical meal, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy production by the heart. Under fasting conditions, however, free fatty acids become the major energy producer. Saturated fat in a diet is known to be detrimental to heart health, but its impact on the cardiac muscle has been studied only recently.

Interestingly, while saturated fatty acids are toxic to cells, unsaturated fatty acids are not only harmless but also provide protection against the damage done by saturated fatty acids. Studies conducted on many cell lines have indicated that saturated fatty acids can cause cell death involving the “endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER…

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Omega-3 and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

I have a niece that has MS, so I looked at the relationship between Omega-3 and MS. There are some small studies that found benefits but they were not statistically significant at the 95% level (only at the 90% level –p=.07). Her are several links to articles on the effects of omega-3 on MS:

One of the reason many of these studies come out uncertain is the fact that they do not control for omega-6. Omega-3 and omega-6 compete! The starting level of omega-6 in the subjects will alter the outcome of the test–so will the concurrent intake of omega-6. Some of the foods recommended in the article above as containing omega-3 contain way more omega-6, eating foods with a 6/3 ratio of 4 to 1 (like walnuts) will only improve your ratio if your ratio is higher than 4 to 1 –like 10 to 1. Even then the best it can do is 4 to 1 which is still bad.

Foods like olive oil, do contain oleic acid which helps reduce the conversion of linoleic acid (short omega-6) to arachadonic acid (long omega-6)–the real precursor of inflammatory hormones, but they still have way more omega-6 than omega-3. It is better to avoid them until you get your ratio down to less than 2 to 1. The biochemistry of these essential fats is complex, but it is clear that countries where the omega-6/3 ratios in people are closer to 1 to 1 have lower rates of heart disease, MS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases that are associated with the high ratios typically found in the US.

When will researchers learn that it is the ratio that is important and should be controlled in these studies? –Maybe never if drug companies have their way, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to get our ratio down to improve our health.

One of the things mentioned in the article is the effect of saturated fats. Not all saturated fats are the same. Saturated fats from coconut oil are shorter than the saturated fats from animals. The medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil are metabolized as ketones. When our cells use ketones for energy the process does not produce the free radicals that are produced when our cells use glucose (our cells can only use either glucose or ketone to generate energy). Free radicals generated when we use carbs (glucose) for energy cause damage and inflammation. Both carbs and saturated fats can only be used in the body as an energy source, we should not consume more of either source than we burn in exercise.

Brain development suffers from lack of fish oil fatty acids, UCI study finds

Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, important for fetal brain and eye development. Maternal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 is what controls the availability of this important nutrient to the developing fetus and then to the infant through breast milk for nursing mothers. There has been a dramatic rise in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in diet of Americans (and their tissues) in the last 50 years due to our changing diets. Those changes are a large part of the increasing numbers of children developing autism and ADHD. You have to reduce the omega-6 in your bodies to increase the omega-3. These essential fats are competitive, and the ratio in our diet controls the ratio in our bodies . Read The Oil Change Diet to learn how to reduce your omega-6 and increase your omega-3.


Public Release: 15-Apr-2015

Researchers point to dietary link for proper pre- and postnatal neural growth

University of California – Irvine

Irvine, Calif., April 15, 2015 — While recent reports question whether fish oil supplements support heart health, UC Irvine scientists have found that the fatty acids they contain are vitally important to the developing brain.

In a study appearing today in The Journal of Neuroscience, UCI neurobiologists report that dietary deficiencies in the type of fatty acids found in fish and other foods can limit brain growth during fetal development and early in life. The findings suggest that women maintain a balanced diet rich in these fatty acids for themselves during pregnancy and for their babies after birth.

Susana Cohen-Cory, professor of neurobiology & behavior, and colleagues identified for the first time how deficits in what are known as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids cause molecular changes in the developing…

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Diet Choices

There are lots of diet choices now days. Many people have medical problems that require specific diets, like a diabetic diet or allergies that require avoiding certain foods like a gluten free or nut free diet. Most people are on diets that they choose for the purpose of loosing weight, like Weight Watchers, Atkins or South Beach. Some people choose a diet for health or or even philosophical reasons like a vegetarian, vegan or Paleo diet.

Even more important may be the choices within a diet. We can even follow  multiple diet guidelines at the same time, like a gluten free Weight Watchers diet. Now matter what diets we choose, there are nutritional needs like vitamins and minerals that we need to make sure we obtain within the foods we choose. One of those nutritional needs are the essential fats, omega-6 and omega-3. We cannot live without them, but it is not difficult to get enough of these essential fat, what is difficult and very important is getting a balance between the two.

As our diets and food choices have changed over the recent decades, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 has increased dramatically, often exceeding 10 to 1. It needs to be balanced or even slightly less than 1 to 1. The dramatic increase in the ratio of these essential fats is behind many if not most major medical problems we have, especially in the USA. Heart disease, Alzheimers, autism, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, colitis, COPD, depression, ADHD, are all associated with high levels of omega-6. Why are so many different medical problems associated with high omega-6? It is because omega-6 is the precursor to hormones that cause inflammation, clotting, allergic response.

Processed foods, fast foods and snack foods are a big source of these high omega-6/3 ratios, but there are many “healthy” foods that are very high in omega-6. That is where my book can help. The Oil Change Diet ( shows you the amount to omega-6 in common foods and provides examples of recipes and menus that will help you balance your essential fats no matter what diet you may choose.

CBS This morning inaccurate segment on Fish Oil

Reblogging this –I just want to point out that there are powerful forces out there that do not want people to know how much balancing your essential fats can benefit your health. The most notable are the drug companies, but also industrial agriculture.


Editors Note: ( Ralph Turchiano )

I may respond officially to the piece below, that aired this morning. The information CBS supplied was inaccurate to the point where it negatively can impact many lives, therefore it needs clarification.

I encourage you to watch the CBS segment on Omega-3. Then please review this site or any site, such as the PLOS or the NCBI to validate or discredit CBS.


This the basic search for OMEGA-3 below. There are approximately 21 pages of just the Omega-3 research and not just the DHA data.

Search results for ‘omega-3

Pregnant women not getting enough omega-3, critical for infant development

BY RALPH TURCHIANOonMARCH 25, 2015 • ( 1 )

Public Release: 25-Mar-2015 APrON study suggests pregnant & lactating women not meeting recommended intake Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press) Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) is a birth cohort involving…

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