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Are EFA's really essential?

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  • #16
    @ All,

    Thanks for the replies. I started this thread to learn, from other posters. I'm no expert, I'm definitely a student of these things. Even 'credible' experts in the subject should be questioned, new things are constantly learned.

    Re-reading the thread this morning, I see I've already made a mistake with it. It's drifting off-topic, mostly due to some of MY replies! I would like to keep it on topic so that it becomes a great place to learn about EFAs.

    Ultimately I would like to start a similar thread on the forum for every nutrient. A daunting task no doubt, but let's take our time and thoroughly beat each one into submission before moving on to the next one. If we succeed, it will help Marks site become more popular and we should do what we can for our primal sensei.

    I'm thinking to cover the caloric nutrients first, in this order:
    * FATs: PUFAs (this thread), MUFAs, SFAs
    * CARBs: fructose, glucose, galactose
    * PROTEINS: all 20 aminos

    Then on through the seemingly endless list of non-caloric nutrients (vitamins, minerals...).

    The goal would be to learn, through spirited but polite debate, what dietary requirements (or lack thereof) are optimal for each.

    Also, to help keep things on-topic I'll occasionally throw-in thread 'summaries', which I'll do for the first time seperately on this thread in my next post.
    (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

    (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
      OK, Ok, the hair-splitting begins....

      I think the only definition that we really need to agree on to discuss the straw horse proposal above is:

      nutrient - any substance that can be metabolized by an animal to give energy and build tissue

      (google'able)

      Water does not qualify as a nutrient by this definition, nor would oxygen, CO2,...
      Clarification:

      A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment.They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy. Methods for nutrient intake vary, with animals and protists consuming foods that are digested by an internal digestive system, but most plants ingest nutrients directly from the soil through their roots or from the atmosphere.

      Water is widely used in chemical reactions as a solvent or reactant and less commonly as a solute or catalyst.
      Most of the major components in cells (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) are also dissolved in water.
      Water is a good solvent and is often referred to as the universal solvent. Substances that dissolve in water, e.g., salts, sugars, acids, alkalis, and some gases especially oxygen, carbon dioxide (carbonation) are known as hydrophilic (water-loving) substances, while those that are immiscible with water (e.g., fats and oils), are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances.



      without water our cells cannot create energy or describe any shape.
      blood would fail to flow
      digestion would cease


      Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

      Predator not Prey
      Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

      CW 315 | SW 506
      Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


      Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

      Comment


      • #18
        Thread Summary: #1

        Background:
        * Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are referred to as 'essential fatty acids' (EFAs) since humans can't synthesize them from other nutrients. Many nutritional experts claim EFA's should be part of a supplement program, but a few (e.g. Ray Peat) claim eliminating them altogether would be healthier. Arguments from both are usually based on cellular biology/physiology.

        Evolutionary (Paleo) Perspective From Posters on this Thread:
        * EFA's are no different than the numerous other essential nutrients that the body can't synthesize. The fact that it can't synthesize EFAs should be taken to indicate they were readily available from the evolutionary (paleolithic) diet.

        * Evolution is 'biologically efficient' by delegating essential nutrient synthesis (EFAs) to species lower in the food chain where ever possible as this enables other features to develop.

        Practical Open Questions:
        * How much EFAs are really needed?
        * What beneficial role do they support in health?
        A1: Ethereal reported they help with skin issues.
        (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

        (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

        Comment


        • #19
          For all of you aspiring paleoprimatologists, here is a link to a paper that provides a "Primate Baseline":

          Evolution, Diet and Health

          It's not definitive, but definitely food for thought and a direct hit to this threads topic. It showed me that trying to determine optimal dietary requirements from an evolutionary perspective is a bit more difficult than trying to figure out what Grok ate.

          Maybe the cellular biology/physiology perspective is the more practical one after all.
          (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

          (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
            For all of you aspiring paleoprimatologists, here is a link to a paper that provides a "Primate Baseline":

            Evolution, Diet and Health

            It's not definitive, but definitely food for thought and a direct hit to this threads topic. It showed me that trying to determine optimal dietary requirements from an evolutionary perspective is a bit more difficult than trying to figure out what Grok ate.

            Maybe the cellular biology/physiology perspective is the more practical one after all.
            Wow! Paragraph 4 states CW regarding cholesterol, saturated fat and CHD as though it is self-evidently true and without any controversy whatsoever. I am truly at a loss here. I have eaten a cereal carb heavy diet for decades eschewing saturated fat except for occassional ice cream binges. I have been eating Primal for a couple months now including lots of pastured eggs, grass fed ground beef and cheese/butter from grass fed cows. I would bet anything my cholesterol numbers have gotten much worse, CW wise, but what should I do and whom should I believe?
            Last edited by Artbuc; 07-28-2012, 08:10 AM.

            Comment


            • #21
              @ Artbuc,

              We're all in the same boat.


              @ Neckhammer,

              I've been thinking some more about your comment on the amount of EFAs from a 'evolutionary' perspective, trying to see if it can inform an even better guideline. But it really hasn't, it seems cellular biology may provide more insight. There are 2 camps in that school. The Ray Peat camp says they're poison basically and that as a result we should do our best to eliminate them completely. The CW camp says they're beneficial and that we should supplement of course.

              Either could be right, I don't think paleoprimatology can really decide. Here's why:

              We know natural 'toxins' were present in the paleo environment. Maybe EFAs are toxins and Grok simply adapted to tolerating a low % of daily intake of them. On the other hand, they could be beneficial, and if so, Grok had to adapt to a limited supply of them. So, following the 'practical' approach of keeping them low, say 4% or less of daily calories, puts us in the same boat as Grok. But, becoming more extreme (body hack) and assuming we guess the correct direction (eliminate or supplement) would put us in a better position health-wise than Grok ever was.

              It would seem enough people have tried the supplement approach but I don't see any overwhelming evidence of indisputable benefit.

              Thoughts?
              (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

              (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by quelsen View Post
                Clarification:



                without water our cells cannot create energy or describe any shape.
                blood would fail to flow
                digestion would cease
                Hi Quelsen,

                I worked with a group of Russian electrochemical researchers for about 5 years. I had at least half a dozen shouting matches with them in the first year alone. They usually won, it was their company after all, no fun at all.

                Then I had an epiphany, it dawned on me that most of our arguments came down to using different definitions for the same terminology. We each assumed we were talking about the same thing but turns out we weren't. That experience taught me that the first thing to do in technical debate is agree on the definitions of the terminology framing the debate, don't assume all parties agree on definitions.


                With that said, do you really think I'm arguing that water isn't 'essential' to life?
                Really?
                (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
                  Hi Quelsen,
                  ....With that said, do you really think I'm arguing that water isn't 'essential' to life?
                  Really?
                  I knew this raw foodist/health food store owner in Maui, who hadn't had a drink of water in about 3 years. He did drink coconuts & eat raw juicy fruit & sprouts everyday though, getting his water that way. I'm not endorsing this, but it is kinda funny that he technically never drinks any water from a spigot, water filter or bottle.
                  "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                  "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                  "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The only things "essential to life" are in order 1) surviving child-birth, 2) air 3)water (in some form) 4) calories from fat/protein. Vitamins & EFAs, for most people, make the list too...

                    There are breatharians(not all of them are fakes) who subsist on air & a few sips of water. Calories are converted from sunshine & prana in the air around them.... Woo woo or real?

                    For those that are real yogis, adepts, it's real... For those on youtube, seeking fame or money, well... there you have it...

                    Am I losing credibility by espousing such anti-science? Oh well....
                    "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                    "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                    "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
                      Has evolution failed? If not, how is it that after 10,000,000 years (or so) of human evolution there are essential nutrients, vital for survival and/or reproduction, that the body can't make for itself. Do we just need a 'little more time'?
                      Evolution is not a force that directs us toward some goal of eventual perfection. It is simply the changes that result over time due to pressures on survival.

                      Would it be nice if we could just synthesize every nutrient and micronutrient that was essential for our survival? Sure, that'd be great. But apparently, whatever mutations and genetic changes that might be required for this to happen, have not happened. Oh well, with mutations you win some you lose some.

                      On the plus side, we did evolve the ability to procure these essential nutrients by various means from our environments... and this seems to have worked pretty well for us so far.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                        There are breatharians(not all of them are fakes) who subsist on air & a few sips of water. Calories are converted from sunshine & prana in the air around them.... Woo woo or real?

                        For those that are real yogis, adepts, it's real... For those on youtube, seeking fame or money, well... there you have it...

                        Am I losing credibility by espousing such anti-science? Oh well....
                        Wait a sec, do you actually believe this? I'm not being confrontational, I'm just curious. I read a lot about eastern philosophy and traditions, and so I come across these kind of claims a lot. As cool as the idea of breatharians (and other such things) are, I've never had any good reason to believe that such people exist. It's like psychic phenomena -- fun to think about and imagine, but never any good reason to believe in.

                        I'm just asking because the way you sound in the above quote makes me think you do believe in people who live off sips of water, their breath, and energy from the prana that surrounds them. If you do, where does that belief come from?

                        Edit: Betorq, thank you for the PM. Excellent stuff!
                        Last edited by ciep; 07-28-2012, 01:24 PM. Reason: Credit to Betorq for replying in PM, so as not to hijack.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                          The only things "essential to life" are in order 1) surviving child-birth, 2) air 3)water (in some form) 4) calories from fat/protein. Vitamins & EFAs, for most people, make the list too...

                          There are breatharians(not all of them are fakes) who subsist on air & a few sips of water. Calories are converted from sunshine & prana in the air around them.... Woo woo or real?

                          For those that are real yogis, adepts, it's real... For those on youtube, seeking fame or money, well... there you have it...

                          Am I losing credibility by espousing such anti-science? Oh well....
                          Hi Betorq,

                          I'm in GA too. Breatharians are an interesting topic...why don't you start a seperate thread and share what you have?
                          As far as I know, it's an impossibility. But then I don't even know if EFA's are essential or not.
                          (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                          (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I always wondered about the requirement for efa's. I don't doubt omega3's are beneficial but I'm sure the actually requirement is extremely low. I never ate anything containing a significant source of omega 3's growing up. Fish/seafood/flax/chai/nuts/eggs/fatty meats/ etc. You also see some diet plans that exclude all overt fats and people seem to be doing fine. The only fats they seem to get are from fruits and salad which contain microscopic amounts.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                              The only things "essential to life" are in order 1) surviving child-birth, 2) air 3)water (in some form) 4) calories from fat/protein. Vitamins & EFAs, for most people, make the list too...

                              There are breatharians(not all of them are fakes) who subsist on air & a few sips of water. Calories are converted from sunshine & prana in the air around them.... Woo woo or real?

                              For those that are real yogis, adepts, it's real... For those on youtube, seeking fame or money, well... there you have it...

                              Am I losing credibility by espousing such anti-science? Oh well....
                              I worked with a guy who was like this. at least in public and talked a good game.

                              Last i heard after he got married she made him eat and he gained 50 pounds.
                              Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                              Predator not Prey
                              Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                              CW 315 | SW 506
                              Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                              Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
                                Hi Quelsen,

                                I worked with a group of Russian electrochemical researchers for about 5 years. I had at least half a dozen shouting matches with them in the first year alone. They usually won, it was their company after all, no fun at all.

                                Then I had an epiphany, it dawned on me that most of our arguments came down to using different definitions for the same terminology. We each assumed we were talking about the same thing but turns out we weren't. That experience taught me that the first thing to do in technical debate is agree on the definitions of the terminology framing the debate, don't assume all parties agree on definitions.


                                With that said, do you really think I'm arguing that water isn't 'essential' to life?
                                Really?
                                Yes i actually thought that. i read and reread your assertion and it just seemed a bit too far fetched to actually let it go. <shrug> sorry
                                Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                                Predator not Prey
                                Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                                CW 315 | SW 506
                                Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                                Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

                                Comment

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